Segerstrom Center for the Arts seeks VP of Programming & Production


Segerstrom Center for the Arts invites nominations and applications for the position of Vice President of Programming and Production, available in the Spring of 2024. Judy Morr, whose extraordinary artistic vision has guided the Center’s programming since its founding, transitioned from her position as Executive Vice President in the summer of 2023. She serves as special consultant through the 2023-24 season.

As President and CEO Casey Reitz realigns his senior executive team, he has invited the Catherine French Group to assist him in identifying the next Vice President of Programming and Production for the Center.

About Segerstrom Center for the Arts

Segerstrom Center for the Arts (SCFTA) is a nationally and internationally recognized performing arts and cultural center committed to supporting excellence in the arts and serving the diverse communities of Orange County, California, with programs, performances, and educational services of the highest quality. Located on a beautiful 14-acre campus in Costa Mesa, the Segerstrom Center is Orange County’s largest not-for-profit institution, has an annual economic impact of more than $350 million, and reaches a core audience that extends from Long Beach to San Clemente in an overall population of 3.1 million.

Segerstrom Center for the Arts includes six venues: Segerstrom Hall; Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall; Samueli Theater; Julianne and George Argyros Plaza; Center for Dance and Innovation/Judy Morr Theater; and Education Center. The campus includes the independent but adjacent South Coast Repertory Theatre and Orange County Museum of Art. SCFTA is the centerpiece to the South Coast Metro commercial district and is located across the road from the South Coast Plaza.

Civic leaders, business leaders, and philanthropists had long envisioned a home for Orange County’s professional arts organizations that would also bring artists and ensembles of international stature to local audiences. They believed that a performing arts center would have the ability to transform lives through the arts and that the shared experience and exploration of the arts would help create a more culturally connected and vital Orange County community. Their financial commitments along with land donated by the Segerstrom family made that vision a reality.

In 1986, the Orange County Performing Arts Center opened Segerstrom Hall, a 3,000-seat hall with some of the most innovative and advanced technology available at the time. The hall offered performances by the Pacific Symphony, the Philharmonic Society of Orange County, and the Pacific Chorale, all of which are now resident companies of SCFTA. In ensuing years, the Center’s leadership added performances by celebrated international ballet companies, touring Broadway musicals, jazz and chamber music ensembles, children’s theatre, cabaret, and comedy, as well as a speaker series. The Center also set out to implement an ambitious programming plan for arts education and community engagement.

The 2,000-seat Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall, named for the Center’s founding chairman and his late wife, opened in 2006 and became home to the resident companies while Segerstrom Hall focused on dance and Broadway in addition to other Center programming. The 300-seat Samueli Theatre, located in the Concert Hall, offered an excellent venue for jazz, cabaret, chamber music, and family-oriented programming.

From its earliest days, the Segerstrom Center developed a relationship with American Ballet Theatre and, with Judy Morr’s leadership, the Center built a reputation as the leading presenter of classical ballet in Southern California. In 2015, that relationship with ABT expanded significantly and today ABT is the official dance company of SCFTA. The American Ballet Theatre William J. Gillespie School was established on the Center’s campus, further affirming the Segerstrom Center as a major venue for dance education on the west coast.

In 2016, the Center opened Studio D: Arts School for All Abilities. Classes are inclusive but are specially designed for those with physical and cognitive disabilities. SCFTA also established the Center Without Boundaries, which emphasizes civic engagement and forges partnerships with groups located throughout the county that are outside the circle of arts and culture, such as Camp Pendleton and Children’s Hospital of Orange County.

Central to SCFTA’s mission is strengthening ties with the diverse communities that contribute to the vibrancy of Orange County. The Center resolved to invite the broader local community to the campus simply to enjoy its beauty and energy. The Julianne and George Argyros Plaza was completed in 2017 and is a lively outdoor public gathering place dedicated to the Orange County community. The Plaza offers free performances, festival, and community events throughout the entire year.

The Center adopted new strategic plan in 2022 and made a commitment to “help shape the Orange County of the future through meaningful collaborations with diverse communities, embracing creativity in all its forms, and enabling a more inclusive, vibrant performing arts scene at the Center and across the region.” While maintaining the excellence of their core artistic and educational programs, the Center resolved to be “transformed into a cultural hub and dynamic town square deeply ingrained in the fabric of our community.”

Segerstrom Center for the Arts is governed by a 50-member Board of Directors, has an operating budget of $74 million, and an endowment of about $140 million. The Center has an administrative staff of 117 full-time and 322 part-time employees. Casey Reitz joined Segerstrom Center as President and CEO in December 2019.

Additional information can be found at https://www.scfta.org/

The Opportunity

Working with the President and the executive leadership team, the next Vice President of Programming and Production will play a major role in articulating a campus-wide artistic vision for the Segerstrom Center’s programs, presentations, educational activities, and community engagement. The VP of Programming and Production will take the lead in achieving the goals of the Center’s current strategic plan, which include: developing professional partnerships; supporting the creation of new work; expanding the menu of artistic offerings at the Center; and applying lessons learned as artists and audiences emerged from the pandemic.

The VP of Programming and Production will have the opportunity to help develop the Center’s next strategic plan, examining ways that the Center might expand its role and reputation as a producer of work while continuing to be a leading presenter of the performing arts. And building on the reputation developed over many decades, the VP of Programming and Production will help define and secure the future for international dance at the Center.

The VP of Programming and Production will join a talented and energetic staff, a supportive and dedicated Board, and a group of collaborative colleagues in the Center’s resident companies, all working together in a vibrant multicultural environment to transform lives and communities through the arts.

The Position

The Vice President of Programming and Production provides leadership and vision to ensure that the Segerstrom Center for the Arts maintains the highest standards of artistic excellence in performances, presentations, and productions for audiences throughout Orange County, southern California, and beyond. Reporting to the President and CEO, the VP of Programming and Production oversees and coordinates the design and implementation of all programming across all the Center’s stages, in the studios and in the outdoor spaces throughout the SCFTA campus. The VP is responsible and accountable for driving revenue generation through innovative programming strategies, while ensuring the highest standards of excellence in artistry and audience satisfaction.

The Vice President builds on the reputation of SCFTA for providing audiences with a superb array of offerings in musical theatre, theatre, dance, music, and popular entertainment that appeal to a broad multicultural population of more than 3 million residents. Working with the President and the executive leadership team, the VP seeks to expand and broaden the Center’s artistic programming beyond presentation to include developing and producing work.

The VP of Programming and Production is the principal liaison with the Center’s resident companies, including the Pacific Symphony, the Pacific Chorale, and the Philharmonic Society of Orange County. The VP oversees and manages the implementation of agreements with the resident companies with regard to scheduling, programming, production, and artist services. The VP maintains and manages the Center’s calendar for rehearsals and performances in all spaces throughout the campus.

The Segerstrom Center is recognized nationally and internationally for its leadership in the presentation of dance. The VP of Programming and Production is the principal liaison with American Ballet Theatre and with the Gillespie School, which has its own Artistic Director. The VP ensures that the unique partnership between SCFTA and ABT continues to meet and exceed expectations for nurturing future generations of dancers and dance audiences, and furthering the development and evolution of dance. The VP of Programming and Production oversees the scheduling of ABT’s annual residencies and ensures that dance, especially classical ballet, is well represented at the Center each year.

The VP of Programming and Production oversees all aspects of artistic administration including preparation and monitoring budgets, booking artists and attractions, contract negotiation, and contract administration. The VP ensures that the Facilities, Operations, and Security teams have the information they need to meet and exceed artists’ expectations. The VP works closely with Marketing & Communications departments on messaging about artists and programming in order to achieve and exceed goals for earned revenue. The VP is a resource for artistic programming to all departments within the SCFTA.

The VP of Programming and Production takes a leadership role in fundraising. The VP works closely with the Development team on designing strategies to build support for programming initiatives. The VP identifies, cultivates, solicits, and ensures excellent stewardship of program-related gifts. The VP serves as a knowledgeable and enthusiastic spokesperson for the Center on all matters related to programming with internal and external stakeholders and to the broader Orange County community.

The Vice President of Programming and Production reports to the President and CEO and oversees the departments of production, education, community engagement, and on-site ABT programs. The VP is a member of an executive leadership team that includes the Chief Financial Officer, the General Manager, and the Vice Presidents of Culture and Community, Development, and Marketing & Communications.

Candidate Profile

The ideal candidate will be a visionary leader with a deep and broad knowledge of the performing arts and successful experience programming and presenting artists and ensembles in multiple arts disciplines and venues at a high level of excellence. The candidate will fully embrace the Segerstrom Center’s belief in the power of performing arts to transform lives and in the ability of the shared experience and exploration of the arts to create and build community. The candidate will have a work history that demonstrates a commitment to the principals of diversity, equity, inclusion, and access.

The successful candidate will have an excellent working knowledge of established and emerging artists and ensembles across multiple disciplines and genres. Knowledge of dance, especially classical ballet, will be a valuable asset in this position. The candidate will come with a well-established network among artist managers and agents nationally and internationally. The candidate will have successful experience negotiating and working with contracts in a collective bargaining environment.

The successful candidate will be a strategic thinker with superb planning, organizational, financial management, communication, and interpersonal skills. The candidate will have demonstrated experience in budget management, resource allocation, and financial planning. The candidate will have a track record of success in leading and managing programs, projects, and staff teams.

The successful candidate will have a reputation as a willing collaborator and an effective problem solver. The candidate will be creative, innovative, even-tempered, and flexible. The successful candidate will be able to manage multiple priorities and competing deadlines with great skill and good humor.

The successful candidate will be able to travel as needed to hear and see work. The candidate will be able to attend evening and weekend performances and events. The successful candidate will welcome the opportunity to join the executive leadership team of the Segerstrom Center for the Arts and become an active member of the Orange County community.

Compensation

The salary range for this position is $230,000 to $250,000 depending on qualifications and experience. The Segerstrom Center offers a comprehensive benefits package.

Applications

The Segerstrom Center for the Arts is committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion in all facets of the organization and welcomes applications from all qualified candidate regardless of age, race, gender, sexual orientation, disability, religion, or national origin.

Please prepare a cover letter that describes your specific interest in the Segerstrom Center for the Arts and outlines your qualifications for the position. Send with a resumé and include a separate page with contact information for at least three professional references. Electronic submissions are requested. All applications will be treated as confidential and references will not be called without the candidate’s knowledge and agreement.

Please send materials to:

Segerstrom Center – VP Programming and Production
c/o Catherine French Group
applications@catherinefrenchgroup.com

Please submit material in Adobe PDF format only

While this position will remain open until filled, applicants are encouraged to submit materials by mid-March.

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