AT&T PAC's New CEO Is Familiar With Such Words As "Cash-Strapped" and "Cutbacks"

Categories: Arts
Weinstein-Headshot.jpg
Mark Weinstein
It's been almost a year since Mark Nerenhausen suddenly stepped down as CEO of the AT&T Performing Arts Center after less than two years on the job. But this morning, the AT&T PAC made it official: Mark Weinstein, ex of the Washington National Opera and the Pittsburgh Opera, is his replacement, effective June 1. Weinstein, who joined Placido Domingo as exec director in D.C. in October 2007, arrives while the AT&T PAC, like everyone else, is in the midst of a budget crisis of sorts: As Jerry Bokamper notes this morning, "The center ended its first season with a $3 million deficit and remains $40 million short in its $354 million capital campaign." More recent numbers for the 2010-'11 season have yet to be made public.

Weinstein's no stranger to such circumstances: In late 2009, the Washington National Opera laid off staff and trimmed its schedule, a move Domingo called "heartbreaking." At the same time, the Los Angeles Times noted, Weinstein's duties changed: "[He] will no longer perform his day-to-day administrative duties and instead will focus exclusively on fundraising and broad-range financial strategic planning." That will be his job here, to a large extent.

The AT&T PAC's full press release follows, and it includes highlights from Weinstein's tenures not only in D.C., but in Pittsburgh and at the New York City Opera. Says the new CEO, he's just happy to be here.

"I'm thrilled at the opportunity to join the team of the AT&T Performing Arts Center, which already has a strong civic presence, state of the art venues, and excellent programs presented by both the Center and its resident companies," he says in the statement. "My wife and I are excited to become a part of the Dallas community, and I look forward to working with the staff and board of the Center. Together, we can fulfill the vision for the Center, making it a public gathering place with exciting, accessible and affordable programs."

Jump for the whole aria.
AT&T Performing Arts Center Names Mark J. Weinstein as President and CEO

Weinstein Brings more than 25 Years of Performing Arts Leadership to Dallas

DALLAS (May 17, 2011) - The AT&T Performing Arts Center announced today that veteran arts executive Mark J. Weinstein has been appointed its new President and Chief Executive Officer. Weinstein has nearly three decades of experience leading some of the country's premier performing arts organizations, including Washington National Opera, resident company of the Kennedy Center; the Pittsburgh Opera, a constituent of the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust; and New York City Opera, in residence at Lincoln Center. Weinstein begins his new role at the AT&T PAC on June 1, 2011.

"Performing arts centers are complex organizations that require a unique skill set of its leadership," said Roger Nanney, chair of the AT&T Performing Arts Center Board of Directors. "Mark not only has a proven track record of successfully managing arts organizations with budgets comparable to that of the AT&T Performing Arts Center, but he also has a deep understanding and passion for the performing arts, which has been reflected in the programs he launched during his storied tenure. In Mark, we have found a CEO with the perfect balance of leadership, management, fundraising, and producing experience."

Most recently, Weinstein served for two years as Executive Director of the Washington National Opera, alongside Artistic Director Placido Domingo. During his tenure, Weinstein launched "Opera in the Outfield," a series of live simulcasts at National Stadium of the Opera's opening night performances. By partnering with Target and Rolex, Weinstein ensured the programs would be free and open to the public, drawing more than 15,000 people, many of whom had never before experienced opera. He also led the Opera from years of budget deficits to two straight years of operating in the black, raising $20 million each year. To ensure the company's future economic stability, he laid the groundwork for the eventual merger of its administrative functions with the Kennedy Center.

During his ten years of leading the Pittsburgh Opera (1997-2008), Weinstein launched a major initiative called "Bold New Voice" to improve the company's artistic quality and importance to the community. This program led to the transformation of the company, bringing fresh productions with younger directors and innovative and modern sets to Pittsburgh for the first time. In order to fund new productions, he often collaborated with other opera companies around the nation to share costs. Weinstein also refocused the company's commitment to education, erased the company's accumulated debt and grew its endowment. He led the merger of four separate arts entities in the city, forming the first Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council, of which he served as Founding Chairman. Weinstein also spearheaded the creation of the first National Performing Arts Convention, combining the national conventions of more than a dozen arts groups, which held its first meeting in Pittsburgh in 2004.

Prior to Pittsburgh, Weinstein spent thirteen years (1983-1996) with New York City Opera, serving as Executive Director for the last three. In his first year with the company he worked with Beverly Sills, then general director, to introduce supertitle translations for the first time in opera production in the United States. Over the course of his tenure, he also worked on a number of world premieres, including Casanova's Homecoming by Dominick Argento (with the Minnesota Opera) in 1984; the first staged production of Anthony Davis's X, The Life and Times of Malcolm X in 1986; Jay Riese's Rasputin in 1988; Hugo Weisgall's Esther in 1993; Ezra Laderman's Marilyn in 1993; the revised version of Lukas Foss's Griffelkin in 1993; and Harvey Milk by Stewart Wallace and Michael Korie in 1995 (with the Houston Grand Opera); as well as many American premieres.

Weinstein served as City Opera's representative on the Lincoln Center Governing Council, which was comprised of one representative from each of Lincoln Center's constituent companies. The Governing Council overcame historic institutional rivalries and collaborated on a number of issues, including Live from Lincoln Center broadcasts and other media, joint insurance programs, labor issues, energy, security, and programming issues.

"I'm thrilled at the opportunity to join the team of the AT&T Performing Arts Center, which already has a strong civic presence, state of the art venues, and excellent programs presented by both the Center and its resident companies," said Mark Weinstein. "My wife and I are excited to become a part of the Dallas community, and I look forward to working with the staff and board of the Center. Together, we can fulfill the vision for the Center, making it a public gathering place with exciting, accessible and affordable programs."

The Board of the AT&T PAC selected Mark Weinstein as its CEO after an extensive national search under the leadership of Board member Ken Schnitzer and with the services of Korn/Ferry. The Center's interim CEO, Doug Curtis, will return to his previous position of Senior Vice President and General Manager, where he oversees all aspects of the Center's operations.

About Mark Weinstein

Mark Weinstein has nearly 30 years of experience leading performing arts institutions. Most recently, he was the Executive Director of the Washington National Opera, where he developed a new strategic plan with a renewed focus on National Opera's mission and balanced the budget each year. From 1997 through 2008, Weinstein served as General Director of the Pittsburgh Opera, where he was responsible for all artistic and financial aspects of the company, growing the company from a regional opera company to one of national importance. Weinstein worked as Vice President of Operations for the National Artists Management Company, a Broadway theatrical producing company from 1996 to 1997. While at NAMCO, he helped produce the Broadway revival of Chicago, among other shows. From 1983 through 1996, Weinstein worked in a variety of roles with New York City Opera, including Executive Director. In that capacity, he led a financial recovery of City Opera, maintained balanced budgets, and reversed years of labor strife. It was also at that time that he met and married Susanne Marsee, then the leading mezzo soprano at City Opera.

Weinstein received a BA from Carleton College and an MBA from the Harvard Graduate School of Business Administration. He and his wife have a son who is a student at the University of Colorado, Boulder. Mark Weinstein's achievements have been recognized through multiple awards, including the "Cultural Leadership Award" granted by the Pittsburgh Cultural Center and the "Best Partner Award" by the Pittsburgh Convention and Visitor's Bureau.

About the AT&T Performing Arts Center

Open since October 2009, the AT&T Performing Arts Center is a vibrant destination for entertainment in the heart of the downtown Dallas Arts District. The Center presents a variety of programs, including its Lexus Broadway Series, Brinker International Forum, and, in association with TITAS, contemporary dance and music, and other performances. The Center also provides performance space for The Dallas Opera, Dallas Theater Center, Dallas Black Dance Theatre and Anita N. Martinez Ballet Folklorico, in unparalleled venues set within a 10-acre urban park.

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