The City of Sandy Springs, GA seeks an Executive Director to lead the Sandy Springs Performing Arts Center, a newly-opened facility that is the centerpiece of City Springs – a mixed-use development that has created its own version of a 21st Century Town Square. Home to the City’s civic offices, a four-acre park, conference and meeting space, residential and retail space, as well as two theaters, City Springs was envisioned as a center of community activity and identity, bringing a sense of place to all citizens of Sandy Springs.
In a newly-created position and as a member of the City Manager’s executive staff, the Executive Director of the Sandy Springs Performing Arts Center will affect the role that arts and culture play in the civic life of the community for years to come.
Background and Current Environment
Sandy Springs incorporated in December 2005, the first new city in Georgia in almost 50 years. Located just north of the Atlanta city limits, Sandy Springs is demographically diverse and offers convenient access to the surrounding communities including Midtown and Downtown Atlanta. Deploying a non-traditional approach to government services, the City operates as one of the most significant public-private partnerships in the country. All services outside of public safety and the City Manager’s executive staff are provided by private contractors. Honest, Efficient and Responsive have been part of the City’s motto since its incorporation.
In 2012, the City undertook a master planning process to create its own version of a town square, keeping in mind four essential elements: incorporate history, create a central gathering place, look to the future, and involve the community. City Springs was built on the highest point in the city, offering views to the Blue Ridge mountains to the west and the Atlanta skyline to the south. It also incorporates two of the city’s most prominent ecological features; the natural spring that gives the city its name and an unsurpassed urban tree canopy.
Recently opened in the Fall of 2018, the cornerstone of City Springs is the Sandy Springs Performing Arts Center, consisting of the following:
Byers Theatre The centerpiece of the Sandy Springs Performing Arts Center is this best-in-class performance venue. The 50,000 square-foot Byers Theatre is built to support a wide range of programs and activities. The theatre features excellent sight lines, with seating for 1,070 on three levels including box seats. Superb acoustics, a full orchestra pit, and fly loft make the theatre an ideal venue for a variety of performance events. The theatre’s modern performance technology offers a robust lighting inventory and a cinema-quality 4K projector and screen.
Studio Theatre The Studio Theatre is a 5,000-square foot flexible space that can be configured to serve the community as a meeting space, a venue for small performances, or a location for corporate meetings and banquet-style events. The Studio Theatre also functions as the Council Chamber where the Mayor and City Council meet twice a month as well as the meeting room for several public boards and committees.
Conference Center The Conference Center at City Springs offers breathtaking views of Atlanta to the south and the Blue Ridge Mountains to the north. The Conference Center is comprised of six separate areas that can be configured to serve a variety of events. Attached to the Conference Center, the City View Terrace offers outdoor flexible space including a water wall and comfortable seating.
City Green City Green is a four-acre park that provides a large, outdoor space for gatherings, festivals, and outdoor concerts. As part of its inaugural season, the City Green Stage hosted a variety of performances including Movies by Moonlight, Home by Dark, and the Harvest Music Fest.
CityBar Located between the two theatres, CityBar offers patrons a convenient spot for food and drink prior to performances.
Park View Lounge The Park View Lounge is an intimate setting for VIP and pre-performance receptions.
About Sandy Springs, GA
The City of Sandy Springs is located at the crossroads of one of the region’s most traveled east-west and north-south connections with prime access to Interstate 285 and Georgia Highway 400, with Interstate 75 located just west of the City’s border. Four stations on the MARTA rail transit system serve Sandy Springs, creating an attractive transportation location for business.
Sandy Springs is the sixth most populous city in Georgia with a population of 106,709 (U.S. Census estimate, July 1, 2017). Its location in the center of the Atlanta metropolitan region has made it an attractive place to live and work. Sandy Springs, along with the Perimeter Center, is a top office submarket for the area, especially for headquarters, finance and insurance industries, as well as other professional businesses. The City’s daytime population doubles due to the concentration of major firms and corporations located there. Among the companies which call Sandy Springs home are AirWatch (VMWare), AT&T Mobility Services, Beazer Homes, Cisco Systems, Cox Communications, Graphic Packaging, IBM Corporation, Intercontinental Exchange (parent of the New York Stock Exchange), UPS, Veritiv, WestRock, and Mercedes-Benz USA.
Value Penguin ranks the city number five in Best Cities for Young Families. HomeSnacks lists Sandy Springs among the top five Best Places to Live in Georgia. Kiplinger ranks Sandy Springs among the Top Ten Places for Early Retirement, and Livability.com ranks Sandy Springs number four as a Top Best City for Recent College Grads. WalletHub lists Sandy Springs as among America’s Most Diverse. More than a quarter of Sandy Springs residents now speak a language other than English as their primary language.
Sandy Springs is home to a flourishing dining scene and nighttime activities. More than 22 miles of the Chattahoochee shoreline route Sandy Springs, helping to create a place where one can expend energy paddle boarding on the river or enjoy one of the City’s many parks and green spaces.
Position and Responsibilities
The Executive Director will serve in a highly visible capacity to promote the best interests of the Sandy Springs Performing Arts Center, City Springs, and the City of Sandy Springs as a whole. In so doing, the Executive Director is expected to articulate the Sandy Springs Performing Arts Center’s greater artistic and social value to the community and make that vision and purpose abundantly clear to staff, supporters and the region’s cultural enthusiasts. The Executive Director provides full oversight of performing arts center operations including strategic planning, financial stability, community engagement, programming, marketing, and staff management.
Set a clear and strategic direction, particularly during this start-up phase, for Sandy Springs Performing Arts Center, ensuring long-term sustainability and a high level of customer service.
Oversee, guide and direct all activities of the Sandy Springs Performing Arts Center, including staffing, budgets and facilities while defining the artistic vision and direction of performing arts programming from a place of knowledge and collaboration.
Lead the Sandy Springs Performing Arts Center team, facilitating an environment in which the staff can do their best work.
Fully participate in the creation and execution of marketing strategies for performances and activities in collaboration with the City’s marketing team.
Devise, develop, and execute programs for arts education and community engagement in collaboration with organizational partners.
Act as the Sandy Springs Performing Arts Center’s chief spokesperson and liaison to the community.
Communicate challenges and opportunities to the City Manager, and other executive staff with transparency and openness.
The ideal candidate will:
Be a dynamic and strategic leader with a thorough grounding in performing arts, facility management and arts programming.
Be a strategic and visionary manager with excellent analytic, financial, and organizational skills.
Have a proven track record of successful community engagement and sponsorship acquisition.
Possess superb writing and oral communication skills.
Have excellent staff management skills and an ability to deal authentically and wisely with a broad spectrum of personalities.
Possess political savvy, diplomacy, warmth, and a strong commitment to diversity.
Have a passion for the performing arts and the important role cultural institutions play in the life of a vibrant community, and the ability to articulate this mission and role to others.
Ideally, possess a knowledge of ancillary businesses and shared service situations such as conference center management and food and beverage service.
A minimum of ten years of performing arts facility management experience including budget development and leadership of senior staff is preferred.
The ideal candidate will also:
Have a strong work ethic.
Have the ability to derive deep satisfaction from facilitating the best work of others and providing the highest level of customer service.
Have a desire to be a civic leader in the City of Sandy Springs and a part of the greater Atlanta cultural community as a whole.
Compensation and Start Date
The salary for this position will be competitive with other performing arts organizations of comparable stature and size. The City of Sandy Springs also offers a generous benefits package. It is the intention of the City of Sandy Springs to fill the position as soon as possible.
How to Apply
Jason Palmquist and David Mallette are the MCA consultants leading this search. To be considered for this position, applicants should submit a résumé, cover letter, and at least three professional references (name, work relationship, email, phone) in Word of PDF format (with applicant’s name included as part of each file name), using our online application system:
Once all materials have been submitted online, applicants will receive a confirmation of submission via the email address provided in the application. For clarification on any of this information, please contact Christy Wall at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Sandy Springs Performing Arts Center
Sandy Springs Performing Arts Center is working with Management Consultants for the Arts on this very important search.
For over 34 years, Management Consultants for the Arts, Inc. has specialized in working with the cultural field and has had a rich involvement with cultural organizations of all types and sizes throughout the country. We have built our reputation on our deep understanding of the needs and objectives of America's individual cultural organizations as well as our knowledge of the national context in which they operate.
Our services include consultations in: planning, executive search, organizational analysis, board/staff retreats and seminars, conference and workshop development and facilitation.
We provide these services to a broad range of cultural organizations, including theaters, art museums, dance companies, historical societies, visual arts centers, children's museums, science centers, performing arts centers, orchestras, service organizations, arts councils, foundations and public agencies.