The Flagler school district and the Flagler Auditorium Governing Board on Monday announced that Amelia Fulmer, a teacher at Flagler Palm Coast High School better known as Amy and the director of the famed Formality Singers, will be the new director of the Flagler Auditorium. Fulmer replaces Lisa McDevitt, whose 16-year tenure at the auditorium was cut short by illness and her death in January.
Fulmer, a district teacher for three decades, was one of 30 applicants, 10 of whom interviewed through a collaborative process between the governing board and the district for what will be an $86,300-a-year position, not including potential auditorium board supplements.
“I’m thrilled to hear that Amy is being recommended as the new Auditorium Director,” School Board member Colleen Conklin said. “She has dedicated her professional life to the performing arts and arts education. I believe she will be the perfect fit. Her commitment and passion for the arts have served and will continue to serve our community and auditorium well. She will no doubt provide tremendous leadership for the future of the auditorium.”
It is not yet clear who will follow Fulmer at FPC or in her role as director of the Formality Singers for the past 16 years. “That job, like any teaching job, will be posted and filled by FPC’s principal,” a district spokesman said.
The Formality Singers are a choral group started by Alana Fitzgerald and made up of high school students who frequently perform at district, government and civic events, and whose performances in state competitions under Fulmer’s leadership have won them frequent honors.
“I feel certain that FPCHS will find a great replacement in the coming weeks,” Fulmer said Monday.
Joe Rizzo, executive director of the Flagler Education Foundation–the non-profit support arm of the school district–has on occasion booked the Formality Singers and worked with Fulmer. “Her contagious personality will be a great fit for the Auditorium director role,” Rizzo said. “We could not have found a better person with more passion about the arts. I think she will grow the arts in education for Flagler schools. She is a rock star.”
Fulmer was asked, among other questions, about her driving philosophy: if she’d describe herself as a director who will continue a tradition or aim to subvert it, or break molds, taking the auditorium in unexpected directions. Her answer was more general.
“As a choir director I bring my ability to look for the collective genius of a group of people,” Fulmer said. “I am eager to work with the staff, the board and the volunteers to explore and develop the mission of connecting our community, our arts organizations and our students in the wonderful space of the Flagler Auditorium.” The statement closely echoed her remarks in the district’s release.
The 27-year-old Flagler Auditorium just went through renovations of its bathrooms and the addition of an expanded box office and other offices, after various wrangles and delays that included a dearth of bidders for the project two years ago. In December 2017, the state awarded a $500,000 grant to the auditorium for the $1.5 million project, with the auditorium board and the district providing the rest of the money. Fulmer, in essence, is walking into what amounts to a relatively finished product–until the next phase of renovations comes due.
“She is a seasoned professional and will make a significant contribution to our performing arts center,” Governing Board President Laurie Alter said of Fulmer. “She is an art advocate with extensive knowledge of our community and the leadership ability to engage the community and its stakeholders.”
Fulmer begins June 1. She will report to Lynette Shott, Executive Director of Student and Community Engagement with Flagler Schools. (Twenty-five percent of Fulmer’s evaluation is provided by the Auditorium Board.)
Shott described Fulmer as “a visionary, a unifier and a collaborator. She has worked with and built relationships with those in our local arts community, statewide through her purposeful involvement in statewide organizations, and has years of students she has trained and coached. Many who have pursued careers in the arts. This has created a great network that perfectly positions her to not only maintain the legacy of what the auditorium has provided to our community for years, but to also ensure it is a performing arts center that is deeply embedded in the cultural arts ecosystem of our community.”
Fulmer is a music education graduate of Florida State University and is a candidate for a Masters in Arts Management from Chicago College of the Performing Arts, Roosevelt University.