BACKGROUND AND LEADERSHIP
New York City Center (NYCC) has played a defining role in the cultural life of the City since 1943 when it was founded by Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia with the civic mission to make the best in the performing arts accessible to all audiences, and it continues to honor its founding mission today. Its distinctive neo-Moorish theater welcomes hundreds of thousands of visitors to experience internationally acclaimed artists on the same stage that legends like George Balanchine, Leonard Bernstein, and Barbara Cook made their mark.
For 25 years, the treasured Tony-honored Encores! series has given new life to the American musical theater canon, complemented by the Encores! Off-Center series, which features seminal Off-Broadway musicals filtered through the lens of today’s innovative artists. Dance continues to be an integral part of the theater’s mission with programs like the annual Fall for Dance Festival, which exposes a new audience to an international array of artists by offering highly subsidized ticket prices.
City Center is also the home to a roster of renowned national and international companies including Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, City Center’s Principal Dance Company, and Manhattan Theatre Club. Through its robust education and community engagement programs, City Center brings the performing arts to over 9,000 New York City students each year and activates all areas of the building with talks, master classes, art exhibitions, and intimate performances that provide audiences an up-close look at the work of the great theater and dance artists of our time.
NYCC has an annual operating budget in excess of $28 Million. It has a full-time administrative staff of 55, with part-time/seasonal employees of over 400 annually. Its mainstage theater welcomes more than 250,000 patrons per year, and the institution has enjoyed balanced financial operations for more than 20 consecutive years.
NYCC is governed by 41-member Board of Trustees which includes leading figures from New York City’s civic, business, cultural, artistic, and philanthropic communities. Since 2001, Arlene Shuler has served as NYCC’s President and CEO. Ms. Shuler’s roots with NYCC go back to the beginning of her career as a dancer with the Joffrey Ballet. Under Ms. Shuler’s visionary leadership, NYCC has maintained impressive financial stability while experiencing notable artistic and institutional growth.
CURRENT ENVIRONMENT AND THE FUTURE
The incoming Vice President & Chief Operating Officer (Vice President & COO) will join a high functioning team of talented artists, administrators, and production professionals. This critical role will serve as a calming influence within a rapid paced and artistically ambitious producing and presenting environment.
As NYCC celebrates its 75th Anniversary season during the 2018/2019 production calendar, the Vice President & COO will step into a time of celebration and high achievement and will enthusiastically embrace the opportunity to lead all institutional operations in high collaboration as part of the senior management team. Looking towards the years ahead, the Vice President & COO will be ready to set the path forward for positive and proactive operations that honor a spirit of great creative striving that is an essential element of the NYCC experience.
The Vice President & COO will provide confident and collaborative leadership focused on:
- Forging a superb relationship with NYCC’s President & CEO, Arlene Shuler and other members of the senior leadership team.
- Being a team player who relishes collaboration and a free sharing of ideas with all staff and participants in NYCC’s activities.
- Heading off problems before they present themselves.
- Cherishing, maintaining, and advancing NYCC as a place where a diverse group of talented professionals feels inspired to work in a safe and nurturing environment.
POSITION DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES
The Vice President & COO will be a dynamic, forward-thinking, and entrepreneurial leader. This person will be a critical member of NYCC’s executive team, reporting directly to the President & CEO. He/she will oversee all live productions and presentations at NYCC from inception to completion, provide managerial oversight of various departments and operations, and, in partnership with the President & CEO and the executive team, provide strategic insight in charting the ongoing and future direction of the institution and the fulfillment of its mission. The Vice President & COO should be a critical thinker, creative problem solver, and an effective collaborator. He/she will identify management challenges and issues and analyze new initiatives for the President and the institution as a whole. Essential responsibilities include:
- Developing and creating accurate and appropriate budgets and staffing plans for all City Center productions and presentations.
- Overseeing all aspects of City Center productions and presentations to ensure optimal budget compliance, highest artistic results, and the smoothest front and back of the house operations.
- Ensuring the necessary organizational structure, policies, system controls, and procedures are in place and regularly reviewed for effectiveness.
- Leading, managing, engaging, and motivating direct reports in the production, operations, and facilities departments and fostering a collaborative work environment among various departments and stakeholders.
- In partnership with the President, fostering and leading an internal culture that maintains fiscal, operational, and organizational integrity that contributes and supports transparent and dependable communications across the institution.
- Functioning as key member of the senior executive leadership team, providing strategic insight on operating initiatives and challenges in the context of collegial cooperation.
- Negotiating on behalf of the institution in all collective bargaining agreements, individual contracts covered under union agreements, presentation agreements, licensing agreements, NYC agency permits and licenses filings, intellectual and property rights, etc.
- Partnering with the CFO in creating the annual operating budget.
- Supervising and providing oversight of all City Center capital projects.
- Acting as direct institutional liaison with counsel on all legal matters.
- Developing creative, comprehensive, and successful strategies to expand earned revenue opportunities.
- Acting as signatory in legally binding contracts and, along with CFO and President, functioning as a co-signer on checking and banking instruments.
Ideally, the successful candidate will possess these skills and experience:
- Ten years or more of senior management experience with a track record of progressive responsibility in theatrical producing and theater operations.
- An experienced multi-tasker, managing numerous, complex projects through periods of growth and change, with expert organizational and project management skills.
- Ability to be a calm decision-maker and problem-solver in stressful production circumstances, effectively dealing with artistic temperaments.
- Experience in supervising collectively-bargained personnel and negotiating union contracts.
- A skillful and sensitive manager of a diverse and varied staff.
- Financial acumen with executive level knowledge of legal requirements and contractual concepts.
- Demonstrated skills in budgeting and administration of budgets.
- Demonstrated skills in writing and vetting contracts.
- Keen negotiating skills and a persuasive spokesperson representing the institution.
- Excellent oral and written communication skills.
- Entrepreneurial in spirit with demonstrated interest and ability to find innovative ways to sustain and expand the institution and its undertakings.
- A collaborative nature, secure in his/her ability to successfully coalesce multiple strong personalities and opinions.
- A fundamentally strategic thinker with strong attention to detail.
- A passion for the mission and goals of City Center and a love of the performing arts.
- Experience in the not-for-profit arts sector preferred, although not required.
- Bachelor’s degree is required; graduate degree preferred.
SPECIAL ATTRIBUTES AND QUALITIES
The following personal attributes are also desirable:
- High emotional intelligence and an ability to build relationships of trust.
- A fierce commitment to excellence.
- An open mind to possibilities; someone who thrives on figuring out how to make complicated ideas and activities come to life in well considered ways.
- Innovative problem-solving skills.
- Discipline, rigor, and a determined work ethic.
The Vice President & COO will always be anticipating and mitigating challenges before they turn into issues. He/she will serve as the leading force in making visionary ideas a reality, all the while grounding operations in the sustained success (both artistic and fiscal) that defines NYCC. Through organization and foresight, the Vice President & COO will advance the vision and mission of NYCC by guiding operations with a steady, confident, and assured hand.
COMPENSATION AND START DATE
Salary and benefits will be competitive with other companies of comparable stature and size. New York City Center hopes to make its decision by fall of 2018 with the chosen candidate on-site soon after.
HOW TO APPLY
Interested and qualified candidates should submit a résumé, cover letter (no more than 1 ½ pages), salary expectation, and three professional references electronically to Management Consultants for the Arts, the firm engaged to lead this important search:
Management Consultants for the Arts, Inc.
By email: MCAWall2@gmail.com
Attn: Jonathan West
Subject line: New York City Center, Vice President & COO