The Tennessee Performing Arts Center seeks a dynamic and inspiring diversity and inclusion executive to help the organization more fully integrate its core values throughout all facets of its operations – both internally and externally.
Tennessee Performing Arts Center Management Corporation (TPAC), located in downtown Nashville, is a nonprofit performing arts center dedicated to providing and supporting the presentation of the performing and cultural arts. Founded in 1980, as a private-public partnership with the State of Tennessee, TPAC serves several hundred thousand audience members each year with the HCA/TriStar Health Broadway at TPAC series, a variety of presentations and rentals, and is the home theater of three resident arts organizations: Nashville Ballet, Nashville Opera, and Nashville Repertory Theatre.
In addition, TPAC administers one of the largest and most comprehensive arts education programs in the United States, serving students from pre-school to high school, educators, and adults. Over four decades, TPAC has welcomed more than 12 million audience members and served more than 1.8 million students, educators, and adults with performances at TPAC, teacher resources, professional development opportunities, classroom residencies, and enrichment programs.
Located in the James K. Polk Cultural Center, TPAC occupies an entire city block. Performance venues include Andrew Jackson Hall (2,472 seats), James K. Polk Theater (1,075), Andrew Johnson Theater (256), and the War Memorial Auditorium (1,661-2044), a historic concert hall located across 6th Avenue from the Center.
TPAC has a (pre-pandemic) operating budget of approximately $25 million. The majority of TPAC’s operating budget is earned income – ticket sales, rentals, etc. It enjoys a strong relationship with the State, has loyal patrons, and a newly conceived membership program.
Jennifer Turner was appointed President and CEO in May 2019 and began her tenure months before the COVID-19 pandemic-induced shutdown. Diversity, equity, and inclusion have always been core values to Ms. Turner, and as the organization prepares to rebuild and reopen this year, the board and she are taking this opportunity to think strategically about TPAC’s priorities emerging from the pandemic and beyond. Diversity, inclusion, access and equity (DIAE) are now affirmed as TPAC’s core values and, as an anchor institution in the city and state, Ms. Turner is striving to more closely link TPAC with the communities it serves. To adequately address and facilitate these priorities, Ms. Turner formed a committee comprised of staff members who developed a DIAE plan that include feedback from the Education and Community Engagement Committee of TPAC’s board. As an important next step toward a sustainable DIAE program, Ms. Turner created a Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer position to ensure the program is an organizational priority across all functions within the enterprise.
SCOPE AND RESPONSIBILITIES
At this time of exciting growth and development, TPAC seeks a dynamic and inspired leader for its Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer (CD&IO). Reporting to the President and CEO, as a member of the senior leadership team, the CD&IO will oversee the human resources department and have cross-departmental influence over the entire organization, primarily including audience development, programming, communications, community engagement, and board development functions. This is both an internal and external facing position. Internally, the CD&IO will play a critical role in imagining and realizing the Center as a strategic, equitable, and people-first work community. Externally, the CD&IO will represent TPAC as a leader in the arts ecosystem and facilitate fair access of its resources and services to all members of the Nashville community. The CD&IO will be a content expert and brain trust to TPAC leadership, providing DIAE-forward counsel and advice on all strategies, including the important decisions about the organization’s performance facilities. This is an opportune time to join a vibrant team that is rebuilding a beloved institution out of the pandemic with a unique mission that will redefine what a performing arts center can become for its constituents and the field.
There are many exciting opportunities and responsibilities for the Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer, including:
Management and Organizational Equity
- Develop, implement, and monitor TPAC’s DIAE strategy and measure efficacy of its initiatives, partnering with existing committees and departments.
- Lead and support the work of the staff’s Diversity, Inclusion, Access & Equity Committee consistent with TPAC’s overarching action plan.
- Build framework and manage deliverables, timelines, and budgets related to DIAE initiatives.
- Form authentic relationships with members of the senior management team creating an awareness, dedication, and accountability for DIAE action plans throughout the organization.
- Ensure TPAC remains compliant with regulations regarding DIAE, identifying areas of risk and opportunity.
- Address and provide guidance to staff, members, and the board on social justice sensitive topics.
- Continually monitor DIAE activities across the entire organization and provide updates and/or revisions as needed or appropriate.
- Support the CEO & CSO (Chief Strategy Officer) in strategically repositioning TPAC as a cultural anchor institution in Nashville, equitably applying and leveraging resources to build and sustain meaningful relationships with artists and organizations to ensure all communities are served as part of a thriving arts ecosystem.
- Serve as a thought leader and DIAE subject matter expert on internal/external best practices and strategies that inform programs and operations.
- In partnership with the Executive Vice President of Education and Community Engagement, collaborate with the Education and Community Engagement Committee of the board, utilizing their knowledge of and network in Nashville to enhance the impact of programs and operations.
- Proactively build and maintain relevant community partnerships, including corporate, managing communication and integration of key initiatives among stakeholders.
- Guide the analysis of outcomes and performance measures from an equity lens and use this information to foster improvements within the organization, community engagement, and audience development.
Human Resource Development & Training
- With the Vice President of Human Resources, establish people-first policies, procedures, and practices that advance a DIAE-forward ethos and institution-wide commitment to inclusivity.
- Establish a centralized training methodology from the lens of DIAE for customer service and box office, security, visitor experiences, volunteer, docent, fellows and interns, and board development.
- Commit to helping all staff achieve strategic outcomes and professional and personal goals through consistent management training and professional development opportunities.
- Acknowledging that training is often content-specific, develop consistent methodological practice with DIAE at the core to realize a systemic embedded commitment to TPAC values.
- Create innovative strategies to court, acquire, develop, and retain a diverse workforce.
- Deliver ongoing training sessions on anti-bias, anti-racism, and other related programs.
- Consult to programming team determining needs, while providing a diversity perspective for design solutions that align with programming objectives.
- Synthesize trends and remain current on DIAE best practices, sharing expertise thereby challenging the status quo.
KEY SELECTION CRITERIA
Potential candidates will have 15 or more years of related experience, with a career track that demonstrates increasing levels of responsibility and job status from one or more of the following roles:
- Diversity and inclusion executive in a presenting hall, regional theater, symphony orchestra, opera company, dance or ballet company, museum, college/university, or other cultural institution
- Diversity and inclusion executive from a large, complex for-profit or nonprofit corporation or governmental agency with a proven understanding of nonprofit workplace culture and an appreciation of the arts, ideally the performing arts
In addition, the ideal candidate will possess some of the following characteristics and experience:
- Bachelor’s degree or equivalent; master’s degree preferred
- Increasing responsibility in non-profit cultural management at the intersection of strategy and relationship management
- Demonstrated ability to develop and implement effective DIAE and community engagement initiatives within a mission driven organization
- Effective communication, team building, influence, change management abilities, as well as compliance and risk management experience
- Experience working with, supporting, engaging, and motivating non-profit boards
- Capability to work both strategically and hands-on to deliver results using project/program management and leadership skills
- Direct experience within talent acquisition, and knowledgeable of human resources practices and procedures
PERSONAL / PROFESSIONAL ATTRIBUTES
- A disrupter with a “velvet hammer” able to effect change with compassion
- A “builder” enthusiastic about taking a project from point A to point B
- A non-binary thinker able to identify and respect the nuance in complex issues and avoid blind spots
- A consensus builder able to convene diverse and divergent opinions and shepherd people toward common goals and progress
- Interpersonal sensitivity awareness to a range of societal and community issues
- High emotional intelligence and exceptional leadership presence
- An interest in the performing arts or arts education
- A nimble and adaptable change manager
- Knowledge of and a personal connection to the Nashville area is highly desirable; if not, must develop an appreciation for and commitment to the Nashville community
DHR International and James Abruzzo have been exclusively retained to conduct this search. Interested applicants may submit their resume and cover letter to:
Principal, Nonprofit Practice