[Portland OR, October 19, 2023] — Artists Repertory Theatre’s (ART) Board of Directors has made the difficult decision to lay off Artistic Director Jeanette Harrison. While ART deeply appreciates Jeanette’s artistic leadership during her time here, the financial realities ART faces, including the suspension of production for the 2023-24 season, have led the Board to conclude that, unfortunately, ART does not have the capacity to retain her position within the organization.
The decision regarding Jeanette’s role arises from the financial realities facing ART. With resources being carefully allocated towards the completion of our newly renovated venue, ART finds itself at a juncture that calls for strategic adjustments in the leadership structure. Despite the change, ART remains steadfast in its commitment to the community and is optimistic about the future. Board Chair, Pancho Savery stated, “We are grateful for Jeanette’s time at ART. Jeanette’s vision helped us forge a path forward to return to the building.”
Harrison expressed that, “While my time here was short, I’m particularly proud of the strides we made with IDEA work and representation through the commissioning of Diana Burbano’s Sapience and the development of the script in workshop with PHAME, ensuring that complex characters who are disabled are played by actors with disabilities, in a fully inclusive rehearsal room.” She continued, “ART’s commitment to access is embodied in its Morrison Street building, which will have a fully accessible control room. I hope Portland will rally around the remaining staff as they focus their attention on finishing the building.”
Artists Rep is focusing its resources on actively fundraising to return to the home space on Morrison Street. This effort is geared towards establishing a solid foundation for sustainable growth. The newly renovated space will host the vibrant ArtsHub, further enriching the local arts community by sharing our venue, equipment, and professional resources for below market rates with individual artists and organizations. ART remains committed to its mission of providing a home for a diverse community of artists and audiences to take creative risks. ART looks forward to the future, thanks to the continued support of our Portland community.