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John Schreiber Named President & CEO of N.J. Performing Arts Center

N.J. Performing Arts Center Unveils New President By PIA CATTON Wsj.com   The New Jersey Performing Arts Center is undergoing the first major change to its top leadership position: NJPAC’s board of directors on Thursday announced the appointment of John Schreiber as president and CEO, effective July 1. Mr. Schreiber will replace Lawrence P. Goldman, who was hired in 1989 to develop the Newark art center.   Mr. Schreiber, 56, is currently the executive vice-president for social action and advocacy at the Los Angeles-based entertainment company Participant Media, which has produced films such as “An Inconvenient Truth,” “Waiting for Superman,” and “Charlie Wilson’s War.”   The switch from Hollywood to Newark may seem a tough one, but Mr. Schreiber has lived in Montclair since 2001 and has three young sons in public school there. He has commuted weekly between L.A. and Newark. “My commute goes from 3,000 miles to 20 minutes,” he said in an interview.   According to NJPAC board chairman William J. Marino, an eight-member search committee enthusiastically decided on Mr. Schreiber after interviewing ten candidates culled from a larger field. The new era of leadership, as he describes it, will be intent on maintaining the solid foundation of the relatively young center.   “Our thinking is that we have built something very good with leadership from several governors, the private sector and with Larry,” said Mr. Marino. “The direction is to continue the work and build on that.”   NJPAC opened its doors in 1997, and its annual operating budget is the sixth largest in America. In 2009, NJPAC raised $182 million for its capital campaign.   Mr. Goldman, who was president and CEO for 22 years, announced in October that he would step down in order to focus on NJPAC’s subsidiary Theater Square Development Corporation, which will develop the land around the arts center.   “There is a part of the NJPAC mission that is to be an economic engine for Newark’s downtown,” said Mr. Goldman, 64, “and I want to devote myself full time to that part of the mission.”   Mr. Schreiber used similar language to describe why he accepted the job. “What I love about this place is its sense of mission—not only to program to symphony orchestra-goers, but to people who would not even think of going to a performing art center.”   His view of his role going forward is as “a steward of something that is pretty extraordinary and has been an unlikely success story.”   In addition to running advocacy campaigns for films with a cause, Mr. Schreiber has also served as president of George Wein’s Festival Productions, which produces some of the nation’s most important jazz festivals. And that legacy could emerge at NJPAC.   “What’s great about a festival is that while not everybody is jazz fan, everyone loves a jazz festival,” he said.   Though Mr. Schreiber’s role is not about picking what goes onstage—that’s the vice president of programming, Stephanie Hughley —his interests will likely impact the choices.   His producer credits also range into television concert series and music educational programs, and he earned Emmy and Tony Awards as a producer of Elaine Stritch’s 2001 one-woman show, “Elaine Stritch at Liberty.”   In his new role, Mr. Schreiber’s to-do list includes continuing to build educational and community outreach, as well as programming that is singular to Newark. And he’s all about social media.   “What happens on Facebook, Twitter and Foursquare are ways to build the audience. Social media is a real part of how we communicate,” he said.   http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704116404576262862852971954.html?mod=googlenews_wsj