June 15, 2022 – Boston-based search firm Arts Consulting Group (ACG) has been enlisted to find the next president and CEO of the Virginia Symphony Orchestra (VSO). The search firm is seeking a collaborative leader in both guiding and supporting organizational, artistic, team, and diversity goals. The CEO will generate and execute strategies and operating plans, ensure fiscal resiliency from both earned and contribute revenues, and articulate the VSO’s mission, vision, and values to a wide array of stakeholders. They will be responsible for the implementation of policies and key strategies as set by the board of directors in collaboration with the artistic and management teams. As a highly visible and public figure, the CEO will bolster education and community engagement programs to ensure strong participation in the VSO’s numerous activities throughout the region.
According to Arts Consulting Group, demonstrating a deep knowledge of and ability to implement evolving business models, the CEO will exemplify a forward-thinking vision that integrates innovative programming with positive artistic, educational, and social impacts. The leader will be expected to develop meaningful and authentic relationships with subscribers, individual and corporate donors, foundations, educational institutions, government agencies, convention and visitor bureaus, and civic organizations, among others.
The CEO must be a collaborative leader in both guiding and supporting organizational, artistic, team, and diversity goals, said the search firm. Receptive to new ideas and driven by a commitment to deliver results, this individual is required to be people-oriented and able to thrive in an organization that seeks opportunities for thoughtful adaptation and proactive change. The individual must also be extremely comfortable in settings where there is frequent interaction with others. He or she should also be instinctive and authentic by nature in establishing, cultivating, and building relationships throughout the region.
Other key competencies include:
- Leadership, Flexibility, and Resiliency – The vitality to organize and motivate other people to accomplish goals, create a sense of order and direction, adapt to changing circumstances, develop a deeply rooted organizational culture, and gain active participation from board, staff, musicians, and strategic partners.
- Interpersonal Skills – The flexibility to anticipate, meet, and exceed stakeholder and partner needs while communicating effectively, building rapport, listening carefully, and relating well to an array of diverse constituencies.
- Negotiation and Diplomacy – The ability to understand diverse stakeholder perspectives and set a course of action that respects others, treats them fairly regardless of personal biases or beliefs, and maintains positive and productive relationships in facilitating mutually beneficial agreements.
- Personal and Professional Accountability – The integrity to meet the highest ethical standards in establishing relevant, realistic, and attainable goals and objectives while anticipating the effects, outcomes, and calculated risks of various options.
The Virginia Symphony Orchestra is the only full-time professional symphony orchestra serving Coastal Virginia. For more than 100 years, the orchestra has served as a cultural cornerstone of Southeast Virginia, committed to fostering a dynamic, accessible, and creative community. The VSO is the foundation of the performing arts community in the region and regularly collaborates with other arts organizations, providing the professional musicians for partners including Virginia Opera, Virginia Arts Festival, and Richmond Ballet.
Arts and Culture Recruiters
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. The firm 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.
Arts Consulting Group (ACG) has been enlisted to find the next artistic director for the Charlotte Ballet in North Carolina. Vice president Geoff Chang is leading the assignment. Last summer, Hope Muir stepped down from the ballet’s artistic director role to accept the same position with the National Ballet of Canada in Toronto. Christopher Stuart, program director of Charlotte Ballet II and rehearsal director for the main company, has been serving as interim artistic director.
The Charlotte Ballet’s artistic director is charged with providing inspirational leadership and setting the organization’s artistic vision with a focus on collaboration and community engagement, said ACG.
President Bruce D. 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. Dr. Thibodeau 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