Saratoga Performing Arts Center Board Resigns En Masse

Classic Arts News   Saratoga Performing Arts Center Board Resigns En Masse
The entire board of the Saratoga Performing Arts Center resigned yesterday, seeking to defuse the controversy that has swirled around the upstate New York venue for more than a year.

SPAC has been under fire since February 2004, when it announced that New York City Ballet's annual summer residencies would come to an end. That decision was eventually reversed, but it prompted a state audit that criticized the facility's fundraising and management and expressed concerts about conflicts of interest on the part of board members. Longtime president Herbert Chesbrough and chairman Charles Mather both resigned, but the controversy has continued to overshadow the center's artistic mission.

"Members of the board of directors care deeply about SPAC and have been saddened to witness the current state of public mistrust that continues to dampen our efforts to move forward with fundraising, programming and other essential functions," said board chairman Stephen M. Serlin. "Consequently, we have taken this proactive step in an effort to allay remaining concerns about SPAC's governance and restore the public's trust in this vital institution."

The outgoing board appointed a transitional board, which will select a slate of new candidates for the permanent board. SPAC members will vote on those candidates at SPAC's annual meeting on May 25.

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