Henry Timms, who guided Lincoln Middle by the turmoil of the pandemic and helped full the $550 million renovation of David Geffen Corridor, will step down as its chief this summer season after 5 years, he introduced on Wednesday.
Timms will grow to be chief government of the Brunswick Group, a worldwide public relations agency. He mentioned he had at all times supposed to remain at Lincoln Middle for 5 to seven years, and that the Brunswick Group, which advises high firms and cultural teams, had approached him a couple of place there on the finish of final yr.
“I really feel pleased with what we’ve executed,” he mentioned in an interview in his workplace above the Lincoln Middle campus. “However I additionally at all times imagine that change is an efficient factor.”
Steven R. Swartz, the chairman of Lincoln Middle’s board, mentioned in an interview that Timms had been a “transformational chief” who had helped drive innovation and performed a important position in accelerating the renovation of Geffen Corridor, house to the New York Philharmonic, throughout the pandemic.
“In our excellent world, we’d have him proceed to do the job,” Swartz mentioned. “However we actually perceive that he sees this chance as his subsequent step and clearly want him all the perfect.”
Timms, 47, arrived at Lincoln Middle in 2019 with a mandate to revive stability to the group, which was grappling with monetary woes and years of management churn. He was additionally tasked with resetting Lincoln Middle’s fraught relationship with its constituent organizations, together with the Metropolitan Opera, New York Metropolis Ballet and the Philharmonic. The middle acts as landlord to these teams however has little energy over them, since every has its personal management, board and price range. The middle additionally presents its personal work, typically placing it in competitors with its constituents.
In his first yr on the job, the pandemic hit, forcing Lincoln Middle and its constituents to shut for greater than 18 months. Timms, working with Lincoln Middle’s board and the Philharmonic’s leaders, took benefit of the shutdown to complete the Geffen renovation a yr and a half forward of schedule, since development crews may work with out disrupting concert events.
Timms obtained about $1.5 million in complete compensation within the yr ending June 2022. He has drawn some criticism for his efforts to shake up Lincoln Middle’s cultural choices. The group diminished spending by itself programming and shifted its focus from classical music and worldwide theater to different genres, together with pop, hip-hop, social dance and comedy.
The previous Largely Mozart Pageant was changed with a brand new, eclectic pageant, Summer time for the Metropolis, with extra numerous choices. To mission a extra welcoming picture, the middle hung a large disco ball over its important plaza.
Some critics have steered that Timms has deserted Lincoln Middle’s values and conventional position as a champion of basic artwork kinds underneath siege in the present day. Alex Ross wrote in The New Yorker final yr that the brand new imaginative and prescient appeared “basically out of step with Lincoln Middle and its public, each extant and potential.”
However Timms defended his method. He pointed to Lincoln Middle’s funding in Geffen Corridor as an indication of its dedication to classical music, however added that the group would wish to attraction to a wider, extra numerous crowd to satisfy its mandate. The middle now provides choose-what-you-pay tickets for some occasions.
“We’re talking on to the tradition,” he mentioned, “which requires us to talk to some new individuals who traditionally haven’t been essentially the most comfy at Lincoln Middle.”
Timms additionally labored to diversify Lincoln Middle’s board and workers: Ladies make up about 60 % of its government and senior administration groups, and folks of colour practically 40 %.
Timms’s departure will add to Lincoln Middle’s challenges. Though the middle is in a comparatively sturdy place — the endowment has risen to about $280 million, from $258 million in 2019 — it’s nonetheless working to recuperate from the pandemic. Lincoln Middle, which spent $23 million by itself programming in 2019, spent $14 million within the yr that led to June 2022, when Geffen Corridor was nonetheless closed, and $21 million within the yr that ended final June.
It’s unclear how the departure will have an effect on Timms’s plan to tear down the obstacles that wall the Lincoln Middle campus off from Amsterdam Avenue, a mission nonetheless in early levels.
Swartz mentioned the middle would transfer ahead with the plan. He hopes the group can discover a new chief earlier than Timms steps down in August.
“We wish someone who can proceed the momentum,” he mentioned, “and who can convey management with regard to innovation, but additionally work collaboratively with our constituent organizations who’re, in any case, the lifeblood of Lincoln Middle.”
The British-born Timms, who beforehand led the 92nd Road Y, has lengthy had pursuits exterior the humanities. He helped create #GivingTuesday and co-wrote “New Energy,” a e-book exploring bottom-up management.
Timms mentioned it was troublesome for him to go away however felt each he and Lincoln Middle have been prepared.
“I did what I got here to do,” he mentioned. “I’m handing over the keys with the engine purring.”
The contents inside the article have been equipped through Newswire for Finencial.com, go to