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Jon Gossett Announced As Chief Development Officer Of Arena Stage

Arena Stage at the Mead Center for American Theater Executive Producer Edgar Dobie and Artistic Director Molly Smith announce Jon Gossett will join the company this month as chief development officer. Gossett most recently held the position of chief advancement officer for the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

"Jon Kevin Gossett is a highly successful fundraising executive," says Dobie. "His wealth of strategic planning, capital campaign implementation and major gifts experience will serve Arena Stage well as we move into a comprehensive approach to our long-term development activities. My conversations with Jon and my own contact with former colleagues revealed the deeply held values and beliefs that guide his work. Jon is a theater lover and has been a subscriber to Arena Stage, giving him a significant head start as he joins us to lead our talented development team."

"I understand the deep power of live theater to educate, engage, enlighten and inspire people and communities," shares Gossett. "Now more than ever, a better understanding of ourselves, each other and our communities is critical. I've known about the rich history of Arena Stage, as well as the social and artistic impact, since my time at the Guthrie Theater in the early 1990s. Arena Stage has been on the forefront of American Theater for 70 years, and it is one of the extraordinary theaters in the nation. I am thrilled to be joining Artistic Director Molly Smith, Executive Producer Edgar Dobie, artists, staff and the Board of Directors at this exciting time for the organization. With its bold vision and relatively new spacious yet intimate three theater complex, I feel that the best is yet to come."

Jon Gossett comes to Arena Stage with 30 years of fundraising experience, setting records in amounts raised and enabling nonprofits to significantly increase their depth and breadth of service and impact. In 2001, he received the Advanced Certified Fundraising Executive certification (ACFRE), the 77th professional internationally to qualify for designation. Prior to leading the marketing, public affairs, communications, annual giving, membership, and major donor teams at the National Trust for Historic Preservation, Gossett had served in a number of executive leadership roles. He had served as senior vice president at the Bipartisan Policy Center, a Washington, D.C.-based policy institute; St. Luke's Episcopal Health System in the Texas Medical Center; and at American Public Media Group (St. Paul, MN), home to Marketplace, 15 other national programs, Minnesota Public Radio, Classical South Florida and Southern California Public Radio. In the arts, he has led the development teams for the San Francisco Opera, Houston Grand Opera, and the Guthrie Theater Foundation, in Minneapolis.

During his career, he has staffed twelve capital campaigns, including, at the time, the largest capital campaigns in the respective fields of united arts funds, regional theaters, public media organizations and historic preservation. Gossett holds a bachelor's degree in music performance and business administration from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor and a master's degree in philanthropy and development from St. Mary's University of Minnesota. He has served as an adjunct professor at St. Mary's University of Minnesota in Minneapolis and as a presenter for Walden University. He has served on the boards of not-for-profit organizations including the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) chapters in Houston and San Francisco, the Minnesota Humanities Commission, Greater Twin Cities Youth Symphonies and St. Luke's Episcopal Health Charities. He is currently an advisor to Friends of Puerto Rico and secretary for the Board of Dumbarton Place. In addition, he is the vice president for and advisor to A+ Educational Tours, a student educational travel company based in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Arena Stage at the Mead Center for American Theater, under the leadership of Artistic Director Molly Smith and Executive Producer Edgar Dobie, is a national center dedicated to American voices and artists. Arena Stage produces plays of all that is passionate, profound, deep and dangerous in the American spirit, and presents diverse and ground-breaking work from some of the best artists around the country. Arena Stage is committed to commissioning and developing new plays and impacts the lives of over 10,000 students annually through its work in community engagement. Now in its seventh decade, Arena Stage serves a diverse annual audience of more than 300,000.

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