News of Art Shake-ups at local performing arts organizations
Change is wafting through the administrative offices of performing arts organizations around Santa Fe. In early 2014, Santa Fe Pro Musica and Music From Angel Fire began investigating the possibility of merging and plotted a process that would enable them to set up increasingly parallel operations over a three-year period. The groups’ operations are complementary; Pro Musica produces a fall-through-spring concert series in Santa Fe, while Angel Fire is a summer festival a couple of hours away. It seemed that both could achieve more together with their combined resources than they could separately. As of this week, plans for the merger have ended. This creates some awkwardness; at this point the two organizations have not only occupied the same office space but also shared an executive director, Elizabeth Harcombe. She turned in her resignation at Angel Fire last Friday and signaled that she will continue at Pro Musica. Thomas O’Connor, Pro Musica’s music director and cofounder, attributed the rupture in part to a change of leadership on Angel Fire’s board of directors and, as a consequence, “different goals for the organization.” “It was an exciting project,” Harcombe said, “but one that ultimately presented differences in organizational goals and aspirations.”
Reins are being passed at Performance Santa Fe, where artistic director Joseph Illick and education director Gina Browning, who are married to each other, have announced that they will end their involvement with the organization at the end of the current season. Since 2007, Illick has tended to artistic planning and often to general administration; Browning has overseen an array of educational incentives, including the EPIK Artist Program for talented teens. Jonathan Winkle, who became executive director last spring, will assume responsibility for programming in addition to his administrative duties. And at the Lensic Performing Arts Center, Joel Aalberts is settling in as executive director, having arrived in September from his previous post heading the Eastern Kentucky University Center for the Arts.
Thomas O’Connor, music director and conductor of Santa Fe Pro Musica, and executive director Elizabeth Harcombe