UT Performing Arts Center: Wadsworth announces retirement
Pebbles Wadsworth, who has run the UT Performing Arts Center for 15 years now, will step down from her position as director of the UT PAC as of New Year's Day 2008
Next month, the lights go down in Bass Concert Hall for its much-talked-about $14.7 million renovation, and when they come back up in another 18 months, the woman who has run that hall and the other five venues that make up the UT Performing Arts Center for 15 years now won't be around to see it, at least not in an official capacity. Come New Year's Day 2008, Pebbles Wadsworth will leave her position as director of the UT PAC for the green fields of retirement. The longtime administrator, who came to Texas from the UCLA Performing Arts Center, is only 59, but she says that the timing is right for someone younger to take the helm and set the institution's course for the next quarter-century: The Bass upgrade is on schedule and paid for, the capital campaign for a similar makeover for Hogg Auditorium is moving forward, the PAC sees more than a quarter of a million visitors annually, Wadsworth has presided over the center's splashy 25th anniversary season, and she expects to give its $11 million endowment a financial boost before she goes. Certainly, she's leaving the center in better shape than she found it. At the end of its first decade, the PAC had gone through four directors, was struggling to stay out of the red, and had some organizational issues. Wadsworth's version of cleaning house sent more than a third of the staff packing and led to a lawsuit, but when the dust cleared, she was still standing and lasted longer in the job than all her predecessors combined. Highlights of Wadsworth's tenure include establishment of the PAC endowment; the founding of ArtesAméricas, a program established with the Teresa Lozano Long Institute of Latin American Studies to bring Latin American performing artists to UT and give them a point of entry for touring in North America; and developing the PAC as a rehearsal and development facility for professional musical productions.