NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ – The Board of Trustees of American Repertory Ballet (ARB) has announced that its executive director, Christine Chen, will step down in February to become the Director of Adult Programs at the 92nd Street Y in New York City.

Chen, who began working for ARB in November 2009, led the organization through a financial turnaround to three straight years of surplus budgets, while also expanding the company’s artistic and educational programming.  She leaves the organization following a landmark year which saw the premiere of two major works by Artistic Director Douglas Martin as well as a record-breaking 50th Nutcracker season. 

“Working with a terrific team of trustees, colleagues, and staff, we have achieved more than I could have imagined four years ago when I began here,” says Chen.  “I am proud of the great strides we have made to stabilize our financial position, to build the staff, and, most of all, to expand our artistic repertory and educational programming. ARB is well-positioned for the future and I have enjoyed my time with the organization greatly. Under Douglas Martin’s artistic leadership, the company has really grown in stature and I know, with Mr. Martin’s talent and vision, that this will continue.  My ties to ARB and Princeton Ballet School run deep, and I know I will continue to be involved as an advocate and supporter, but I look forward to taking on new challenges in New York City, where I live with my family.  I hope to apply the experience I’ve gained at ARB to a broad array of educational programming in my home community.”

“Christine has led ARB through a remarkable period of transition and transformation,” says Board Chairman, Patrick Bradley.  “We are incredibly grateful for her service to the organization and wish her the best in her future endeavors.  While we will miss Christine, we look forward to a bright future with a new director who will lead ARB into our next phase of development.  The board has formed a search committee to identify a new executive director and we have a strong plan in place for the interim.”

Until a new director is appointed, Lisa Beth Vettoso, ARB’s Director of Educational Programming, will serve as Acting Executive Director.  Vettoso has led the growth of ARB’s Access & Enrichment initiatives, including the expansion of ARB’s DANCE POWER program in New Brunswick public schools and the introduction of educational assembly and residency programs to new schools throughout the state.  Prior to joining ARB, Vettoso worked at the management level in the education departments of several arts institutions including Carnegie Hall, State Theatre NJ Regional Arts Center, and Arts Horizons. She most recently served as Managing Director of the NYC Arts in Education Roundtable, an organization devoted to arts education throughout New York City and surrounding areas. 

Artistic Director Douglas Martin and Chen shared a great executive partnership.  “It has been my great pleasure and honor to work with Christine Chen for the past 4 seasons,” says Martin.  “Her tremendous skill, drive and love for ARB/PBS is evident through her work and the monumental strides the organization has made during her tenure in which ARB has amassed a staggering list of achievements.”

“Christine has not only been an incredibly skilled leader but also a true accomplice in all endeavors artistic and I will miss her dearly.  A rising star, she is one of the most adept and talented directors in the country.”

“Speaking for the entire ARB/PBS family, we wish Christine success and happiness, she will always be part of our ARB family.”

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Allan Dean

Allan Dean is editor, publisher, and founder of the Atlantic Highlands Herald. Published since 1999 and selected in 2000 by the Borough of Atlantic Highlands as one of their official newspapers, making...