Former Festival International de Louisiane Executive Director Missy Paschke-Wood, who resigned Monday, has agreed to help ensure a smooth transition to new leadership, festival board president Scott Feehan said Tuesday.
Paschke-Wood, who had served as director of the downtown international music and arts festival since October 2013, gave the board no reason for her resignation, Feehan said.
She could not be reached for comment on Tuesday, but Feehan said her departure was an “amicable break.”
“There is not a big back story to this,” Feehan said. “There was no reason. Resignations happen all day, every day all around the world.”
He said Paschke-Wood has agreed to work with festival staff during the transition.
“She did not leave us high and dry,” Feehan said. “She is helping us with whatever we need.”
Feehan said he has nothing but kind words for Paschke-Wood’s work at festival.
“She came in with a fresh perspective. She infused a bunch of new ideas, new ways of thinking. She put things in place that we are absolutely going to benefit from,” he said.
Feehan said there is no set timeline for when the search for a new director will begin, though the board hopes a new director will be settled in before next year’s festival in April.
He said the board will likely begin discussing the search in three or four weeks, “once the dust settles.”
In the meantime, Feehan said, he will work directly with staff.
“We have the leadership in place to make this happen, so it’s going to be fine,” he said.
Feehan said Paschke-Wood’s resignation comes before planning has intensified for next year’s festival in April, so there is a bit of breathing room to find a new director.
“So if there is a good time to do this, it’s right now,” he said.
Before taking the job as festival director, Paschke-Wood had worked as marketing and development director at Yavapai Humane Society in Prescott, Arizona, and marketing manager for Arizona Theatre Co.
She relocated to Lafayette in 2013 when her husband accepted a job as a librarian and professor at the Edith Garland Dupré Library at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.