Oregon Ballet Theatre Artistic Director Christopher Stowell today cited a change in the organization's business model as the reason for submitting his resignation after nine years as the popular and successful leader of the company.
Marketing Director Trisha Mead said in a statement that although Stowell's resignation, effective Dec. 31, comes in the midst of the ballet company's performance season, OBT hopes performances will not be affected.
"The OBT Staff and Board are working together to develop plans for assuring continuing top quality performances for the remainder of this Season and, with the help of key external resources, will determine how Oregon Ballet Theatre will move forward on its long term strategic plans," said Board Chair Ken Hick.
Stowell released this statement Wednesday morning:
"After careful consideration and thoughtful reflection, I have submitted my resignation as Artistic Director of Oregon Ballet Theatre effective at the end of December. OBT's Board of Trustees has determined that the organization must adopt a new business model and, after much thought, I have come to the conclusion that I am not the best candidate to lead OBT into that future.
To our dedicated audiences, I want to say thank you for your support of my work during my time at OBT. I believe that classical ballet, as an art form, has a great deal to offer this community and hope that you will continue to support OBT as an audience member and donor for many years to come. It has been the greatest honor of my life to work with everyone at Oregon Ballet Theatre. As I move on to new challenges and new frontiers, my experiences at OBT will go with me and for that you have my thanks."
OBT staff went on to add this statement from the Oregon Ballet Theatre Board Chair, Ken Hick:
"The Board of Trustees of Oregon Ballet Theatre is greatly appreciative of Christopher Stowell's superb artistic leadership for almost a decade. He has created a ballet company that represents our community in its highest and brightest light. During Christopher's tenure, OBT has become a company of national renown and international reach. Never one to rest on past accomplishments, Christopher has always pushed the limits of his own abilities and has been a model to all our dancers of how to reach higher in every performance. The Board is excited for Christopher's next step and wish him success in all his future endeavors."