Chandler Names Ayres New Executive Director

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Front Page / Mar. 30, 2017 9:48am EDT

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TOM AYRES TOM AYRES One of Burlington’s most experienced arts administrators has been appointed the new executive director of the Chandler Center for the Arts.

Janet Watton, chair of the Chandler board, announced this week that Tom Ayres will replace former director Katie Trautz, who stepped aside after a year in the position to raise a family.

Ayres has been a non-profit administrator for more than 25 years in Vermont.

For a decade he was the marketing director of the Flynn Center in Burlington, and for the past four years has been the executive director of First Night Burlington, Vermont’s annual New Year Eve’s festival of the arts, now in its 35th year.

Long an admirer of Chandler and an audience member over the years, he says Chandler is “one of the shining gems of the New England arts scene.

“I’ve had my eye on Chandler for some time,” he told The Herald in a phone call this week.

“It exemplifies what it means for an arts organization to embrace and celebrate community.”

Ayres’ application stated that “it would be a privilege to build on the legacy of my arts colleagues Becky McMeekin and Katie Trautz, continuously enhancing Chandler’s standing as a regional catalyst for artistic expression and arts education.”

He also has family connections with the Norwich area.

Ayres plans to begin his new position the first week of April. He and his wife, Anne Barrett, are looking forward to their relocation to the Randolph area and being part of the local community.

“I’m enthused with the idea of living right in town where I can walk to work,” he told The Herald.

His wife is a web designer who has done work for the UVM Medical Center and other clients. She looks to continue that work here, he said.

Ayers said his own special interests in music run to international music and jazz, and he has heard some folk and country programs at Chandler, but he is impressed with the wide variety of entertainment that is programmed.

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