Janice C. Price, whose been serving as interim executive director of Lincoln Center, has been tapped to head the Regional Performing Arts Center in Philadelphia, a complex comprising the Academy of Music and the new Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts. RPAC's current interim president, Leslie Miller, will move to co-chair the organization's board.
The hope, according to a statement by chair Willard G. Rouse III, is that Price will help RPAC become, "a premiere venue for performing artists from all over the world."
Price spent three years as VP of marketing and communications at LCT, followed by a year as veep dealing with New Technologies. The last few months saw her take on the executive directorship, working with chairperson Beverly Sills to oversee a $72 million annual budget. Her earlier credits include stints at Toronto's Hummingbird Centre and, briefly, as a VP of sales at Livent.
At RPAC, Price will oversee eight resident companies, including the Philadelphia Orchestra, PHILADANCO dance, the Pennsylvania Ballet, the Chamber Music Society and American Theatre Arts for Youth.
The buildings comprising RPAC are the new, $265 million Kimmel Center, which has two theatres — Verizon Hall (2,500 seats) and the Perelman Theatre (650 seats) — and the aforementioned Academy of Music, which will get a $10 million facelift. (Actually, it's a scalp lift; the venue will raise the roof to allow for Broadway shows to be done there.) The Kimmel Center, which already has 150-foot steel and glass vault ceilings, drew roughly 40,000 people on its opening day, Dec. 16, with box office grosses reaching $1 million in the first week. Chairman Rouse stressed in a statement at the time that the idea was to mix "the highbrow and the lowbrow" and to include public spaces where "all people will feel welcome."
So far, the performance bookings have been overwhelmingly concert oriented, including the Vienna Boys Choir, Michael Feinstein and soon-to appear Bill Cosby, Three Mo' Tenors and the Israel Philharmonic.
The Kimmel Center is named for businessman and philanthropist Sidney Kimmel, who grew up in West Philadelphia and donated $30 million to the project. The Academy, located on the Avenue of the Arts, was built in 1857 and currently seats nearly 2,900.
— By David Lefkowitz