Circus Arts president and executive director resign, finances failing

-A A +A

Circus Arts president and executive director resign, finances failing

Sat, 07/15/2017 - 8:26am -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine The Board of Trustees of the troubled New England Circus Arts, in an attempt to save the institution, has reached out to coaches and the recently fired founders and announced that both the president of the board and the executive director of NECCA have resigned. The letter is dated Friday and indicates that they are attempting to appease these people and the community at large, which was shocked by the news of the firing of the founders, twin sisters Elsie Smith and Serenity Smith Forchion, on Wednesday. Michael Helmstadter, executive director, was not named in the letter nor was president Elizabeth Harris-Warner. Mel Martin, a long-time supporter, is coming back to the board as president.

Story: New England Center for Circus Arts removes founders

Letter to Coaches:

Date:   July 14, 2017

Dear NECCA Coaches,

In an effort to resolve the impasse that currently exists, we offer the following.

The executive director and President of the Board are placing the well being of the organization above their own. To that end, this morning they agreed to step down from their current positions.

The board has accepted the resignation of the executive director to take effect at the end of the working day, July 28.This, to allow time to find an interim executive director. Concurrently, we will begin the search for a full time executive director.  

In addition, the president of the board has stepped down as president. The board has accepted newly returning board member, Mel Martin, to the president’s position effective immediately. 

Due to the impact of the sudden withdrawal of students and demands for refunds over the past four days, it is important for you and the community to understand that NECCA is on the verge of closing its doors within a week. It is imperative that you reach out to your supporters and friends to reverse the negative effect on the financial situation. 

We, like everyone, want to save NECCA.

Sincerely,

The NECCA Board of Trustees

Letter to Smiths:

TODAY A LETTER WAS SENT TO ELSIE SMITH AND SERENITY SMITH-FORCHION FROM THE NECCA BOARD OF TRUSTEES  VIA OUR ATTORNEYS. IT INCLUDED THE FOLLOWING:

In an effort to resolve the impasse that currently exists, we offer the following.

The executive director and President of the Board are placing the well being of the organization above their own. To that end, this morning they agreed to step down from their current positions.

The board has accepted the resignation of the executive director to take effect at the end of the working day, July 28.This, to allow time to find an interim executive director. Concurrently, we will begin the search for a full time executive director.  

In addition, the president of the board has stepped down as president. The board has accepted newly returning board member, Mel Martin, to the president’s position effective immediately.

With this action on the board’s behalf to save NECCA, we ask that you accept the option to stay involved with NECCA per the terms outlined in a letter to you dated July 10th.  

Due to the impact of the sudden withdrawal of students and demands for refunds over the past four days, it is important for you and the community to understand that NECCA is on the verge of closing its doors within a week. It is imperative that you reach out to your supporters and friends to reverse the negative effect on the financial situation. 

We, like everyone, want to save NECCA.

 

RELATED STORIES:

New England Center for Circus Arts gets $75K matching grant
NEA awards major grants to Vermont organizations
NECCA receives NEA Art Works grant
2016 Governor’s arts awards recipients announced

SEE BRATTLEBORO REFORMER STORY

 

The NECCA website lists the following as trustees:

Elizabeth Harris-Warner 

President

 
 
Tracy Prentiss

Vice President

 
 
Linda Shrier Schiffer

 
 
Mel Martin