The Guthrie Theater opened in 1963 to perform classics in rotating repertory with a company, although Sir Tyrone Guthrie always envisioned the development of new work as well. Five years later, the Guthrie added a broader range of productions, and that tradition mostly continued over the ensuing decades. Subsequent artistic leadership included such luminaries as Michael Langham, Liviu Ciulei, Garland Wright, and Joe Dowling. In 2015 Joseph Haj became the Guthrie’s Artistic Director. And as has been true for over 30 years, he is expected to identify a Managing Director who, while reporting to him, will share the professional leadership in important ways.
Since the opening in 2006 of a major complex of three theaters on the banks of the Mississippi River, the Guthrie has experienced growth in audiences, visiting international theater companies, productions of the classics as well as contemporary work, and brand-new plays. The 2017-18 season has been a high point, both artistically and in attendance. The Guthrie’s importance to and engagement with its communities was demonstrated by the campaign to build this complex and, ever since, by its residents’ ongoing support of the work there. Each year, up to fifteen productions are mounted in these theaters. These include Guthrie produced plays as well as presentations and co-productions with US and international companies. Many of the world’s great artists have made work for the Guthrie. Additionally, there is a commitment to presenting the work of theater companies within the Twin Cities. The building also hosts special events on a regular basis.
Each leadership team has envisioned the Guthrie in ways to fulfill its mission, which today reads as follows:
The Guthrie Theater engages exceptional theater artists in the exploration of both classic and contemporary plays connecting the community we serve to one another and to the world. Through its extraordinary artists, staff and facility, the Guthrie is committed to the people of Minnesota, and from its place, rooted deeply in the Twin Cities, influences the field as a leading 21st century arts organization.
It is not an accident that the broad scope of the Guthrie emanates from its home in the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and Saint Paul with a reach to the entire upper Midwest. This region is renowned for the excellence and breadth of its cultural and educational institutions and its quality of life, anchored by the headquarters of about 20 Fortune 500 companies and a long history of civic and community involvement. Since the Guthrie’s founding, the people of Minnesota have responded enthusiastically to the theater with their support and applause. Additional information may be found on the Guthrie’s website: https://www.guthrietheater.org/
The Guthrie houses three stages, a signature restaurant (Sea Change), pre-show dining on the 5thfloor, numerous bars, and some of the best views of the river and city to be found. The Wurtele Thrust Stage is an 1100-seat theater; the McGuire Proscenium Stage has 700 seats; and the Dowling Studio seats 200. The complex includes other public areas, offices, rehearsal studios, and multiple education spaces. Of particular note are the extraordinary theater shops where productions are built by top-tier artisans who staff them.
The Guthrie’s resources run deep – audiences averaging 410,000 annually since the new theater opened; 143 full-time and 142 part-time employees plus hundreds of artists and artisans; a governing Board of Directors currently with 51 members; more than 500 active volunteers; an annual operating budget of about $29 million; and one of the largest endowments of an American non-profit theater. The new Managing Director can have confidence that a very knowledgeable, experienced and sophisticated group of artists, artisans, administrators, and Board members are in place.
Education has always been important to the Guthrie. The education programs encompass a broad range of offerings—a significant collaboration with the University of Minnesota in the training of BFA students, a summer initiative for MFA actors enrolled in top training programs around the country, programs in the public schools, training in continuing legal education for attorneys, camps, classes, business training, and internships.
Position and Responsibilities
The Director of Development (DoD) is a member of the senior management team, reports directly to the Artistic Director, and also works closely with the Managing Director and Board. The position is responsible for providing innovative leadership and strategic vision to all aspects of the Guthrie’s fund-raising program. The DoD will play a key role in the implementation of the capital/endowment campaign, which is currently in the quiet phase. The position supervises a full-time staff of seven; current direct reports include the Associate Director of Development, Director of Institutional Giving, and Development Events Coordinator.
The Director of Development will:
With the senior leadership of the theater, establish and execute a strategic and comprehensive development plan that will support the operating and capital needs of the theater for the present and the long term.
Aggressively lead and direct the organization and implementation of the theater’s fund raising from individual, corporate, foundation, and government sources. Key initiatives include the ongoing identification and cultivation of individual and corporate donors, with particular focus on accessing new constituencies and major gift development, an increased emphasis on the effective stewardship of donors, and staff leadership of the capital/endowment campaign.
Work with the theater’s senior leadership to motivate and strengthen the Board in its role in development; expand, manage and coordinate the trustees’ and other volunteers’ involvement in fundraising activities; take an active role in serving and supporting the Board, Development Committee, and other Board committees.
Work closely with staff, trustees, and other volunteers to maximize the effectiveness of the theater’s special events, which range from small cultivation events and opening night parties to an annual gala, in order to help develop, attract, and retain donors.
Foster ongoing, collegial relations among the development department and other departments of the organization and help integrate fund raising into the culture of the Guthrie.
Build, train, mentor, and supervise an effective and professional development team and support staff, and recruit and replace as necessary, in consultation with the theater’s senior leadership.
As a representative of the Guthrie Theater, take an active role in the community and cultivate key relationships and associations with centers of influence within the city, state and region.
Supervise and manage the research and preparation of all foundation, corporate and government grant proposals, and oversee grant administration and reporting.
Manage and oversee the formation and maintenance of necessary development reports and records; prepare and manage the department's financial reports and budget; monitor budget and control expenditures.
The successful candidate must:
Be a highly accomplished and well-rounded fund raising professional with proven ability in raising leadership and transformational gifts for all purposes- capital, operating, endowment and programs- and a demonstrated track record in the management of successful development programs, successfully soliciting and closing gifts, and staff and volunteer management. Prior capital/endowment campaign experience highly desirable.
Be a strategic leader with solid experience in managing, mentoring and motivating staff, and the ability to inspire those working with him/her toward accomplishing common objectives.
Be very well-organized, able to plan strategically, set priorities and focus on details and follow through while not losing sight of the big picture, with the flexibility to welcome and embrace change, and the ability to balance the many challenges inherent in an active and lively theatre
Be a sophisticated, warm, highly personable, mature and discreet individual, with an entrepreneurial mindset, results-oriented work ethic, and diplomacy, who works effectively with trustees, donors, volunteers and inside staff and is comfortable dealing with people of wealth, and who relishes taking an active, public role in the cultivation and solicitation of donors, and as a representative of the Guthrie Theater.
Understand and support the mission of the Guthrie Theater, appreciate the important role cultural institutions play in the life of a vibrant community, and have the ability to articulate this mission and role to others.
Possess excellent verbal and written communication skills, and experience with fund raising technology and integrated database systems. Experience with Tessitura a plus.
Have at least seven years of progressive fund-raising experience in a not for profit organization, preferably in the arts.
The ideal candidate will also:
Have a genuine interest in the performing arts.
Be a creative, energetic, and collaborative team player.
Have a desire to be part of the greater Twin Cities community.
Procedure for Application
Interested and qualified candidates are encouraged to submit in complete confidence a cover letter, resumé, and four professional references to the consulting firm retained to conduct the search. Materials should be sent electronically (Word or .pdf only) with the applicant’s name included as part of each file name:
Management Consultants for the Arts, Inc.
Attn: Louise Kane
By email: CWall@mcaonline.com
Subject Line: Guthrie Theater – Director of Development
The Guthrie Theater is an employer committed to hiring a breadth of professionals, and therefore will interview a qualified group of diverse candidates; the Guthrie particularly encourages applications
from women and people of color.
About Management Consultants for the Arts, Inc.
Management Consultants for the Arts, Inc. (MCA) has specialized in serving the cultural field since 1983 and has had a rich involvement with cultural organizations of all types and sizes throughout the country. Our services include consultations in planning, executive search, organizational analysis, board and staff retreats, and seminar/workshop/conference development and facilitation. In our executive search work, we work on behalf of organizations and recruit CEOs and other senior management personnel, such as external affairs directors, development directors and marketing directors.
We provide these services to a broad range of cultural entities, including art museums, visual arts centers, theatres, dance companies, performing arts centers, historical societies, orchestras, operas, science centers, children's museums, service organizations, public agencies, arts councils and foundations. We have worked extensively with organizations in all stages of development, from new, start-up organizations making the transition from volunteer to professional leadership, to older, established organizations, including those grappling with the complex issues of new leadership following the departure of a founder or long-time leader.