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Executive Director

The historic Music Hall seeks applications for the position of Executive Director from individuals with broad practical experience in performing arts center administration, programming, and fund-raising.  

Located in the historic seaport of Portsmouth, NH, The Music Hall is a landmark destination, a leading presenter of shows, outreach activities, and arts education programs, and, as the region’s premier performing arts center, a major economic driver.

The Music Hall has served its community since 1878 and was designated an “American Treasure” by the United States Senate in 2003.

The Music Hall offers nearly 200 live performances and 400 film screenings annually in its two downtown venues: the 1878 Historic Theatre (895 seats) and the more intimate Loft (120 seats). Although global in the scope of artists/programs presented, The Music Hall operates with a local focus which includes the support of nearly 4,000 member households, 300 regional business supporters, and 60 community partners. It provides 52 weeks of high-quality arts and educational programming annually to some 130,000 attendees of all ages, including 10,000 students.

The Position:

Reporting to the Executive Committee, but administratively to the President of the Board, the Executive Director serves as the chief executive, managing the operations of the corporation. The Executive Director’s position would begin on July 1, 2020.    

The Executive Director oversees a leadership team of five with a full-time staff of 24, a part-time staff of 45, and approximately 350 volunteers, with the assistance of a skilled Board. The annual budget of The Music Hall is approximately $6 million.

The Music Hall seeks a forward-thinking, energetic, and visionary performing arts venue professional who will ensure an efficient, successful, and fiscally sound operation that brings a high standard of programming to the region and continues to care properly for its historic theater.   

The Executive Director leads, inspires, innovates, curates, and secures resources both human and financial to advance the mission of The Music Hall. Guided by the strategic plan and immersed in the core values of the organization, the Executive Director is responsible for ensuring clear fiscal reporting, working with the CFO and management team to develop and meet both annual and capital budgets.

The Executive Director has historically led the programming for The Music Hall, working with the long-time Deputy Director of Programming, the Film and Outreach Manager, and the Literary Coordinator.  

Other senior positions include: Chief Financial Officer, Director of Institutional Advancement, Director of Operations, and Director of Marketing & Communications.

 As identified in the current Strategic Plan, the five key goals for the organization are:

  • To improve patron and member experience, expand the audience base;
  • To adopt a stewardship mindset with an emphasis on legacy giving;
  • To focus on succession planning and staff development;
  • To upgrade the interior and technical infrastructure;
  • To invest in current partners and to seek new opportunities.


The Music Hall was saved from demolition by the community in 1987 and has emerged as a cultural anchor for the region. The theatre’s award-winning restorations and renovations have brought back details from 1878 and 1901 including a gloriously restored proscenium arch, a fanciful and functional lower lobby, a marquee, and the Chestnut Street arch. Just around the corner from the historic theater is The Loft, a small venue with a contemporary setting with food and beverage service that opened in 2011. 


  • Experience as a chief executive officer or senior leadership, preferably in arts/performing arts facilities.
  • Knowledge of many performing arts forms, fundraising, and all aspects of arts venue management. This position will oversee the successful, diversified programming of live concerts, literary events, comedy shows, and films.
  • An industry professional with existing networks within the cultural sector and a personal vision of how the arts and arts education play a role within the life of a community.
  • A degree in arts, arts/business management, or not for profit administration is preferred; or equivalent experience in facility management and administration.
  • Demonstrated leadership in fund-raising. Experience in working with senior level development staff and boards of directors to plan and implement fund-raising goals, objectives, and policies. Ability to cultivate, solicit, and steward major gifts from high level individual donors, corporate sponsors, and foundation/government funders in conjunction with a development staff and volunteers.
  • The ability to build and nurture excellent management teams; and the strategic thinking, personal leadership qualities, political acumen, tact, and patience required to negotiate and manage change successfully. An understanding of all departments, a team player who acts as a voice for those backstage, onstage, and in the administration offices, working across all departments to hear ideas and concerns. 

The new Executive Director will have excellent programming, analytical, financial, and organizational skills, with demonstrated leadership in human resource management. Other characteristics include effective oral and written communication skills, and knowledge of ancillary businesses such as catering, ticketing, corporate rentals, and the like.  

The Executive Director represents The Music Hall to the media and the performing arts industry through leadership and participation in community activities. The Music Hall has a pivotal role in the cultural, educational, and economic enrichment of the region; the Executive Director must be able to establish and maintain effective working relationships with elected officials, the Board of Trustees, the media, artists, artist managers, other arts groups, sponsors, educational institutions, volunteers, and the audience.

Application Process:

Salary is commensurate with experience and qualifications. Excellent benefits package.  Deadline for applications: Friday, February 14, 2020. Interested candidates are invited to submit a cover letter and resume with a list of references and salary requirements in confidence to:

Margaret Genovese
Senior Partner
Genovese, Vanderhoof & Associates

For additional information: