November 5, 2019 – Boston-based executive search firm Arts Consulting Group (ACG) has placed Laura Kendall as executive director of Boise State University’s Velma V. Morrison Center for the Performing Arts.
“Laura Kendall is an inspired choice for both the Velma V. Morrison Center for the Performing Arts and for Boise State University,” said Martin Bragg, senior vice president of Arts Consulting Group. “Her experience working with faculty, students, resident companies and the community will ensure great success for both the Morrison Center and for Boise State.”
“I’m so pleased that Laura is joining the Morrison Center team during this exciting time for the Morrison Center and the university,” said Mark Heil, VP and chief financial officer for Boise State. “She has a proven track record of success as a business-arts leader and her enthusiasm for the performing arts is contagious.”
Ms. Kendall’s experience includes a variety of fields. Her skills include marketing, ticketing, arts education, outreach, artist residencies and grant writing. Most recently, she was vice president, programming and education for Omaha Performing Arts, where she increased rental and co-promotional events by 67 percent, managed a programming budget of more than $4 million, and oversaw booking for three performance spaces, totaling over 5,000 seats. Prior to that, Ms. Kendall held the director, office of visual and performing arts position at Millersville University. In this role, she managed an operating budget of more than $1 million, increased income by 50 percent over the course of her five years and supervised more than 600 events per year. Before that, Ms. Kendall served as director of arts programming at Cuyahoga Community College, where she was instrumental in the opening of the Gil and Tommy LiPuma Center for Creative Arts and booked more than 30 performances per year across three performance facilities.
Ms. Kendall is an active leader in the arts community, having served as both president and vice president of Pennsylvania Presenters. She is a member of the International Association of Venue Managers, the Association of Performing Arts Professionals and the Broadway League.
“The Morrison Center’s strong commitment to local arts organizations and its role as a place for students to practice their craft drew me to this opportunity,” Ms. Kendall said. “I genuinely look forward to continuing that mission and growing our outreach to our community. Boise is a vibrant, creative city and I’m excited to get involved and experience all the city has to offer.”
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Velma V. Morrison Center was recently named the “No.1 University Venue in the Nation” by Venues Today. It is recognized as a major destination for arts and culture, annually hosting hundreds of live entertainment and arts education offerings. A Boise State affiliate, the center is a non-profit organization supported by ticket sales, facility rentals, donations and the support of the Morrison Center Endowment Foundation.
Arts and Culture Industry Experts
Arts Consulting Group provides interim management, executive search, revenue enhancement consulting, facilities and program planning, and organizational development services for the arts and culture industry. It has identified senior-level leaders for the Long Beach Opera, Fort Worth Opera, Chicago Opera, Stockton Symphony Association and Portland Baroque Orchestra, among others. The firm has offices in Boston; Calgary; Chicago; Dallas; Denver; Halifax; Los Angeles; Nashville, TN; New York; Portland, OR; San Francisco; Tampa, FL; Toronto and Washington, D.C.
Bruce Thibodeau founded ACG in 1997 and has been part of numerous projects in all practice areas to grow institutional sustainability, advance the arts and culture sector, and enhance communities served by the industry. He has guided hundreds of non-profit, university and government clients in achieving effective leadership transitions, planning cultural facilities, increasing revenues, developing dynamic institutional brands and messages, crafting strategic plans and business models, and revitalizing board governance practices.
Mr. Bragg is an arts and culture industry veteran. He joined ACG in 2015 as senior vice president to lead the firm’s Canadian subsidiary. With a career spanning more than 30 years, he has a wide range of experience in presenting, producing, and managing large cultural organizations and facilities throughout Canada. Since joining the firm, Mr. Bragg has guided numerous executive searches, innovative arts center facilities and program plans, board governance and organizational assessments and strategic planning initiatives throughout North America. Mr. Bragg has extensive leadership experience in dance, theater and performing arts center management, with a focus on organizational development, strategic planning, and sustained growth in earned and contributed revenue.
Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media