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Carmel officials confirm Feinstein appointment

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Singer Michael Feinstein will make as much as $400,000 in a single year to serve as artistic director of the Regional Performing Arts Center that’s still under construction in Carmel, officials confirmed this morning.

The Carmel Performing Arts Foundation, which will operate the center, officially announced Feinstein’s hiring today and disclosed some details of his two-year contract.

Feinstein will earn $100,000 in his first year and $400,000 in the second. He starts work immediately, the foundation said.

IBJ reported in August that Feinstein had signed on to be the center’s artistic director.

Feinstein owns the Great American Songbook Collection, which includes sheet music, posters, recordings and other artifacts of the genre. The Michael Feinstein Foundation for the Preservation of the Great American Songbook has moved to Carmel. Feinstein plans to display some of the collection at the arts center. He also has purchased a house in Carmel.

“I have been involved with the Regional Performing Arts Center for a while now, deciding to make it the new home of my Collection back in the summer of 2008,” Feinstein said in a prepared statement. “Along the way, I continued to become more invested in the center and the region. I know that the center and my Great American Songbook Collection will be an important fixture for the entire area, and I’m proud to attach my name to both.”

Feinstein will also perform at the center several times a year.

At an average of $250,000 per year, Feinstein will be one of the highest paid executives at a local arts organization.

Max Anderson, CEO at the Indianapolis Museum of Art, earned $434,000 in 2008, museum spokeswoman Katie Zarich said.

Mario Venzago, the outgoing music director of the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra was paid $388,695 in 2008. Simon Crookall, president and CEO of the ISO, made $231,288.

Feinstein’s contract was negotiated by the original trustees of the performing arts foundation, which included Mayor James Brainard and two city employees. The three trustees also hired Steven Libman, who began work this month as executive director.

Brainard left the board after Libman’s hiring. Long-time local business executive Rollin Dick is the new president of the foundation’s board. Rosemary Waters also joined the board. Carmel City Attorney Douglas Haney and spokeswoman Nancy Heck continue to hold their seats.

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