PASA seeking new leader

by Walter Pierce

Longtime Executive Director Jackie Lyle will become creative director. The Performing Arts Society of Acadiana has posted a job opening for a new executive director. Longtime Executive Director Jackie Lyle, who shepherded the non-profit arts presenter from its inception as a small operation to the robust community entity it is today, is stepping down, although she will remain with PASA as creative director.

Lyle says the change is long overdue. "I started counting down to my last day at PASA on my 47th birthday, and I'm 53, and the countdown was for three years," she says. "My 50th birthday came and I was still here, and I simply don't feel the need to be in charge anymore."

Now in its 21st year, PASA began with a modest offering of performing arts - dance, opera, classical music - and has blossomed into a major player in the Lafayette performing arts community, complementing its annual performance series with daytime performances for students, a series for senior citizens, a band instrument recycling drive for local schools and other programming. Throughout, Lyle has been the energy propelling the expansion.

In a press release announcing the change at the organization, Donald Johnson, PASA board president, says, "For the past 20 years under Jackie Lyle's direction, PASA has consistently brought a stellar line-up of performing arts entertainment to Lafayette.  We are looking to the next 20 years as we begin the search for a new executive director."

Lyle, meanwhile, will remain with PASA as a full-time employee. "I know that my continued involvement is a value," she says, "and that smooth transition is good for everybody, from our staff to our organization as a whole to the person who will be hired to take my place, and to our programming, our vision and the execution of our strategic plan."