By David Madden

By David Madden

ELMER, N.J. (CBS) — The head of a major South Jersey arts education center is moving on.

After 29 years running part or all of the Appel Farm Arts and Music Center, Mark Packer is ready to take on a new job as executive director of the South Orange Performing Arts Center, in North Jersey.

He says he’ll leave Appel Farm in March — reluctantly.

“It’s been my baby for a long time,” he tells KYW Newsradio, “but I’ve had an enormously supportive staff and board of trustees who have helped build this organization.”

Packer thinks his greatest achievement has been the expansion of the Summer Arts Camp, where he started back in 1984, particularly in being able to provide financial help for kids to attend.

His one regret?  Not being able to build a new theatre.  It turns out that it just cost too much.

The search is now on for a replacement for Packer.

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