ATC Restructures, Matt Lehrman Becomes Interim Managing Director
Jessica L. Andrews, who came out of retirement to provide stability and leadership during a difficult period for Arizona Theatre Company (ATC), will step away from her current role as Managing Director to become Managing Director Emeritus in an expansion and restructure of ATC management.
Andrews will turn over day-to-day management of ATC to arts executive and audience-building expert Matt Lehrman as of September 2. Lehrman has spent the past ten months as a consultant working on ATC management practices and the Company's long-term strategic plan. He will hold the title of Interim Managing Director.
Andrews will stay with ATC for an undetermined period to assist with major gift fund raising and to assure a smooth transition of key donor and stakeholder relationships.
"My return was always designed to be short-term and now is the ideal time to turn over day-to-day management to someone with fresh energy and creativity to drive Arizona Theatre Company forward in new and exciting ways," Andrews said. "I came back to help ATC raise the funds necessary to make sure the 2013/14 season could be completed and to begin to stabilize the organization. This management change is the natural next step and will allow me to assist with the major fundraising necessary to continue to rebuild company."
Andrews retired from ATC in July 2009 after 11 seasons as Managing Director and three as Executive Director, returning in August 2013. She also served as Interim Managing Director from September 2010 to September 2011.
"We can never fully acknowledge Jessica's remarkable impact and incredible level of passion for Arizona Theatre Company," ATC Board Chair Cameron Artigue said. "She has guided ATC through good times and challenging times, but always with a singular dedication to quality theatre and meaningful community service in Tucson and Phoenix. She has rightly earned widespread respect and accolades for her work and dedication."
Andrews most recently helped lead a year-long fund-raising effort that generated more than $1.2 million to ensure that ATC was able to complete the 2013-14 season and to begin stabilizing the organization.
"Jessica's impact and influence for the last two decades on Arizona Theatre Company, and on the entire arts and cultural community in Arizona, cannot be overstated," said ATC Artistic Director David Ira Goldstein. "Her spirit of collaboration and her deeply humane caring for our staff, our artists and our communities have inspired all who work with her. Looking forward, we are in the enviable position of having the best of both worlds. With Matt bringing strategic counsel, a keen intellect and energetic leadership, and with Jessica still playing a key role, we will create a strong leadership team that will build imaginative new opportunities for Arizona Theatre Company."
Arizona Theatre Company opens its 48th season in September with the Tony Award-winning Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike.
"A new season brings with it many opportunities for growth and change," said ATC Trustee, season sponsor and longtime advocate Michael Kasser. "With this new management team in place, ATC has enhanced its ability to leverage those opportunities on many levels and that prospect is very exciting for the entire community."
Lehrman is the Principal of Audience Avenue, LLC through which he provides counsel, facilitation and analysis to help arts and cultural organizations pursue artistic relevance and achieve financial stability. His "Audiences Everywhere Workshop and Keynotes" have been presented throughout the U.S., Canada and United Kingdom.
From 2003-13, he served as founder and CEO of Alliance for Audience and ShowUp.com, a pioneering initiative in Arizona's arts and cultural community to activate public engagement in theatre, music, dance, art and cultural attractions statewide. Previously, he was Vice President of Marketing & Communications at the Scottsdale Cultural Council after beginning his career as a banking and mortgage finance lobbyist in Washington, D.C. A graduate of Oberlin College, he has participated in Stanford University's joint Executive Program for Non-Profit Leadership with National Arts Strategies.
About Arizona Theatre Company: Touching lives through the power of theatre, Arizona Theatre Company (ATC), is the preeminent fully professional theatre in the state of Arizona. Boasting the largest seasonal subscriber base in the performing arts in Arizona, ATC is the only resident company in the U.S. that is fully based in two cities providing its wide array of programming and community outreach across the region. Now in its 48th season, more than 130,000 people a year attend our performances at the historic Temple of Music and Art in Tucson, and the elegant Herberger Theater Center in downtown Phoenix. Each season of home-grown productions reflects the rich variety of world drama -- from classics to contemporary plays, from musicals to new works -- along with a wide array of community outreach programs, educational opportunities, access initiatives and new play programs. Designated The State Theatre of Arizona, ATC is led by Artistic Director David Ira Goldstein, Interim Managing Director Matt Lehrman and a dedicated Board of Trustees. Jessica L. Andrews is Managing Director Emeritus.