Director of Design and Production

Brown Arts Institute (BAI), Brown University

Providence, Rhode Island

Work Location: In-office

Academic

Website Brown Arts Institute (BAI), Brown University

About the Opportunity

Brown Arts Institute (BAI) seeks to hire their next Director of Design and Production to join their Leadership Team and guide a growing production department. Having opened The Lindemann Performing Arts Center in October 2023, the team at BAI is now in the midst of establishing new systems and practices to support the IGNITE Series, which showcases a diverse array of offerings from across the Brown Arts ecosystem, including projects by students, student groups, faculty and departments, Brown alumni, Brown Arts Institute collaborations with other campus units and Artistic Innovators, as well as projects by local and regional artists and arts organizations. The Director of Design and Production (DDP) will be central in the planning and execution of both artistic presentations and developmental residencies that occur within BAI’s various spaces.

Brown University continues to undergo tremendous growth in the arts. An experienced, collaborative, and creative leader, the DDP will play a pivotal role in the future success of the Brown Arts Institute. The DDP will build communicative and collegial relationships with the rest of the BAI Leadership Team as well as supportive relationships with the production and technical team members who report to them. Building open, trusting, and responsive lines of communication are of the utmost importance, as the BAI programs are vast, complex, and often politically sensitive. This position requires a great deal of diplomacy, prioritization, compartmentalization, and multi-tasking, while taking care to maintain open and respectful relationships with constituents throughout the University.

About Brown Arts Institute

The Brown Arts Institute builds on over two decades of work fostered by Brown University’s Creative Arts Council (1999 – 2015), which was created to support the goals of the individual creative art departments and programs and facilitated a common vision for the arts that transcended disciplines and created unity, and the Brown Arts Initiative (2016 – 2021), a university-wide research enterprise and catalyst for the arts at Brown that supported, amplified, and added new dimensions to the creative practices of Brown’s arts departments, faculty, students, and community. While continuing the work of the Creative Arts Council, the Initiative also presented public events and produced a season program. The Brown Arts Institute was launched in 2021, under the leadership of Artistic Director Avery Willis Hoffman, and represents the full breadth of the performing, literary, and visual arts at Brown. Building on the university’s strong history of supporting interdisciplinary work in the arts, the BAI aims to achieve the following goals: support Brown’s core arts departments; expand Brown’s artistic legacy; exemplify and promote a unified artistic and academic program; facilitate greater opportunity for collaboration; and position Brown as a home for future generations.

This past fall, the Brown community celebrated yet another remarkable milestone for the arts: the opening of The Lindemann Performing Arts Center. The Lindemann offers new horizons for artistic exploration for Brown students and faculty, local community members, and distinguished artists from around the world. More than an arts venue, The Lindemann is a state-of-the-art research laboratory that will qualitatively transform the Brown Arts ecosystem, stimulating new modes of art making, encouraging innovative collaborations across knowledge domains, and activating the creative imaginations of artistic communities at Brown and beyond.

With a radical, one-of-a-kind approach to spatial, acoustic, and technical flexibility, Brown University’s 101,000-square-foot Lindemann Performing Arts Center, designed by Joshua Ramus/REX, will inspire dynamic art-making, enable new forms of artistic collaboration, and serve as a hub for performance at Brown. The opening of The Lindemann heralds a new era in Brown Arts history and arrives in concert with the extensive creative offerings of campus and Providence-based artists and arts organizations, as well as the renewed commitment to the arts by Providence city government. Through transformative architectural forms and an infusion of soul-sustaining light, The Lindemann Performing Arts Center, newly located at the heart of Brown University’s campus, inspires an equally nimble boundary-pushing programmatic approach.

About Providence

Brown University’s physical landscape is a campus on College Hill, which offers a classic New England college experience among brick quads, scenic greens, soaring modern architecture, renovated centuries-old structures, state-of-the-art laboratories, and world-class libraries. All of this is located within the heart of Rhode Island’s vibrant capital city, Providence, known for its restaurants, innovative arts scene, youthful energy, and unpretentious vibe.
Providence is located 50 miles from Boston and 180 miles from New York City. The city itself is a great starting point for outdoor recreation, with numerous parks, biking trails and nearby hikes. The ocean is just a short drive away. Home to one of the leading culinary schools in the country, Providence is a magnet for “foodies” because of its acclaimed restaurant scene. Offerings range from Korean pancakes, veggie tacos, inventive food-truck fare, gourmet donuts and farm-to-table delicacies. Even beyond Brown’s campus-based arts scene, Providence is a hub for performance. The city’s signature WaterFire installation is a highlight. Nationally recognized theater company Trinity Rep is within walking distance of campus and home of the Brown/Trinity MFA program. And you can find live performances at the Providence Performing Arts Center, the VETS, and the Columbus Theatre.

Job Description

The Director of Design and Production (DDP) reports to the Artistic Director and is responsible for ensuring that the overall design and execution of productions taking place in any existing or future BAI venues meets exemplary professional standards. The DDP must maintain the highest-level knowledge of all BAI venue specifics, including all technical and safety requirements, and is responsible for working closely with all programmed artists, as well as internal and external designers, to ensure that projects—including BAI commissions and transfers from other venues—are appropriately designed for BAI venues.

As part of the BAI Leadership Team, the DDP will bring a design and production management perspective into the decision-making and planning processes for short- and long-term programming. In collaboration with BAI’s Production Manager, the DDP is charged with overseeing technical budgets, calendars, and staffing plans and is also responsible for identifying, recruiting, and managing all technical staff assigned to the BAI and BAI venues, including the Lindemann Performing Arts Center and the Granoff Center for the Creative Arts. An active participant in the planning, engineering, and execution of designs for all productions, the DDP, will have the vision to understand potential challenges and create solutions and improved working practices for artists working at BAI and production team members. When necessary, the DDP submits designs to shops or rental houses to solicit bids and manages fabrication or rentals to meet set, costume, lighting, sound, and projection needs. The DDP ensures that standards of safety are observed by serving as the Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) representative for the BAI. The DDP may play a direct role in instructing students by offering design and production classes at the discretion of the BAI Leadership, and provide mentorship for those engaged in the production-oriented aspects of BAI offerings.

Essential Responsibilities

Oversee all design and production needs of BAI events
– Collaborate with BAI’s Artistic Director, Producing Director, and Director of Programs and Operations to understand the full scope of projects being programmed and hosted by BAI, make budgetary and planning decisions to complete those projects, and manage the execution of those projects.
– Oversee internal and external teams to ensure all production and design needs of BAI produced events are met, are professionally managed, and are in line with established budgets.
– Understand and uphold BAI and University policies and procedures when it comes to meeting production timelines and processes.

Lead and oversee Technical Staff
– Recruit, train, and supervise a robust production staff including a Production Manager, Technical Directors, Assistant Technical Directors, department supervisors, on call-staff and student assistants as well as stage managers, carpenters, riggers, stagehands, electricians, wardrobe, lighting and sound programmers.
– Meet regularly with department heads and staff to ensure ideas are exchanged, responsibilities defined, staffing needs are discussed, budgets are completely outlined and understood, spending practices are appropriate, and morale is maintained.
– Ensure that staff complies with all health and safety guidelines.

Training and Instruction
– Teach one for-credit course, or some combination of full-credit, partial-credit, skills workshops, or other curricular offerings per year in technical production, design, or other appropriate topics, at the discretion of the Director(s).
– Be open and available to advise formal independent studies and group independent study courses, as well as informal advising to faculty and student users, and appropriate training for ArtsCorps members.

Qualifications
– Required: BA and 5-7 years in theatrical production, design, or related experience OR equivalent combination of education and experience including 4+ years in: production management, design oversight, budgeting and financial management, operations management, supervisory experience
– Proven success and comfortability in managing/designing multiple, simultaneous, large-scale artistic productions in a range of disciplines
– Knowledge of and experience in a broad range of artistic practices including performing, experimental, and visual arts
– Ability to think strategically, maintaining a focus on long-term planning, coupled with a keen awareness of day-to-day operations
– Capacity to be flexible, as the needs of the BAI continue to evolve, project needs shift, or more is learned about using a new facility
– Strong acumen for budgeting and financial management
– Demonstrated ability in managing a diverse staff with a broad range of skills sets
– Diplomatic and patient attitude to ensure a readiness to interact with a broad range of individuals (faculty, administrators, artists & management, vendors, students)
– Proficiency in delivering programs that meet the mission and standards of the BAI, which often need to be managed alongside competing needs and demands of different constituencies
– Demonstrated ability to support a community of diverse perspectives and cultures in an inclusive environment
– Teaching experience preferred
– Strong written and oral communication skills
– Excellent organizational skills, with the ability to prioritize and multitask

This position is a fully onsite position, though there is allowance for occasional ad hoc WFH days, as needed. In addition, some evening and weekend work and travel should be expected. Because of the nature of live performances and the ongoing services provided to students, BAI is a fully onsite operation.

Not sure you meet 100% of our qualifications? Research shows that cis men apply for jobs when they fulfill an average of 60% of the criteria, while others tend only to apply if they meet every requirement. If you believe that you could excel in this role, we encourage you to apply.

We are dedicated to considering a broad array of candidates, including those with diverse workplace experiences and backgrounds. So, whether you’re returning to work after a gap in employment, simply looking to transition, or taking the next step in your career path, we will be glad to have you on our radar.

Please use your cover letter to tell us about what you hope to bring to this role.

Compensation

The salary for this position is $120,000-133,000. BAI employees receive comprehensive benefits from Brown University (additional details available in the full overview found through the link)

Application Instructions

The Director of Design and Production search is being conducted on behalf of Brown Arts Institute by Tom O’Connor Consulting Group, a New York-based executive search and consulting firm specializing in the arts and culture industries. The search is being led by Search Consultant Brenna Thomas, in consultation with and support from the TOCG search team.

To apply, visit the online application and submit your materials through Brown University’s application portal. All applications will then be reviewed by TOCG, in partnership with BAI. Your cover letter should include any training or experience relevant to the job profile that you would like to highlight, why you consider yourself a good fit for this opportunity, and anything else you’d like us to know about your qualifications that may not be present in your resume.

The priority application deadline for this search is April 19, 2024. Applications received by this date will receive priority consideration. While we will still accept and consider applications after this date, we encourage you to apply as early as possible for the best chance at being considered for the position. Please note that meeting the priority deadline does not guarantee an interview.

To apply for this job please visit www.tomocgroup.com.