Sunday, November 05, 2006

Van Wezel Light Dimmed?

Last week the Director of Sarasota's Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall was fired. John Wilkes had been the Director for about 12 years (2 time periods) and has generally been acclaimed as being the artistic and business force behind the success of the hall.

Recent newspaper articles have described the problematic areas of the Van Wezel Hall.

Reading "between the lines" would suggest that the probability of poor communication and "loose control" lead to the termination of Wilkes' contract. Whether the firing was justified and whether it will cause damage to Sarasota's reputation as the center of "Florida's Cultural Coast" will be debated.

The Van Wezel has been a great success story for Sarasota (not withstanding the infrequent but significant budget issues). Keeping it as a strong player in Sarasota's cultural scene must be continued. Anything less would be a tragedy.

More about this at the city manager's blog site.

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