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Fox taps Minnesota arts leader to run downtown Tucson theater

Fox taps Minnesota arts leader to run downtown Tucson theater

After a monthslong national search, Fox Tucson Theatre has found a new executive director.

Bonnie Schock, who runs the historic Sheldon Theatre of Performing Arts in the small town of Red Wing, Minnesota, will take over the Fox’s top job in early March.

“This is a thrilling opportunity for me to be a part of this next step of Fox Tucson Theatre’s journey,” Schock said Thursday, two days after the Fox announced her appointment to replace Craig Sumberg.

Sumberg, who led the Fox for 10 years, left in late October for New York. This month, he was named executive director of the South Orange Performing Arts Center in New Jersey.

Schock, a 50-year-old mother of one, will start her new job March 9.

“It’s a remarkable music venue because of its acoustics and the unique nature of the stage. And it also has real opportunity with family and youth programming that is beginning to be leveraged with the things the Fox has going,” she said.

The Fox is more than double the size of her current theater, which has 469 seats; the Fox has more than 1,100 seats. But both venues share a mission of bringing live music to the community.

In Red Wing, population around 16,400, the Sheldon is the only music venue in town. In Tucson, the Fox isn’t even the only one on Congress Street.

But Schock said the venue has an edge in its history and design, one that she hopes to capitalize on.

“Because it is so physically unique, that’s a part of the overall equation,” she said. “It makes it a very special experience to see an event there, to be surrounded by a space like that.”

In a written statement, Fox Tucson Theatre Foundation Board President Michael Heisler called Schock “an inspiring, passionate and visionary leader who can build on what the Fox has accomplished and propel us forward into the next decade with fresh enthusiasm, limitless creativity and innovative ideas.”

Contact reporter Cathalena E. Burch at cburch@tucson.com or 573-4642. On Twitter @Starburch

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