SOUTH ORANGE, NJ — The South Orange Performing Arts Center has appointed Craig Sumberg as its new executive director. An extensive national search targeted the former executive director of the Fox Tucson Theatre Foundation as a highly qualified candidate, and Sumberg quickly stood out while going through the interview process. His record of achievement is impressive and under his leadership, “the Fox” grew from a $600,000 budget to one close to $5 million, along with greatly expanded presented events and an exponential rise in audience numbers.
“Craig Sumberg has great leadership and fundraising skills, along with a background in presenting artistic performances we felt was in synch with SOPAC and the South Orange-Maplewood community,” board Chairman Paul Bartick said. “We are delighted to welcome him to SOPAC and are confident in his ability to lead this organization to the next level.”
Sumberg is a graduate of the University of Virginia and the University of Michigan Law School and enjoys an established and significant career in development and management positions for several nonprofit organizations, including respected organizations in Boston, New York City and Washington, D.C. Prior to joining the Fox Tucson Theatre Foundation, he served as senior vice president for resource development for the Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona and, before moving to Arizona, he was the executive director of the Sixth & I Historic Synagogue in Washington, D.C., a vibrant 900-seat arts and culture center.
He has a strong history in volunteerism and is the immediate past president of Congregation Beit Simcha in Tucson, immediate past chairman of the Downtown Tucson Partnership’s “Merchant’s Council” and past co-chairman of the Tucson-based Southern Arizona Cultural Leadership Consortium. He is a member of the Forward Newspaper Association, based in New York City.
“I am beyond thrilled to be joining SOPAC at this point in its journey as one of New Jersey’s premiere performing arts centers,” Sumberg said. “I am very impressed with the breadth and quality of its programming, staff and leadership, and look forward to bringing my own experience and skills to bear in making SOPAC an even more renowned and respected venue.”
Sumberg replaces acting Executive Director Dee Billia, who will be returning to her position as SOPAC’s director of external relations. Sumberg was selected after SOPAC engaged Management Consultants for the Arts, a national executive search firm specializing in arts and culture recruitments, to assist with the national search process.