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Business Observer Thursday, Sep. 22, 2022 1 week ago

Opera Naples names new executive director

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Laura Burns comes to the organization with over 25 years of experience.

Next month, a well-traveled executive will join Opera Naples. 

Laura Burns, with over 25 years of experience, will become the new executive director of the performance arts organization in October.   

“I am thrilled to work with Maestro Ramón Tebar and join Opera Naples in their endeavors to cultivate access to arts and culture for the Naples community and throughout Southwest Florida,” Burns says in a news release. “Their unwavering passion for delivering diverse international performances and educational opportunities for audiences of all ages matches my own, and I look forward to helping execute their vision.”  

Burns’ experience spans arts management, advanced training in arts administration and nonprofit management. As an advocate for local arts and culture, she’s spent time in both the U.S. and New Zealand cultivating partnerships and programs to boost growth in the arts and tourism. 

Prior to her new role, Burns was the executive director of the United Arts Council of Collier County in Naples. The new executive director is also a former operations manager and interim CEO at Creative Northland in New Zealand. 

“We are extremely pleased to welcome Laura to Opera Naples as our executive director,” Larry Ost, chair of the board of trustees, says in the release. “She truly brings a unique perspective, breadth of knowledge and relationship-building skills that will be vital to the success and growth of our organization and the arts community as a whole.”

Burns also has served in many volunteer roles including a stint as chairwoman of the Public Art Advisory Committee for the city of Naples and an ad hoc art committee member at Bayshore Community Redevelopment Association in Naples. The Naples Design District came to fruition with Burns as the founding director and president. 

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