NEW YORK CITY: Michelle Preston has announced that she will resign from her role as executive director of SITI Company after 10 years of service to become the executive director of the José Limón Dance Foundation beginning Nov. 1. Her departure comes as the venerable performance and training company winds up its producing operations after 30 years.
“We are grateful for Michelle’s vision and integrity in her years of service to SITI,” said SITI board chair Jessica Hanna in a statement. “We are excited for José Limón Dance Foundation—they have a talented, thoughtful, and determined arts leader coming on board.”
While serving as SITI Company’s executive director, Preston helped produce nine world premieres, 17 domestic and international tours, and five New York City seasons. Preston oversaw SITI’s education programs, which welcomed four conservatory cohorts and produced eight SITI Summer Intensive Workshops with Skidmore College. Preston guided SITI company through the pandemic and tapped into the government funding opportunities available to the theatre for the last two years.
Preston was a key contributor to SITI’s multi-year strategic planning efforts and SITI’s Legacy Plan, which envisioned a transition for the organization after 30 years of artistry. Preston’s departure has been coordinated with the end of SITI Company’s ensemble and producing operations, which will happen on Dec. 31. Preston will be succeeded by Megan E. Carter, SITI’s producing director, who will oversee the company’s final two months of producing activities.
“Since becoming our executive director, Michelle has led SITI Company with an unequaled innovative brilliance,” said SITI co-artistic director Anne Bogart in a statement. “She maneuvered us wisely and robustly through many challenges and obstacles while keeping the momentum of growth, through effective budgeting, healthy board development, ongoing fundraising, and strategic planning. In particular, during the pandemic, she kept the company afloat, the actors on salary, and the wheels turning for all of our plans, which included exciting final productions, an archive, and a structure to ensure that SITI would continue to exert a positive impact on the field into the future.”
“It has truly been a privilege to spend the last 10 years learning from this amazing group of artists who champion rigor and innovation in everything they do,” said Preston in a statement. “I am so grateful for the opportunity to work alongside the ensemble, the board, and the staff to plot a course for the future and ensure that generations of artists will be able to access the legacy of SITI Company.”
SITI Company (The Saratoga International Theater Institute) was founded in 1992 by Tadashi Suzuki, Anne Bogart, and a group of like-minded artists with a mission to revitalize and redefine contemporary theatre in the United States through international cultural exchange, creation of new work, and the training of theatre artists. As of 2020, the company had an annual budget of $880,940.
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