Carrie Rengers

Marci Hawks is out as Tallgrass Film Association executive director

Eight months after becoming Tallgrass Film Association executive director, Marci Hawks is out.

“Sometimes things just don’t work,” says board president Lynda Carrier-Metz.

She says Hawks’ resignation is effective July 28 and she’ll “pursue other interests.”

Hawks didn’t immediately return a call for comment.

The former director of development and community relations for Wichita Habitat for Humanity began work at Tallgrass in late November. She replaced longtime executive director Lela Meadow-Conner.

At the time, Hawks said the association had an operating budget of about $350,000. In addition to putting on the annual Tallgrass Film Festival, the association also puts on Down to the Wire, a 24-hour film race, and a couple of fundraisers, Dudegrass and Shaken Not Stirred.

The association also partners with Exploration Place on Smallgrass, a day of family-friendly films.

Carrier-Metz says Hawks won’t be replaced before this year’s festival, which is Oct. 18 to 22.

“We are too close. It’s a distraction,” she says. “Rather than bog that whole system down with that, we just want to stay focused with putting on a great 15th-year festival.”

She says preparations are continuing as usual.

“We’ve got the people who are great at putting the festival on,” Carrier-Metz says.

“We have got a very good staff and board and core volunteer leaders who have been the architects of the … festival’s growth and success over the past 15 years.”

Carrier-Metz says the executive director position is more about fundraising and board relations.

She won’t discuss whether the executive director position will be filled in the future or if there will be a change in the leadership structure.

“We aren’t prepared to say what we’re doing because we’re not working on that.”

What Carrier-Metz does say is that this year’s festival will be fine thanks to a seasoned staff.

“When I say we have seasoned staff, it’s an understatement.”

Carrie Rengers: 316-268-6340, @CarrieRengers

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