Sunday, March 15, 2009

Barry C. Hughson Leaves Atlanta Ballet to Take the Helm at Boston Ballet

Barry C. Hughson will resign his post as Executive Director of the Atlanta Ballet, effective at the end of the Ballet’s performance season on May 17, 2009. He leaves Atlanta to take the helm of the Boston Ballet in Boston, Massachusetts, the country’s fifth largest dance institution.

According to Hughson, “My wife and I have loved our time in Atlanta, and we will miss this amazing Company, the City, and the dear friends we have made here”, adding, “We are also excited to be moving back to New England where we will be closer to our family”.

Over his two-year tenure at Atlanta Ballet, Hughson successfully engineered the move to the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Center, completed the sale of 1400 West Peachtree resulting in the elimination of the Company’s accumulated debt, resolved the dispute with the Atlanta Ballet Orchestra resulting in the return of live music to many of the Ballet’s performances, and developed the $14.8 million dollar “Choreographing Our Future” campaign. To date, the Ballet has secured $11.2 million dollars – 76% of the campaign goal. It is already the most successful fundraising campaign in Atlanta Ballet’s 79-year history.

“Barry has accomplished so much in his time here”, said Sandy Rose, Chairman of the Ballet’s Board of Trustees, “While we will miss him, he is leaving us in a unique position of strength as we move the Ballet forward, and for that, we are deeply grateful”.

The Atlanta Ballet will announce an Interim Executive Director in the coming days to ensure continuity and to continue the momentum that has been built under Hughson’s leadership. A national search will begin for Hughson’s permanent successor.

“Atlanta has a treasure in Atlanta Ballet, and I am proud to have been able to make a contribution to this remarkable legacy that began nearly 80 years ago”, said Hughson, adding “With the successes of the past two years, the Trustees can feel the wind at their backs, and are well-positioned to take the organization into the future”.

Hughson will begin his new position in Boston on June 1st.

Founded in 1929, Atlanta Ballet is the longest continuously operating ballet company in the United States. Atlanta Ballet’s eclectic repertoire spans ballet history, highlighted by beloved classics and inventive originals.

Among Atlanta Ballet’s proud and unique 80-year history are its three Artistic Directors, Miss Dorothy Alexander, whose vision brought dance to the South; Robert Barnett, who turned Atlanta Ballet into a professional company; and currently, and for the past 14 years John McFall. Under McFall’s leadership Atlanta Ballet continues its commitment to share and educate audiences on the empowering joy of dance.

Atlanta Ballet opened the Centre for Dance Education in 1996 and is dedicated to nurturing young dancers while providing an outlet for adults to express their creativity. With diverse class offerings and student population, the Centre serves over 150,000 people in metro Atlanta each year. Atlanta Ballet's roots remain firmly grounded in the Atlanta community and continue to play a vital role in the city's cultural growth and revitalization.
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