The Marcus Performing Arts Center is seeking a successor to its long tenured and successful President & CEO who has announced his retirement. The successful candidate will reflect the dynamic and entrepreneurial culture that encourages creative problem solving, diversity, risk-taking and strategic thinking and action, while proactively planning for the future. The Marcus Performing Arts Center (the Marcus Center) is the major performing arts center in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
It is located at the corner of N. Water and W. State Streets in downtown Milwaukee, in the heart of the Downtown Theater District. It serves as the home of the Florentine Opera, Milwaukee Ballet, First Stage, Milwaukee Youth Symphony Orchestra, Black Arts MKE, Optimist Theatre Shakespeare, and Water Street Dance. The Marcus Center is also a major presenter in its own right, offering touring Broadway productions in partnership with Broadway Across America, off-Broadway shows and popular entertainment. Annual attendance is approximately 700,000 patrons.
The Marcus Center is currently celebrating its 50th anniversary and has established a continually growing reputation as a community gathering place for diverse cultures to congregate and experience multi-cultural programming and events. The Marcus Center offers a variety of free programming for families, children and veterans both at the Marcus Center and in the community. Inclusion, diversity and community engagement is a core part of its mission. Since its dedication in 1969, the Marcus Center has also been a Milwaukee County War Memorial.
The organization employs 150 full and part-time staff, has a volunteer corps of over 300, with a budget of $12M and has an additional significant economic impact in the community. While the Marcus Center facility is owned and partially funded through Milwaukee County government, it is independently governed and managed by the Marcus Center for the Performing Arts, Inc.—a private 501c3 corporation. It is governed by a diverse twenty-five-member Board of Directors that is strategically and deliberately structured to represent the diversity of the community.
The Marcus Performing Arts Center is seeking a successor to its long tenured and successful President & CEO who has announced his retirement. The successful candidate will reflect the dynamic and entrepreneurial culture that encourages creative problem solving, diversity, risk-taking and strategic thinking and action, while proactively planning for the future. The organization places a high priority on maintaining a positive, collegial, supportive and family-friendly work culture.
The President & CEO reports to the Board of Directors and leads a highly capable senior leadership team consisting of a Vice President of Capital Projects & Infrastructure, Vice President of Experience & Engagement, and the Vice President of Finance & Administration.
Key priorities of this position include: Leadership - Represent and hold a leadership position as a visible member in the community and also among performing arts centers nationally. Continue to broaden the community outreach, increase visibility and be the champion of and ensure audience diversity. Build upon the community relationships and positive brand that already exist and ensure the organization is properly resourced to achieve its goals.
Financial Sustainability – The new President & CEO will continue the history of fiscal integrity, as demonstrated by an unbroken record of balanced budgets and a long history of clean audits. While the Marcus Center revenues are largely comprised of earned revenue, the incoming CEO will continue with the current master plan funding and work closely with the resource development team to identify expanded sources of revenue and funding. This includes working closely with the board of directors in the completion of the master plan funding, effectively stewarding the donors and ongoing philanthropic giving to the Marcus Center (present and future).
Planning and stakeholder relationships – Lead the execution of the organization’s strategic long-range goal for the Marcus Center; positioning the organization as the people’s performing arts facility – continuing with the reputation as a well-run facility and a welcoming supportive gathering place for the arts and other community activities. Ensuring operational excellence and venue of choice for the performing arts groups.
Programming – Ensuring the continuation of the success and expansion of programmatic offerings reflecting the interests of the community and entertainment marketplace. Understanding of trends within contemporary programming and relatability to diverse audiences. Engage younger adults in the performing arts and inspire the whole community to embrace the Marcus Center as their own.
Facility Operations – The Marcus Center has embarked upon a strategic Master Plan which has begun. Making sure that the vision for the future and the Master Campus Plan successfully moves forward is a key success indicator for the incoming President & CEO.
Master plan priorities include: Community Grounds: The Community Grounds will be completely re-envisioned to ensure the campus provides an open and inviting park-like setting for the community. The changes include expanding the plaza, installing new water fountains, creating new green areas and establishing a flexible "Great Lawn" to provide opportunities for more community-based events. The entire grounds will be ADA accessible. Interior / Exterior Connections: The design creates greater visual connections between the interior and exterior of the campus by installing new clear glass on the Water Street exterior entrance and replacing all exterior hardscape surfaces. The grounds will include new street-level campus lighting as well as upgraded technology throughout the exterior grounds including digital/video screens to activate the space. War Memorial: The War Memorial dedication will be relocated to a more prominent site on the campus to better honor those who bravely served, and more effectively recognize the Center's history as a War Memorial building. Donor Lounge: A new donor lounge will overlook the re-envisioned Community Grounds and city skyline, creating new opportunities to serve Marcus Center members and enhance financial support for Center.
Knowledge, Skills and Attributes • Ability to effectively lead, motivate, inspire and mentor internal staff • Demonstrated success building relationships with political entities and exposure to public-private partnerships • Demonstrated ability to work with culturally diverse audiences and diverse constituent groups • Proven skills in effectively executing diversity and inclusion strategies both internal and external • Financial resource development and management – Skilled in identifying and building upon revenue diversification including earned revenue, corporate sponsorships, fund raising and donor stewardship is essential • Demonstrated ability to manage and lead change • Administration /Operations – Oversight of a budget and staff of a similar or larger size • Ability to raise visibility and develop a high profile with key external constituents • Comfortable and skilled as a spokesperson and face of the organization • Visionary, collaborative and forward-thinking leadership style with strong cultural diplomacy • Strong strategic planning and plan execution skills • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills • Demonstrated skills engaging key leaders and as the point of contact with a board of directors • Commitment to the arts and appreciation of cultural assets is essential • Ability to raise visibility and develop a positive high profile for the organization • Success as a leader of a performing arts center or asset is important but not essential • Familiarity with the SE Wisconsin geographic area is important but not essential.