Frédéric Silberman Photography
Anna Marie Gewirtz
On Friday, Anna Marie Gewirtz announced her resignation as executive director of the Flynn Center for the Performing Arts
. In a press statement from the Flynn's board of directors, she cited "family reasons" to explain her departure from the Burlington nonprofit after roughly 18 months. Gewirtz replaced the previous Flynn Center executive director, John Killacky, in July 2018
. Her family has since been split among Vermont, Massachusetts and New Jersey, the announcement said.
According to the statement, the Flynn Center board of directors will appoint an interim director in the coming weeks. A national search for a permanent replacement will begin immediately and Gewirtz will stay on in a consulting role during the transition, helping to plan the Flynn Center's 2020-21 season and lining up sponsors.
"It's sad for us; it's sad for her," said board chair Staige Davis by phone. "I know she loved being at the Flynn, and we've loved having her.
"I think about what she's going through with family, and commuting, her husband working in Boston," Davis continued. "She's got two small children and I know this has been tough."
Davis explained that he had been in private conversations with Gewirtz about her family situation since September.*
"It was a little sooner than I had hoped," he said of Gewirtz's resignation, adding that he expects the search for a replacement to last about four months. He also said the interim director won't necessarily be someone in the arts, "but somebody who is a good manager in the time being."
Gewirtz was unavailable for for comment but said in the press statement, “This was an extraordinarily difficult decision for my husband and me, but this is the right time for our family to make this change.
“I love the Flynn and want to extend my deepest gratitude to the staff, board of trustees, volunteer ‘Spirits’, artists, teachers, students, theater enthusiasts, donors and sponsors who make this such an enriching and iconic place," she continued.
"I am so proud of our accomplishments and will continue to support and champion the Flynn both in the near term and in years to come. It has been an honor to lead this beautiful, historic venue, a true gem in the greater Burlington, Vermont, community and all of New England.”
*Correction, January 18, 2020: This post has been updated to reflect that conversations
in September between Anna Marie Gewirtz and Staige Davis concerned Gewirtz's family situation.