OGDEN, Utah – Weber State University’s Val A. Browning Center for the Performing Arts has a new managing director.
Herb Garman, formerly the associate director of the Center for Dramatic Art at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, was named the Browning Center’s managing director following a national search earlier this year.
“We are delighted with the arrival of Herb Garman,” said Madonne Miner, dean of the College of Arts & Humanities. “Herb rose to the top of a very competitive national search. He brings a wealth of experience and already is implementing plans to move the center into more prominence as a leading performance venue.”
Garman, who holds a master’s degree in theater with a technical production/management emphasis, has spent the last four years at UNC working in various roles, including assistant production manager and technical methods instructor. He previously worked at the Glimmerglass Opera Company in Cooperstown, N.Y.; Yale University in New Haven, Conn.; and Northern Michigan University in Marquette, Mich.
Garman said he was encouraged to apply for the WSU position by a friend who had worked at the Browning Center in the past and spoke highly of the experience.
“When I got the call to come and interview and I saw Utah for the first time I was pleasantly surprised,” said Garman, who had spent much of his career on the eastern seaboard. “It’s a nice-sized community, and the university itself is very welcoming. It has a similar feel to my undergraduate alma mater [Northern Michigan University], with its strong focus on education.”
The Browning Center houses WSU’s Department of Performing Arts, the Austad Auditorium, and the Allred and Eccles theaters. Originally built in 1964, the center underwent a major renovation in the late 1990s.
“It is an impressive facility that would be the envy of many other colleges and universities,” Garman said, “and is a stunning resource for our students and the community as a whole.”
Garman hopes to build on the existing relationships with the performing arts department, the office of Cultural Affairs and the Ogden Symphony Ballet, and bring more of the cultural arts to the facility.
“I’m excited about the potential to make the center a living entity, where people come because this is where the arts happen in this community,” Garman said. “I want to bring even more art into this facility and help the Browning Center come to life.”
Garman, who officially started July 1, fills the role vacated by Scott Jensen, who retired this spring after 33 years at WSU.
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