Westhampton Beach Performing Arts Center (WHBPAC) has selected Gram Slaton as Executive Director, following an executive search process led by Arts Consulting Group (ACG). Beginning his tenure on July 16, 2018, he will be responsible for overseeing the programming, administration, fundraising, strategic planning, and overall operation of WHBPAC.
Mr. Slaton brings nearly 25 years of experience as an Executive Director at numerous successful performing arts organizations to WHBPAC. Most recently, he oversaw the strategic planning, financial management, community projects, and fundraising for the 1,007-seat Grand Opera House in Macon, Georgia. From 2005 to 2014, he ran the iconic Wheeler Opera House in Aspen, Colorado. Mr. Slaton is also credited with producing and programming several highly publicized and successful festivals, including the Aspen RooftopComedy Festival/Aspen Laff Festival; Mountain Summit: Mountainfilm in Aspen, a documentary and advocacy festival; and the 7908 Aspen Songwriters Festival. He has programmed thousands of shows, working with some of the biggest names in show business, such as John Oates of Hall & Oates, Faith Hill, David Brenner, Michael Bolton, Jeff Foxworthy, Jon Anderson of Yes, Burt Bacharach, and Barry Manilow. Additionally, he has been responsible for prospecting and securing critical commitments in media, corporate sponsorships, and private fundraising across his various venues of employment.
In making the announcement, WHBPAC’s Chairman of the Board Dr. Stanley Zinberg said, “We’re truly fortunate to have identified such a highly experienced and enthusiastic individual. We are confident in Mr. Slaton’s abilities and the passion he possesses to further drive the theater’s success.” Mary Skillern added, “As President of the Board, I am pleased to welcome Gram as our new Executive Director. Gram’s prior experience is similar to our needs and goals to continue the theater’s status and reputation within our community. I look forward to introducing him to all of you.”
“Throughout my career, I’ve been a builder or rebuilder of performing arts centers far and wide. Which means, WHBPAC is something of an anomaly to me because there is absolutely nothing broken about it,” said Mr. Slaton. “Clare [Bisceglia] has given it a brilliant first 20 years or so, which all of us in the business recognize as the toughest task imaginable. She has selected perhaps the most team-oriented staff I’ve ever experienced, where every member is uniquely talented. So, what I hope to bring to the table is an ability to see the theater for what it is now, discern what it needs to be 20 years hence, and work with the team to build a road to get there.”
“It was a great pleasure working with the search committee and staff at Westhampton Beach Performing Arts Center and ACG would like to congratulate Gram Slaton on his appointment to this key role within the organization,” said ACG Senior Consultant Daniel Zanella. “We are confident that his skills and experience will be a valuable asset to not only this world-class performing arts venue but also to the patrons on the East End and beyond.”