The director of Hopkins Center for the Arts has stepped down from her position for health reasons, City Manager Mike Mornson said Tuesday.
Amanda Birnstengel told Patch on Wednesday that she is fighting Stage 4 breast cancer that has spread to her bones in many places.
“Because of the cancer and the chemo that I am undergoing, I’m not able to work,” she said via e-mail.
Birnstengel started at the art center in February 2011 after spending four-and-a-half years with the Musical Instrument Museum in Phoenix. During her tenure at the Hopkins facility, she helped bring in bigger bands and sell out more shows.
Hopkins will not be hiring a new director to replace her. Instead, Executive Arts Director Susan Hanna-Bibus and Sales and Development Manager Lynn Anderson will become co-directors.
Both will receive pay increases, but the city will wind up saving about $65,000 over the previous arrangement, Mornson said.
“Susan and Lynn will do a fantastic job as co-leaders. They both bring a lot of experience, the willingness to work hard, and a great attitude to the table,” Birnstengel said. “I greatly enjoyed working with them, and I am glad I can focus on my health and family, knowing that the (Hopkins Center for the Arts) has them at the helm. I think the community can expect continued great things from the (Hopkins Center for the Arts), which I’ve always considered the jewel of Hopkins.”