Princeton Festival adds three trustees to board

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Three prominent area residents – Gail Kohn, Leila Shahbender,and Rita Shklar – have been elected to three-year renewable terms on the Board of Trustees of the Princeton Festival.

“We are fortunate that three such accomplished and dedicated supporters of the performing arts have chosen to join our Board,” said Benedikt von Schröder, board chair, in a statement provided by the Princeton Festival. “They bring us a rare combination of technical expertise, organizational skills, and commitment to education and outreach.

“Our board is preparing to meet the challenges of a new age for the arts – not just in using technology to reach our audience, such as our recent Virtually Yours season of online performances, but in broadening our offerings to serve more segments of our community. Our new members will help us reach that goal.”

As a member of the Princeton Festival’s Gala Committee, Kohn, a Princeton resident, has made the visual arts a prominent part of the popular annual event. She is an active promoter of the visual and performing arts within the community, including serving on the Princeton University Concerts Committee. Kohn’s career included working for Mathematica Policy Research, according to the statement.

Shahbender, of Hopewell, serves on the festival’s Technology Committee, and has applied her technical expertise to a number of important database projects. Her extensive non-profit experience also includes serving as board chair and secretary for the Princeton Girlchoir. For 28 years Shahbender worked at Princeton University, where she was a director in the Office of Information Technology, according to the statement.

Shklar, of Princeton, is an award-winning pianist and teacher. A native of St. Petersburg, Russia, she has performed extensively in the U.S., Russia, Hungary and Italy. She has served on the faculties of Westminster Conservatory, Westminster Choir College Continuing Education Program, and the College of New Jersey. Shklar is helping the Princeton Festival with its Piano Competition, scheduled for September, which will be conducted online for the first time in its 14-year history, according to the statement.