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Md. Citizens for the Arts Honors Clarice Smith Center Executive Director

February 15, 2013

Erica Bondarev 301-405-0199

Susie Farr, executive director of the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center at the University of MarylandCOLLEGE PARK, Md. – Susie Farr, executive director of the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center at the University of Maryland, has been awarded the Sue Hess Arts Advocate of the Year Award by Maryland Citizens for the Arts (MCA). The Sue Hess Award is given to individuals whose advocacy efforts have significantly benefitted the entire Maryland arts community and Farr is a longtime leader and innovator for the performing arts in Maryland. Her commitment to community engagement as a crucial component of arts programing has made the Clarice Smith Center a national model for academic integration and collaboration with on-campus and off-campus community groups at a university performing arts center.

"I'm deeply honored to receive this important award," said Farr, "and proud of the many ways we have opened doors to transformative arts experiences for the campus and all of Maryland's communities."

"The impact that Susie's work has had on the communities surrounding the Clarice Smith Center is vast. In an area of the state that was traditionally under-served she created a source of cultural enrichment which reaches far beyond the University's borders," said John Schratwieser, executive director of Maryland Citizens for the Arts.  "Her work is exactly the kind of advocacy we seek to encourage with the Sue Hess Award."

The award will be presented at Maryland Arts Day in Annapolis on Wednesday, Feb. 20.

Susie Farr is a nationally known arts administrator and advocate who has made significant contributions to the performing arts, in the nonprofit sector and in higher education. Since becoming the Clarice Smith Center's executive director in 1999, Farr has overseen the growth and development of a major performance venue. Under her leadership, the Center has earned a reputation for adventuresome programming and community engagement. Prior to her position at the Clarice Smith Center, Farr headed the Association of Performing Arts Presenters as executive director for 13 years, where she developed The National Task Force on Touring and Presenting the Performing Arts to address the complex issues facing the arts and culture in America. She has extensive experience in creating and administering new initiatives in support of diversity, arts advocacy and audience development.

About the Sue Hess Arts Advocate Award
The award is named in honor of the first Chair of the Board of Trustees and longest serving member of the organization, Sue Hess, who is known for developing a network of grass roots arts supporters, driving tremendous change and growth in MCA. The first award was given in 2009 and is awarded annually.

About Maryland Citizens for the Arts
Maryland Citizens for the Arts is a statewide arts advocacy organization, founded in 1977 to represent all Maryland artists and arts organizations of all disciplines. MCA works to increase public recognition and support of the arts and the role they play in the quality of life and economic vitality of Maryland by advocating for the arts across the state and by promoting adequate public funding at the local, state and federal levels.