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Art Center Director Resigns for Health Reasons

Amanda Birnstengel said she’s not able to work because she has Stage 4 breast cancer.

The director of Hopkins Center for the Arts has stepped down from her position for health reasons, City Manager Mike Mornson said Tuesday.

Amanda Birnstengel told Patch on Wednesday that she is fighting Stage 4 breast cancer that has spread to her bones in many places.

“Because of the cancer and the chemo that I am undergoing, I’m not able to work,” she said via e-mail.

Birnstengel started at the art center in February 2011 after spending four-and-a-half years with the Musical Instrument Museum in Phoenix. During her tenure at the Hopkins facility, she helped bring in bigger bands and sell out more shows.

Hopkins will not be hiring a new director to replace her. Instead, Executive Arts Director Susan Hanna-Bibus and Sales and Development Manager Lynn Anderson will become co-directors.

Both will receive pay increases, but the city will wind up saving about $65,000 over the previous arrangement, Mornson said.

“Susan and Lynn will do a fantastic job as co-leaders. They both bring a lot of experience, the willingness to work hard, and a great attitude to the table,” Birnstengel said. “I greatly enjoyed working with them, and I am glad I can focus on my health and family, knowing that the (Hopkins Center for the Arts) has them at the helm. I think the community can expect continued great things from the (Hopkins Center for the Arts), which I’ve always considered the jewel of Hopkins.”

 

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Suzanne Lundeen Abrams January 17, 2013 at 08:05 PM
All of us -- your friends in Hopkins Rotary -- are thinking of you and your family, Amanda. We miss you in the club so much!
Eve Black January 20, 2013 at 02:54 PM
Amanda is a fantastic lady. Please look after yourself and enjoy the warmth and love of your family.
Jim C. January 23, 2013 at 02:26 AM
Thanks, Amanda, for your great work at HCA. Hopkins artists are thinking of you!

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