June 8, 2020 – Boston-based search firm Arts Consulting Group (ACG) has placed Lisa Richards Toney as president and CEO of the Association of Performing Arts Professionals (APAP), the national service, advocacy and membership organization for the performing arts presenting, booking and touring field. She will begin her tenure on July 1.
“The APAP board and staff are delighted to welcome Lisa Richards Toney as she takes the helm of APAP at this critical time in our organization, our field, and our world,” said Karen A. Fischer, APAP board chair. “She is a strong and dynamic leader with a deep and passionate commitment to the performing arts. Throughout her career, she has demonstrated her ability to bring people together, respect different perspectives, think creatively, inclusively and strategically, and act with great warmth and empathy.”
“I am honored to become APAP’s next president and CEO during this critical period for performing arts organizations,” said Ms. Richards Toney. “I look forward to fulfilling APAP’s mission by leading the field in its necessary, crucial and essential work.”
ACG President Bruce D. Thibodeau congratulated Ms. Richards Toney on her new role. “It was invigorating to work with APAP’s board, staff, and search committee to guide an executive search process for such a critical role within the performing arts sector,” he said. “We are confident that her leadership will best serve APAP’s members in navigating a path that continues to highlight the importance of the performing arts to society.”
Ms. Richards Toney brings more than 20 years of experience leading a range of small and large arts and humanities organizations, managing change, and building stability, said ACG. She most recently served as executive director of the Abramson Scholarship Foundation. In this role, she increased funding and steered the foundation through a period of change management in programming, finance, development and governance. She also improved the scholar experience by curating innovative professional development opportunities in financial literacy, professional visioning and mental health awareness. In addition, she used professional networks to build exposure for scholars pursuing careers in the arts. As deputy director and later interim executive director of the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, Ms. Richards Toney worked on behalf of the diverse resident artists and arts organizations of Washington, D.C.
Ms. Richards Toney currently serves as strategic planning chair of the Mosaic Theatre Company of DC, co-chair of the Jack and Jill DC Chapter Jumoke Black History Festival, and a booking and producing consultant for cellist Okorie “OkCello” Johnson. In addition to consulting work for the Reel to Reel Filmmaker’s Project for the Prince George’s County Arts Council, she also supported Moving Forward Dance Company/Dana Tai Soon Burgess with tour management strategic planning. Ms. Richards Toney was awarded a Vilar Institute for Arts management fellowship with the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts as well as a Thomas J. Watson fellowship to study the management structure of Black British dance companies in the U.K.
Arts and Culture Recruiters
The Association of Performing Arts Professionals is based in Washington, D.C. It has more than 1,600 member organizations, representing over 5000 professionals worldwide, dedicated to developing and supporting a robust performing arts presenting field and the professionals who work within it. Its members represent the nation’s leading performing arts centers, municipal and university performance facilities, culturally specific organizations and foreign governments, as well as artist agencies, managers, touring companies and national consulting practices that serve the field, as well as a growing roster of self-presenting artists. APAP works to effect change through advocacy, professional development, resource sharing and civic engagement.
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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.
Mr. 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.
Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media