Philip Morris

Philip began his career in arts administration as a choral singer at Hamilton College, spearheading their first European tour. At 22 he became Arts Council Director of Jamestown, NY, where he discovered firsthand how art and community co-evolve. He launched his first capital campaign to save the local Reg Lenna Civic Center, a 1,200-seat theatre on the cusp of ruin. There in western NY state, Philip discovered and fine-tuned his unique gift to the growing arts administration field – an abiding commitment to creativity, community and commerce.

In 2002, as Proctors conducted their search for a new CEO, they reached across the state to Jamestown. Here was an entirely new challenge for Philip -- to revitalize the Schenectady arts community within the dauntingly complex Capital Region. This was about more than just restoring and enlarging an old vaudeville house, although Philip certainly addressed that head on! His charge was to restore confidence to a downtown devastated by industrial history and political gridlock.

The process? Community entrepreneurship. Philip initiated a 40 million dollar capital campaign, expanding the historic stagehouse to accommodate the biggest Broadway touring productions and adding a flexible state-of-the-art black box theatre and conference and education spaces. In a less traditional move, Philip pursued an in-house power plant that recycles waste heat, allowing Proctors and its downtown neighbors to drastically reduce both their bills and carbon footprint. When Capital Repertory Theatre, nearby Albany’s regional LORT, faced insurmountable financial problems, Philip negotiated a new and unique management situation, allowing both theatres to operate cooperatively as independent entities. Proctors, under Philip’s community-driven vision, now also manages Schenectady's public access television, advancing its technological capacity and programming. Proctors is now home to the Schenectady County Heritage center and operates as Schenectady County's Visitors Agency.

The Education Department at Proctors now reaches 35,000 students in nearly 400 schools and day care centers in over 100 school districts each year. More than half a million people travel to Proctors every year to enjoy more than 1,700 events, up from 170 events in 2002. Patrons attending Proctors generate over forty-five million dollars each year for local businesses. Proctors has become the most densely programmed arts space for a hundred and fifty miles in any direction. How? Excitement. Philip "loves to imagine the possible and build the bridges from imagination to reality."

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