Deborah Sommers has been named executive director of the Modlin Center for the Arts at the University of Richmond.

She will take on her new position July 1.

Sommers will be responsible for a number of performances and events at the Modlin Center including: the 45-event Great Performances Series, three main stage productions by the university's theatre and dance department and the University Players and Dancers, 30 musical performances in the Department of Music's Free Concert Series as well as community events and performances throughout the year.

Sommers also will direct and teach Richmond's arts management program.

Sommers was impressed by the faculty, students, staff at Modlin Center and overall environment at Richmond when she visited the university in January, she said.

"Hearing that I would be a part of this amazing community, I was so excited to be going to the university," she said.

Sommers has been the director of programming at Fairfield University's Quick Center for the Arts since 1992.

Before joining the Quick Center, Sommers was company administrator of the Performing Arts Center at the State University of New York at Purchase, coordinating the professional season programming, artists and residencies. She also worked for the PepsiCo Summerfare Festival.

Sommers takes over the Modlin Center directorship after former executive director Kathy Panoff became director and associate dean of the University of Texas at Austin Performing Arts Center. The university also saw the recent departure of former associate director and interim executive director David Howson, who left for Skidmore College to pioneer its arts administration program.

Sommers plans to come to Richmond sometime before her official starting date. Her first plans are to get acquainted with the Modlin Center staff, audience members and the rest of the Richmond community, including students, faculty and staff at the university.

Contact staff writer Nick Mider at nick.mider@richmond.edu