Identifying Board Leaders


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How to best identify future board leaders of a small non-profit theatre.

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  • Who I amOur topic of discussion: when you’re on the board of an ensemble, isn’t every board member a leader?
  • Ensemble theatre, new plays, embedded in Capital HillRevenue plateau, expect fixed costs to rise
  • 5th season—we’re at a crossroads with big decisions to make
  • After speaking with the ensemble, you all (our Advisory Board), management colleagues, and experts in the field, this is the proposed processWhat I’m looking for from you: critical feedback and discussion
  • Last three are biggest decisions to makeOther priorities?Different order?
  • Other qualities?How many artists on the board?
  • The intersection of our current networkHow far outside of these communities should we look?
  • Is this realistic, given our time constraints?Who should be working on cultivation & recruitment?
  • This is why I was attracted to WETDoes this distinguish us from other board opportunities?How compelling is this prospect?
  • A longer-term perspectiveWhen/how do we begin to incorporate this into cultivation & recruitment?
  • Where are potential stumbling blocksWhat am I missing?
  • My Research: Fellow Network of Ensemble Theatres’ Members
  • Thanks!
  • Identifying Board Leaders

    1. 1. Identifying Future Board Leaders<br />a theatre in transition<br />
    2. 2. The basics: Washington Ensemble Theatre<br />We intend for our theatre to be a physical and creative intersection for community and artists in Seattle, by fostering a love of theatre&apos;s humanity, utility, and vitality. <br />49 seat Little Theatre<br />9 ensemble members<br />actors, directors, designers, stage managers<br />Associate Members & Guests: managers, playwrights<br />Annual Budget: $100,000 per year<br />$50K ticket sales<br />$40K contributed<br />$10K rental income<br />
    3. 3. The Little Theatre That Could<br />Inspired by a 2002 University of Washington MFA class project by Jon Jory. <br />In 2003, 14 (recently graduated) founding ensemble members renovate the Little Theatre in Seattle’s Capital Hill neighborhood from a movie theatre to a stage theatre. <br />2004’s inaugural season of 4 new plays is a smash (critical) success.<br />By 2010, only 1 founding ensemble member remains + no more subsidized rent =<br />critical juncture.<br />
    4. 4. Process<br />The ensemble should<br />
    5. 5. WET’s Strategic Priorities<br />
    6. 6. Ideal Board Members<br />Demonstrated enthusiasm for WET<br />
    7. 7. Identifying Leaders<br />
    8. 8. A Timeline for Implementation<br />
    9. 9. The Pitch<br />
    10. 10. Down the Road<br />
    11. 11. Risk Factors<br />
    12. 12. Benchmarking Peers<br />
    13. 13. Cornerstone<br />Los Angeles, CA (Geoff Korf)<br />Mission: community engagement<br />History<br />1986-91: itinerant <br />1992: settled in LA, commissioned by other theatres<br />12 Board members<br />3 Lawyers, <br />3 ensemble members, <br />3 Managers: arts, nonprofit, Hollywood<br />2 artists<br />1 banker<br />
    14. 14. SITI Company<br />New York, NY (Anne Bogart)<br />Mission: new work, physical training, international collaboration<br />History<br />Founded 1992 <br />Summer training + year around producing<br />10 Board members<br />4 ensemble members<br />2 Arts manager<br />Consultant (Board Pres)<br />Lawyer<br />Architect<br />
    15. 15. A Red Orchid Theatre<br />Chicago, IL (Kay Perdue)<br />Mission: new plays/artistic rigor/social compassion<br />History<br />Founded 1993 in 80 seat (renovated) theatre<br />2004: first 3 production season<br />6 Board members<br />2 lawyers<br />Entrepreneur<br />CEO<br />Corporate strategy consultant<br />Firefighter<br />
    16. 16. Rude Mechanicals<br />Austin, TX (Nicole Del Giudice)<br />Mission: collaboration, socially conscious work, mentor young artists, alliances with other artists<br />Founded in 1995, tours off-Broadway<br />6 Artistic Directors, 30 member ensemble<br />10 member Board<br />President: local CDO<br />VP: local arts manager<br />Treasurer: entrepreneur<br />Secretary: UT faculty<br />Members: 2 entrepreneurs, 3 UT faculty, arts mgr<br />12 member Advisory Council<br />
    17. 17. Any Questions?<br />