“It feels great—it’s coming home,” says Clare Bisceglia, who returned just 48 hours ago to her former job, executive director of the Westhampton Beach Performing Arts Center.
Two years ago, Bisceglia stepped down following a 12-year tenure as the top professional at the nonprofit performance venue at the heart of Westhampton Beach Village. Her successor, City Parks Foundation veteran James Burke, recently resigned, and the board of directors turned to Bisceglia to fill the role once again.
Bisceglia explained that when she stepped down in 2013, she wasn’t retiring, but taking a step back. “I was doing it for 12 years. I was really tired and my brother had just passed away,” she says. She kept her home in Quogue and spent the next two years traveling the country to catch up and spend quality time with her family, and seeing the world, including London and St. Barth’s. She signed on to consult for Riverhead’s Peconic Bay Medical Center for three months, and it turned into a 19-month gig. The job was finally winding down right at the time she was invited back to the performing arts center.
Before she joined Westhampton Beach Performing Arts Center for her first stint, Bisceglia had a variety of careers. Bisceglia was the head of advertising for Coca-Cola in the 1980s, she was the vice president for feature films at Columbia Pictures, she worked for Gaylord Entertainment Company, which owns Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, and she was the executive director of Tennessee Repertory Theatre, the largest Equity theater in the Southwest.
Bisceglia is back in the saddle in Westhamprton Beach right at the time that the performing arts center must book its busy summer entertainment season. “It’s all about the programming,” she says. She is getting back in touch with the booking agents she worked with in the past, to bring high caliber artists to the community.