Breckenridge Creative Arts CEO resigns

Breckenridge Creative Arts CEO Matt Neufeld, pictured March 12, 2020, resigned from the nonprofit. Tamara Nuzzaci Park, the executive director of Breckenridge Music, will become the acting CEO and president Saturday, May 1.
Photo by Liz Copan / Summit Daily archives

Breckenridge Creative Arts CEO and President Matt Neufeld has resigned from the nonprofit effective Friday, April 30.

Neufeld, who joined in January 2020, was only the second person to be in charge of the arts organization after Robb Woulfe stepped down in July 2019. Breckenridge Music Executive Director Tamara Nuzzaci Park has been named acting president and CEO beginning Saturday, May 1.

“The COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on the (BreckCreate) programs and budget have resulted in my position being significantly different from my expectations,” Neufeld said in a news release announcing his resignation. “I’m grateful to have had the opportunity to work with Breckenridge artists and community members, but I have decided to resign to pursue other opportunities.”

Neufeld came to Breckenridge from his childhood home of St. Louis, Missouri. He also studied and worked on the East Coast in New York and Connecticut. He was involved with the Howl! Festival in Manhattan’s East Village, Connecticut’s Hartford Stage and St. Louis’ Metro Theater Co.

Right before Neufeld joined, BreckCreate and Breck Music merged in December 2019. A new board with equal BreckCreate and Breck Music members was formed, with Breck Music becoming a division of the BreckCreate nonprofit. The merger allowed the two organizations to pool resources with the goal of providing the same artistic services — such as the Breckenridge International Festival of Arts and Breckenridge Music Festival — that the public is familiar with. However, the pandemic canceled the large-scale festivals, and full plans for this summer’s activities have yet to be announced.

In previous interviews with the Summit Daily News, Neufeld and Nuzzaci Park said the organizations have suffered financially, like any other arts organization, but have remained cautiously optimistic and hopeful for the coming year.

“For all the challenges we had last summer, I felt really good that there was a lot happening,” Neufeld said in March. “We tried to be really innovative on how we can serve our community, and I think we learned a lot from that experience.”

Neufeld did not respond to requests for comment for this story.

Nuzzaci Park became the executive director of Breck Music in 2015. Before coming to Summit County, she was the executive director of the Maryland Symphony Orchestra. She was also personnel manager of the Philadelphia Orchestra and served as manager of campaign and strategic initiatives at the Curtis Institute of Music.

In her temporary role, Nuzzaci Park said she plans to stay the course and focus on the upcoming season of outdoor Airstage concerts, drive-in movies in partnership with Breck Film and other nonfestival programming.

“In this interim role, in this acting role, my job is to really execute the plan and to keep the ship moving in the right direction until that board of directors has a plan in place for recruiting the next leader and establishing a vision for the future and finding the talent that makes the right sense,” Nuzzaci Park said.

Ken Nelson, secretary of BreckCreate’s board, said it is too soon to discuss search details as the board has yet to decide how to move forward.

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