Maria Basescu appointed managing director at Yellow Barn

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PUTNEY — Next week, Maria Basescu's commute will change a bit. Instead of driving to Kimball Hill in Putney she will head up to the Greenwood School campus to begin her new role as managing director at Yellow Barn. Basescu joins Executive Director Catherine Stephan and Artistic Director Seth Knopp in this newly-created position. She said she looks forward to helping prepare Yellow Barn for its next 50 years.

"I am thrilled and honored to be joining the outstanding Yellow Barn team. I look forward to supporting the creative passion, excellence and growing international reputation of this exceptional organization," she said.

Since 2013, Basescu served as founding executive director at Next Stage Arts Project in Putney.

"Maria's work at Next Stage has been instrumental in positioning the organization for the next phase of growth," NSAP Board of Directors Chairman Jim Johnson said in a statement. "She was our first executive director, and guided us through the modernization of 15 Kimball Hill and helped dramatically expand the reach of Next Stage programming. We wish Maria well in her new role, and look forward to our continued collaborations with Yellow Barn."

When asked about Basescu's appointment, Knopp, said, "For many years Yellow Barn has had the pleasure to work with Maria at Next Stage, Putney's treasured performance venue. Her deeply emotional connection to the arts, her belief that lives can be changed when we communicate through them, and her unique ability to turn that connection and belief into a meaningful reality, will have a profound impact on the work we do at Yellow Barn."

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"Maria is the ideal person for this new position," said Stephan. "She brings significant insight and understanding to Yellow Barn, together with an innate ability to manage the scope and geographic breadth of our year-round programs."

Basescu's experience in arts administration includes serving as president of Annapurna Concerts, public relations director for Emerson College's Division of Performing Arts, and associate director of media and public relations for the Boston Mayor's Office of Business and Cultural Development. She has also served as a senior executive in communications and external affairs for Northern Berkshire Healthcare, the Brattleboro Retreat and Marlboro College, and as senior advisor with the strategic communications firm, Denterlein. Basescu has a B.A. in sociology from Dartmouth College, is a graduate of the Snelling Center for Government's Vermont Leadership Institute, and a member of the Association of Performing Arts Professionals.

In addition to the daily responsibilities of administering Yellow Barn's programs (its 50-year-old summer festival; the Young Artists Program; the first Artist Residencies program in the United States for performing musicians; and national tours with its one-of-a-kind traveling stage, Yellow Barn Music Haul), Basescu will help implement Yellow Barn's strategic plan. This includes taking Yellow Barn Music Haul to a much larger national audience and establishing an artists' residence and center for music and social dialogue.

"At this time in my life and career I'm excited to put my shoulder to the wheel of Yellow Barn's particular artistic vision, which I find deeply inspiring," she said.

Basescu moved to Westminster West in 1991, after visiting friends and falling in love with the area. She is married to Mary Rodriguez, a sign language interpreter. Their son Max graduated from Johns Hopkins in 2018 and works as a mechanical engineer at the Applied Physics Lab in Baltimore. Their twins Simon and Sophie are starting their junior years at Middlebury and Dartmouth, respectively.


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