H C Smith Ltd is pleased to represent the Dayton Performing Arts Alliance (DPAA), a single, integrated organization that encompasses the Dayton Ballet, Dayton Opera, Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra and a wide range of learning programs for children, youth, and adults, in its search for a Vice President for Marketing and Audience Development. Its annual budget is approximately $7-8 million.
The DPAA’s driving purpose is to inspire as many people as possible to fall in love with the classical performing arts. Ten years after the merger of three historic organizations, we are completing the journey of becoming a single, integrated organization working together toward that shared, driving purpose. We believe that the arts are for everyone, and we strive to put that into practice in everything we do. We believe that in order to serve our community well, we must reflect it well. Inclusion, diversity, equity and access are central to our journey as an organization, and we seek new colleagues who, whatever their responsibilities, can help us make progress on that journey with commitment and authenticity.
DPAA performs principally in the state-of-the-art, 2,300-seat Benjamin and Miriam Schuster Performing Arts Center, with additional performances in the elegant Civil War-era Victoria Theater. There are about 25 full-time staff, 80 professional musicians, 20 professional ballet dancers, robust education programs in schools, a young artist opera training program, a full-service ballet school, a rich youth orchestra program, and dynamic after-school programs based on the El Sistema model. Combining three professional performing arts ensembles in one integrated organization makes DPAA one of a kind in the nation. In the first full season back in the theaters, a special $5 ticket program, “The Arts Are for Everyone,” has attracted over 3,700 ticket buyers, most of them first-time buyers, and has dramatically reduced the average age of our audiences while broadening their diversity.
Greater Dayton is a well-kept secret, a robust, thriving, and affluent community characterized by major military, health care and educational institutions as well as thriving manufacturing, distribution, aeronautics, defense and technology sectors. The population of young, well-educated professionals in Dayton is growing because of these economic anchors and the myriad small- to medium-sized businesses that are thriving and growing along with them. Over the last decade, Dayton’s downtown has been undergoing a renaissance that includes attractive new housing, restaurants and a minor-league baseball stadium, all of which has attracted both young and recently-retired residents. The Schuster Center is the major anchor of downtown, and serves as home to a wide variety of national touring productions from Broadway and elsewhere as well as DPAA. Dayton’s exceptional arts community is a major strength of the community as a whole, and helps the business community to attract and retain a high-quality workforce.
OVERVIEW OF THE POSITION
The Vice President for Marketing and Audience Development (VP) has the overall responsibility for meeting the DPAA’s earned revenue goals from season subscriptions and single ticket sales and for implementing strategies to bring audiences back and build new ones. The VP is responsible for the leadership of the marketing department in the achievement of these goals. The VP also develops and manages DPAA’s brand and image identity, assuring a productive and inspiring interface with the community in ways that maximize earned revenue and strengthen and reinforce efforts to raise contributed income. DPAA is deeply committed to and invested in long-term audience and donor development (an excellent example of which is Aubrey Bergauer’s Long Haul Model), and seeks candidates able to continue this investment to retain and grow audiences, including communities not previously well-engaged with the art forms DPAA represents. Reporting to the President, the VP is a member of both the Senior Staff and the Artistic Leadership Team, which is responsible for season planning, and plays a key role in providing audience and sales perspectives on artistic choices.
DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES
Achieve or exceed earned revenue goals and drive the recovery of audiences to pre-COVID levels and beyond, raising the profile and awareness of DPAA throughout Dayton and western Ohio.
Develop, implement, oversee and evaluate all ticket, subscription and audience outreach strategies of DPAA, collaborating closely with both the President and the Chief Operating Officer in strategy, organizational culture, and revenue progress.
Plan, coordinate and lead the effort to revitalize branding for the organization, ensuring that effective and consistent branding and messaging standards are applied and integrated across the organization, including Marketing, Development and Learning & Community Engagement.
In collaboration with the Chief Information Officer, make fullest possible use of the Tessitura database for audience research, customer relations, digital and print communication, data analysis, and other capabilities. Develop data analysis and reporting to understand audience behavior and trends and to drive decision-making for marketing strategy, audience development and sales.
Lead, mentor and support the Marketing department, manage its budget, and work with staff including three Directors (Acquisition, Patron Engagement, and Communications); ensure the team’s internal integration as well as integration with other major teams; support their individual missions with creativity, innovation, and a spirit of openness and collaboration.
Staff appropriate Board Committees, and retain and manage outside consultants or vendors as needed.
Determine DPAA communication strategy and standards in keeping with branding guidelines, and oversee production of all communication materials, ensuring printed collateral, electronic communication, advertising, website material, video, program books, and social media are at the highest standards of excellence.
Maintain and develop awareness of latest trends, best practices, and opportunities in audience development in the performing arts; discover and adopt best practices and successful strategies.
Minimum five years of successful branding, marketing and public relations experience including at least three years in a leadership position. Minimum of BA, preferably with an emphasis in marketing, journalism, communications, social media or related subjects.
Proven abilities to create high-level marketing strategies that maximize earned income streams while supporting customer service initiatives, and to develop, implement and evaluate successful ticketing and subscription marketing and sales strategies that meet or exceed goals.
Experience using data analysis creating successful marketing strategies.
Familiarity with performing arts institutions and in-depth knowledge of current trends in marketing and ability to apply them in the classical performing arts. Experience with symphonic music, opera, or ballet a plus.
Outstanding verbal, writing, editing and presentation skills with demonstrated proficiency in writing for executives, media and a broad range of public audiences; ability to edit the writing of others.
Demonstrated record of cross-cultural marketing and digital engagement among diverse communities.
Active supporter and participant in diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives.
Champion, leader and member of effective and energetic teams, who encourages innovation and ideas in a fast-paced, pressured environment.
Understanding and competence in social media, graphic design, film, video and audio technologies and their effective use in marketing and public relations to direct specialists as needed.
Knowledge of website, app design and user experience are helpful.
Personal commitment to integrity, respect, and DPAA’s vision and culture.
A strong entrepreneurial drive combined with the ability to collaborate fruitfully and solve problems as a member of a team.
The ability to balance multiple, complex and overlapping priorities while meeting deadlines.
Ability to communicate the DPAA’s mission, goals, and activities.
Commitment to work evenings and weekends throughout the performance season.
Knowledge of Microsoft Office suite and education- or arts-related customer relationship management (CRM) software; Tessitura experience strongly preferred.
About Dayton Performing Arts Association
HC Smith Ltd is a retained executive search and consulting firm. For more than 30 years, HC Smith Ltd has been recognized as a very successful family-owned boutique firm. Our business and our passion is people. We serve a broad range of clients, from Fortune 500 companies to world-class orchestras and museums, as well as institutions in the public and educational sector. Consultants include Principals Herbert Smith and Becca Smith along with Senior Consultants, Judith Frankfurt and EB Smith and Project Manager, Suzanne Wilson.