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Jun 19, 2018 11:21 AMPublication: The Southampton Press

Gram Slaton To Become New Executive Director Of Westhampton Beach Performing Arts Center

Jun 20, 2018 10:41 AM

The Westhampton Beach Performing Arts Center announced on Tuesday that Gram Slaton will serve as the organization’s new executive director, as Clare Bisceglia, who has served in the post for most of the theater’s 20-year existence, steps down in the coming weeks.

Mr. Slaton is being welcomed to the WHBPAC after more than two years as the executive director of the 1,000-seat Grand Opera House in Macon, Georgia, where he oversaw the strategic planning, financial management, community projects and fundraising efforts for the theater, according to a press release. Prior to that, Mr. Slaton spent nine years as the executive director of the Wheeler Opera House in Aspen, Colorado, and 12 years as executive director of Community Arts Center in Williamsport, Pennsylvania.

“It’s a great position in that Clare has done a fantastic job all these years, and she has built one of the strongest teams I’ve ever seen,” said Mr. Slaton during a phone call on Tuesday afternoon from Georgia, where he is wrapping up his work at Grand Opera House. “I’ve sort of developed a reputation as ‘mister fix-it,’ but I don’t think there’s much to fix here. It’s more of figuring out the ways this place has become such a success and how we can continue that for the next 20 years.”

He is credited with producing and programming several highly publicized and successful festivals, including the Rooftop Comedy/Aspen Laff Festival; the MountainSummit: Mountainfilm in Aspen, a documentary and advocacy festival; and the 7908 Aspen Songwriters Festival.

He has programmed thousands of shows with hundreds of acts across every genre, working with some of the biggest names in show business, including John Oates, Faith Hill, Michael Bolton, Jeff Foxworthy, Burt Bacharach and Barry Manilow.

Additionally, his responsibilities in past jobs have included securing corporate sponsorships and private fundraising.

“We’re truly fortunate to have identified such a highly experienced and enthusiastic individual,” WHBPAC Board of Directors Chairman Dr. Stanley Zinberg said in the release. “We are confident in Mr. Slaton’s abilities and the passion he possesses to further drive the theater’s success.”

Mr. Slaton was selected for the position at the conclusion of a national search conducted by the Arts Consulting Group, an executive search firm for the arts and culture industry. He will officially assume his position as executive director on Monday, July 16.

“I love the community so far and can’t wait to be four blocks from the beach,” Mr. Slaton said.

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