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The Fox Theatre Institute, which was created to help save historic theaters across the state, has named Leigh Burns as its new director.

Burns has 17 years of historic preservation planning and community development experience with different state agencies.

“Leigh Burns’s impressive background, plus her passion for historic preservation, will be a great asset to the Fox Theatre and the Fox Theatre Institute,” Adina Erwin, the Fox Theatre’s vice president and chief operating officer, said in a press release. “We’re thrilled to have Leigh leading our FTI program, and [are] excited to see its growth under her stewardship.”

Leigh Burns

The Fox Theatre Institute has committed more than $1 million in grants for restoration and operations assistance for historic theaters across Georgia. The Fox itself was almost torn down in the ’70s so the property could become a parking lot.

“I’ve been a fan of the Fox Theatre and, most notably, the great work of the Fox Theatre Institute to support theaters throughout the state of Georgia,” Burns said. “Joining the FTI team will allow me the opportunity to not only preserve beautiful theaters and structures like the Fox Theatre, but to work hands-on with communities to ensure community development.”

Burns previously worked as the education and outreach coordinator for the Georgia Main Street Program at the Georgia Department of Community Affairs. Before that, she worked several years with the Historic Preservation Division of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources.

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