Steven A. Hoffman named executive director of Centre College’s Norton Center for the Arts
June 1, 2010 By Abby Malik
of Centre College’s Norton Center for the Arts.
Centre’s Norton Center, which was extensively refurbished
last year, now qualifies for LEED certification for its having
undergone an environmentally-friendly renovation.
Dolly Parton is one of the many performers who has taken
the stage at the Norton Center. Others include Ben Folds, the
Beach Boys, Mikhail Baryshnikov, Willie Nelson, Pat Green
and Ray Charles.
Steven A. Hoffman, a performing arts and education management leader with more than 20 years of national and international experience, will become the executive director of Centre College’s Norton Center for the Arts effective
He succeeds George Foreman, managing director of the Norton Center for 26 years, who assumed the position of director of the University of Georgia Performing Arts Center in January 2010.
Hoffman most recently served as president and CEO of the National Steinbeck Center in Salinas, Calif. In this position, he was responsible for the overall operation, planning and direction of the internationally known cultural center and museum. During his tenure, he led the organization as a multi-disciplinary resource for the community, as a regional tourist destination and as a national center for creative expression and inspiration. He also integrated history and other facets of the arts and humanities to build audiences, expand vision and increase the long-term engagement of constituents.
Says Richard Trollinger, Centre vice president for college relations and chair of the search committee that chose Hoffman: “Because of the strong reputation of the Norton Center, this position attracted more than 70 applications from arts managers across the country. Even among such an outstanding field, Steve Hoffman stood out. Because we are confident that under Steve's leadership the Norton Center's future will be even more extraordinary than its distinguished past, members of the search committee are excited that he has accepted the College's invitation to assume this leadership role.”
Before heading the National Steinbeck Center, Hoffman spent a decade as executive director and CEO of the Washington Pavilion of Arts and Science in Sioux Falls, S.D. There he spearheaded the construction and implementation of the opening of a new $33 million facility. He oversaw the $5 million budget of three key program areas of the cultural institution: the Kirby Science Discovery Center, the Visual Arts Center and the Husby Performing Arts Center, for which he scheduled and managed the annual performance series.
“I am thrilled and honored to join Centre College, the Norton Center and the surrounding communities. I look forward to working with a great team to both broaden and deepen the cultural experiences offered at the Norton Center for the Arts through a mix of cultural programming, student engagement and community partnerships.”
Since it opened in 1973, Centre's Norton Center for the Arts has brought more than 700 presentations of world-class music, theatre, opera and dance to Danville. An internationally recognized performing arts center, the Norton Center has hosted violinist Itzhak Perlman, dancers Mikhail Baryshnikov and Twyla Tharp, the Boston Pops, The Chieftains, Ray Charles, The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Dolly Parton, Vince Gill, LeeAnn Rimes, and musicals such as Rent, Titanic, Annie Get Your Gun and My Fair Lady.
In October 2000, the Norton Center was the site of the Vice Presidential Debate between Dick Cheney and Joe Lieberman, and on September 27, 2010, the Norton Center will host the first-ever U.S. performance of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra led by world-renowned conductor Gustavo Dudamel.
The Norton Center underwent an extensive refurbishment and renovation in 1994 and another in 2009. This most recent enhancement, a $3 million endeavor, includes new seats in Newlin Hall, the location of the main stage. In addition, due to installation of a new HVAC system and thermal windows and doors, among other improvements, the Norton Center now qualifies for LEED certification for an existing structure.
During his career in arts and museum management Hoffman has received numerous awards. In the last 10 years, the cultural facilities he has overseen have been selected by a variety of organizations as best place to work, best up-and-coming business and most visitor-friendly business, among others. Hoffman is also a seasoned fundraiser, successfully managing million-dollar campaigns, grant proposals and awards programs throughout his career.
“I take the role of cultural leader very seriously and will strive to serve effectively the many different individuals and groups who make up the Norton Center patrons,” Hoffman says. “The arts center already plays an important role in the community, and I look forward to working very hard to build upon this foundation and to provide meaningful, interesting and engaging programs and activities.”
In addition to his work in arts management, Hoffman has also served as a university adjunct lecturer and guest lecturer on a range of topics at many colleges, universities and high schools. He has also been deeply involved in local communities, serving on boards and committees and as a regular public speaker at Kiwanis, AARP, Rotary and a host of other meetings.
In 2005, Hoffman was invited by the Taiwanese government to represent the United States as a cultural ambassador at the first National Performing Arts Festival in Taiwan and to speak on an international performing arts panel. He also served as a stage manager at the 1991 U.S. Olympic Festival opening night ceremonies at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles. He holds an M.A. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a B.A. from the University of Illinois-Champaign-Urbana.