CenterStage Director Should Have a Plan 

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As a performer and supporter of the arts, I was mystified by the recent interview with CenterStage's Executive Director Richard Parison in the Midseason Arts Issue (“New Kid in Town,” Feb. 9). Is it possible that after being open a year, he cannot articulate, in an interview, a strategic plan on how to “be the catalyst for the arts in this community” that promotes “things that happen out in the greater Richmond community”?

Part of being a good steward of taxpayer money should involve setting specific goals for the organization, not saying a year later: “We are still evolving” and “We don't know what the future will hold.” What a cop-out! What kind of a business or management model is their board using?

Although I don't know whether any local artists serve on the board, from his comments Mr. Parison doesn't seem to find input from local people that actually produce theater to be particularly important. I hope that's not true, but I couldn't tell from the article. What I read, frankly, was a whole lot of nothing. If he and the board had to raise their money dollar-by-dollar, the way all the other theaters in town do, perhaps he wouldn't sound relaxed enough to make the statement, “I'm not looking for better ideas.” Let's check back in about a year, and see how that M.O. is working out.

Tony Williams



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