Stamford Arts Center topper taps out

NEW HAVEN, Conn. — Douglas C. Evans is ankling Connecticut’s financially troubled Stamford Center for the Arts after a year and a half as executive director.

Evans, 43, resigned unexpectedly last week to take an unnamed position with a theater organization in New York, according to board prexy Michael Cacace. Evans, who did not return phone calls, will remain at the arts center through the end of August.

Evans’ exit from Stamford follows the abrupt ankling of SCA artistic director George E. Moredock III, who resigned in June after an internal audit revealed a financial discrepancy of $12,000. Moredock, who over 20-plus years held various positions at the center, agreed to repay the money and resigned June 24. Moredock and Evans had a joint leadership role at the arts center.

Cacace said Monday that when Evans leaves, the arts center will be led by a group of staffers and board members until a new executive director is named in October. He said a fair amount of programming for the 2005-06 season has already been finalized.

Following a year of low ticket sales and declining state subsidies, the arts center had an $800,000 deficit this year, following $128,000 in red ink from the previous year. The arts center also has a $2.5 million mortgage remaining on the construction of its $19 million renovation of the 1,700-seat Palace Theater. The arts center includes the 700-seat Rich Forum.

Evans left the Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts in 2000 after 10 years to become managing director of the Old Globe Theater in San Diego. He had held that job for a year and a half when then-Connecticut Gov. John G. Rowland appointed him director of the State Commission on the Arts in 2002.

Evans announced in 2003 that he was leaving the state arts agency — which was undergoing an expansion to become the Commission on Culture & Tourism — to take an executive position at Connecticut Public Broadcasting beginning in January 2004. However, weeks before he was to begin at CPB, he took the Stamford job.

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