For more than eight decades, Performance Santa Fe (PSF) has presented the very best music, dance and theater, building loyal audiences in its host city and region. PSF began its organizational life as the
Santa Fe Community Concert Association in October 1937 as a presenter for the Columbia Artists Management Community Concerts program. As it grew, its name became Santa Fe Concert Association and then Performance Santa Fe. (The company’s legal name remains Santa Fe Concert Association, dba Performance Santa Fe.) PSF has grown into one of the premier presenting organizations in the southwest and is a key contributor to the robust Santa Fe arts community. Classical music has been at the core of PSF’s programming from its genesis. In recent years, while keeping to the organization’s background of presenting renowned classical music, PSF has strategically expanded its performances to include emerging American artists, jazz, and contemporary music in its season, as well as dance, theater, world music, and spoken word events. More information on PSF can be found on its website: https://performancesantafe.org
Current Environment and Opportunity
In a city with an extraordinary performing and visual arts community, PSF stands as one of Santa Fe’s key institutions. Operating on an annual budget of that ranges from $1.2 – 1.7 million, the PSF team consists of five fulltime staff members (including the Executive Director), one part-time staff member and ten teaching artists.
There is no accumulated debt; PSF closed its last fiscal year (April 2018) with a surplus. PSF has an investment fund of approximately $824K, which has been set aside for general operating support. The company’s goal is to leave this fund intact until it reaches $1 million, when a draw from interest will occur.
PSF is committed to a multi-disciplinary season of the highest quality artists, ranging between 15 and 20 presentations in a season. Most presentations are single performance engagements. The primary venues used by PSF are all leased and as follows:
Lensic Performing Arts Center, a 90-year old former Vaudeville house and movie theater. After falling into disrepair, this proscenium venue was renovated in the early 2000s. With audience capacity of 790-821, it is PSF’s primary venue.
Francis Auditorium, a former church (still in that seating configuration) with a capacity of 450, where one or two musical performances are presented annually.
The Alhambra Theater at Scottish Rite Temple, with a capacity of up to 331 (with use of portable chairs). One to four productions are presented at Scottish Rite each year.
Office space is leased and centrally located in downtown Santa Fe.
Education programs include the following:
Sostenuto – supporting existing school music programs with private and group instruction;
Bravo!Kids – master classes and workshops by visiting artists for K-12 students;;
Dream Big – private music instruction to prepare students for all-state competition;
SFPS on Stage – year-end performances by choral, band, and orchestra students;
Student matinee performances and free/discounted tickets.
PSF is governed by an 18-member Board of Directors consisting of community and business leaders, with a mix of long-time Santa Fe residents and those who have moved to the city in recent years. The Foundation, a separate 501(c)(3), oversees the company’s investment fund. The Foundation shares five of its seven board members with PSF.
Opportunities and Challenges The next Executive Director will follow Jonathan Winkle, who is relocating to Milwaukee with his spouse after a three-year tenure at PSF. The successful candidate will inherit a strong organization with a robust cultural footprint in this dynamic city. Among the opportunities and challenges in the next phase of PSF’s life are these:
Retaining and elevating the diverse, high quality programming for which PSF is known.
Building on its relevance in a community that is one of the most unique arts destinations in the U.S., with the next leader fully engaged in the community with the goal of broadening and diversifying the PSF audience.
Strengthening the PSF brand in a highly competitive performing arts environment.
Increasing all areas of revenue – earned and contributed – with a particular focus on individual donors, subscribers, and repeat ticket buyers.
Ensuring that staff members have the resources needed to productively execute their jobs, including systems, policies, and procedures that offer effective workplace and time management.
Create a working environment conducive to building transparency, productivity, and loyalty.
Working closely with Board leadership to engage Board members individually and collectively in a manner that will support PSF’s mission.
Forging partnerships and collaborations in the Santa Fe community (and beyond).
Santa Fe, New Mexico
Sitting in the southern Rocky Mountains, Santa Fe is America’s second oldest city, founded in the early 1600s. Among U.S. state capitals, it is the oldest and at the highest elevation (7,200’). With a population of over 83,000, it serves not only as New Mexico’s capital but also as its cultural hub. The economy is largely based on tourism and state government; the performing and visual arts communities are extraordinary. Santa Fe’s 24 museums rank #3 on Travel + Leisure’s Readers Poll. Performing arts organizations – two dozen festivals, presenters, and producing organizations – include Santa Fe Opera, Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, Aspen Santa Fe Ballet, and New Mexico Jazz Festival. This city in the high desert mountains enjoys four seasons and upwards of 300 days of sunshine annually. Its culinary scene of 400+ restaurants includes some of the best chefs in the county. Access to outdoor activities includes nearby state and National parks, skiing, biking, hiking, golfing, and water sports.
PSF serves a broad audience. The larger Santa Fe Metropolitan Statistical Area has a population of 146,000, while the Albuquerque-Santa Fe-Las Vegas CSA has a population of 1.15 million. About 60% of ticket buyers are in the 45 -70-year age range, while young adults comprise around 30% of the audience. There is broad participation in PSF’s K-12 education and outreach programs, with nearly 4,000 students impacted annually. Approximate 17% of ticket buyers are from out of state, as Santa Fe draws ample tourism and many second-home owners.
Position and Responsibilities
The Executive Director will serve in a highly external and visible capacity to promote the best interests of PSF. In so doing, the ED is expected to articulate PSF’s greater artistic and social value to the community and make that vision and purpose abundantly clear to staff, Board, supporters and the region’s cultural enthusiasts. This new leader will possess strategic planning and fundraising ability as well as a talent for programming, either through practice or oversight. Further, the next ED will have a keen ability to connect with people and inspire a team to work towards the common shared goal of making PSF’s impact deeper and richer within the community. Combining a sense of innovative programming, good humor, and warmth, with an ability to create strong and sustainable systems will be a defining characteristic of the right candidate for this position. The next ED will be deeply motivated to engage in and with the Santa Fe community and to find his or her place as a civic leader.
Set a clear and strategic direction for PSF supported by an identifiable and reasonable road map for success.
Define the artistic vision and direction of PSF programming from a place of knowledge, confidence, and collaboration.
Lead the PSF team, effectively inspiring others through a sense of confidence, openness, warmth, and authenticity and successfully build the PSF team to full complement.
Adhere to a strategic approach to organizational planning guided by foresight for opportunity.
Fully participate in fundraising by leading the charge for support as PSF’s most public advocate.
Establish and constantly nurture a great working relationship with PSF’s Board of Directors.
Guide the annual organizational budgeting process.
Deepen PSF’s capacity for providing educational access that is responsive to community need.
Charismatically act as PSF’s chief spokesperson.
Communicate challenges and opportunities to Board and staff with transparency and openness.
The PSF Search Committee is desirous of interviewing a diverse slate of candidates. Candidates who have not previously held a top administrative position will be considered if s/he can demonstrate keen leadership ability. While a background in presenting in a multi-disciplinary context is ideal, candidates of single-discipline organizations are encouraged to apply. The ideal candidate will have the following:
Substantial artistic and managerial experience in conceiving and presenting or producing live events. The Committee is open to reviewing candidates of varying career tracks in the performing arts, although there is a preference for individuals with a strong programming background and/or multi-disciplinary history.
A compelling relationship builder with a keen ability to serve as the face and voice of PSF and the ability to forge strong partnerships within the local, regional, and national arts communities.
Strong organizational management skills with demonstrable background in building effective budgets, managing those budgets, and creating a healthy and productive work environment with ability to delegate.
Ability to be the primary participant in high-level fund-raising.
A strategic thinker and able to challenge the staff to think in a strategic way and plan for the future.
Great writing and communication skills.
The ability to engage and challenge the Board, individually and collectively, toward even greater support of PSF’s mission.
The ideal candidate will also possess the following personal characteristics:
The ability to build esprit de corps.
Ability to derive deep satisfaction from facilitating the best work of others.
A sense of humor and an authentic sense of grit.
A desire to be a resident of and fully engaged in the Santa Fe community.
Compensation, Application Procedure and Start Date
The PSF Search Committee is comprised of six PSF board members committed to reviewing a deep and diverse slate of candidates; females and candidates of color are strongly encouraged to apply. The salary and benefit package for this position will be competitive with other nonprofit performing arts organizations of comparable stature and size. PSF hopes to make its decision in the late winter/early spring of 2019 with the successful candidate onsite as soon as possible afterwards.
Interested candidates are invited to send a résumé, cover letter, and at least three professional references (name, work relationship, email, phone). All materials must be in Word or .pdf format with the applicant’s name included as part of the document file name. Please provide materials through this link:
Wharton Institute for the Performing Arts is working with Management Consultants for the Arts on this very important search.
For over 34 years, Management Consultants for the Arts, Inc. has specialized in working with the cultural field and has had a rich involvement with cultural organizations of all types and sizes throughout the country. We have built our reputation on our deep understanding of the needs and objectives of America's individual cultural organizations as well as our knowledge of the national context in which they operate.
Our services include consultations in: planning, executive search, organizational analysis, board/staff retreats and seminars, conference and workshop development and facilitation.
We provide these services to a broad range of cultural organizations, including theaters, art museums, dance companies, historical societies, visual arts centers, children's museums, science centers, performing arts centers, orchestras, service organizations, arts councils, foundations and public agencies.