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Springfield, MO

Evan Bennett starts next month in the newly created role of learning and engagement manager for the Seattle Opera.
Evan Bennett starts next month in the newly created role of learning and engagement manager for the Seattle Opera.

Springfield Ballet director takes Seattle job

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Springfield Ballet Inc. is seeking a new executive director as Evan Bennett takes a job outside of the state.

Bennett, who became director of the local organization in September 2014, will step down Feb. 17 to start Feb. 27 in the newly created role of learning and engagement manager for the Seattle Opera.

“I’ve had an absolutely incredible experience with the Springfield Ballet,” he said. “This opportunity was something that I have wanted to do for a lifetime.”

Bennett came to Springfield Ballet after coordinating the monthly Operazzi for SRO A Lyric Theatre, according to Springfield Business Journal archives. Bennett said he would use his experience in the Seattle position to perform programmatic work, specifically working with students, patrons and donors to “make opera as relevant as possible.”

Bennett last year led Springfield Ballet’s fundraising campaign for a new set coinciding with the nonprofit’s 40th year. The organization has performed “The Nutcracker” for over 30 years and this spring is gearing up for “Alice in Wonderland.”

At Springfield Ballet, Bennett leads a nonprofit that recorded fiscal 2016 revenue of $469,921, which was up 13 percent from the prior year. The organization’s 2016-17 operating budget is $401,350, up from $336,000 the previous year. The 10-employee Springfield Ballet had 176 students in the fall semester, which was roughly flat from fall 2015.

Bennett yesterday informed the Springfield Ballet board of his new position. Applications for the executive director position are being accepted through Jan. 31 at SpringfieldBallet.org.

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