Chairman of Embattled Saratoga Performing Arts Center Resigns

Classic Arts News   Chairman of Embattled Saratoga Performing Arts Center Resigns
Charles Mather, the chairman of the Saratoga Performing Arts Center in upstate New York, stepped down yesterday, the Saratogian reports. The center, which was recently the subject of a highly critical state audit, also announced that its president, Herbert Chesbrough, will resign within the next 90 days.

The state's Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation said in November the center had been mismanaged and that a decision to end the New York City Ballet's annual residency had been made using inaccurate financial information. The audit also criticized SPAC for granting Chesbrough a $400,000 severance package.

SPAC said yesterday that it had withdrawn the package and was discussing a new agreement with Chesbrough's attorneys.

Mather has been replaced by Stephen Serlin, a physician from Glens Falls, New York. A search committee has begun interviewing candidates to replace Chesbrough.

SPAC announced in February that the New York City Ballet's annual residency would end after the 2004 summer season because it loses hundreds of thousands of dollars each year. The center later reversed that decision, announcing that the company would return in 2005, but has not addressed the status of future residencies. According to the state report, SPAC's lease requires it to present fine arts programs such as NYCB.

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