International Festival Co-Directors Announce 2021 Retirement

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Liz Fisher and Tom Griggs, Co-Directors of the International Festival of Arts & Ideas, today announced their intentions to retire in 2021 and to lead a two-year plan to ensure a smooth transition of new Festival leadership, for which Chairman of the Board Gordon Geballe has commenced an international search.

Liz Fisher has served as Managing Director of the Festival since 1998. Tom Griggs has served as Director of Development since 2014. In 2017, they were appointed Co-Directors, along with Chad Herzog (who departed the Festival earlier this summer). In that time, they have continued to focus on their own areas of expertise, while equally sharing executive leadership responsibilities.

Fisher and Griggs will remain in their positions as Co-Directors fulltime through the completion of the Festival's 25th Anniversary Season, running June 13-27, 2020, and continue to participate in the operations of the organization through Festival 2021 to ensure a smooth transition of leadership.

"Tom and I are at similar stages in our lives and professional careers, and we have been very open with each other as we have considered the next chapters of our lives," said Liz Fisher. "When we both realized we were getting ready to retire, it felt right for us as partners and for the Festival itself to plan to hand off leadership together."

Tom Griggs continued, "The Festival has meant so much to both Liz and me personally, not to mention to the hundreds of thousands of Festival audiences from around the world-and our own backyard-and some of the world's most dynamic artists and thinkers. It's thrilling that our last full season will mark 25th Anniversary of Arts & Ideas, and we can hardly wait to share what we have in store!"

"On behalf of Board members, past and present, we thank Liz and Tom for their remarkable leadership," said Gordon Geballe. "Individually and together, their tenures have been marked by keen intelligence, infectious joyfulness, and an extraordinary commitment to delivering the best Festival experience possible year after year for artists and audiences alike. We especially appreciate their dedication to implement the Festival's values and the love they have given all with whom they interacted. They are special people and will be missed; we hope we see them at Festivals well into the future."

The international search will launch in the coming weeks for the Festival's new executive leadership. The search will be guided by Arts Consulting Group and led by its President, Dr. Bruce D. Thibodeau.


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