Oregon Shakespeare Festival invites applicants and nominations for the Director of Development position at one of nation’s leading regional theatres. Join the leadership team of Artistic Director Nataki Garrett and Executive Director David Schnmitz to guide OSF’s vision and strategy.
The Oregon Shakespeare Festival (OSF) is one of the nation’s most important theatres and one of the few remaining large-scale theatres offering rotating repertory and a resident company. Over its 84-year history, it has achieved what is arguably one of the great dreams of not-for-profit theatre: an accomplished resident company of artists performing plays in rotating repertory to a large, intelligent, and appreciative audience. Still grounded in its founding impulses toward the classic theatre, OSF has built a body of work that includes not only the traditional classics, but also the canon from Europe and the United States. Further, OSF has commissioned and produced an extraordinary and growing number of new plays; and the organization’s dramatic growth has been mirrored by audiences of over 125,000 patrons each season. The artists and staff of OSF reveal the rich diversity of America; audience diversity is slowly but steadily growing; and the institution has been in the vanguard nationally with respect to its commitment to diversity and inclusiveness.
OSF is truly a destination theatre. The majority of its audiences make a pilgrimage to Ashland from outside Oregon’s borders; they seek and obtain an immersive theatre-going experience in Ashland where the town and the region around it are also stars in providing a wonderful experience. It is safe to say that this theatre has moved into the very center of the national dialogue about the art form and a theatre organization’s responsibility to sustain it.
MISSION AND VISION
OSF has achieved its significant stature in pursuit of the following mission and vision statements:
Mission Statement: Inspired by Shakespeare’s work and the cultural richness of the United States, we reveal our collective humanity through illuminating interpretations of new and classic plays, deepened by the kaleidoscope of rotating repertory.
Vision Statement: OSF will balance its roles as a major arts organization, national leader, and preeminent resource for the theatre field, with being nimbly responsive to challenges and opportunities, both artistic and economic. Anchored by an inspired company creating exceptional art, we will be guided by thoughtful resource stewardship and a deep commitment to education and audience engagement.
OSF is driven as much by its values as its mission. These four core values imbue the OSF culture:
Excellence: We bring the best possible version of ourselves to our work onstage and to the organization, holding ourselves to high artistic, professional and personal standards.
Inclusion: We include a diversity of people, ideas and cultures in our work, enriching our art, our relationships with each other, our audiences and our community.
Company: We sustain a safe and supportive workplace where we rely on our fellow company members to work toward excellence with trust, respect, compassion and accountability.
Stewardship: We make wise, efficient and responsible use of all the resources entrusted to us, sustaining our long-standing financial stability, the legacy of our organization’s 8O-year history, and the health of our planet.
The incoming Director of Development will join the OSF team on a platform of substantial strength on which to collaboratively plan the future:
- Excellence in production quality with the art always considered central to OSF impact;
- Well run operation by staff and artists;
- A caring and committed Board;
- A deeply engaged, committed audience;
- Strong brand;
- The unique “Ashland experience” as a critical component of the theatre-going pilgrimage;
- Diversity in its resident company, Board, staff, and audience;
- Deep ties with multiple communities throughout the West;
- High level of goodwill throughout the American theatre community.
Additional information can be accessed on OSF’s website: https://www.osfashland.org/
Nataki Garrett, Artistic Director
On August 1, 2019, Nataki Garrett became the sixth Artistic Director of OSF (following Bill Rauch, and before him, Libby Appel, Henry Woronicz, Jerry Turner, and Founder Angus L. Bowmer). 2019 was Garrett’s first season at OSF, where she directed How to Catch Creation. Her bio may be found here: https://tinyurl.com/Nataki-Garrett-Bio
David Schmitz, Executive Director
OSF announced the appointment of David Schmitz as Executive Director on May 22; he will begin fulltime at OSF on September 1 of this year. He is leaving Steppenwolf Theatre after 15 years, having served as its Director of Finance and Administration, General Manager, and for the past five years as Executive Director. The full announcement may be read here: https://www.osfashland.org/en/news-multimedia/news-announcements/new-ed.aspx
Board of Directors
OSF is governed by a 34-member Board, populated by business leaders, educators, physicians, attorneys, and philanthropists – all of whom are theatre lovers. Reflective of OSF’s audience, many trustees live outside of the Ashland area. The current chair, Diane Yu, is the first person of color ever elected to lead the Board.
OSF currently operates on an annual budget of over $40 million, with an earned / contributed ratio of approximately 66/34%. The endowment currently stands at approximately $38 million.
In response to COVID-19, in March of this year, OSF announced the cancellation of its spring and summer seasons and later cancelled the fall season. A new online service – “O” – has been established and may be found here: https://osfashland.uscreen.io/programs/whyshakespeare . Like all theaters, OSF continues to develop contingency plans for when and how its audience will attend.
The theaters and support facilities occupy a four-acre campus in the heart of Ashland and adjacent to Lithia Park. Historically, up to eleven productions have been presented on its three primary stages in rotating repertory over an eight-month period:
• Allen Elizabethan (1190 seats), with three annual productions;
• Bowmer (up to 601 seats), with four to five annual productions;
• Thomas (270-360 seats), with three annual productions.
The Green Show Stage – centrally located between the three venues in an open courtyard known as “The Bricks” – offers free outdoor performances prior to selected shows. In addition, OSF owns an impressive 72,000’ production facility in nearby Talent, OR, where sets and props are created, and costumes are stored. OSF operates under collective bargaining agreements with AEA , IATSE and SDC. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, there were 184 fulltime, 269 fulltime seasonal, 147 part-time employees, 700 volunteers, and 90 artists in the Resident Acting Company.
OPPORTUNITIES AND CHALLENGES
The next Director of Development will join OSF at an important time in its organizational life. Operating at its current size and scale offers both opportunities and challenges. Among the opportunities are these:
- Joining the new OSF senior leadership team and playing a key role in the dynamic development of a vision for a new OSF, post COVID-19, which is built to thrive for the long term.
- As part of the senior team, joining the effort to forge a multi-year strategic plan.
- Planning and executing a major capital campaign to revitalize and redefine the infrastructure, including the three theatres.
- Being in one of the nation’s flagship regional theaters and leading the field in equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI).
- Building an even more robust development program; rethinking and executing all branches of OSF’s contributed revenue streams.
- Leading a staff team of seasoned development professionals with long standing relationships with patrons and donors and a shared passion for OSF.
Along with these opportunities, there are challenges that OSF’s leadership team must embrace:
- Raise enough funds to cover the theatre’s reduced operations during a year without programming, reconceiving delivery of all its programming in the time of COVID, and determining anew the right way to support each programming branch.
- Evolve the OSF business model in response to climate change, which has caused the region to be increasingly prone to wildfires and the associated smoke that disrupts the operation of the outdoor theatre. This will include coordination with the local business community to ensure a world class destination experience for the Festival’s attendees.
- Build on the strong core of the development team, reprioritizing department growth, including rebuilding functions previously facilitated by employees who have been furloughed or eliminated.
- Work with the Artistic and Executive Directors to build a sense of shared purpose, community, trust, and morale.
- Advise the Board on development and nominations matters.
Nestled between the Siskiyou and Cascade mountain ranges, the Rogue Valley is a leading travel destination for year-round cultural, culinary, and outdoor adventures. Ashland welcomes over 300,000 visitors annually to a town of 20,000, highlighting its charming downtown retail environment, 100 culinary establishments, access to over 100 wineries, and a trail system of 50 miles. Recognized as one of the thirteen most biodiverse regions in the world, Ashland and the Rogue Valley have been named by Wine Enthusiast as one of the “Top Ten Best Wine Travel Destinations in the World” and voted as one of the “Top Trail Towns” by Trail Runner Magazine. There are many benefits that accompany the Rogue Valley’s charm, beauty, and sense of community that have helped make it a destination for work, play and culture. These advantages include nationally recognized medical facilities; strong public and parochial schools, higher education at the community college and university levels; active religious and spiritual communities; a more modest cost of living; no traffic congestion; an abundance of parks and green space; low crime levels; a range of local activities; and an array of theatre, music and other live performing arts. Ashland was recognized as one of the “25 Most Livable Cities in the U.S.” by MSN. The nearby Medford Airport and interstate highway connect the region to major population centers. The following websites offer much information about the city and region:
POSITION AND RESPONSIBILITIES
The Director of Development reports to the Executive Director. The Artistic Director is a primary participant in development efforts and will retain a close working relationship to the DoD. Currently, there are ten on the DoD team plus data services personnel shared with marketing.
- In concert with the Executive and Artistic Directors and in alignment with OSF initiatives, create, develop, and implement a comprehensive annual institutional advancement plan that successfully achieves OSF’s contributed income goals.
- Effectively recruit and manage the development team with respect to their specific areas of focus; including, but not limited to the assignment and monitoring of fund development goals for each team member while facilitating the growth and personal development of the Team with a focus on building a collaborative and productive work environment.
- Develop data-based strategies for patron development and ensure that OSF has the structure and discipline to track and evaluate patron data.
- Work closely with staff, Board members, ,and other volunteers to maximize the effectiveness of OSF special events in order to help develop, attract, and retain donors.
- Grow OSF major gifts program including identification, cultivation, and solicitation of major donors; including Planned Giving strategies.
- Work with the Executive Director, the Artistic Director, and the Board to integrate Capital Campaign Plans into the short and long-term annual fund needs of the organization.
- Develop and monitor an annual contributed revenue and expense budget including general department operations and special events.
- Provide appropriate support to the Board Development Committee Chair, the Board Governance and Nominations Committee, and Executive Director to carry out the functions of the committee and cultivate Board engagement.
Ideally, the successful candidate for this role will possess most of these skills and experiences:
- A background in the cultivation and solicitation of all contributed revenue streams (individual, corporate, foundation, government, special events) with proven ability to develop, solicit, and steward major gifts.
- A demonstrated record in the management of successful development teams and programs.
- Be a strategic, seasoned, innovative, and collaborative leader with solid experience in managing, mentoring and motivating staff, and the ability to engage others toward accomplishing common objectives.
- Understanding of data management and evaluation.
- Have an unwavering commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion, evidenced in the candidate’s professional history.
- Ideally, a background in the performing arts, although development professionals from other disciplines will be seriously considered.
- Excellent verbal and written communication skills and the ability to be a strong and effective ambassador for OSF.
- Experience in Tessitura is a plus.
- Have significant and progressive fund-raising experience in organizations of scale.
The following personal attributes are also important to OSF:
- A deep love of theatre and the people who make it.
- Taking satisfaction in serving as an ambassador in business and social settings.
- A transparent, collaborative, and confident leadership style, taking satisfaction in achieving the best work in others.
- A desire to be fully part of the City of Ashland and the Rogue Valley.
COMPENSATION, APPLICATION PROCEDURE, AND START DATE
The salary will be competitive with other theatre companies of comparable stature and size. Benefits will include the following:
- Medical/dental/life/disability/vision insurance plans
- A 403b plan available for employee funding and employer match
- Paid vacation, holidays, sick leave, and personal days
- EDI training
- Employee Assistance Program
OSF has engaged Management Consultants for the Arts to facilitate this search; David Mallette, Partner, and Stephen Richard, Senior Consultant, are the consultants leading the process. The hiring decision will be made by the Executive Director, with input from other key OSF leadership. Their hope to make a final decision by late summer with the new Director of Development onsite as soon thereafter as possible. Interested and qualified candidates are encouraged to submit in complete confidence a cover letter, resumé, and four professional references to the consulting firm retained to conduct the search. The cover letter of no more than 1½ pages should address how OSF core values, shared in this profile, intersect with the candidate’s professional background and what about this opportunity is of greatest interest to them personally.
Application materials should have the applicant’s name included as part of each file name and must be submitted electronically through the following link: https://mcaonline.com/searches/director-development-oregon-shakespeare-festival
Management Consultants for the Arts, Inc.
Questions about this search may be submitted to info@MCAonline.com
With OSF Development Director Search in the subject line.