ArtsJournal: Arts, Culture, Ideas

Director, Opening Nights at Florida State University

About Opening Nights at Florida State University

Performing arts presenting at Florida State began in 1921 with the creation of the Florida State College for Women Artist Series. The inaugural concert of the series was by composer and bandleader John Philip Sousa, and throughout the years world-class talent flocked to campus to perform – including modern dance pioneer and choreographer Martha Graham, cello virtuoso Pablo Casals, bandleader and pianist Count Basie, and the Metropolitan Opera National Touring Company.

In 1968, Florida State President John Champion enhanced the Artist Series by creating the Florida State University Fine Arts Festival, which presented the Artist Series’ international and national talent alongside faculty and student performances, encompassing the entire month of February. The Artist Series and Fine Arts Festival continued in some capacity until the end of the 1991 Spring Semester.

After taking office as President of Florida State University in 1994, Sandy D’Alemberte reached out to former Florida State presidents and first ladies, “What was your greatest accomplishment as President?” The Champions’ answer was resoundingly the “Fine Arts Festival,” which implored President D’Alemberte to reinstate performing arts presenting on campus. Thus, the inaugural season of Seven Days of Opening Nights took place in February 1999.

Arts education is at the core of Opening Nights’ mission. Our goal is to provide meaningful artistic and professional experiences to students on and off Florida State University’s campus, including providing master classes, lectures, and question-and-answer sessions for students by visiting artists and performers. These educational opportunities are free to students and provide invaluable, face-to-face experiences.

Since its inaugural festival seasons, Opening Nights has evolved into an annual series of performances that occur from the fall to the spring, drawing a curated, lauded selection of artists to Florida State’s campus year after year. Our efforts continue to bolster our program and arts education within the community.

Florida State University

One of the nation’s elite research universities, Florida State University preserves, expands, and disseminates knowledge in the sciences, technology, arts, humanities, and professions, while embracing a philosophy of learning strongly rooted in the traditions of the liberal arts and critical thinking. Founded in 1851, Florida State University is the oldest continuous site of higher education in Florida. FSU is a community steeped in tradition that fosters research, encourages creativity, and embraces diversity. At FSU, there’s the excitement of being part of a vibrant academic and professional community, surrounded by people whose ideas are shaping tomorrow’s news! Learn more about our university and campuses.

Position Summary

The Director, Opening Nights (ON) directs all aspects of the organization by administering and implementing strategies that advance the organization through the presentation of world-class programming, dissemination of educational opportunities in the arts, and creation of meaningful community engagement while achieving annual revenue goals (earned and philanthropic).

Reporting to the Associate Vice President of University Relations in the Office of the President, the Director will be a visionary leader on and off campus with expertise in performing arts programing, arts education, community engagement, philanthropy, strategic planning, arts marketing, and revenue generation.

The Director manages a staff of five (5) full-time employees (Director of Development, Marketing and Communications Manager, Education and Engagement Manager, and Artistic Programming & Operations Manager, Business and Patron Services Manager) with additional direct staff support from the Office of the President (HR/Finance), University Communications (Graphic Design/Web Design/Marketing/Brand Development), and multiple academic units (Facilities).


The Director is responsible for the leadership, design, execution, strategy, supervision, and administration of the Opening Nights series at Florida State University. The position serves as the primary resource for professional arts presentation at the University and works collectively and collaboratively with University and community stakeholders on performances, events, and education endeavors on and off campus.

  • Provides innovative leadership in the execution of annual performing arts series programmatically, educationally, and financially.
  • Directs daily operations and coordinates long-range strategic planning.
  • Cultivation and solicitation of donors and patrons to enhance, support, and elevate ON through the FSU Foundation including the ON Development Council.
  • Accountability for the formulation and administration of the annual operating budget of ON ensuring expenditures are in line with resources while achieving an appropriate balance between revenue generation and fundraising.
  • Oversees the vision for collaborative and engaging arts education programs on and off campus.
  • Responsible for the leadership, management, delegation, and mentorship of staff, interns, volunteers, and other stakeholders for the successful management and implementation of daily affairs, events, and performances at ON.


  • Master’s degree and five years of experience or a Bachelor’s degree and seven years of related experience in an executive, management, leadership position related cultural arts field, are required.
  • Collaborative leader, who works well in complex environments with multiple constituents, partners, and stakeholders.
  • Proven leadership managing and producing performing arts series and/or festivals including industry experience and existing networks within the cultural sector.
  • Positive and productive history of working with artist representatives, agents, and managers to present compelling and distinguished artists in alignment with the program’s mission.
  • Experience in leading co-beneficial collaborations internally and externally.
  • An enthusiastic, committed, and successful fundraiser, with the ability to nurture multiple patron relationships.
  • Considerable knowledge of national trends in arts marketing, including digital media.


  • Experience as the public face of an organization that has multiple objectives and a range of stakeholders.
  • Expertise in University and community arts education and engagement programs.

For more details and to apply, visit, Job ID 50298, Director, Opening Nights. The committee is accepting applications through January 10th, 2022.
FSU is an Equal Opportunity/Access/Affirmative Action/Pro Disabled & Veteran Employer.
FSU’s Equal Opportunity Statement can be accessed at:

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Director, Opening Nights at Florida State University

The Director, Opening Nights (ON) directs all aspects of the organization by administering and implementing strategies that advance the organization.