Thursday, March 27, 2014

Sam Sweet, Executive Director of Atlas Performing Arts Center stepping down in May following three years of successful leadership

Atlas Performing Arts Center Executive Director leaves after three successful seasons

The Atlas Performing Arts Center (1333 H St), a thriving contemporary, community-based performing arts center, announced today that Sam Sweet will step down from his position as Executive Director to pursue new professional opportunities as his three-year commitment winds down. Mr. Sweet will continue in his current position until May 31, wrapping up the 2013-14 season.

"My time at the Atlas has been filled with growth and transformation - creating new programs, building relationships with artists and establishing the Atlas as a leading performing arts venue," states Sam Sweet. "I want to thank the Board, the staff and artists for their support as we worked together to put the Atlas on the map as a contemporary arts center."

"I am immensely proud of Sam’s accomplishments at the Atlas," states Atlas Founder and Board Chair Jane Lang. "Sam has brought the Atlas to a higher level of recognition, visibility and achievement. With new artistic partnerships and creative community engagement, the Atlas is now positioned to offer even more to artists and the entire Washington community."

During his tenure, Sweet developed a robust contemporary presenting series of jazz, new music, world music, dance, theatre and family programming, demonstrating the Atlas’ standing as a world-class venue. Over 200 world-class artists have been presented including Bettye LaVette, Bang-On-A-Can All-Stars, So Percussion, Marc Bamuthi Joseph, Luciana Souza, and StepAfrika. Sweet also promoted new artistic partnerships with Great Noise Ensemble, Rorschach Theatre, The Welders, Scena Theatre and emerging DC-based artists. In all this, the Atlas extended its reach into the DC community with meaningful activities and opportunities for patrons to engage directly with artists. "The Atlas will continue to build upon the groundwork of recent years, so that we can maintain our position as a leading performing arts venue committed to artists and the community," states Lang. "Growth in audiences and support in these years reflects widespread confidence in the Atlas, its contributions to the community, and its future," Lang adds.

Public recognition of the role of the Atlas in DC’s arts world has also grown during Sweet’s tenure, highlighted by the Mayor’s Arts Award for Excellence in Service to the Arts in 2012. Most recently, the Atlas was named the 2013 Best Performing Arts Center and its INTERSECTIONS Festival was the 2013 runner-up for Best Festival in The City Papers "Best of" Campaigns. The Atlas is also recognized as a leading arts venue that champions new artistic work and collaborations. Through these collaborations, the Atlas has extended its reach into community with meaningful activities and opportunities for patrons to engage directly with artists.
Prior to Sweet’s departure, the Atlas will appoint a Chief Operating Officer to begin the transition to new leadership.

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