Southampton Arts Center, preparing for its next phase of growth, has hired its first Executive Director. Filling the position is Tom Dunn, who previously worked at New York's Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts where he was part of the senior management team and held a series of executive positions, announced the cultural organization in Southampton Village, NY. Dunn began his new position on April 2, 2018.

“We are thrilled to have Tom on board at Southampton Arts Center,” Simone Levinson, Southampton Arts Center Board of Directors co-chair, stated in the announcement. “Tom’s deep knowledge, extensive experience and passion for the arts position him perfectly to lead Southampton Arts Center’s next phase of growth."

Tom Dunn. Courtesy of Southampton Arts Center.

Since opening in 2013, Southampton Arts Center (SAC) has been growing steadily in stature and reach since its launch in 2013, after the building was vacated by the Parrish Art Museum in 2012. In 2017, SAC drew nearly 40,000 visitors through its doors, according to the organization. This represents an increase of around 5,000 visitors over the nearly 35,000 who visited SAC in 2016, according to SAC.

Last year, they hired Amy Kirwin for its new position of Director of Programs. They also held programming year-round for the first time.

Since inception, programming for both exhibitions and events have often sprung from collaborations with New York City cultural organizations. Past partners have included the New York Academy of Art, Jazz at Lincoln Center, New York Historical Society, International Center for Photography (ICP) and others. Early exhibition curators were also tapped from the New York art scene.

Local cultural collaborations have included the Hamptons International Film Festival, Watermill Center, The Jam Session, Inc., Southampton African American Museum, the Shinnecock Indian Nation, Peconic Land Trust and others. Further afield, SAC has also collaborated with the George Eastman Museum in Rochester, NY and the Telluride Mountainfilm in Telluride, CO.

Dunn will help ferry the organization in its next phase of growth, including leading a capital campaign planned for next year aimed to modernize, preserve and expand, according to SAC. Dunn's areas of influence will include strategic planning, programming, community and audience engagement and development. Amy Kirwin continues in her role as Director of Programs.

“I am excited to join the Southampton Arts Center as Executive Director," Dunn stated in the announcement. "I look forward to working with the staff, board and Southampton Village officials to build on the success of SAC’s first five years and to create a dynamic, sustainable organization that will serve the East End community for years to come.”

Whitney Stevens, Southampton Arts Center Board of Directors co-chair, added, “We are very proud of all we have accomplished in our first five years. Now, we are looking forward to the future under Tom’s leadership including the long-term project of the major restoration and expansion of our iconic building and grounds.”

Dunn ​was part of the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts senior management team that oversaw the $1.2 billion​ physical redevelopment of Lincoln Center’s 16-acre campus. Most recently, Dunn led the effort to redesign and elevate the overall guest experience as Lincoln Center emerged from the decade-long redevelopment as as Senior Director, Concert Halls Operations, according to SAC.

Previously, his roles included Founding Director of the David Rubenstein Atrium at Lincoln Center, and aide to the President of Lincoln Center. Prior to joining Lincoln Center, he worked as a writer, producer and director in the off-Broadway, comedy and television industries.


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