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In the news: Michael J. Bobbitt

In the news: Michael J. Bobbitt
Michael J. Bobbitt COURTESY PHOTO

New Rep Artistic Director, Michael J. Bobbitt, has been appointed as the new executive director of the Mass Cultural Council, effective February 1, 2021.

Bobbitt will be stepping down from New Rep to assume his new role. He was identified as the preferred candidate of the Council’s Search Task Force through an extensive, nationwide search. The recommendation to hire, made by Chair Nina Fialkow, was enthusiastically endorsed by Vice Chair Marc Carroll and the members of the Search Task Force.

“We are thrilled to welcome Michael to Mass Cultural Council and look forward to working with such an engaging and accomplished leader,” said Deputy Director David T. Slatery.  “Massachusetts’ cultural sector is dealing with massive economic devastation from COVID-19, while simultaneously engaging in difficult conversations to understand how to collectively act to promote equity and ensure access for all.  Mass Cultural Council is preparing to lead by example, and Michael is the visionary leader we need to guide the sector through this next chapter.”

During his tenure with New Rep, Bobbitt has led the organization’s evolution as a company that respects the importance of Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, Anti-Racism and Access.

Under Bobbitt’s leadership, New Rep experienced a 26% increase in the number of playgoers, a 43% increase in revenue, a 33% increase in contributions, retirement of its debt, and addition of eight BIPOC Board members. Also, 57 BIPOC artists were hired in the last fiscal year, 74% of artists hired this year are BIPOC, and six BIPOC playwrights were commissioned with 3 world premieres. Michael led the creation of a monthly BIPOC healing space where 40+ BIPOC Artists have participated, and a forum for over 90 Boston-area Artistic Directors who gather twice a month to discuss the industry and its needs.

In commenting on Bobbitt’s departure as artistic director and assumption of the Mass Cultural Council Executive Director role, Jo Trompet, the chair of New Rep’s Board, said: “This is truly a bittersweet moment for the New Rep family. We are happy that Michael will now have a role in which his leadership and motivational skills can influence the cultural and artistic communities across our state. And we are proud to have recruited Michael to a state in which he has already made such a great impact. But we are sorry that New Rep itself is losing his brilliant leadership.”

Trompet emphasized that “New Rep intends to stay on our course, building on all of the changes introduced under Michael.  We will continue to challenge ourselves to become a place where everyone feels welcome.”