Price, who had previously been interim executive director at Lincoln Center in New York, came to the Kimmel Center in January 2002, just a few weeks after the building's troubled opening. In four eventful years at the complex's helm, as Peter Dobrin puts it in today's Philadelphia Inquirer, she "hired programming czar Mervon Mehta, raised money, dealt with a sprinkler system that poured down on musicians of the Philadelphia Orchestra and their instruments, raised more money, assembled a collaborative of arts centers to produce new musicals, laid off 11 percent of the Kimmel staff in a budget crunch, won the bid to bring the cash cow Lion King to Philadelphia, saw the filing of the center's lawsuit against its own architect, and finally, this year, finished a season without a deficit."
She is leaving to return to her native Toronto, where she will become CEO of the Toronto Festival of Arts, Culture and Creativity, a new, multidisciplinary event expected to launch in June of next year.
The Kimmel Center board of directors will immediately form a search committee to name a successor.
Kimmel Center chairman William P. Hankowsky said, "Since her arrival in early 2002, immediately after the Kimmel Center's opening, Janice Price has done an outstanding job in every respect. She has built a premier team of outstanding arts management professionals at the Kimmel Center. In addition to operating a new world-class facility for our resident companies, Janice and her team have also brought new and diverse artistic programming to our region."
Price said, "I am extremely grateful to the board of the Kimmel Center for having given me the opportunity to launch the artistic, production and support operations of this extraordinary facility. As home to eight beloved resident organizations [Philadelphia Orchestra, Opera Company of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Ballet, Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia, American Theatre Arts for Youth, PHILADANCO, Philadelphia Chamber Music Society and Peter Nero and the Philly Pops], and by launching our own distinctive artistic and education programs, we have fulfilled the dream first espoused by our founders to create a regional performing arts center of international stature."
It's been a good year for the center, which inaugurated the Fred J. Cooper Memorial Organ, the nation's largest concert hall organ, in May. The Kimmel will also end its fiscal year with an operating surplus of approximately $1.2 million; in addition, at its meeting on June 22, the board of directors unanimously adopted an operating budget for fiscal year 2007 which shows an operating surplus of $412,000.