Deborah F. Rutter announced as Kennedy Center's third president

By Samantha Ravenscroft,

The 11-month search for the new president of the Kennedy Center has ended with an announcement Tuesday that the third president of the center is Deborah F. Rutter. Rutter is also the president of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Association.

According to The New York Times, Rutter will succeed former president Michael Kaiser, who held th position since 2001, in September. Rutter will be responsible for acting as an artistic and administrative director of the Kennedy Center’s many programs, as well as overseeing the National Symphony Orchestra and the Washington National Opera.

Rutter will be taking on a bigger operation than she’s use to. The Kennedy Center operates on a $190 million budget as opposed to the Chicago Symphony’s $75 million budget. She is also taking on a $100 million renovation plan that will expand the center to include more education and rehearsal space. The plan, designed by Steven Holl, will also reorient the building to face toward the Potomac.

Many are pleased with the Center’s choice. According to the Washington Post, chairman of the Kennedy Center, David Rubenstein, chairman said of Rutter, “She had all the skills: an accomplished manager, a great love and knowledge of the arts, very good fundraising skills, a passion for community outreach.

“The search committee spent a year and came to a unanimous decision that she was the best person in the country for the job," he continued.


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