Peter Jablow, executive director of the Cultural Alliance of Greater Washington, will resign his post effective June 1, the organization announced yesterday.
A search committee for a successor will begin meeting next week.
Jablow, 32, will become director of regional development for the Capital Centre. He will manage the Capital Centre's computerized ticketing operation known as Tiket Center. "It's a very good opportunity and a new challenge," Jablow said.
"I felt after five years it was time for the Alliance to get someone with fresh ideas and a fresh perspective," he said, adding with a grin, "Besides, if I don't leave now, I'll never leave."
Jablow, who was the Alliance's first director, will remain active in the arts community. He sits on the boards of the Fairfax Choral Society and the Ellington School of the Arts and on the community advisory council for WETA, the local public television station.
At the end of five years, Jablow leaves the Alliance as a thriving service organization but with more hurdles to overcome. One of these is the need for more minority participation, according to activists in the community and Jablow himself.
Jablow was chosen by community leaders to direct the fledgling organization because of his experience directing the Metropolitan Cultural Alliance in Boston. "His greatest accomplishment was to get us off the ground," said Delano Lewis, C&P Telephone Co. vice president, and the first chairman of the Alliance board.
An energetic and aggressive manager, Jablow organized numerous Alliance ventures. One of the most successful was TICKETplace, the booth selling half-price, day-of-sale tickets that was modeled after the TKTS ticketbooth in Times Square in New York City. TICKETplace this year did $750,000 worth of business. He also increased the percentage of business people on the board--a key resource for arts groups--from 5 percent to 45 percent.
"What I dug about what he's done is that he's tied the cultural community to the business community," said Vernard Gray, chairman of the Lansburgh's Cultural Center and a longtime board member of the Alliance.
One hurdle the Alliance continues to face is the task of generating its own revenues. The organization now generates 52 percent of its own revenues; when the Alliance started, it was completely dependent on contributions.
Membership in the Alliance grew from 60 charter members to 250 organization members and 700 artist members. Minority membership, initially low, has grown over the years. "There are many more black faces, many more Puerto Rican faces," Jablow said, "but we still need more."
"There's still a lot to be done for visual artists and individual members," said Amina Dickerson, a vice president of the Alliance board and director of programs at the Museum of African Art. "The majority of minority groups in D.C. belong, but are they getting the help that they need?"