Howey-in-the-Hills, FL — The Howey Mansion Music Series announced today that artistic and executive director Arisa Kusumi Sullivan is stepping down from the jazz and classical concert organization at the end of this year’s season. The board of directors selected Emily Heumann to lead the nonprofit beginning July 1.
“It is such an honor to be chosen to lead an organization that has meant so much to me over the last few years. In Central Florida, there is nothing else like The Howey Mansion Music Series,” said Ms. Heumann, a mezzo-soprano, who served as secretary and vice president of HMMS prior to being hired as artistic and executive director.
Ms. Kusumi, a lyric soprano who has toured extensively in Europe, founded HMMS five years ago. She is moving with her husband and children to North Carolina, where she grew up.
“This series has evolved from being my internal call to actively do something about the dwindling interest in the classical and jazz music genres to a full-fledged concert series that includes a formidable board, including Emily, faithful volunteers and the ardent support of the community,” Arisa said. “Seeing our recent Wednesday-night classical concert sold out — my heart is full, and our mission is working!”
“Arisa has truly created a new market and a unique culture in the most beautiful of locations,” Ms. Heumann said. “From the intimate and educational parlor concerts to the large-scale concerts on the lawn, every concert is an immersive experience. It has been thrilling seeing our mission come to life over the first four seasons, despite the challenges of the pandemic.
“In the next few years, I hope to see our organization grow. I want to see HMMS become a destination for people to hear the highest quality artists in an intimate and approachable way. I am looking forward to HMMS being a part of the future fabric of this great community.”