Executive director, bookkeeper leave Strand

Robert Garcia

PLATTSBURGH — Turnover once again strikes at the helm of the Strand Center for Arts in Plattsburgh.

Just days shy of a year as executive director of the Strand, Robert Garcia, along with bookkeeper Marilyn Dwyer, have departed from the center, according to a statement released by the board of directors.

VETERAN DIRECTOR

Garcia, a 35-year veteran of premiere venues such as Madison Square Garden and Radio City Music Hall, was hired last fall after longtime former board member Leigh Mundy's tenure as interim director.

Mundy took over for Josh Kretser who left in early 2018.

Garcia's appointment marked the first permanent director to take the reins since Jessica Dulle’s departure in March 2015.

GROW AND STRENGTHEN

Details surrounding Garcia and Dwyer's departure were scarce Tuesday, but the Strand Board of Directors issued a statement late in the afternoon.

“Over the past year, Mr. Garcia has worked to grow and strengthen the performing arts arm of the Strand," the statement said in part.

"The Board is thankful for his work and wishes him the best in his future endeavors, but now feels that the organization should be moving back towards its community arts organizations roots.”

Garcia did not respond to a request for comment from the Press-Republican.

SUSTAINABILITY FIRST

In an April interview with the P-R, Garcia said his mission was to make the Strand self-sustaining.

“I want to be able to operate as a business,” he said then.

“We're a not-for-profit but actually think and act like this is a business. The first thing is its sustainability.”

FISCALLY RESPONSIBLE

Born in St. Petersburg, Fla., Garcia attended Florida Atlantic University where he majored in public administration and had dreams of becoming a city manager.

He fell in love with promoting concerts on college campuses, which opened the door to the entertainment business where met the right people at the right time.

Now, the Strand Board is "working with a team of consultants, including the New York Council of Nonprofit, to push the organization in a fiscally responsible manner," their release said.

“The mission of the Strand – Through the Arts, we will Enrich, Energize, and Engage our community – remains the primary focus.”

NO SCHEDULE CHANGE

To that end, Garcia's sold-out successes included two Gibson Brothers concerts as well as his quick money-making mainstay, stellar tribute bands including the Leonid & Friends, a Chicago-tribute band, on their Summer Tour '19  in July.

Upcoming shows include vocalist C.C. Coletti's “Experience Janis” on Sept. 8, "Bruce in the USA," a tribute band to Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band. on Sept. 20 and Scott Stapp, “Voice of Creed,” on Sept. 21.

"At this time there is no change to upcoming scheduling,” the board stated.

“We appreciate and thank you for your continued support.”

The board made no mention of who would be running the day-to-day operations at the venue.

Email Robin Caudell:

rcaudell@presserepublican.com

Twitter:@RobinCaudell

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