The President and CEO of Dallas’ brand new, Performing Arts Center has quit, effective immediately. KERA’s BJ Austin says Mark Nerenhausen (left) helped launch the $354 million center eight months ago, and had been on the job less than two years.
- KERA radio story:
- Expanded online story:
The Arts Center’s Board Chair Howard Hallam (right) praises Nerenhausen’s hard work during the launch of the new institution. Hallam said he cannot speak for Nerenhausen, who was unavailable for comment. But he believes that Nerenhausen had expectations that weren’t being met.
Hallam: “When Mark came here, we were just finishing the most successful capital campaign in the history of this industry. But by the time he got here, we realized that our capital campaign was not complete. We still needed to raise additional funds.”
And the PAC has continued to raise capital funds — some of which have been diverted to cover operating expenses. Hallam says the Performing Arts Center will run a deficit for its first year. And it’s likely to face budget cuts in operational support from the City of Dallas. But he says deficits were to be expected in the early years of a new venue. He doesn’t think the money issues, per se, caused Nerenhausen’s decision to leave.
Hallam: “So we saw a deficit coming and in fact budgeted for a deficit not only this first year but next year. So even though it’s been a tough year, the tough year was not a surprise to anyone. But of course laboring under these kinds of difficult conditions would, I’m sure, discourage anybody.”
The Performing Arts Center’s Senior Vice President Doug Curtis will be interim CEO. A national search is underway for a permanent replacement.
The full release follows.
AT&T PAC CEO Resigns
AT&T Performing Arts Center President and CEO Mark Nerenhausen Resigns
Dallas, TX – July 26, 2010 – AT&T Performing Arts Center announced today that it has accepted the resignation of President and CEO Mark Nerenhausen, effective immediately. Doug Curtis, the AT&T PAC’s Senior Vice President and General Manager, has been named interim CEO. A national search is underway for Nerenhausen’s successor.
“The AT&T Performing Arts Center has gone through incredible growth and change over the past two years, and Mark provided invaluable leadership for us at a critical time,” said Howard Hallam, Chair of the AT&T Performing Arts Center Board of Directors. “We are grateful for Mark’s hard work during the launch of our new institution, and we wish him all the best in his future endeavors.”
“I came to Dallas to work with the remarkable team opening the new performing arts center, and I am proud of what we have accomplished. I’m glad to have had the opportunity to have been here at such a significant time in AT&T PAC’s development as an institution,” said Mark Nerenhausen.
The AT&T Performing Arts Center opened in October 2009 to critical acclaim from arts and architecture critics around the world. The $354 million campaign to build the Center was a decade-long project spearheaded by private citizens within the community and funded with more than 95 percent of the capital funds raised through private sources. Since the grand opening in October, the Center has played a vital role in the community through its diverse programming, educational activities and as a catalyst for further development in the downtown Dallas Arts District.
About the AT&T Performing Arts Center
Open since October 2009, the AT&T Performing Arts Center is a vibrant destination for entertainment in the heart of the downtown Dallas Arts District. The Center presents a variety of programs, including its Lexus Broadway Series, Brinker International Forum, JAZZ ROOTS and, in association with TITAS, contemporary dance and music, and other performances. The Center also provides performance space for The Dallas Opera, Dallas Theater Center, Dallas Black Dance Theatre and Anita N. Martinez Ballet Folklorico, in unparalleled venues set within a 10-acre urban park.
The Dallas Fort Worth Lexus Dealer Association is the title sponsor of the Center’s Lexus Broadway Series. Lexus is the official vehicle of the Center and its resident companies, the official valet sponsor and the naming rights holder for the Center’s two underground parking areas. RideCentric is the Official Ground Transportation Provider of the Center.