Three weeks before the Columbia Festival of the Arts is scheduled to open, its long-time managing director has announced her resignation, effective in October.
Lynne Nemeth, 39, who has managed the annual festival since its inception in 1988, resigned from her year-round job "because I made the decision that it was time to do something different."
Her plans include taking a sabbatical, traveling and "staying in the arts."
Nemeth said the announcement this close to the eighth festival, which runs June 14 to 23, "was appropriate given the fact it would give the board six months' notice" before the heaviest planning work begins in October. Nemeth already is planning for the 1997 festival.
Richard G. McCauley, president of the Columbia Festival of the Arts Board of Trustees, praised her work, saying Nemeth "has a solid background both as a performer and as an arts event manager."
Nemeth recalled that when she started as managing director in November 1988, the festival was only a concept.
In essence, "there wasn't one," she said. "I didn't even have a desk. It was a pretty scary thing."
Eventually, the festival grew from a three-day event to a 10-day celebration of local and international talent with a budget of about $400,000. This year's roster includes jazz singer Joe Williams, jazz pianist Dave Brubeck, classical clarinetist Richard Stoltzman, alternative rock band Love Riot and go-go group Chuck Brown and the Soul Searchers.
Nemeth, who lives in Harper's Choice village, grew up in Bucks County, Pa., and received a bachelor's degree in voice from Catholic University and a master's degree in voice from the University of Maryland.
"Not many people who have music degrees have a chance to run a small business or work with as many performers over the years," she said.
The festival board will begin a search for a successor after the festival.
Pub Date: 5/23/96