Astoria Music Festival hires 'virtuoso' to shape its future

<p>Linda Magee</p>

The Astoria Music Festival has grown so large it needs a full-time person to run it.

That’s the consensus of Artistic Director Keith Clark and the festival’s board of directors.

Because of this the group has hired a Portland arts administrator to get the organization ready to hire a full-time executive director.

Linda Magee has more than three decades of experience in financial management, fundraising, artistic planning and organizational development. Until January 2013 she was the executive director of Chamber Music Northwest, a summer festival in Portland.

“We are fortunate that Linda Magee has offered to join our festival team,” said founding Artistic Director Keith Clark. “Our performing artists include many leading musicians in the country, and in Linda we now have a virtuoso arts administer to guide us to a new level of organization.”

During her 33-year tenure at Chamber Music Northwest, Magee worked to balance artistic excellence and fiscal stability, Clark said. While steadily growing the institution, expanding programs and enlarging audiences, she managed it with a balanced budget for 33 consecutive years. She also directed three capital campaigns that created an endowment fund valued at more than $4 million.

In 2011, Magee was honored by the Portland Center for the Performing Arts with a concrete star on Broadway in the “Portland Walk of Stars,” an award given to individuals who have made a lasting impact on the arts community. In 2002, Marylhurst University honored her with their first “Woman of Distinction in the Arts” award.

A classically trained violinist, she graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Indiana University, and attended Oberlin College. Before her career in arts administration Magee was a freelance performer in Chicago and in Portland.

The Astoria Music Festival has been administered by volunteers since its founding in 2003, growing every year.

Clark said Magee will assume direction of the festival's budget and major fundraising and will serve as a consultant to the board in creating a long-range plan and making the transition to full-time professional management in 2014.

“Her experience and leadership accomplishments speak for themselves, and I am thrilled by this opportunity to work with her to continue building a major arts festival on the North Coast,” Clark said.

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