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NEWS: The Changing of the Iveys – Scott Mayer Steps Down

Nathan Barlow rides in on a white horse in this publicity photo for the 2016 Ivey Awards.

Scott Mayer has announced that he will be stepping down as the lead organizer and producer of the Ivey Awards. Mayer founded the Ivey Awards for local theatre in 2004 and has been the lead organizer for the annual awards ceremony ever since. Mayer was also the creator of the Charlie Awards for local restaurants.

Reflecting on his tenure, Mayer remarked, “I feel very satisfied knowing that thanks to the terrific support from both the theater-going public and the theater industry itself, the Iveys became – except for the Tony Awards – the most attended live-theater awards event in the country.” Under Mayer’s leadership, the annual September award celebration quickly became a must-see event for many theatre professionals, amateurs, and afficionados in the Twin Cities. The creation of the Ivey Awards coincided with the rise of social media, with the organization’s Facebook account becoming a hub for news on local theatre doings.

Mayer will formally step down at the end of 2016, with his post being filled in the interim by Amy Newton of Arts ink, Inc.

The full press release from the Ivey Awards announcing the transition follows:
(MINNEAPOLIS; December 21, 2016) – The Ivey Awards Board of Directors and Advisory Committee announced today that Iveys founder Scott Mayer is leaving his role as organizer and producer of the annual event.
In anticipation of Mayer’s 2016, year-end transition, the Ivey Awards Board of Directors has also announced that Amy Newton of Arts ink, Inc., who is currently an Ivey Awards Board member, will be acting as the interim leader for the transition team as it defines the necessary steps to maintain a viable and sustainable model for the future.
Mayer notes, “I’m grateful that Amy Newton, the Board and the committee understand my interest in relinquishing my role. Each of them are skilled, talented professionals, and I know they have the best interests of the theater community and the Ivey Awards in mind.”
The Ivey’s mission is to increase awareness of Twin Cities professional theater and to create a celebration for all people who love Twin Cities’ theater – those within the theater community and those in the audience.
The Iveys came about due to Mayer’s strong belief that the vibrant theater community was a defining asset for the Twin Cities that needed to have a brighter spotlight. After a series of informal discussions with individuals active in the theater community, the Ivey Awards were kicked off in 2004 to honor and showcase the work of professional theater companies and artists.
“I feel very satisfied knowing that thanks to the terrific support from both the theater-going public and the theater industry itself, the Iveys became – except for the Tony Awards – the most attended live-theater awards event in the country,” Mayer says. “In my mind, the trophies handed out at the show are secondary to the feeling of camaraderie as theater professionals and fans alike who came together to celebrate each other and enjoy the recognition that our community has something special in our appreciation of theater.”
The Iveys have been unique among awards events in the country in that they are open to the public and that there are no nominees, set number of awards or pre-determined award categories, with the exception of the Lifetime Achievement and the Emerging Artist Awards. The artists and organizations receiving special recognition are determined by data compiled from evaluations completed by volunteer theater evaluators. Each participating theater has an opportunity to submit a vote, which determines the Lifetime Achievement and Emerging Artist Awards.
The Ivey’s first two years were funded almost exclusively by Ameriprise Financial, with 48 participating theaters. In 2016, 83 professional theaters participated along with 35 sponsors Several corporations, including Target and Best Buy, have consistently supported the Iveys, as well as several smaller companies such as martinpatrick3, City Pages and Mpls/St. Paul magazine.
Newton states, “The committee values the existing partnerships and is deeply grateful for all whose efforts have sustained the Iveys thus far. Though the Ivey Awards is currently financially stable, we recognize and look forward to identifying and developing new partnerships, all of which will be critical in our efforts to ensure the Ivey Awards is able to continue to pursue its mission in the years to come.”
The Ivey Awards include the annual September celebration and recognition of professional Twin Cities theater as well as a spring networking event for theatre board members and the community. In recent years, the Iveys have worked to engage the next generation of Twin Cities’ artists with initiatives that include Best Buy’s Teen Tech program and the September event’s complimentary Teen Ivey celebration.
Mayer says, “Since the Ivey’s inception, I was – and remain – dazzled by the individual talent in the Twin Cities theater community. Over its 12 years, hundreds of theater professionals, both on and off the stage, have been honored, and they represent only a fraction of the total number who produce phenomenal work year in and out. And these individuals wouldn’t be able to produce their work without the tremendous support of the theater-going public.”
Ivey Board member Fran Davis notes, “The Board of Directors, Advisory Committee and theater community will forever be grateful for Scott Mayer’s founding and sustaining of the Ivey Awards. Scott has graciously offered to provide assistance as the Iveys move forward. We are all committed to exploring a future that maintains the quality and integrity that the theater community deserves and has come to expect.”
Mayer plans to focus on the One Man Project, a nonprofit organization he founded that seeks to engage more young men in their communities as volunteers, mentors and role models.
Questions and inquiries are being directed to
Ivey Awards Board of Directors
Fran Davis
Scott Mayer
Amy Newton
Sally Wingert
Ricardo Vázquez
Twin Cities Arts Reader