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The New Boss

AFTER A SEEMINGLY endless revolving door of executive directors and interim directors (four have come and gone in the last three years), the Sonoma County Museum has appointed 36-year-old Natasha Boas to fill the facility's top spot.

Boas is currently the public programs curator at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco. She has also worked at the Jewish Museum in San Francisco and the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris.

"We wanted someone who has a background in museums, and [Boas] has an excellent background in experience and education," explains Jim Benefield, vice president of the museum's board of directors.

"We felt [Boas] has the leadership qualities needed to carry out the museum's expansion while keeping the museum operating and at a higher level."

The history and art museum plans an ambitious $28 million expansion project. Of that, $8 million has been raised. Boas' starting salary of $100,000 is about $60,000 more than that of the last executive director.

"We felt we needed a top-quality person, and it appeared we'd have to take a deep breath and meet the market," Benefield explains.

--Paula Harris

Sonoma County Book Fair

Poets, novelists, and short-story writers from the Bay Area and beyond come together for a slew of readings, panel discussions, and book signings at year two of this event. Featured authors include poet Diane di Prima, talented NorCal short-story writer Roy Parvin, Indian-American novelist Chitra Divakaruni, and plenty of Sonoma County luminaries like Gerald Haslam, Cydney Chadwick, Don Emblen, and Jonah Raskin. Moreover, dozens of Bay Area book publishers, literary magazines, and writing groups offer their wares. Plunge into the literary action on Saturday, Sept. 15, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at various downtown Santa Rosa locations, including Old Courthouse Square, the Old Vic, and Copperfield's Books. 707/544-5913.

Petaluma Poetry Walk

Poets seize the high ground in downtown Petaluma for the sixth straight year in this annual outpouring of free verse. Beat notable Diane di Prima and Petaluma poet Terry Ehret are among this year's many readers. It all goes down on Sunday, Sept. 16, from noon to 7 p.m. at various downtown venues, including Copperfield's Books and the Phoenix Theatre. Admission is free. 707/763-4271.

From the September 6-12, 2001 issue of the Northern California Bohemian.

© Metro Publishing Inc.

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