Overture Center for
the Arts (Overture Center) features seven state-of-the-art
performance spaces and five galleries where national and international touring
artists, 10 resident companies, and hundreds of local artists engage people in
nearly 700,000 educational and artistic experiences each year. Designed by
César Pelli, the centerpiece of the 388,000-square-foot facility is the
2,251-seat Overture Hall, a crisp geometric form in limestone and glass
with a grand lobby that extends over the sidewalk to shelter the entrance.
Inside the lobby, light wood ceilings and travertine flooring all help create
a warm and serene atmosphere. In the auditorium, a cascade of softly
lit balconies and an undulating acoustic ceiling define a contemporary
space. Unobstructed sightlines, excellent acoustics, and state-of-the-art
technical support enable flawless performances for music, theater, dance, and
The 1,089-seat Capitol Theater retains original details, including its Grand Barton Organ, ornate ceiling, wall niches, proscenium arch, and chandelier lighting. The Playhouse, a 350-seat thrust theater, was redesigned to add three flexible black box theaters. An architectural landmark, the design of the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art consists of a triangular four-story glass lobby and stairs that recalls the traditional entrances of museums around the world.
integrating existing venues and elements of historic buildings, the complex
maintains the pedestrian-friendly
character of downtown Madison. The circa 1920 stone façade of the former Yost’s
Department Store was retained as an entrance to the entire Overture Center. At
the center of the complex, the glass façades of Overture Hall links with the Madison
Museum of Contemporary Art. A new glass dome brings sunlight to all levels
of the building. Inside is a four-story rotunda with art galleries off the main lobby and the
Rotunda Stage, an indoor amphitheater.
In addition to its dynamic resident companies, part of Overture Center’s great value is in its presentation of performances. Its 2017/18 season is one with many firsts, including five first-time Broadway titles; 22 new Overture Presents touring productions; three new titles included in the Duck Soup Cinema silent film series; galleries highlighting 55 new local artists; three new Kids in the Rotunda performance groups; and new schools with the statewide expansion of Overture Center’s high school musical theater award program, which feeds into the National High School Musical Theater Awards (The Jimmy Awards) in New York City.
Center also recognizes its tremendous responsibility to the community to ensure
it is truly a reflection of the society in which it exists and the humanity
that it shares. Following the 2014 release of the Wisconsin Council on Children
and Families’ Race to Equity report on the state of racial disparities in Dane
County, Overture Center was inspired to create and implement a rigorous,
comprehensive, and measurable plan of action to affirm its commitment to
diversity and inclusion in its programming, audiences, vendors, and
Overture Center Foundation, Inc., a private, 501c(3) nonprofit corporation, became the sole operator of Overture Center on January 1, 2012. Overture Center Foundation is governed by a 24-member board of directors, chaired by Betty Harris Custer. The President and CEO oversees a total full-time staff of 73 employees, a part-time staff of nearly 400 employees, and 500 volunteers. Its 2017 Annual Report stated revenues of $22.6 million, which included $14.4 million in program services, $3.4 million in contributions and grants, and $1.825 million through the generosity of the City of Madison.
Sources: overture.org; pcparch.com/project/overture
Madison, Wisconsin, ranked first on Livability’s 2014 annual list of the 100 best places to live in the United States. With a population exceeding 235,000 residents, Madison is a city of neighborhoods and strong communities with a vibrant cultural hub of art, music, food, and more. Access to schools, hospitals, and infrastructure; affordability and income; and how residents take advantage of those opportunities are a few key reasons that the Madison region and Dane County continue to be one of the best places to live, work, study, and enjoy its quality of life.
The five lakes in the city's vicinity offer ample recreational opportunities, such as fishing and boating, and the 1,260-acre University of Wisconsin Arboretum provides 20 miles of trails. USA Today ranked Madison in its list of the 10 best cycling towns due to its widespread network of bike paths and lanes and its convenient bike share program, BCycle.
than 43,000 students, the University of Wisconsin-Madison believes strongly in
improving people's lives outside of the classroom. Known as the Wisconsin Idea,
this tradition includes collecting and distributing farm crops for needy
families, mentoring and tutoring programs for local school children, and a
university policy of offering free humanities courses to low-income adults.
Educated young professionals continue to move into high-density rental units
throughout Madison's downtown area, with high demand fueled by the proximity of
the university and large private-sector employers.
NerdWallet named Madison as the greenest city in America, awarding high marks for air quality and a ratio of 12.7 parks per 10,000 residents—more than any other city. The ranking considered Madison's 200 miles of hiking and biking trails and the fact that there are more bicycles in the city than cars. Madison also has a relatively high number of green jobs and Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certified buildings and venues.
Source: livability.com; usatoday.com; businessinsider.com; nerdwallet.com
The President and CEO will provide aspirational leadership, champion a positive culture, and inspire the exemplary programs, services, and operations of Overture Center. The position will define, develop, and implement a visionary approach to establish strategic priorities that advance the mission and goals of the organization and ensure board engagement and management alignment with those priorities. The President and CEO will create and oversee fund development and earned revenue strategies while providing overall operational and fiscal oversight. The position will also guide Overture Center programs and services; facilitate organization collaboration and integration; and ensure Overture Center is a forum for diverse artistic expression and audience engagement, as well as exemplary community outreach and educational initiatives.
Roles and Responsibilities
Strategic Vision and Programmatic Vibrancy
- Serve as a visionary leader in realizing the strategic plan which integrates programming and educational activities consistent with the mission, vision, and values of Overture Center.
- Establish a broad public image for the organization, clearly articulating the needs of and long-term impacts on the community it serves.
- Create effective relationships with local, regional, national, and international producers and promoters to ensure diverse programming and maximum utilization of Overture Center facilities.
- Drive high-quality educational outreach programs designed to engage the community in the future of the arts for the long-term benefit of the communities served by Overture Center.
- Oversee the evaluation, planning, scheduling, and management of a diverse array of programming activities.
- Cultivate strategic partnerships and negotiate contracts with new and existing organizations to present and promote a range of artists and an eclectic mix of individual and thematic programs in the main venue, ancillary venue, and restaurant.
- Perform other strategic vision and programmatic vibrancy responsibilities, as needed.
Community Engagement and Proactive Inclusion
- Lead efforts to embrace diversity and inclusion as a key element of community engagement in audience development, workforce vitality, board participation, vendor access, and programmatic vibrancy.
- Create and maintain strong ties with community decision makers, government leaders, resident companies, and the arts community in achieving mutually beneficial outcomes.
- Utilize a transparent leadership approach in coordination with the board of directors, committees, community partners, resident companies, donors, staff, and other stakeholders.
- Affirm Overture Center’s role in the ecosystem of a vital regional arts community with multiple constituents and develop relationships that enhance the goals of that larger community.
- Serve as a key spokesperson and advocate for the arts community, arts education, and Overture Center’s work at local, regional, and national levels.
- Perform other community engagement and proactive inclusion responsibilities, as needed.
Revenue Enhancement and Governance
- Guide the strategy and oversee its implementation to increase financial resources through annual, capital, planned giving, and endowment fundraising activities.
- Inspire corporate sponsorship opportunities, foundation and government grants, and special campaigns to maintain Overture Center’s investment in a thriving arts and culture sector.
- Enhance, structure, and guide a marketing and communication strategy that maximizes ticket sales, rental revenues, and other earned revenue opportunities.
- Proactively support the board’s efforts in identification, cultivation, and recruitment of diverse members.
- Effectively orient, mentor, and engage board members in their fundraising and community ambassadorship roles.
- Support a system of board evaluation and celebration with the Governance Committee that honors participation and prepares for effective board succession planning.
- Provide concise, relevant, and timely information to the board so it can fulfill its policy and decision-making responsibilities.
- Perform other revenue enhancement and governance responsibilities, as needed.
Management and Operations
- Supervise a diverse staff, including professional, creative, technical, clerical, maintenance, and volunteer workers, to ensure patrons, artists, and community members have a welcoming and high-quality experience.
- Hire, train, mentor, evaluate, and create accountability measures for staff and volunteers while actively addressing their concerns in creating a safe work environment.
- Recommend staffing levels, facilitate employee development, and maintain an environment where diverse individuals bring various talents, skills, and cultural competencies together to achieve common goals.
- Monitor performing, visual, and operations personnel to ensure that the organizational policies are efficient and effective in resource utilization.
- Perform other management and operations responsibilities, as needed.
Traits and Characteristics
The President and CEO will be a strategic and visionary leader who values frequent interaction and collaboration with others while deeply embracing the cultural competencies required of this unique organization and community. This individual will be motivated by the subjective viewpoints and experiences that the arts bring to life. With an instinctive nature based on past personal and professional achievements, the selected individual will also be extremely resourceful in their approach to best invest time, talent, energy, and resources. A visible advocate in the community, the President and CEO will bring a passion for and an appreciation of the inherent social, educational, and economic impacts that the arts provide. Key competencies of the role include:
- Leadership and Decision Making – Clarity in prioritizing strategic initiatives while creating a sense of direction embedded in the active participation of a variety of internal and external stakeholders.
- Customer and Community Focus – Dexterity in building rapport and effectively communicating and listening to a wide array of engaged stakeholders who have differing opinions.
- Diplomacy and Teamwork – Capacity in deeply respecting others, treating them fairly, regardless of personal biases or beliefs, and maintaining positive and productive relationships.
- Negotiation and Resiliency – Tenacity in reaching mutually beneficial agreements while adapting to change and moving beyond obstacles without delay.
- Personal and Professional Accountability – Responsibility for meeting the highest ethical standards in establishing relevant, realistic, and attainable goals and objectives while anticipating the effects, outcomes, and calculated risks of various options.
A minimum of five years of directly related senior managerial experience in overseeing a multi-faceted performing arts facility’s programming, operations, and administration activities is required. This includes high-level responsibilities incorporating major gift fundraising, earned revenue maximization, and associated initiatives in overall fiscal responsibility. A bachelor’s degree or equivalent combination of education and related experience is required. A master’s degree in business, public administration, arts administration, or a related field is preferred. Qualified applicants will have experience in relevant nonprofit and business administration principles, practices, and techniques; multi-faceted programming and promotion of various artistic enterprises; and equity, diversity, inclusion, and access initiatives.
The requirements and conditions described are representative of the general environment the President and CEO is exposed to on a day-to-day basis while performing this job. The position requires that the selected employee is able to operate a computer and telephone up to seven hours per day, frequently speak and/or hear, and use hands to handle or touch objects. The President and CEO must have specific vision abilities that are required by this job, including close vision, distance vision, peripheral vision, depth perception, and the ability to adjust focus; regularly stand, walk, and/or sit; and occasionally lift and/or move up to 10 pounds. The requirements outlined herein are not intended to be construed as an exhaustive list of all responsibilities, duties, and skills required of Overture Center personnel. Reasonable accommodations will be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.
Compensation and Benefits
Overture Center offers a competitive salary commensurate with experience. The total benefits package includes vacation and holiday time as well as medical, long-term disability, life, short-term disability, vision, and dental insurances. Retirement benefits are provided through a 401k plan where Overture Center matches half of six percent with immediate vesting.
Application and Inquires
Please submit a letter and resume (electronic submissions preferred) with a summary of demonstrable accomplishments to:
Dr. Bruce D. Thibodeau, President
Arts Consulting Group
292 Newbury Street, Suite 315
Boston, MA 02115-2801
(888) 234.4236 Ext. 201