Turnage selects interim director
Chumbley reports to work next week
By NIKIE MAY0
The decision the Turnage Theaters Foundation’s Board of Directors expected to make in a matter of days came instead in a matter of hours.
The foundation announced Thursday that Robert Chumbley, an artistic adviser and musician from Winston-Salem, will serve as its interim leader.
Chumbley, who was interviewed and hired by late Wednesday evening, is an artistic adviser for Chicago Chamber Musicians. That group is one of the largest chamber-music-producing organizations in the country. Chumbley plans to start work in Washington by next Tuesday. He’ll be in the foundation’s office for three days a week and available by telephone the rest of the work week. His contract lasts until “on or about” Jan. 1, 2008, he said.
Chumbley comes to the Turnage by way of a suggestion from David Winslow, a fundraiser for the foundation’s restoration efforts. The nonprofit foundation was formed in 1996 to rehabilitate the historic theaters complex on Main Street and convert it into a regional performing arts center. The group has raised $2.5 million to rehabilitate the 1930s portion of the theater, and Winslow has had a “big part” in that, said foundation spokesman Norm Koestline. Chumbley is a friend of Winslow’s, and he was “enthusiastically recommended” for the Turnage post, Koestline said Thursday.
Chumbley’s hiring comes on the heels of the departure of the foundation’s former executive director, John Vogt, who left his post Tuesday night. Vogt supervised most of the restoration of historic Turnage complex.
Koestline said Thursday the executive committee that keeps up with the status of the theater project “started to look more seriously at some concerns” during the past two weeks. Koestline said he is confident Chumbley will keep the foundation “moving in the good direction that we want it to go.”
The first phase of the Turnage restoration project is scheduled to be finished by the end of September. A ceremony and production to celebrate the reopening of the complex is planned for Nov. 3.