President & CEO – Grand Performances
Grand Performances is the original downtown Los Angeles free outdoor performing arts series. Celebrating its 35th anniversary in 2021, Grand Performances has delivered the best of global culture that inspires community, celebrates diversity, and unites Los Angeles through free access to global performing arts. Grand Performances brings artists and audiences together by thoughtfully curating an array of music, dance, film, and spoken word performances featuring great local and global artists. Its performances and events, which range from elaborate and grand to intimate and thought-provoking, bring thousands of people to downtown Los Angeles’ newly renovated California Plaza every summer to connect with one another and enjoy world-class entertainment.
Grand Performances offers one of the most diverse free program offerings in Southern California and has a long history of introducing talented local and international artists to the Los Angeles community, including contemporary artists from Africa, Latin America, and Central/East Asia. Artists curated by Grand Performances over the past few years include Ozomatli, Stevie Wonder, Ethio Cali, Kamasi Washington, The Do-Over, Madame Gandhi, Ana Tijoux, Soulection, Buyepongo, Aloe Blacc, Angelique Kidjo, Mndsgn, and countless others. Grand Performances proudly programs this work in support of its multigenerational, multicultural, and multi-ethnic audiences, which span every socioeconomic group and geographic area of Los Angeles County. This inclusive environment incubates cultural exchange and community building and manifests, supports, and centers Grand Performances’ values: Access, Excellence, Inclusive, Inspiring, and Innovative.
Grand Performances presents the majority of its programming at California Plaza near the center of downtown Los Angeles’ business community—just steps away from iconic landmarks such as Walt Disney Concert Hall and The Broad Museum. Situated in the center of downtown Los Angeles’ revitalized and vibrant core, this outdoor venue has a more than 7,000-person capacity in a variety of seating locations. It includes upper and lower levels of open, first-come-first-served seating, 350 amphitheater seats, and reserved seating for sustaining members and to support accessibility and mobility considerations.
An active member of the local, regional, and national arts community, Grand Performances strives to reach community members throughout the Greater Los Angeles area. It actively seeks and welcomes a broad and diverse audience by presenting entertaining and thought-provoking programming throughout Los Angeles in community settings such as Brasil Brasil Cultural Center in Culver City, Sun Valley Youth Arts Center, and Charles Drew Health Center in South Los Angeles.
During the pandemic, Grand Performances significantly increased its online presence, producing exceptional online content via its in-house production studio, which resulted in a 500 percent increase in its YouTube audience over the past 18 months. Additionally, the organization revitalized its brand, building a new visual identity and website. In the summer of 2021, Grand Performances returned to live performance, presenting a full summer season, during which three of its performances broke attendance records set over the course of its 35-year history.
Grand Performances is governed by an 11-member board of directors led by Chair Alison Kleaver. The organization also enters into a service agreement annually with Plaza Commons, Inc., the owner of Grand Performances’ venue. This mutual benefit association is comprised of three properties—1 California Plaza, 2 California Plaza, and the Omni Los Angeles Hotel at California Plaza. Grand Performances engages a staff of approximately five full-time and two part-time employees, with additional contracted and volunteer staff involved on either a full-time equivalent or seasonal basis. For the fiscal year ending December 31, 2020, the organization’s overall revenue totaled $1.6 million, with approximately $499,000 from contributed sources and $1.1 million from earned sources. Total expenses were approximately $885,000.
The President & CEO will be charged with creating a vision for the expansion and growth of Grand Performances and producing exceptional, diverse artistic experiences that attract, inspire, and retain a broad spectrum of audiences. In their role as “art-ivist,” the President & CEO will advocate for social justice and global culture and build space for artists, musicians, and those who love the arts to build a common experience that deepens community bonds and centers the artistic voice. Creating a donor and stakeholder-centric culture, this individual will engage and build rapport with a diverse array of communities, establishing credibility and trust. They will partner with, coach, and develop staff, appreciating and incorporating their ideas and contributions. In addition to fundraising, the President & CEO will skillfully navigate the business development and public affairs functions that are essential to Grand Performances’ long-term viability and find new ways to achieve results by building infrastructure that supports future goals, including technological and digital innovation.
Roles and Responsibilities
Strategic Organizational Leadership and Fundraising
- Manage Grand Performances’ business functions and organizational infrastructure, ensuring human resources, production, fundraising, artistic programming, finance, information technology systems, and overall operations are effective, efficient, and guided by best practices and appropriate risk assessment.
- Build contributed revenue through the identification, cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship of individual donors.
- Create and promote sponsorship opportunities and engage civic leaders in building investment in Grand Performances’ artistic and community engagement programming.
- Oversee the expansion of Grand Performances’ development team and fundraising initiatives and serve as its primary fundraiser.
- Explore opportunities to build earned revenue streams by expanding Grand Performances’ virtual and live programmatic offerings and production capabilities in line with the organization’s strategic digital initiative.
- Engage the Downtown Los Angeles business community and attend government and business receptions, seminars, and events.
- Expand the scope and reach of Grand Performances’ work and audiences, utilizing partnerships, social media, digital promotion, and other innovative audience development strategies.
- Create an inclusive team environment by engaging, mentoring, and managing Grand Performances’
- Support the creation of a season of high-quality, regional and international, cutting-edge artistic offerings that reflect the diversity and interests of Los Angeles’ global and multicultural community.
- Nurture and build on the unique culture of Grand Performances’ brand to foster an inclusive environment of excellence that attracts, retains, and empowers an engaged and skilled staff.
Public Engagement and Relationship Management
- Serve as a knowledgeable, articulate, and passionate external ambassador for Grand Performances, building trust and credibility with audiences, stakeholders, elected officials, the downtown Los Angeles business community, entertainment industry, media, and funders.
- Demonstrate exceptional relationship management expertise that builds strong partnerships with individuals and organizations to enhance Grand Performances’ reputation and resources.
- Build and nurture mutually beneficial relationships between Grand Performances and Los Angeles’ dynamic multicultural communities.
- Engage with the three property owners who comprise Plaza Commons, Inc., promoting Grand Performances as an institutional asset with significant return on investment for the community.
- Elevate Grand Performance’ reputation as the premier free concert and arts and culture series through ambassadorship, attendance at community events, and promotion of its high-quality and diverse programming.
- Establish a strong working relationship with the board of directors in financial, programmatic, service, and performance activities, encouraging all members to participate actively and facilitating their involvement beyond board meetings.
- Collaborate with board leadership to develop and maintain trusting and transparent relationships with the board, engaging and informing them through goal setting and the use of metrics to report on outcomes.
- Provide the board with appropriate materials prior to each meeting and inform board members of organizational challenges, successes, and issues in the field that need to be addressed.
- Oversee the timely preparation of the annual budget in consultation with the board of directors, treasurer, and senior staff.
- Identify, cultivate, and recruit new board members whose talents, background, interests, experience, and commitment will further the mission and expand support, in collaboration with the board of directors.
Plaza Commons, Inc. Management
- Serve as the President of Plaza Commons, Inc. (PCI).
- Facilitate PCI board meetings and manage PCI staff to support all back office functions.
- Ensure compliance with all local and state licensing, tax, and other regulations.
- Encourage owners to utilize the Grand Performances performing arts program as an asset for their own marketing and venue promotion purposes.
Traits and Characteristics
The President & CEO will be an optimistic, inclusive, creative, and strategic leader with strong decision-making, negotiation, and project management skills. They will be a motivated self-starter with the nuance and flexibility to adapt plans and address conflicts as they arise. The President & CEO will demonstrate the open-mindedness and initiative to learn new things. A consummate communicator and thoughtful organizational leader, this individual will emphasize leadership characterized by humility, creativity, and vision. Well-versed in the engagement of diverse, multicultural communities, the President & CEO will embody the values of Grand Performances by demonstrating accessibility, excellence, inclusivity, inspiration, and innovation and understand the intersectionality of these values with art, social justice, community healing, and diversity.
Other key competencies of this role include:
- Personal Accountability and Teamwork – The awareness of the impact of personal actions and decisions while collaborating with others to achieve objectives and outcomes.
- Diplomacy and Leadership – The capacity to navigate sensitive and difficult issues with grace and respect and inspire others to unify around an outcome or goal.
- Time and Priority Management and Goal Orientation – The ability to identify and create goals and establish timeframes and priorities to successfully achieve them.
- Planning, Organizing, and Resiliency – The skill to overcome adversity and create processes and structures to effectively and efficiently accomplish a scope of work.
Proven experience in executive leadership, arts management, and relationship management is required. The ideal candidate will bring their entire scope of experience to the organization and have a deep connection to the work. They will understand the role the arts play in community building and well-being and have the courage and willingness to incorporate equity, diversity, inclusion, and access into all aspects of Grand Performances’ decision making and operations. Exceptional written and spoken communication skills are essential, including the ability to represent Grand Performances in public speaking engagements, media events, and other public presentations. The person filling this role will be adept at engaging a wide array of external constituents. Knowledge of Los Angeles’ dynamic and diverse cultural communities is strongly preferred. A skilled business leader and impactful fundraiser, the ideal candidate will have experience in budget development and oversight, facility management, negotiations, and supervising and mentoring staff teams. A demonstrated track record of successful management in the arts or nonprofit sector and a passion for creating exceptional, diverse artistic experiences is necessary.
Compensation and Benefits
Grand Performances offers a competitive salary range of $110,000 to $130,000 and a benefits package that includes medical, long-term disability, and life insurance. Current retirement benefits are provided through a voluntary 403(b) plan with a matching contribution after six months of service. Grand Performances also provides paid vacation, sick, and holiday time.
Applications and Inquiries
For questions or general inquiries about this job opportunity, please contact:
Shawn D. Ingram, Vice President
8581 Santa Monica Blvd., Suite 406
Los Angeles, CA 90069-4120
Tel (888) 234.4236 Ext. 220
Grand Performances is an affirmative action and equal opportunity employer. In keeping with this policy, Grand Performances will continue to recruit, hire, train, and promote into all jobs the most qualified persons without regard to race, color, national origin, ancestry, citizenship, religion, sex, gender identity, pregnancy, marital status, disability, medical condition, age, sexual orientation, or veteran status.
Job Categories: Arts and Culture. Job Types: Full-Time. Job Tags: ceo, culture, fund-raising, management, performance, performing arts, and president. States: California.
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