Lincoln Center Names Next President: Jed Bernstein Steps in Beginning January 2014
The Lincoln Center Board of Directors has unanimously selected Jed Bernstein, theater producer and educator, as its next president. The announcement was made today by Katherine Farley, Lincoln Center Board Chair. He will succeed Reynold Levy, who will step down as president in January, 2014.
Mr. Bernstein has been professionally engaged in the arts for more than two decades. He led the Broadway League for 11 successful years and is a Tony Award-winning independent Broadway producer through Above the Title Entertainment, a Production Company and marketing consultancy he launched in 2006. In 2011, Bernstein joined with the Bridge Street Foundation to spearhead the financial and creative restructuring and extensive renovation of the historic Bucks County Playhouse, and became its producing director.
"Jed's breadth and depth of experience in the arts, together with his strong track record of inspired entrepreneurial leadership, are an ideal fit at this time for Lincoln Center," said Katherine Farley. "Throughout his career, as an arts executive, producer, educator and marketing executive, Jed has demonstrated the critical skills this unique position demands. He is an accomplished fundraiser who has produced results in developing new revenue streams and corporate sponsorships. He understands how to leverage digital platforms to engage new audiences, and has deep experience in piloting complex collaborations. Most importantly, his work is informed and inspired by a life-long passion for the arts."
CommenTed Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, "Lincoln Center made the perfect choice in Jed, and I couldn't be more supportive. For the last 11 years, I've worked with him in different capacities and he is going to bring a unique creativity and vitality to one of the world's great cultural institutions. He knows all sides of the theatrical community-artists, audiences, producers, staff, crew and everyone in between. He has the track record and he's well-prepared to lead Lincoln Center into its next era."
In accepting the new position, Bernstein said, "The chance to lead the next phase of Lincoln Center's evolution is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Growing up on the Upper West Side, I watched as it was first created and was fortunate that my parents took me to a countless number of performances. I can think of no professional challenge more fulfilling than to be asked to share my enthusiasm for the importance of all the performing arts with Lincoln Center's many constituencies. It is with great pride that I follow Ren's terrific legacy, and I am grateful to the Board for its confidence and support."
Commented Bruce Kovner, a member of the Lincoln Center Search Committee, Vice Chair of Lincoln Center, Chair of The Juilliard School, Trustee of the Met, and former Trustee of the New York Philharmonic, "Among the many things that impressed the search committee about Jed was his obvious respect for, and deep appreciation of, the classical arts. He has been a true enthusiast of opera and symphonic music throughout his life, beginning with childhood experiences attending Leonard Bernstein's Young People's Concerts with the New York Philharmonic. That sensibility, coupled with his professional achievements in the theater, arts management and marketing, make Jed a terrific choice to lead this institution."
Noted Reynold Levy, "I am delighted by the appointment of Jed as my successor. By virtue of his experience, drive and passion for Lincoln Center's mission, Jed is fully prepared to assume the role of Lincoln Center's president. I'll do whatever he and Katherine ask of me to help in the transition months ahead."
Rocco Landesman, former Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts said, "There is only one Ren Levy and Jed Bernstein is an inspired choice as his successor. I worked with Jed for 10 years on Broadway and know him to be a highly effective leader and innovator. Jed does everything 'all-in,' so I know he'll bring passion and terrific ideas to this exciting new stage."
Beginning in mid-September, Bernstein will spend a portion of his time at Lincoln Center with Reynold Levy and the Lincoln Center staff, familiarizing himself with campus operations and meeting with constituents and other members of the Lincoln Center community.
"Lincoln Center has been rejuvenated under Reynold's leadership, with a transformed campus enjoyed by ever-increasing numbers of visitors, a solid fiscal footing, and an unprecedented array of artistic offerings," added Farley. "As we look ahead to the future, Jed has the experience, skills and vision to lead Lincoln Center's next phase, which will include growing our global presence through digital platforms and expanded arts education programs, as well as developing new synergies among constituencies on campus. Our next stage of redevelopment will include the renovation of Avery Fisher Hall. All of these initiatives are in service to Lincoln Center's mission of presenting the very best arts programming to the broadest possible audience."
Bernstein, 58, has spent the past seven years co-producing critically acclaimed Broadway projects, including the Tony Award-winning revival ofHair, Driving Miss Daisy with Vanessa Redgrave and James Earl Jones, Equus with Daniel Radcliffe, and Oleanna with Bill Pullman and Julia Stiles. His work in partnership with the Bridge Street Foundation to re-establish, generate financial support for and extensively renovate the iconic Bucks County Playhouse as a vital venue for live theatrical entertainment has earned wide praise.
From 1995-2006, Bernstein played a central role in the reinvigoration of the Broadway industry as president of The Broadway League (formerly known as the League of American Theatres and Producers). He led the development of such high-impact, industry-wide programs as the Internet Broadway Database, now the number one theatrical industry data resource, "Kids' Night on Broadway" and televised editions of "Broadway Under the Stars" and "Broadway on Broadway." His successful corporate sponsorship programs and marketing initiatives generated significant and ongoing support for the Tony Awards, as well as for the entire Broadway community. He also played a central role in the Broadway industry's response to the events of 9/11.
Bernstein worked in the advertising industry for more than 15 years at Ogilvy & Mather, Ally & Gargano and Wells Rich Greene, where he helped create some of the most noteworthy, effective marketing campaigns of recent times for major corporate advertising clients such as American Express, IBM, Seagrams and the New York Stock Exchange, among many others.
Bernstein has taught and lectured for more than 20 years on advertising, marketing and the arts at the Yale School of Management, Yale School of Drama, New York University, the Savannah College of Art and Design and other institutions. Bernstein brings extensive experience and understanding of the importance of the arts to lifelong learning. He also is Executive Director of the Commercial Theater Institute, a training program for early career producers.
He serves on The Actors Fund Board of Trustees Executive Committee, the Theatre Authority and the Latin Media and Entertainment Commission.
Bernstein has a BA in psychology from the University of Pennsylvania and an MBA from Yale School of Management. He resides in New York City.
Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts (LCPA) serves three primary roles: presenter of artistic programming, national leader in arts and education and community relations, and manager of the Lincoln Center campus. A presenter of more than 3,000 free and ticketed events, performances, tours, and educational activities annually, LCPA offers 15 series, festivals, and programs including American Songbook, Avery Fisher Artist Program, Great Performers, Lincoln Center Books, Lincoln Center Dialogue, Lincoln Center Festival, Lincoln Center Out of Doors, Midsummer Night Swing, Martin E. Segal Awards, Meet the Artist, Mostly Mozart Festival, Target Free Thursdays, and the White Light Festival, as well as the Emmy Award-winning Live From Lincoln Center, which airs nationally on PBS. As manager of the Lincoln Center campus, LCPA provides support and services for the Lincoln Center complex and its 11 resident organizations, welcoming more than five million visitors annually. In addition, LCPA led a $1.2 billion campus renovation on behalf of all the resident organizations which was completed in October 2012.
Lincoln Center (lincolncenter.org) is the world's leading and largest performing arts complex representing the highest standards of excellence in symphony, opera, chamber music, theater, dance, film and arts education. It is comprised of 11 Resident Organizations: The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, The Film Society of Lincoln Center, Jazz at Lincoln Center, The Juilliard School, Lincoln Center Theater, The Metropolitan Opera, New York City Ballet, New York Philharmonic, The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, the School of American Ballet and Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts.