Southampton Arts Center Welcomes New Executive Director Tom Dunn

New SAC Executive Director Tom Dunn
New SAC Executive Director Tom Dunn, Photo: Courtesy Southampton Arts Center

Southampton Arts Center announced the hiring of Tom Dunn as Executive Director on Monday. Dunn previously worked at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts where he was part of the senior management team and held a series of executive positions.

Until 2017, Dunn was part of the senior management team that oversaw the $1.2 billion physical redevelopment of Lincoln Center’s 16-acre campus. Most recently, as Senior Director, Concert Halls Operations, he led the effort to redesign and elevate the overall guest experience as Lincoln Center emerged from the decade-long redevelopment.

His other roles included Founding Director of the David Rubenstein Atrium, and aide to the President of Lincoln Center. Prior to joining Lincoln Center, Dunn worked as a writer, producer and director in the off-Broadway, comedy and television industries.

“We are thrilled to have Tom on board at Southampton Arts Center,” Southampton Arts Center Board of Directors co-chair Simone Levinson said in the announcement. “Tom’s deep knowledge, extensive experience and passion for the arts position him perfectly to lead Southampton Arts Center’s next phase of growth.”

Dunn will oversee all aspects of the organization including strategic planning, expanded development capabilities, programming direction, community engagement and audience development among other management functions.

“I am excited to join the Southampton Arts Center as Executive Director,” Dunn said. “I look forward to working with the staff, Board and Southampton Village officials to build on the success of SAC’s first five years and to create a dynamic, sustainable organization that will serve the East End community for years to come.”

Amy Kirwin, who will remain on as SAC’s Director of Programs, said she was pleased at Dunn’s hiring. “This is a great step for us. It’s really exciting!” she said.

Southampton Arts Center has become a hub for arts and culture on the East End with almost 40,000 visitors, 6 exhibitions and over 200 events in 2017 alone. The broad programming is delivered year-round through an impressive array of partners including New York Academy of Art, Hamptons International Film Festival, Jazz at Lincoln Center, Telluride Mountainfilm, the Watermill Center, and many more.

With the recent upgrade of the theater, including state-of-the-art audio and video equipment, lighting and new seating, Southampton Arts Center has expanded its breadth of programming to include first-run films, theatrical performances and concerts.

“We are very proud of all we have accomplished in our first five years,” Southampton Arts Center Board of Directors co-chair Whitney Stevens said, adding, “now, we are looking forward to the future under Tom’s leadership including the long-term project of the major restoration and expansion of our iconic building and grounds.”

“What’s appealing and exciting about SAC is that it’s literally and figuratively at the center of Southampton Village. It’s a place for the entire community–year-rounders and summer residents of all backgrounds–to come together to experience free and affordable world-class art and cultural offerings,” Dunn continued.

“Southampton Arts Center has made its mark on our Village in just five years, bringing to our community the opportunity to experience a multi-faceted arts center,” Southampton Mayor Michael Irving said. “We look forward to this next chapter under the direction of Mr. Dunn and working together to extend the level of offerings and impact that the Center has on our Village and downtown business district.”

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