« Previous  
 Next »

Craven: Andrea Rogers

06/30/10 7:55AM By Jay Craven
 MP3   Download MP3 

(HOST) Arts producer and Marlboro College teacher Jay Craven has been thinking lately about how the arts scene in Vermont has been transformed through the leadership of Flynn Theater director Andrea Rogers, who officially retires later today.

(CRAVEN) I guess it has been almost 30 years since Andrea Rogers took the reins at the Flynn Theater and transformed that dormant and slumping Vermont landmark into the world-class performing arts center that it is today.  

Much has been accomplished thanks to Andrea's leadership.  Indeed, when the herculean task of renovating the Flynn was completed, Andrea pushed on.  Not content to simply revive and restore the place, she added a fine gallery, offices, and the Flynn Space black box theater that serves as home base to local comedians, the Vermont Stage Company, and many others.

As an arts colleague, I tip my hat to Andrea for raising the bar in Vermont, especially in the areas of innovative programming, arts education, professional staffing, and fundraising.  No one I know has accomplished what she has.  Andrea inspired a ground-breaking board of directors, who set a new standard for achievement, embracing Andrea's vision and delivering on the bottom line.

As an irrepressible impresario, I'm also grateful to Andrea.  Thanks to the Flynn's inviting and distinctive qualities, I was able to produce events that filled the theater and captured enduring moments of performance - by Miles Davis, Ray Charles, Stephane Grappelli, Laurie Anderson, Miriam Makeba, Tony Bennett, Aurelia's Oratorio, and many others.  

I recently read a comment - where Andrea stepped back from the idea that she is a creative person and insisted instead that her abilities lie in oversight and management.  Those are her strengths, but good leadership evolves as a function of a fertile imagination that is able to look beyond what's visible.  This is precisely what Andrea has done: she has envisioned the many particulars for how the idle Flynn could blossom into a fully-operating centerpiece for the regional performing arts.

Andrea Rogers has inspired many - but don't let anyone tell you that she was a pushover.  She could be tough - as anyone who has faced her fierce determination - and occasional resistance - can tell you.  In today's arts climate, the strong survive.

I was the producer of last July's Champlain Quadricentennial Festival, and I faced numerous challenges because of rain.  On one occasion, I saved a threatened day of outdoor kids shows by moving them into City Hall.  This only became possible when a Flynn manager agreed to a last-minute shift of Fran Stoddard's symposium talk from City Hall to the Flynn's Tarrant Gallery.

During the quick move, I heard two different staff members refer to their grand edifice - and organization - as Mother Flynn.  I was fascinated and let loose a smile over the term.  And I thought of Andrea, the formidable mastermind of all that surrounded me.

The greatest tribute to anyone's work is to have it last.  This seems virtually assured at the Flynn, where Andrea Rogers' legacy and monumental achievement will be long appreciated and remembered.   To Andrea - indeed, to Mother Flynn - thanks for the memories.
comments powered by Disqus
Supported By
Become an Underwriter | Find an Underwiter