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Release: Oct. 18, 2001

Swanson, Hurtig assume interim leadership at Hancher

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The leadership of the University of Iowa Hancher Auditorium is being assumed by Associate Director Charles Swanson and Assistant Director Judith Hurtig for the remainder of the fiscal year, UI Vice President Phillip Jones announced today. Director Wallace Chappell is leaving the UI to become executive director of American Ballet Theatre in New York.

"While I regret to see Wally Chappell leave the University of Iowa, I wish him success in his new endeavor," Jones said. "Because of the current university budget situation, after his departure, Wally's position as director of Hancher Auditorium will remain vacant for the rest of this fiscal year.

"In the interim, Charles Swanson, associate director of Hancher, will assume responsibilities for administration management, and Judith Hurtig, assistant director for marketing, will assume responsibilities for program development. To insure continuity during the transition, their responsibilities will commence immediately."

Swanson joined the Hancher staff in 1985 as business manager, and he has been associate director since 1991. As associate director, Swanson has been responsible for all operations, personnel, business and technical aspects of the hall. He was a board member of the Association of Performing Arts Presenters -- the national professional association of arts administrators -- for eight years, including five years as treasurer and a member of the board's executive committee. He was a board member of Montessori School in Iowa City, and is currently on the boards of the Iowa City School Foundation and the Okoboji Lakes Art Center. He holds an MBA in finance from the UI.

Hurtig has been a member of the Hancher staff since 1986, and she has been assistant director since 1999. She has been responsible for Hancher's directing marketing and education programs, and has been the auditorium's primary grant writer. She recently completed a six-year term on the board of directors of Chamber Music America, including two terms as secretary to the board. She is a member of the board of directors of Riverside Theatre in Iowa City; she was president of the board of the Iowa Arts Festival; and she was chair of the Arts Committee of Iowa City Area Chamber of Commerce, which honored her with its Star Award. She holds a doctorate in Art History from the Institute of Fine Arts at New York University.

Chappell will begin his directorship of American Ballet Theatre in November, but will remain involved with Hancher's planning and programming through January.

For UI arts information and calendar updates, visit <www.uiowa.edu/artsiowa>. To receive UI arts news by e-mail, contact <deborah-thumma@uiowa.edu>.