Many Transitions at the Tops of Arts Groups

Publication: Philadelphia Inquirer

Author: Peter Dobrin


03/30/2008 - Gary Graffman literally grew up at the Curtis Institute of Music, first walking through the doors as a 7-year-old piano protege. He became the school's director in 1986, but well into his second decade felt that was enough.

As he told the school, "I thought after all this time maybe they wanted a fresh face."

Now they have it. In 2006, after ensuring that Curtis would remain tuition-free under its new director, Roberto Diaz, the 77-year-old Graffman left for his New York home near Carnegie Hall.

The passing of the baton at the Curtis is part of an unprecedented shift in the Philadelphia region, where the leadership of many of the largest arts and culture groups has changed hands in the last several years.

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Getting a "productive conversation" going about career transitions is the aim of the Legacy Project, a program of the Pew Charitable Trusts' Philadelphia Cultural Management Initiative, which gathered 21 of the area's arts leaders for the first time in 2005.

"It grew out of the fact that the baby-boom generation has been in these in roles for a very long time," says Martin D. Cohen, director of the initiative. "There's been a lot of research in the nonprofit field that began to say, 'We know that this transition is coming,' and 'What are we doing to prepare for it?' "

Read the full article Many Transitions at the Tops of Arts Groups on the Philadelphia Inquirer's Web site.

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