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Kentucky Center Promotes Senior VP Kim Baker to President

The Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts concludes its five-month national search for a new president by selecting a candidate close to home. Kim Baker, who has worked for the Center for 15 years, most recently as senior vice president for external affairs, was named president yesterday. Her duties begin immediately. “It has such an incredible history of programming," says Baker. "It’s nice to be able to walk into an organization where so much is right.” The Kentucky Center is currently in the early stages of developing its five-year strategic plan, and specifics aren't ready for release. But Baker says the plan will allow the 30-year-old institution to focus on its cornerstone programming while creating room to grow, and she looks forward to fostering more collaboration between Louisville’s arts and culture groups, which includes the possibility of the Center commissioning new works. “There seems to be this incredible energy that’s happening, and not just with the resident companies of the center, but with the cultural community in general in Louisville," she says. "And I think one of the things I’m most excited about is getting outside of the center and figuring out ways we can collaborate and do some dynamic programming and events and initiatives.”The Kentucky Center is the home venue for many of Louisville’s flagship performing arts organizations, including Stage One Family Theatre, the Louisville Orchestra and the Kentucky Opera, as well as the Kentucky Governor's School for the Arts. Several performance venues comprise the Center, from the flagship 2,300-seat Robert S. Whitney Hall to the historic W.L. Lyons Brown Theatre on Broadway.Baker replaces Stephen Klein, who resigned from the Center in August for health reasons after eight years in office. Board member Don Parkinson has served as interim president since Klein resigned. 

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