It is a common adage in the entertainment business that, even in the face of unexpected obstacles, “The show must go on.” And that it will for the Santa Clarita Performing Arts Center at College of the Canyons, but without its current Managing Director, Adam Philipson, who announced his resignation effective as of October 31.
Philipson, who joined the college in January of 2008, has accepted a position on the East Coast in part to be near family who reside in New York. Philipson, who was born and raised in New York, will become the new CEO of the Count Basie Theatre in Red Bank, New Jersey.
“Saying goodbye is bittersweet,” said Philipson. “I am excited about being closer to family and taking on this great opportunity in Red Bank, but I will miss the people at the college, in our school districts and throughout the Santa Clarita Valley.”
As managing director of the PAC Philipson instantly made his mark on the theater – and the community – by raising the profile of the PAC in the college’s continuing efforts to make the facility the address for the arts, and arts education in Santa Clarita. In the past five seasons, the PAC has played host to a variety of sold-out shows, and has seen a veritable who’s-who of the showbiz world grace the stage – from Art Garfunkel, Kenny Loggins and Michael Bolton, to the Peking Acrobats, Second City and Anthony Bourdain.
Not content to simply book innovative and culturally relevant entertainers, Philipson also assisted in producing events for the PAC, including a chamber version of Daniel Catan’s opera “Rapacinni’s Daughter,” a live orchestration of the silent movie classic “Daddy Long Legs” with members of the Santa Clarita Symphony, as well as the In The Ring series at the Newhall Community Center. Last May, he helped produce “Rock the Rhythm, Beat the Odds,” a community year-long endeavor that culminated in a celebration with more than 10,000 people attempting to break a world record for the largest drum circle. The event served to cast a national spotlight on the need for arts in education.
“So many people came together to make Rock the Rhythm, Beat the Odds happen, but it never would have gotten off the ground without the tremendous support of Remo Belli and Rita Garasi,” said Philipson. “It has been an honor to work so closely with them, and so many other organizations and individuals to accomplish all we have in five short years!”
With the support of the District he also helped secured numerous grants, including from The Ralph M. Parsons Foundation, the James Irvine Foundation, The Found Penny Foundation, NEA, California Arts Council, Thelma Pearl Howard Foundation, Stratton-Petit Foundation, LA County Arts Commission and the Charles HellerFoundation, as well as many corporate partners and sponsors.
Through his leadership, the PAC K-12 Arts Education Outreach program touched the lives of more than 20,000 students last year alone.
“Adam’s tireless efforts and passion for the arts have helped bring in thousands of new fans to the PAC, while at the same time his K-12 Arts Education Outreach Program has meant exposure to the arts for thousands of students throughout the valley.” said COC Chancellor Dr. Dianne G. Van Hook. “He is an incredibly talented individual. His commitment, drive and innovative spirit will ensure his future growth and success. We wish him the best of times in his futureendeavors.”
Philipson joined College of the Canyons from Santa Monica College, where he was an arts administrator following a successful professional acting background that included roles in several Off-Broadway performances, two national tour theatrical productions, and one Broadway role.
A timetable to find a replacement for Philipson has not yet been announced by the college. It is expected that in the coming days the college will announce an internal candidate to manage the day-to-day operations of the PAC until a new director can be found.