The Chief Producing Officer is an executive-level post reporting to the Artistic Director & CEO and will lead the team of producers and curators in developing and realizing high-quality commissions and productions for The Shed.
The Shed, opening in spring 2019, will be New York’s first multi-arts center designed to commission, produce, and present approximately 18 performing arts, visual arts, and popular culture shows and productions each year. With its home on the West Side of Manhattan where the High Line meets Hudson Yards, this unique and flexible organization has been designed to adapt and support artists’ visions and the work they create—from hip hop to classical music, visual art to literature, film to theater and dance—with collaborations across these disciplines and beyond, all under one roof.
For more than a century, the arts have largely been presented apart from one another: in galleries and museums, concert halls and theaters. These centers of excellence allow artists to flourish within their own worlds, but they also build barriers that separate audiences, artists, and art forms. The Shed will be different. Just as the greatest cities thrive on integration and interdependence, the greatest new art defines contemporary thought and anticipates the future. The Shed’s program will embody all these principles and possibilities, encouraging artists to create new lenses through which we can view our world today.
Driven by experimentation, innovation, and collaboration, The Shed will be a center for artistic invention, bringing together leading artists working in every art form with leading minds in the humanities and sciences. Through collaborative projects with the MIT Media Lab, it will integrate science and technology in a way that no arts institution has previously attempted. The program will be international, created with co-commissioning partners around the globe, and will be local, with early-career artists-in-residence in The Shed’s creative lab. FlexNYC is a free, citywide residency program in dance activism for young people in collaboration with Reggie “Regg Roc” Gray and the D.R.E.A.M. Ring (Dance Rules Everything Around Me). Now in its second year, FlexNYC has expanded to all five boroughs, serving approximately 400 students.
The Shed, upon completion of a $500 million capital campaign, will support and dramatically transform to fit the widest range of artists’ visions and the work they create. The dynamism of its commissioning model will allow The Shed to break down walls between cultural worlds and the diverse audiences that live within them. The Shed will be a place where the world’s leading artists and creative minds can make art that helps forge tomorrow’s world and where audiences from all walks of life can experience this art together.
The Shed’s 200,000-square-foot home comprises an eight-level base structure and a telescoping outer shell. The base building holds two expansive, column-free galleries totaling 25,000 square feet of museum-quality space; a 500-seat black-box theater that can be subdivided into even more intimate spaces; event and rehearsal space; and a creative lab that will be provided for free to early-career local artists. The telescoping outer shell can be deployed over the adjoining 20,000-square-foot plaza to create a 17,000-square-foot light-, sound-, and temperature-controlled hall that can serve an infinite variety of artists’ needs and uses, including as a theater seating 1,250 people or a standing audience of up to 2,800 people. Its ceiling acts as a theatrical deck, allowing for rigging across the entire volume of space above performers and audiences as well as light and sound control. When the space is not needed, the shell can nest over the base building, freeing the plaza for outdoor use and programming. With architectural references to the Fun Palace, Cedric Price’s unbuilt “anti-building” of the 1960s, The Shed can physically change at will and be responsive to myriad artistic ideas.
The Shed is governed by a 20-member board of directors, led by Chairman and President Daniel L. Doctoroff, with Alex Poots appointed as Founding Artistic Director and CEO in December 2014. For the last 20 years, Mr. Poots has commissioned and presented a wide range of leading artists. Prior to joining The Shed, he was CEO and Artistic Director of the Manchester International Festival and Artistic Director of the Park Avenue Armory.
The Chief Producing Officer (CPO) is an executive-level post who reports to the Artistic Director and CEO and will lead the team of producers and curators in the development and realization of high-quality commissions and productions for The Shed. As the executive responsible for producing, presenting, and touring the artistic programs, the CPO will work closely with the Artistic Director and CEO and Expert Advisor / Associate Artistic Director to ensure the realization of The Shed’s annual program and strategic development. The CPO, in conjunction with the Artistic Director and CEO and the Expert Advisor / Associate Artistic Director, is the executive responsible for the development and management of co-commissioning, co-producing, rentals, and commercial partnerships for new productions. The CPO will ensure that shows, productions, and processes run smoothly; are revised as and when required; and meet the highest international producing and presentation standards.
Roles and Responsibilities
Commissions and Program Development
- Research and develop a range of commissions programmed by the Artistic Director and CEO.
- Determine human, producing, financial, technological, and other resources required to realize these programs.
- Assign projects to in-house producers and curators and/or to freelance producers and curators, as appropriate.
- Respond to and manage unsolicited program approaches on behalf of the Artistic Director and CEO and develop an archiving and tracking system for these.
- Participate as a member of the senior leadership team to identify and welcome early career artists for The Lab and the annual NYC Artists summer showcase activities.
Producing Team Structure, Recruitment, and Management
- Identify producers and assistant producers to join various project teams in collaboration with the Artistic Director and CEO, Expert Advisor / Associate Artistic Director, and Chief Community Officer, where appropriate.
- Determine, with the Artistic Director and CEO, who will act as Executive Producer on each commission and which Producer / Curator will deliver each commission.
- Refine the staffing structure for the Program Department as organizational and project needs evolve.
- Lead the development of a system for training, mentoring, and monitoring new and/or freelance producers, freelance curators, and their support team members.
- Manage full-time producing staff and any independent contractors.
Co-Commissions, Co-Productions, and Rentals
- Identify potential partnerships with national and international co-commissioning, co-producing, and rental organizations with the Artistic Director and CEO and oversee these relationships.
- Prepare for and attend co-commission meetings on behalf of (or with) the Artistic Director and CEO and Expert Advisor / Associate Artistic Director.
- Develop summary proposals and budgets, as needed, and then negotiate and finalize contracts with co-commissioners and rental program partners, as appropriate.
- Act as the primary liaison between The Shed and co-commissioning/ rental partner(s) with appropriate Program Department staff.
- Ensure, with the Artistic Director and CEO, Expert Advisor / Associate Artistic Director, and other producers or curators as required, that commissions and partner projects are developed in preparation for any future touring plans.
- Shape, develop, and manage a long-term, pioneering, and sustainable touring model for work commissioned by The Shed in conjunction with the Artistic Director and CEO.
Program Department Operations and Implementation
- Supervise the Program Department’s administrative structures and ensure that policies, procedures, and systems are in place for smooth interface with The Shed’s Technical, Artists’ Liaison, Finance, Administration and Communication teams.
- Set, manage, and administer the budgets for Program Department with the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and the Artistic Director and CEO.
- Review and update commission budget and financial reporting templates in conjunction with the CFO.
- Maintain and update The Shed’s artist and production team contract templates, in conjunction with the CFO and legal counsel where necessary, and take the lead as to how these contracts are coordinated and collated.
- Ensure, with the CFO, that systems are in place for smooth transfer of information between the Program Department and the Finance Department.
Traits and Characteristics
The CPO will be receptive to new ideas, methods, and opportunities and will be driven by the artistic experience, subjective viewpoints, and harmonious balance in the unique physical surroundings of The Shed. Motivated by balancing past professional experiences with intuition, the CPO will have frequent and focused communication with others. The job requires assertiveness, compassion, and decisiveness in dealing with situations that are artistic, intellectual, emotional, and pragmatic while adapting to various situations with ease.
Other key competencies include the following:
- Creativity, Innovation, and Futuristic Thinking – The capacity to imagine and create new approaches, designs, processes, technologies, and/or systems that achieve the desired shows and productions that have not yet previously been actualized.
- Appreciating Others – The emotional intelligence to identify with and care about artists and audiences for the sake of artistic excellence and colleagues.
- Problem Solving and Decision Making – The ability to define, analyze, and diagnose all aspects of the program to formulate a solution based on sound and timely decisions.
- Planning, Organizing, and Negotiating – The dexterity to establish courses of action that ensure work is completed effectively using logical, practical, and efficient approaches while listening to many points of view and facilitating agreements between multiple parties.
At least seven to ten years in producing large-scale, multi-disciplinary new works in a broad array of arts, entertainment, or cultural facilities is required. A bachelor’s degree is preferred, along with breadth and depth of experience in translating artistic and creative visions into realizable and memorable productions. Candidates must have a demonstrated track record in collaborating with artists, overseeing production staff, and managing resources.
Compensation and Benefits
The Shed offers a very competitive salary based on experience, with excellent benefits, including medical (100 percent), dental and vision (50 percent), life, and disability insurances; Flexible Spending Plan and non-contributory 403(b) retirement plan; and vacation, sick, holiday, personal, maternity/paternity, bereavement, jury duty, and family medical leave, among others. The Shed is a tremendous opportunity to work for a vibrant and entrepreneurial organization in the heart of Manhattan, with extensive artistic influences internationally.
Applications and Inquiries
Please submit a letter and resume (electronic submissions preferred) with a significant list of production credits and creative accomplishments to: