The Flynn Hires Matt Rogers as New Programming Director | Arts News | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

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The Flynn Hires Matt Rogers as New Programming Director


Published September 30, 2022 at 2:17 p.m.
Updated October 5, 2022 at 10:06 a.m.

Matt Rogers DJing at the Mule Bar during Waking Windows in 2022 - LUKE AWTRY
  • Luke Awtry
  • Matt Rogers DJing at the Mule Bar during Waking Windows in 2022
The Flynn announced on Thursday that it has filled a pair of high-level leadership positions. 

Matt Rogers, formerly of Higher Ground Presents, will become the programming director of the nonprofit performing arts center. The Flynn also announced the hiring of a new marketing director, Kevin Sweeney, formerly of Shea's Performing Arts Center in Buffalo, N.Y.

As programming director, Rogers will assume many of the duties previously handled by former Flynn artistic director Steve MacQueen, who resigned in February. The Flynn has been without a marketing director even longer: Sweeney's predecessor, Kevin Titterton, left in 2021. For most of this year, the Flynn's programming and marketing have been largely outsourced to companies in Pennsylvania and North Carolina.
Rogers, 37, is a Saint Michael's College graduate with experience as a music promoter, producer and talent buyer in Burlington.

In 2008, he founded the indie booking company, MSR Presents, which merged with Angioplasty Media in 2014 to form Waking Windows Presents, the organization behind the annual Waking Windows music festival in Winooski. At Higher Ground Presents, he booked and produced off-site concerts and festivals throughout New England — including about 20 shows per year at the Flynn.

"To start out as a DIY promoter, putting on shows at the Monkey House, Nectar's, Club Metronome and wherever, it's a nice, validating feeling to be offered this position at the largest venue in Vermont," Rogers said in an interview.

"They've got a good, long-term vision of expanding outside the theater that aligns with what I've been doing, both [at] Higher Ground and with Waking Windows," he continued. "It seems like a good fit."

"This is someone who cares deeply about the performing arts in Vermont," said Flynn executive director Jay Wahl, who has made producing off-site shows a priority since joining the Flynn in January 2021. "What a great addition to the team, in terms of what he cares about, what he has expertise in, his relationships in this community, his passion for music in all forms. It's just awesome."

Rogers will be responsible for booking the Flynn Main Stage and Flynn Space theaters, as well for programming events such as the Burlington Discover Jazz festival.

Rogers has a strong background booking music and comedy. But the Flynn's programming encompasses a variety of performing arts disciplines.

"It's an exciting challenge," Rogers said. "Look, I have zero experience booking plays or dance troupes. But I think the fact that they're OK with that, willing to take that risk with me, is nice, but it's also something new."

"I'm focused on the deep complement of skills he does bring," Wahl said. "We're always thinking about how to expand our audiences here at the Flynn, and he's thought about that work a lot in his portfolio."

Rogers hopes to continue his involvement with Waking Windows, noting that the festival was part of what caught the attention of Wahl and the Flynn.

"Who knows," he said, "maybe there's a  cool way to integrate the Flynn and Waking Windows?"
Sweeney comes to the Flynn from the Shea. Before that, he was marketing director at the Geva Theatre Center in Rochester, N.Y.

According to Wahl, Sweeney has been part of organizations "that have the kind of diverse lineups we have: rock and roll one night, a  Broadway musical the next." Sweeney, Wahl said, "has deep experience in how to maintain that breadth of scale and clarity.

"For the first time since I got here, the entire senior leadership of the Flynn is here," he continued. "I'm really excited to have such a diverse and talented team to really think through how the Flynn continues to grow and serve this community."

Related Locations

  • The Flynn