The Janklow Program partners with organizations throughout the country to provide students with initial and advanced field experience. Such opportunities enable students to make critical professional contacts that, in turn, make them more competitive in the job market.
Spotlight on Duncan Webb | Broadway Across America | Broward Center for the Performing Arts | Classical South Florida | Luminato | Rochester City Ballet | Seattle Art Museum | Webb Management Services
Spotlight on Duncan Webb
Duncan Webb has seen the future, and it’s a tree-lined boulevard, dotted with galleries, shops, store-front theaters, and restaurants.
“We’ve gone from building palaces for the arts to creating districts where arts and cultural facilities are the main attraction,” says the renowned arts consultant, speaking by phone from his office in Manhattan. “It’s a whole new paradigm.”
That’s heady stuff for someone who has built his career on the backs of many large performing arts centers. Webb founded the eponymously named Webb Management Services in 1997 in response to the widespread need for help with the planning and operation of live performance spaces.
“It used to be that most of our work was about getting venues built or renovated,” says Webb, a former banker from Toronto, Ontario. “Today, it’s about how these buildings can survive, and there’s no easy answer.”
Webb thinks part of the solution lies in urban cultural districts, where painters and musicians mix with baristas and shop owners.
Rob Enslin in The College of Arts and Sciences (A&S), which houses the Janklow Program, recently caught up with Webb (DW) to discuss the fate of arts facilities:
A&S: How did you make the transition from banking to arts leadership?
DW: I had done a lot of theater in high school and college—acting, directing, and producing—so while I was working for a bank in Toronto, I sent out a letter to about 10 local experimental theater companies to see if I could volunteer for one of them. I didn’t hear back from anybody for the longest time.
One day, I got a call from The Theatre Centre. It was one of Canada’s first theater co-ops—five small companies that had banded together and had decided to make a go for it—and wasn’t very organized. As a volunteer, I helped them form a board of directors, write a mission statement, create bylaws, and devise a budget. I was a “suit” operating in a creative environment, and I was captivated by the whole experience.
For the next seven years, I volunteered at The Theatre Centre and at various other companies throughout Toronto and Western Canada. Then I left banking to go into theater full-time and began producing commercial, alternative, and industrial theater. My industrial work, which included clients such as Volkswagen and [Mattel’s] Barbie and the Rocker’s, paid for my M.B.A. training at the University of Toronto.
A&S: Was this around the time of your involvement with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra?
DW: Yes. While I was in the MBA program, I got a call from the Toronto Symphony, which had just moved from Massey Hall, which they owned, to Roy Thompson Hall. They weren’t exactly sure about what to do with Massey Hall, so they commissioned me to do a [feasibility] study. In the process, I got to know Theatre Project Consultants, which had an office in New York City and specialized in live performance spaces. They coached me through the study and after a year and half of my bugging them, they hired me. This was 1989, so I’ve been doing this kind of work for more than 24 years.
In 1997, I started Webb Management Services in New York City. To date, we’ve done more than 300 projects. We roam around the country, working with colleges, universities, municipalities, and nonprofit organizations on the development and operation of performing arts facilities.
A&S: Is this kind of work common in Canada?
DW: When I was coming up, there was nobody doing it in Canada, so I had to move to New York to pursue this career.
A&S: What did you get out of the for-profit sector?
DW: [long pause] Today, if you don’t succeed in the for-profit sector, it’s over. You place your bet on a show or an enterprise, and if you don’t succeed, you roll up your tent and move on to the next thing.
It’s different in the nonprofit sector, which has much more invested in building and sustaining organizations. That’s why they’re so darn hard to kill. A lot of people are resistant to letting go, and that’s had a negative impact on the industry.
A&S: In other words—
DW: They are too many organizations holding on for too long. As a result, we have an oversupply of nonprofit arts companies in the United States competing for an ever-shrinking pool of funding and audiences.
A&S: Are mergers the answer?
DW: More than a decade ago, I enrolled in a seminar on the merger and consolidation of nonprofit organizations because I thought it was a growing trend. A decade later, it's finally starting to happen, even though there’s a lot of resistance to them from staff and boards, due to issues of power and control. This is an emotionally driven sector that doesn’t pursue economies and efficiencies the way it might.
A&S: Your bestselling book, Running Theaters [Allworth Press, 2005], examines best practices in virtually every aspect of facility management. How did it come about?
DW: I wanted to understand the difference between buildings that were “okay” and ones that were “great.” What I learned is that a building reflects the people running it—their personalities, artistic points of view, connections with the community.
That book came out in 2005, arguably the high-water mark of the performing arts sector in this country. Since then, everything has gotten tougher.
A&S: Any chance of a second edition?
DW: Probably not. Nowadays, it’s a different kind of struggle. ... Performing arts facilities are expensive and difficult to program. Moreover, their audiences are shrinking, private sector fundraising is more competitive, and public sector fundraising has become almost hostile.
A&S: Should public administrators become more involved?
DW: In some cities, they get it; in others, they don’t. For instance, the Mesa Arts Center [in Arizona] was a city project completed eight years ago. They used a bond referendum to get the thing built and to support its operation. Initially, Mesa had a mayor who supported the project. The next one didn’t and tried to kill it. And now the current mayor totally loves the project and wants to build a cultural district around the facility. He’s been working with management and private sector leadership to make the district a reality. What happens next is largely determined by who is elected as the next mayor.
A&S: What about the Broward Center for the Performing Arts, where you met Mark Nerenhausen [the Janklow Program’s founding director and professor of practice]?
DW: The Broward Center has done an amazing job of building relationships with the City of Fort Lauderdale and Broward County [Florida]. They’ve just completed a major renovation and are an important part of the Riverwalk Arts and Entertainment District. By integrating itself into the life of the community, the Broward Center is earning public sector support.
A&S: What about arts education?
DW: Ten to 15 years ago, arts education meant busing kids to a matinee performance. Today, many large facilities have 10-20 different educational programs that rely on external funding and community partnerships. It’s come a long way.
A&S: Aside from the economy, what other hurdles do arts facilities face?
DW: Casinos are a major problem. Already, there’s the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Fort Lauderdale. The state legislature just authorized three more destination-level casinos in the South Florida area. Casinos can afford to overpay their talent, so performers have little incentive to return to traditional nonprofit theaters. Performing arts facility managers are justifiably concerned.
A&S: Why is cultural tourism important?
DW: It’s a great thing because the Web enables us to promote cultural activities and amenities that, in turn, bring visitors to an area. In the old days, if we visited somewhere, we got most of our information from the hotel concierge. Today, we do everything in advance because it’s online.
Arts districts help with this, and the idea of using cultural activity to motivate commercial development within a specific area is powerful stuff.
A&S: How do we get arts and tourism leaders to work together?
DW: It's a matter of developing a common language around goals and metrics for success. I have several projects now in which I'm introducing tools such as the Balanced Scorecard to bring these leaders together, to improve their understanding of each other, and to motivate actions that serve their common interests.
A&S: What do you hope to get out of the Janklow partnership?
DW: I’m looking for high-quality research. Where better to find it than within an institution such as SU, in which learning and quality are pervasive? I’m also excited about working with Mark, for whom I have tremendous respect. When I met with him and his students in New York City a few months ago, I told them to be prepared for a world that is very different from the one of 10-15 years ago.
I think that to be successful, they will have to be much more independent and entrepreneurial and able to sell themselves on a per-project basis.
Broadway Across America
Broadway Across America (BAA) is the premier Broadway theater touring organization in North America, presenting first-class plays and musicals (including “Wicked” and Disney’s “The Lion King”), family productions, and other live events through a network of more than 40 cities. Founded in 2004, BAA is part of New York-based Key Brand Entertainment Inc., which owns and operates theaters in Boston, Baltimore, and Minneapolis, as well as the e-commerce website broadway.com.
Broward Center for the Performing Arts
The Broward Center for the Performing Arts is recognized as one of the top venues of its kind in the world. Located in the heart of the Riverwalk Arts and Entertainment District in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., the Broward Center encompasses the 2,700-seat Au-Rene Theater, the 590-seat Amaturo Theater, and the 250- to 500-seat Abdo New River Room. (An arts education center and riverside pavilion are currently under construction.) The Broward Center also manages and provides programming for the Rose and Alfred Miniaci Performing Arts Center at Nova Southeastern University; the Aventura Arts and Cultural Center; Miramar Cultural Center; and Parker Playhouse.
Shanley is an active member of the Broward Workshop, a non-profit, non-partisan business organization, and serves on the board of the Greater Fort Lauderdale Alliance.
Jan Goodheart has made a career of building bridges between artists and communities. When hired by Mark Nerenhausen in 2005 to work at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts, she drew on her corporate background to redefine the economic possibilities of arts and culture in South Florida. Goodheart is part of a new breed of leaders using cultural tourism to spark jobs, generate tax revenues, and provide direct economic benefits to states and communities.
Classical South Florida
Classical South Florida (CSF) is the only non-profit, member-supported public radio station group dedicated to broadcasting classical music 24 hours a day in Miami/Fort Lauderdale (89.7 FM), West Palm Beach (90.7 FM), and Fort Myers/Naples (88.7 FM). With more than 11,000 loyal members, CSF broadcasts nationally renowned programs, including “Performance Today,” “SymphonyCast,” “Classical Live,” “The Metropolitan Opera,” and “Pipedreams.”
In the Palm Beaches, CSF provides an all-news and information service, featuring broadcasts of more than two dozen national programs, including “Morning Edition,” “All Things Considered,” “Marketplace,” and “A Prairie Home Companion.”
CSF is affiliated with American Public Media Group, the nation's second-largest producer of public radio programs.
Program Director and Interim General Manager, Classical South Florida
Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
Jason Hughes has 18 years’ experience in media marketing and in sales and programming for radio, television, print, and the web.
His background is wide and varied, as evidenced by his work with Fresh Magazine, a publication designed to expose 18- to 34-year-olds to Canadian arts and culture. In addition to founding the magazine, Hughes served as editor and publisher. At PrideVision TV, where he directed sales and marketing, he launched the world’s first 24-hour gay and lesbian television network. The Canadian network broke social and cultural barriers, while making inroads with major advertisers, including Pepsi, Proctor & Gamble, Labatt, and Nissan.
Hughes has also worked for Atlantic Records in New York City and for 99-9 Virgin Radio (formerly 99.9 Mix FM) in Toronto, the flagship of Canada's Virgin Radio stations. Since joining CSF in 2008, he has led the marketing efforts of a network of stations serving more than 300,000 weekly listeners in a 12-county area.
Luminato is a 10-day summer festival of creativity in Toronto, Canada. Since its inception in 2007, Luminato has featured local, national, and international artists presenting the best in music; dance; theater; film; food; magic; literature; and the visual arts, including large-scale installations. Luminato events transform theatres, parks, and public spaces throughout Downtown Toronto into a maze of creativity and civic celebration.
Ideas of revolution and transformation--historically and artistically--permeate the 2012 edition of Luminato. This year's offerings include commissioned music from Philip Glass to commemorate the bicentennial of the War of 1812, as well as groundbreaking works from iconic artists who continue to transform their disciplines, including Robert Wilson, Robert Lepage, and Ohad Naharin. Luminato also offers hundreds of free events, including daily public concerts by K’NAAN, Rufus Wainwright, and Loreena McKennitt; a marathon performance of all 32 Beethoven piano sonatas; a 12,000-square-foot windsock installation; and partnership events with The New Yorker and Hay Festivals.
CEO, Luminato Festival
Toronto, Ontario (Canada)
Janice Price oversees Luminato, an annual festival celebrating Canadian arts and culture. Prior to joining Luminato, she served as president and CEO of the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts in Philadelphia, and as interim executive director and vice president of marketing and communications at New York’s Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts. Price has also held leadership positions at the Sony Centre for the Performing Arts, Roy Thomson Hall, and Massey Hall, all in Toronto; and at the Stratford Shakespeare Festival in Stratford, Ontario.
Price serves on the boards of the Canadian Festivals Coalition, Toronto Arts Council, and International Society for the Performing Arts, and is a member of the national steering committee of Canada’s Culture Days.
Rochester City Ballet
Rochester City Ballet (RCB) is a contemporary ballet company in Rochester, N.Y., that is celebrating its 25th anniversary. Founded by Timothy M. Draper, RCB is led by artistic director Jamey Leverett and executive director Katherine Ertsgaard, and presents an extensive home season of multiple performances. In 2010, RCB mounted its first New York City season at Pace University’s Michael Schimmel Center for Performing Arts and performed in the prestigious River to River Festival.
Rachel DeGuzman has a proven track record of arts leadership excellence, as exemplified by her receipt of a Bronze Award from the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education; various awards from the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA), including a PRism Award from PRSA’s Rochester Chapter; a VisitRochester Coach Award; and a nomination for a New York Emmy Award.
Seattle Art Museum
The Seattle Art Museum (SAM) is one museum with three locations: the Olympic Sculpture Park, SAM downtown, and the Seattle Asian Art Museum in Volunteer Park. SAM connects art to life through special exhibitions, educational programs, and installations drawn from its collection of approximately 25,000 objects. Through its three sites, SAM presents a global perspective, collecting and exhibiting objects from 140 cultures and exploring connections between past and present.
Webb Management Services
Webb Management Services is North America's leading provider of development, planning, and consulting services for arts and creative entities. The firm's clients include municipalities, colleges and universities, nonprofit arts organizations, community and private foundations, commercial developers, economic development agencies, and other entities. WMS offers a variety of critical and effective services in cultural facility development and operations, planning, facilitation, and counsel and arts industry services. Its work is based on an approach that has been developed and employed successfully in many diverse assignments and communities.