Panida hires Robb Talbott as new executive director

By Reader Staff

The Panida Theater announced the appointment of Robb Talbott as its new executive director Oct. 25, effective in November. Talbott brings to the Panida expertise in event coordination, promotion and production through his experience as the owner of Mattox Farm Productions and manager of the Heartwood Center. 

“The board welcomes Robb as the Panida continues to move forward with the Century Fund,” said Jim Healey, chair of the Panida Board of Directors. “His experience with event production and promotion coupled with his passion for the arts, and his relationships in our community will serve him well in the executive director position.”

Talbott is a graduate of Radford University in Virginia with a degree in social science. After college, Talbott spent a decade in public and private schools teaching high school history, government and economics. His love of the outdoors, and a job teaching, brought him to the Sandpoint area in 2013. In 2017, he created Mattox Farm Productions and transitioned into the world of event production, advertising and coordination. 

New Panida executive director Robb Talbott and family. Courtesy photo.

Since then, Mattox Farm Productions has worked with businesses and nonprofits across Bonner and Boundary counties to put together family friendly concerts and events including the Sandpoint Summer Music Series, SledFest, Jack Frost Fest and SummerFest. 

It was in April 2017 when Talbott put together his first public event, which occurred at the Panida.

“If it were not for the Panida, I’m not sure if my current career would have been possible,” he said. “My first five events took place in the Panida with the help of Patricia [Walker], Becky [Revak] and the volunteers here at the Panida Theater.” 

Since then, Talbott has worked in more than two dozen venues across North Idaho and enjoys bringing his community together in family friendly spaces. 

“I love being a part of a thriving arts community, it feels good knowing my kids get to grow up in a very special place,” he said. “And it is rewarding to be able to play a role in bringing a variety of arts and entertainment to our town.”

Talbott and his wife Natasha were drawn here by the natural beauty and the people. According to Talbott, “Originally it was the mountains, snow and lake that drew us here, but it has been the people that made Sandpoint home.” 

Every chance they get, the Talbotts and their two children are out hiking, biking, skiing or playing on the lake. Talbott also spent seven winters as a ski patroller at Schweitzer and still gets up there every chance he can. 

“It is an honor to be a part of the history of such an amazing venue and community minded organization,” he said. “I look forward to building off of the progress that has been made by those that have spent so much time and energy making the Panida such an integral part of our community. As we approach the 100-year anniversary we have an opportunity to take some important steps forward in ensuring that the Panida will be here for many more generations to enjoy.”

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