Cultural Affairs Director
The Cultural Affairs Department for the City of Thousand Oaks oversees the operation of the Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza’s Bank of America Performing Arts Center (BAPAC), one of the largest performing arts centers between Los Angeles and San Francisco. BAPAC encompasses two theaters—the 1,800-seat Fred Kavli Theatre and the 394-seat Janet and Ray Scherr Forum Theatre. The box office processes more than 170,000 tickets and averages $8.5 million in ticket sales each year. Combining outstanding arts and entertainment with state-of-the-art technology and acoustics, more than 200,000 patrons and 15,000 school children attend more than 300 performances and events annually. BAPAC is home to three resident companies: Pacific Festival Ballet, New West Symphony, and 5-Star Theatricals.
BAPAC is funded through a unique public/private partnership between the City of Thousand Oaks and Thousand Oaks Alliance for the Arts (TOARTS), a 501(c)3 nonprofit. TOARTS serves as the in-house presenting arm of BAPAC and uses private funds to present more than 60 performances annually. TOARTS also serves as BAPAC’s official fundraiser, underwriting theater operations and arts education programming as well as providing annual performance grants to community arts organizations performing at the venue. TOARTS has an annual operating budget of $3.7 million and the Cultural Affairs Department serves as support staff to administer the organization’s programs and operations. The Cultural Affairs Director also serves as the Executive Director of TOARTS.
The City of Thousand Oaks houses its own fine art collection and encourages the arts through the Department’s Arts Services Division. Arts Services includes the Thousand Oaks Arts & Culture Roundtable, Fred Kavli Theatre Visual Arts Gallery, and community events such as the annual Pop-Up Arts and Music Festival. The adopted Cultural Affairs Department budget for fiscal year 2019-2020 (inclusive of the Theatres Enterprise Fund and Arts Services) is $5.2 million for personnel, programs, maintenance, and operations costs.
The City of Thousand Oaks (Thousand Oaks) has much to be thankful for—an exceptional California community with family-friendly amenities that are the envy of cities across the region. Fifty years of achievement have made Thousand Oaks one of the most sought-after places in California to live, work, play, and raise a family. It is less than an hour from downtown Los Angeles, yet a world apart.
Incorporated in 1964, Thousand Oaks is located in beautiful Ventura County, 12 miles from the Pacific Ocean, nestled against the Santa Monica Mountains. The city is surrounded by hundreds of square miles of open space and has more than 265 days of sunshine each year. Within its 56 square miles, more than 15,500 acres of publicly owned open space contain 120 miles of trails for hiking, biking, or equestrian uses. A beacon in the region, BAPAC offers Thousand Oaks residents and visitors world-class entertainment, musicals, concerts, plays, children’s shows, ballets, and much more.
With a balanced family-oriented community of 132,000 residents and a strong local economy, Thousand Oaks is home to excellent schools, outstanding parks, and numerous retail shopping opportunities. The city has adopted a balanced budget with appropriate reserves throughout its history due to conservative management and adherence to long-term financial strategic plans. City Departments include City Manager’s Office, City Attorney’s Office, City Clerk, Human Resources, Finance, Community Development, Cultural Affairs, Library, and Public Works.
The Cultural Affairs Director will be the chief visionary, strategic, and operational leader and will guide the Cultural Affairs Department and TOARTS as a champion for the varied programs and cultural offerings in Thousand Oaks. The Cultural Affairs Director will be a department head with responsibility for policy development, program planning, fiscal management, administration, and operational direction of all departmental functions. This individual will also be responsible for developing and accomplishing department objectives and goals within guidelines established by the City Council and City Manager. Reporting to the City Manager and also serving as the Executive Director of TOARTS, the Cultural Affairs Director will manage and direct the operations and services of BAPAC as well as spearhead an overarching planning process to support the population of Thousand Oaks while fostering creativity that redefines the city’s arts landscape. Serving as the primary arts and culture liaison between the City and its respective stakeholder groups (resident companies, government leaders, and many others), this individual will act as the ambassador for the Cultural Affairs Department locally and nationally. A credible and visible leader who drives the department to its next level of growth and service to the community, the Cultural Affairs Director will be accountable for the facility’s programming, management, and operations while mentoring and guiding a highly effective and motivated team.
Roles and Responsibilities
Community Ambassadorship and Stakeholder Relations
Embrace a community engagement process that ensures a mission-based approach to achieving the vision.
Commit to purposeful, all-inclusive partnerships where the arts are at the forefront of development and sustainability within the Thousand Oaks community.
Communicate major initiatives and serve as the organization’s primary spokesperson to the community, donors, resident companies, media, political leaders, and other stakeholders.
Establish and maintain productive professional relationships and strategic partnerships with resident companies and others throughout the community.
Engage in active dialogue and transparent communication with elected and appointed senior officials from Thousand Oaks.
Respond to and resolve citizen inquiries around cultural offerings.
Develop deeply rooted connections to the private sector, civic partners, and community organizations.
Raise public awareness for BAPAC by developing strong relationships with local and national media through effective external communication mechanisms.
Highlight Cultural Affairs Department programs and policies in the local and government media.
Understand the Thousand Oaks marketplace, political landscape, and demographic trends to recommend a course of action that addresses potential projects and programs.
Collaborate with community influencers, government officials, and arts advocates to attain significant outcomes.
Perform other community ambassadorship and stakeholder relations responsibilities as needed.
Strategic, Facilities, and Capital Planning
Lead BAPAC in strategic development, facilities, events, and capital plans that advance the city’s mission and council priorities, its resident companies, and the Thousand Oaks community.
Assist in the planning, design, funding, advocacy, public approval, and future plans for cultural facilities in Thousand Oaks with the community and stakeholders.
Promote long-term planning and conceptualize new initiatives that will ultimately lead to improved organizational effectiveness, processes, and practices.
Keep abreast of trends and developments in the national and international performing arts community and recommend new and innovative approaches that will enhance the department’s success.
Guide the development of annual business plans that both determine and deliver upon key performance indicators.
Embrace entrepreneurial approaches beyond traditional business models.
Perform other strategic, facilities, and capital planning responsibilities as needed.
Team Leadership, Mentoring, and Coaching
Provide inspired leadership and direction to the TOARTS board of directors and skilled staff team in active pursuit of the mission, vision, and values that guide the Cultural Affairs Department.
Build, develop, and lead a strong team that will sustain an effective departmental structure with a focus on customer service.
Create a professional environment that enables staff to excel in a collegial and respectful way.
Ensure mentoring, coaching, and professional development opportunities and resources for staff at all levels of the department.
Oversee, advise, and guide staff members in programming, venue operations, finance, development, and marketing and communications.
Mentor an experienced team of professionals who deliver BAPAC’s high-quality mission expected by audiences, resident companies, and artists alike.
Perform other team leadership, mentoring, and coaching responsibilities as needed.
Financial Sustainability, Development, and Marketing
Strategize with key staff members on opportunities for philanthropic annual, capital, and additional financial support that increases corporate sponsorships, foundation support, and donor investment in BAPAC and TOARTS.
Inform and engage the TOARTS board regarding key issues, business opportunities, significant operational activities, and financial matters.
Actively engage with government officials to advance the arts and other initiatives that support the mission and vison of the Cultural Affairs Department.
Oversee the short- and long-term financial stability of BAPAC and TOARTS, including their critical financial, business planning, and management policies.
Manage risk in all areas, including finance, operations, environment, and safety.
Collaborate with the Finance Department to ensure appropriate processes and controls are in place to develop, monitor, evaluate, and report on the effective utilization of budgetary funds.
Partner with the marketing team to develop strategies that maximize ticket sales, rental revenues, and other earned revenue opportunities.
Perform other financial sustainability, development, and marketing responsibilities as needed.
Traits and Characteristics
With high emotional intelligence and political savvy, the Cultural Affairs Director will be a motivated ambassador and advocate for the Cultural Affairs Department of the City of Thousand Oaks. The ideal candidate will be comfortable engaging in conversations that build effective partnerships, raise levels of engagement, and advance innovative approaches to artistic, educational, and community needs. Embodying integrity and authenticity, the Cultural Affairs Director will embrace a healthy departmental culture based in collaboration and strategic partnerships. A catalyst for action who is receptive to new ideas and opportunities, this individual will be comfortable with frequent change and celebrate a people-oriented approach in identifying challenges and developing creative solutions. Insightful and resourceful in leveraging financial, human, and technological resources, the Cultural Affairs Director will be a highly evolved communicator both internally and externally. A highly influential individual who can fruitfully mobilize artistic and social resources, the Cultural Affairs Director will embrace opportunities that advance the community. An inspirational leader, proven business manager, and skilled relationship builder, this individual will take on a front-and-center, multi-stakeholder role.
Other key competencies of the role include:
Leadership, Teamwork, and Employee Development – The acuity to spearhead strategic initiatives while creating active participation by and proactive engagement from a variety of internal and external stakeholders while facilitating, supporting, and contributing to the growth of others.
Customer Focus and Diplomacy – The dexterity to anticipate, meet, and exceed resident company needs and community expectations while carefully listening and responding to a variety of stakeholders who sometimes have conflicting opinions and priorities.
Interpersonal Skills and Influencing Others – The capacity to respect others, treat them fairly, and maintain positive and productive relationships while reaching mutually beneficial results.
Conceptual Thinking and Goal Orientation – The ability to analyze situations, develop strategies with specific goals, calculate the inherent risks of various options, anticipate human and materials resource needs, and achieve extraordinary results.
A bachelor’s degree with major course work in business administration, communications, theater arts, or a closely related field is required. Ten or more years of progressively responsible management experience within the performing arts or entertainment industry, ideally in a senior level position with responsibility for a variety of programs and projects, is necessary. Candidates must possess experience in a similar sized venue or city department or have experience with a similar organization of considerable budgetary size and scale. Demonstrated success in working with local government entities, booking agencies, and touring management of professional performing arts entities and nonprofit funders is required. A passion for the arts and culture sector and its impact in the community, as well as a desire to embrace an active role in arts advocacy, are needed. The City of Thousand Oaks is strongly supportive of employee growth and succession planning. Therefore, the successful candidate will be expected to take an active role in their professional development, including training and active participation in professional associations.
Compensation and Benefits
The City of Thousand Oaks offers a very competitive salary (commensurate with experience) and an excellent benefits package that includes: monthly City contributions up to $1,265 per month to use toward medical premiums or other cafeteria plan options for employees and/or dependents; 100 percent of the premiums for dental, vision, and life insurance for employees and dependents; and long-term disability. The City of Thousand Oaks also offers vacation and administrative leave provisions, a 6 percent matching deferred compensation of annual salary plan, retirement contributions, and an excellent quality of life that is a hallmark of Thousand Oaks.
Application and Inquires
Please submit a cover letter, resume, and list of demonstrable and other relevant accomplishments (electronic submissions preferred) to:
Martin Bragg, Senior Vice President
Arts Consulting Group
8581 Santa Monica Boulevard, Suite 406
Los Angeles, CA 90069-41202
Tel (888) 234.4236 Ext. 205
The City of Thousand Oaks is an equal opportunity employer. Those who share a desire to work in a positive work environment and have a commitment to excellence, diversity, and teamwork will find a rewarding place to work.