3S names new director

Beth Falconer of the Firehouse Center will soon take the helm at 3S Artspace

More than six months after the departure of its founder and original leader, 3S Artspace has announced the hiring of a new executive director. Beth Falconer, current executive director of the Firehouse Center for the Arts in Newburyport, starts at 3S next month.

The nonprofit arts organization, located on Vaughan Street in downtown Portsmouth, announced the hiring of Falconer in a press release on Friday afternoon. She will start working at 3S on a part-time basis on Sept. 12 and shift to a full-time position by Oct. 31, according to the press release.

The hiring follows months of interviews by the organization’s search committee, with input from Newburyport-based firm Koya Leadership Partners. According to the press release, the committee considered more than 50 candidates for the job.

I am thrilled to begin working with the 3S team, Falconer said in the press release. During the interview process I was greatly impressed by the vision and energy that went into making this contemporary, creative space come to life. The passion for the mission was present in every board, staff, and community stakeholder I had the pleasure to speak with. I look forward to developing new programs and audiences that compliment this vision.

Former executive director Chris Greiner spent several years planning and fundraising for 3S, which opened in March 2015 with a restaurant, live performance space, and art gallery. Last November, the nonprofit’s board asked Greiner to take an indefinite leave of absence. About three months later (in a release also issued late on a Friday afternoon), the board announced Greiner’s departure. At the time, staff and board members declined to comment on why the organization had parted ways with its founder.

Since Greiner’s departure, former board chair Karil Reibold has been serving as interim executive director. Reibold was unavailable for comment on Friday afternoon, and board chair Erik Dodier could not immediately be reached. However, Reibold did make a statement in the press release.

During my time at 3S Artspace, I have seen its staff and board continue to come together and emerge a stronger team and 3S a better space to showcase the art and artists of our community, and those that travel to us, she said in the release. I have no doubt that Beth will bring the spark and direction to take us on our next leg of the journey.

Falconer, who lives in Byfield, Mass., has served as executive director of the Firehouse Center for more than six years and has also served as director of development. Her work at the Firehouse — another nonprofit arts organization that hosts live performances — has given her years of experience in programming and fundraising.

This story will be updated.