COLLEGE PARK, Md. â€" The University of Maryland's Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center has named long-time arts administrator Martin Wollesen as executive director.Â Susie Farr, retiring this September, has served as executive director of the center for fourteen years.
As executive director, Wollesen will provide innovative and strategic leadership for the Center's programmatic, educational and community activities.
"We are extremely pleased to have Martin join the university.Â He brings more than 20 years of experience in arts administration and higher education to the Clarice Smith Center," says Mary Ann Rankin, UMD's senior vice president and provost.
new role, Wollesen
will work closely with university leadership to advance the Center's mission; strengthen faculty and student collaborations; and cultivate new and existing community relationships.
will work in close collaboration with the School of Music and the School of Theatre, Dance, and Performance Studies to develop activities, programs and initiatives that support and enhance the learning environment.
will also play a key role in the Center's fundraising and development efforts.
"Martin has proven his strength and leadership in creating robust partnerships that integrate the arts across campuses and within local communities," says Bonnie Thornton Dill, dean of the College of Arts and Humanities.
"I am thrilled to be joining not only one of the best campus-based performing arts centers in the country, but a world-class university as well," says Wollesen
"While honoring the achievements of the university by strengthening current programs and partnerships, we will build a new future by working collaboratively, strategically and globally to create greater depth and breadth of dialogue in the arts through the Clarice Smith Center."
Prior to joining the Clarice Smith Center, Wollesen served as director of university events at the University of California, San Diego, where he provided oversight, management, artistic direction and strategic development for the University Events Office's programs and services, that include significant campus traditions, large-scale concerts and a highly respected presenting arts program.
Wollesen concurrently served as artistic director for ArtPower! at UC San Diego, providing artistic guidance and strategic development for the university's premiere multi-arts presenting program in dance, music, spoken word and film.
In this role, Wollesen
developed the Innovator-in-Residence
Program that explored the intersections between the sciences and the arts; and created The Loft, a performance lounge and wine bar, the only venue of its kind on a college campus.Â He
also created and implemented the Place Matters Project, the most comprehensive, interdisciplinary arts initiative in the university's history.
also created an individual giving program for ArtPower! that increased giving by 40 percent each season.
Wollesen was previously the director of education and associate director of programming for Stanford Lively Arts at Stanford University.
Wollesen held several other positions for UC Santa Cruz, including the Chancellor's inauguration coordinator and college programs coordinator for the university's Kresge College.
He also holds a B.A. from the University of California at Santa Cruz.
Martin currently serves on the board of directors for the Association of Performing Arts Presenters and California Presenters.
He previously served in various board roles with the Western Arts Alliance and San Diego Performing Arts League.
In 2012, he
was awarded the Western Arts Alliance
Vanguard Award for innovation in the arts for The Loft as UCSD
will officially assume his
duties at the Clarice Smith Center
on Sept. 2, 2013.