Press Releases

Anne Bradner Appointed Executive Director of the Purchase College Performing Arts Center, Brian McCurdy Continues as Artistic Director

Date Released: 7/2/2007

Purchase College President Thomas J. Schwarz announces the appointment of Anne Bradner as Executive Director of The Performing Arts Center and Brian McCurdy as The Center’s Artistic Director, effective immediately.

Laura Kaminsky, Convening Dean of the Purchase School of the Arts will serve as coordinator of the Conservatory performance programs and work closely with Mr. McCurdy.  They report to the Purchase College Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Elizabeth Langland.

“I welcome Anne Bradner to this newly created position,” said President Schwarz.  “She is an effective and versatile administrator whose outstanding leadership skills as the Deputy Director of the Neuberger Museum of Art have won high praise. She also served as Interim Director of the Museum in 2004-2005.” Her responsibilities will include the operations, marketing, development, board relations and finances of The Center, as well as collaboration with Ann M. Scheuer, Chairman of the Board, and the members of the Board of The Performing Arts Center Foundation which include: Barbara Dannenberg, Christopher T. Clark, Edward W. Plaut, Lawrence Elow, Emily Grant, Teresa Maria Gutierrez-Haskett, Caron Nicole Johnson, Donald Landis, Elizabeth Langland, Sean F. Orr, Betty B. Osman, Ph.D., Vivian Milstein, Dhruv Narain, Stephen I. Sadove, Thomas J. Schwarz, Victoria G. Skouras, Margaret Sullivan, Debbi-lyn Trager, and Douglas B. Waggoner.

“The new management structure takes into account the complexities of managing a large cultural institution.  This new team will position The Performing Arts Center to enlarge and strengthen its role as a major regional cultural institution,” he said.  “The changes are in line with other leading institutions which have successfully adopted similar strategies to expand overall operations and reach broader audiences with programming that meets the ever changing interests of today’s audiences,” said President Schwarz.

“The Performing Arts Center is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year with an outstanding array of talent such as Emanuel Ax, the St. Petersburg Orchestra, Branford Marsalis, Itzhak Perlman, Audra McDonald.  While it continues to attract the finest performing artists in the world it also involves the students and the curriculum at Purchase in its overall programs,”he said.

“This year, for example,” he continued, “Purchase embarks on a yearlong exploration of the rich cultural heritage of Africa and the African Diaspora ll exploring the traditions, revolutions, and innovations through a groundbreaking new cross-campus programming initiative,” said President Schwarz.

“With this new administrative team in place I am confident we will have a successful year,” he said.

Anne Bradner of Harrison, NY, is a Smith College graduate ’82, with a degree in theater and a concentration in dance.  As Deputy Director of the Neuberger Museum of Art since 2001 she managed the 79,000 square foot facility in coordination with campus personnel, oversaw museum security and facilities management, developed a business partnership program that doubled corporate giving in one year, led the external affairs division of the Museum including development, marketing, public relations and visitor services, directed a strategic planning process for a plan that was adopted in 2003, and directed activities for the Museum store that increased shop revenue by 77% over a two-year period and provided general administrative leadership. She served as Interim Director from July 2004 to September 2005.

Earlier Ms. Bradner was Executive Director of the Rye Arts Center from 1990-1998, Associate Director of Soho Booking, of the Cultural Council Foundation in New York from 1987-1990. The group represented contemporary dance companies and music ensembles for domestic and international touring, choreographic commissions and educational residencies.  She served as manager of the Ohad Nahrin Dance Company in 1987, was a Development Associate at the Cultural Council Foundation of New York in 1986, and Executive Assistant of the Cultural Council Foundation of New York from 1984-1985.

The Performing Arts Center attracts nearly 200,000 people annually at more than 650 benefits and events held within its five theaters. An important focus in its programming has been contrasting influences and traditions.  Its presentations include, classical music, theater, dance, children’s programming, chamber music, jazz, choral works, organ music, cabaret and folk performances.

Each season performances by students from the Conservatories of Dance, Music and Theater Arts and Film are presented and throughout the year and students in the School of the Arts have opportunities to attend master classes with artists featured in The Center’s professional series. 

The Center has also had a strong influence on the development of the arts in Westchester County.  It provides an exceptional facility and professional expertise to local arts organizations from professional symphony orchestras to community dance schools. 

Professional theater, film and recording industries have also used The Center’s facilities for recordings and staging.

The African Diaspora program this coming year will bring artists such as Urban Bush Women and Janit-Bi, the Jon Faddis Orchestra, Spirit of Uganda, and Classical Theater of Harlem to perform at The Center. The School of the Arts will present concerts, dance and theater performances relating to the theme, and visiting guest artists such as composer-conductor Tania León, Latin Jazz master Ray Santos and choreographer Kevin Wynn will be in residence on campus conducting master classes and creating new works to be performed during the season. Public lectures, symposia and courses that address the cultural identity and complex socio-political issues of Africa will also be presented. 

An opening night Gala on September 29 will open the 2007 season with performances by Itzhak Perlman and Ann Hampton Callaway and music, song and dance during cocktails and a silent auction and raffle.