Register staff report
Debra Hoskins has resigned as executive director for the Center for the Arts at Eastern Kentucky University, according to an announcement EKU released Tuesday morning.
Hoskins had served in the position since January 2011. A national search for her successor will begin immediately, the release stated.
The release gave no reason for the resignation.
"I am resigning my position as executive director of the EKU Center for the Arts," Hoskins said. "I got this venue to a level of excellence and look forward to pursuing new and upcoming challenges in the same field.
"As I move forward, I must express that I am immensely proud of what my team and I were able to accomplish during the center’s inaugural season. Under my direction, we welcomed Jerry Seinfeld, Aretha Franklin, Willie Nelson, B.B. King, and much more talent to the EKU Center stage, and more than 50,000 people visited the venue. The center generated more than $2 million in revenue. It was my honor and privilege to help finish the construction of the center — from choosing carpets and paint colors to selecting seating for the hall.
"I gave attention to every detail to ensure that the new Center would be Kentucky’s Show Place,” Hoskins continued. “Further, I know that the Center’s patrons will enjoy the impressive acts that I have secured for the 2012-2013 season.”
The center’s guests came from more than 30 states and abroad, triggering a significant financial gain for the community, the release stated. Visitors came from all states contiguous to Kentucky, and from as far away as California, Washington and Oregon.
The center has the largest stage in Kentucky more than 2,000 seats, the center’s main performance hall is the second largest facility of its type in Kentucky. The Center also includes a “black-box” theater with seating up to 250.
The 2011-12 season also included performances by Wynonna Judd, Chris Botti, the Munich Symphony, Garrison Keillor, Peter Frampton, Mannheim Steamroller, and Wynton Marsalis, along with productions of “Spamalot” and “Beauty and the Beast,” among others. Most of the performers played to capacity crowds.
The 2012-13 season, yet to be announced, will include a performance by renowned cellist Yo-Yo Ma.
“The EKU Center for the Arts is now considered to be among the nation’s finest performing arts venues,” EKU President Doug Whitlock said. “I personally thank Debbie Hoskins for her instrumental role as the Center attracted outstanding performers throughout its inaugural season. EKU and I wish her our best as she begins the next exciting chapter of her career.”
Dr. Bob Rogow, dean of EKU’s College of Business & Technology, who just completed a term as chair of the EKU Center for the Arts Community Operations Board, said: “The Board extends its best wishes and appreciation to Ms. Hoskins. We look forward to a soon-to-be-announced second season that will build on our exciting inaugural season."