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Outgoing Congressman Brian Higgins (Submitted photo)
Outgoing Congressman Brian Higgins (Submitted photo)

Shea's Performing Arts Center welcomes new president & CEO: Congressman Brian Higgins


Tue, Nov 28th 2023 01:40 pm

Shea's Performing Arts Center has announced the appointment of Congressman Brian Higgins as its next president and CEO. Following his career, serving as the U.S. representative for New York's 26th congressional district since 2005, Higgins is set to lead Shea's Performing Arts Center beginning Feb. 5, 2024.

A press release stated, “Born and raised in Buffalo, Congressman Higgins has been a key figure in shaping long-term investments in Western New York, notably recognized for his pivotal role in waterfront development. His efforts secured a quarter-billion-dollar federal relicensing settlement from the New York Power Authority, catalyzing the transformation of Buffalo's Inner and Outer Harbor waterfront areas.

“His leadership positions make Congressman Higgins the ideal candidate to guide Shea's Performing Arts Center into its centennial year and beyond.”

Shea's Performing Arts Center Board of Trustees Chair Jonathan Dandes, said, "The congressman's return to Buffalo is a welcomed homecoming; his fresh perspective will enhance Shea's mission and strategic goals. He is the right person to steer Shea's towards a vibrant future with the dedicated board, leadership team and staff."

Albert Nocciolino, Broadway partner-producer and search committee member, noted the thoroughness of the selection process, involving interviews with over 100 applicants from local and national talent pools.

"Brian stood out as the best fit for the future of Shea's Performing Arts Center," Nocciolino said. "His frontline work in community development in Western New York aligns perfectly with our vision to elevate Shea's as the region's premier cultural destination."

Higgins, an alumnus of Buffalo State University and Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government, “brings a wealth of experience from his tenure in state and local elective offices and higher education.”

Reflecting on his return to Buffalo, Higgins said, "Shea's Performing Arts Center provides its patrons with magical, moving and memorable experiences to share. Everything is built around that goal: From the industry-leading touring productions Shea's presents to the inspiring Tiffany-designed interior, the excellent local productions by our resident companies and other partners, and the hard work of Shea's staff, partners and volunteers throughout the enterprise. With its robust subscriber base, supportive patrons and unique heritage, Shea's is the envy of many of its peers across the nation. I will be honored to lead this institution, to build on its success, and to achieve its goals."

Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz said, "Congressman Higgins has been an unfailing advocate for Erie County throughout his time in office, and I thank him for always being a strong and reliable partner in government. He will bring that same energy and focus to his new position at Shea's Performing Arts Center, and I look forward to working with him in that role."

Shea’s Performing Arts Center is approaching its 100th anniversary.

More About Shea’s Performing Arts Center

Shea’s Buffalo Theatre was initially built as a “picture palace” by Michael Shea in 1926. Today, Shea’s Performing Arts Center comprises three modern theaters in the heart of the Buffalo Theatre District, “bringing the best of live performances through touring productions and local collaborations to Western New York.”

Shea’s Buffalo Theatre is the historic crown jewel of the performing arts center and is one of the top touring theaters in the country with over 3,000 seats. It was designated a National Historic Site in 1975.

Shea’s 710 Theatre is the latest space to be added to the campus. Once home to Studio Arena, this 625-seat thrust theater offers Broadway productions and plays produced by local and international theater companies.

Shea’s Smith Theatre is a 200-seat black box theater that hosts Off-Broadway productions, comedy, and collaborative productions with local theater companies.

For more information on Shea’s Performing Arts Center, upcoming shows, and other programs, visit www.sheas.org.

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