Philip Bither has been the Walker Art Center's senior curator of performing arts since 1997, focusing departmental energies toward a renewed interest in contemporary music (jazz, avant-rock, and new music), experimental puppetry, and in-depth community-based artist residencies (Bill T. Jones, Liz Lerman, Joanna Haigood, and others). He has overseen significant expansion of the performing arts program, including the building of the McGuire Theater, a theatrical space within the Walker. Bither has also served as director of programming for the Flynn Center for the Performing Arts in Burlington, Vermont, and as artistic director of Burlington's Discover Jazz Festival. Through much of the 1980s, he was also associate director and music curator of the Next Wave Festival at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. He is a member and adviser of the National Dance Project, Étant Donnés, and the Contemporary Art Centers initiative of the New England Foundation for the Arts. Bither served on the Center's 2011 Pew Fellowships panel and 2010 management panel, and sat down with the Center's visiting scholar Kristy Edmunds in 2015 for a conversation about audience roles in preserving performances.