Thursday, March 27, 2014

Bushnell, HSO Announce New Affiliation

The Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts and the Hartford Symphony Orchestra announced that their boards have agreed to two-year management services contract which would have Bushnell CEO Davd Fay assume the position of interim CEO for the HSO and move the symphony's staff to the Bushnell.

HSO CEO Carrie Hammond will step aside next week when Fay assumes the role. The staff move is expected in August. It was not immediately known which HSO staff positions are moving and whether any might eventually be eliminated, though Bushnell Communications Manager Paul Marte said there were no immediate plans to eliminate positions as part of the move. A CFO position, currently vacant at the HSO, would not be hired, he said.

The HSO's current staff consists of Hammond's executive assistant, a development department of four, an education department of two, a finance and human resources manager, a marketing and PR director, an artistic operations manager, a technical director, and four box office personnel. The financially struggling HSO has eliminated other positions over the years.

Under the agreement, the HSO and The Bushnell will remain independent, 501(c) (3) non-profit organizations.  The HSO is contracting for management services from The Bushnell through an agreement that runs through the summer of 2016.  The agreement will provide the HSO with enhanced financial reporting and management; human resources management and processes; office space, clerical and IT services; marketing and box office services; and education and programming delivery support. 

The Bushnell also will provide principal management during the initial term of the arrangement, including fundraising, governance support and the services of Fay.

Hammond served as interim CEO for the HSO from May – October 2011 during Music Director Carolyn Kuan’s first season with the organization, and has been CEO since May 2012.  During her tenure, the orchestra developed numerous successful community initiatives, including CityMusic, the Musicians Care Project, the LIFE project, and Bachtoberfest. It was not known whether the HSO's Masterworks, Pops!, Talcott Mountain, Sunday Serenades and Musical Dialogues will continue as in under the new management agreement.

The Bushnell also manages Rentschler Field in East Hartford and SummerWind Performing Arts Center in Windsor.

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