THE OFFICE performing arts + film is comprised of a small, dedicated group of senior staff. Collectively we have an enormous well of experience in professional arts development, gained through working in and with organizations in music, film, theater, and across the arts, as well as in commercial settings outside the cultural sector. We put this experience to use in developing strategies for cultural initiatives of every incarnation for venues, institutions, municipalities, and corporate clients. While we’re versed in the language of arts consulting, our true strength and value lies in the fact that we actively engage in the business of producing, programming, planning, and administering the arts at the highest level. We are uniquely positioned to authoritatively advise others in these areas because we do this work ourselves every day.
We specialize in long term planning for new cultural initiatives and devising innovative programs and approaches for existing ones. These consultancies can include mission development, sector research and benchmarking, and creating sustainable models for programming, budgeting, staffing, marketing and community relations, and the other operational structures that need to be in place to launch a successful arts endeavor. Each of these partnerships is unique, reflecting the dynamic interplay between an individual organization’s goals, capacity, and relationship to the cultural landscape it is part of. Four examples below (among many) illustrate THE OFFICE’s flexibility in addressing the needs of a given project.
We began working with The Arts Center on the new NYU campus in Abu Dhabi when the building was under construction and three years before its first full season, starting with a comprehensive proposal for an operational model and collaborating closely with NYUAD on every aspect of its realization. Specific considerations for opening and operating a presenting institution in the region were central to its planning.
At MASS MoCA we designed the performing arts and film program before the museum opened its doors in 1999 and have curated every season since. Performance and film are integral to the museum’s core mission, which is “to catalyze and support the creation of new art, expose our visitors to bold visual and performing art in all stages of production, and re-invigorate the life of a region in socioeconomic need.” The program at MASS MoCA, which along with a wide range of performances includes a robust residency program with many works in progress productions, is geared towards drawing in new visitors, generating income, and making an institution dedicated to contemporary art more accessible and welcoming to local communities.
Founded in 2002, the RMP is a is a philanthropic program that seeks out gifted young artists from all over the world and brings them together with artistic masters for a year of creative collaboration in a one-to-one mentoring relationship. We conceived of and produced two Rolex Arts Weekend festivals in NYC (2007, 2011), whose aim was to highlight the work of protégés and raise the profile of the program, as well as the RMP Salon Pilot Project in Cape Town (2013), which included both public and private events and was geared toward fostering collaboration among mentors and protégés.
We worked with Williams College prior to the opening of the ’62 Center in 2005, a state of the art building which houses the theatre and dance departments and presents all student and faculty productions along with a yearly season of professional companies. We created a new blueprint for the arts on campus with the CenterSeries, which focuses on using art and performance as a catalyst for scholarship by integrating the work of professional companies into curricula and campus life. We continue to curate the CenterSeries, which brings professional artists to campus for performances and residencies, and all the integrated programming events that accompany it.
THE OFFICE has produced performances around the world at major festivals and venues from Sydney to Vancouver to Dublin to Cape Town to London to Los Angeles, and of course at home in NYC. We also produce galas, benefits, and other events for all manner of organizations. We’ve produced national tours for bands and entire festivals. We approach every production, whether at the Sydney Opera House or a private home, with the same enthusiasm and professionalism.
We are proud to program a number of extraordinary venues and festivals. We also provide interim programming solutions for venues in need of anything from a few shows to an entire season. Our experience extends across all genres of performance including music, theater, dance, spoken word and beyond, as well as to film and digital media.
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THE OFFICE has developed a nimble and flexible style of working in collaboration with project managers, administrative support, and technical staff; we expand or contract depending on an individual project’s needs. We maintain close ties with other producers and curators from around the world, and we draw on these relationships as needed to enhance our capacity to address specific regional considerations and other specialized demands of a given project. Each member of the team is a specialist in his or her own field, and each of us brings a specific and complementary set of knowledge, skills, and perspective to every project. We all share a genuine passion for developing and implementing innovative thinking and practice in curating, producing, and administering the arts. This combination of specialized skills, the flexible and collaborative nature of our methods, and a collective desire to make a difference to our cultural landscape makes us unique in the field.