After a 10-month search, arts director and administrator Anne Ewers has been named president and CEO of the Kimmel Center. Ewers, who currently holds the same titles at the Utah Symphony and Opera, will take over her new post on July 9.
"Anne Ewers has an indefatigable spirit and enormous energy," said Kimmel Center board chairman William P. Hankowsky.
Natalye Paquin has served as interim president since Janice Price announced her resignation last summer.
Ewers has an exceptional and extensive background both as an administrator, fund-raiser and stage director. After becoming general director of Utah Opera in 1991, she tripled the company's budget and expanded their season's productions until becoming president and CEO of the newly-combined Utah Symphony and Opera in 2002. During her tenure there, she brought a $1.8 million deficit into a $360,000 surplus, doubled the endowment from $18 million to $36 million and arranged the symphony's first European tour in 19 years.
Ewers visited Philadelphia with her family as a child, and came here to an Opera America conference when the Kimmel Center was under construction. It's premature for her to envision any shift in presentation philosophy, but it was clear that hers would be a tenure of inclusion.
"Frankly," said Ewers, "I see the strongest focus of my tenure to be one of collaboration and of wonderful opportunities for coordination. It's vitally important to me that we do everything as a team, and that the vision of the staff and board is embraced by all. To deliver the best quality arts to the community, team playing is critical."
The buoyant Ewers was asked if she intended to direct opera in the future. "I started as a singer," she said, "then as a designer of sets and costumes, and finally a director. Through all that I never looked back, just embraced what's in front of me, and now I'm a presenter. By the way, I remember designing a show for [Opera Company of Philadelphia general director] Robert Driver when he was in Syracuse, and when we were much younger!" *