CEO of Philadelphia's Mann Center Departs for New York State's Bethel Woods

Classic Arts News   CEO of Philadelphia's Mann Center Departs for New York State's Bethel Woods
Peter Lane, who has spent a decade as president of the Mann Center for the Performing Arts in Philadelphia's Fairmount Park, has been appointed CEO of the Bethel Woods Center for the Arts in New York state.

Bethel Woods, which opened last summer, was built on the site of the legendary 1969 Woodstock Festival. The facility, set amid 1,700 acres of former farmland, includes a 4,800-seat open-air pavilion for concerts as well as lawn seating for 12,000. The center offers pop, jazz, country and rock concerts as well as classical fare; the New York Philharmonic performed the opening concert last year and appeared there again this summer.

In his ten years at the Mann Center — which is the official summer home of the Philadelphia Orchestra — Lane oversaw major improvements in the organization's finances, programming and even appearance. When he arrived, according to The Philadelphia Inquirer, the Mann was more than $2 million in debt and was losing both lucrative rock acts and its municipal subsidy; during his tenure, both revenues and donations have more than tripled, according to the paper. Lane spearheaded a $15 million renovation of the center, brought in popular (if uncool) performers such as Tony Bennett and Sarah Brightman as well as prestigious dance companies such as the Bolshoi Ballet and London's Royal Ballet, and improved such amenities as on-site meals. (These improvements did cost money, of course: prices for both tickets and parking at the Mann rose as well.) In addition, Lane greatly increased the number of daytime children's programs the Mann offers during the summer — one of his proudest achievements, according to the Inquirer.

"We were thrilled to have Peter for 10 years," board vice chairman nancy Wolcott told the paper. "He did a phenomenal job building a strong staff and growing the visibility of the Mann. He will be missed, and we're pleased for this opportunity for him to move on."

Another vice chairman of the Mann board, William L. Leonard, will run the center as interim president. A search committee has already been formed to recruit Lane's successor.

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