Director of Arts Engagement and Education, Shea’s Performing Arts Center

Location: Buffalo, NY
  • November 17, 2017

Shea’s Performing Arts Center invites applications and referrals for the position of Director of Arts Engagement and Education.  We seek a highly strategic, motivated and collaborative individual who will bring a strong track record in community partnerships and engagement, successful “arts in education” initiatives, and new and exciting arts engagement and educational programming for all ages.    

Reporting to the President, the successful candidate will be an integral part of the Shea’s PAC leadership team and will be responsible for creating, implementing, and overseeing all Shea’s Performing Arts Center arts engagement and education programming in three theatres and in the Western New York region.   

Current Shea’s PAC activities include: Shea’s On School Time Series, Shea’s In Schools Outreach, Shea’s Master Class and Afternoon with an Artist, Exploring the Arts, Junior Theatre Celebration, The Kenny Awards, and Camp Broadway Mainstage and Next Step Programs. Shea’s PAC wants to be responsive to the needs and interests of its community and area schools with exciting projects and partnerships. 



The ideal candidate will have a master’s or bachelor’s degree in arts and/or education or equivalent experience in education, communication, and arts administration.  Experience in grantsmanship would be an asset.

The new Director will have proven strategic thinking skills, a solid knowledge of the performing arts and education landscape, and polished speaking and presenting abilities to audiences large and small.  Other necessary characteristics would be excellent written communication skills, a track record in community participation and partnership, budgeting experience, and computer savvy.  We seek a creative arts professional who is a motivator of people/staff, a good listener and synthesizer with the ability to establish and maintain proactive relationships with teachers, administrators, cultural colleagues, arts organizations, thought leaders, and community partners.


Shea’s Performing Arts Center

Shea’s is the leading Performing Arts Center in the Greater Buffalo/Niagara Region with over 250 performances, programs and events per season.  The namesake venue has been restored to its original 1920s movie palace glory, providing an exceptional experience for its patrons.  Shea’s is well-known for the varied programming that it attracts to its three theatres: Shea’s Buffalo Theatre (3,000 seats), Shea’s 710 Theatre (formerly Studio Arena Theatre with 610 seats), and Shea’s Smith Theatre (280 seats). Theatre-goers also enjoy dining at Shea’s Bistro and Bar located within Shea’s.

The Shea’s Performing Arts Center annual budget for FY 2018 is approximately $4 million. Shea’s posted an operating surplus 11 of the past 12 years, and its surplus in 2017 was approximately $550,000.  The Shea’s development department raises approximately $850,000 annually through an annual fund and other fundraising events.


Other Information and Application Process:

Salary commensurate with experience.  Excellent benefits including health care, PTO, holidays, and 403(b).

Interested candidates are invited to submit a letter of interest, resume, salary expectations, and list of references by Friday, January 5, 2018 in confidence to:

 Margaret Genovese

Senior Partner


77 Carlton Street, Suite 1103

Toronto, ON, Canada  M5B 2J7


For additional information see:,



Shea’s is a presenter of major touring blockbuster Broadway musicals as well as family and educational programming, concerts, gospel shows, comedy, dance, historic theatre tours, and special events. Since opening its doors in 1926, there have been many great performers that have graced the stage at Shea’s Buffalo Theatre including George Burns, Frank Sinatra, the Marx Brothers, and Bing Crosby, among others.

At the heart of Buffalo’s vibrant performing arts culture, Shea’s is one of the top one-week subscription markets in the country with over 15,000 season ticketholders for the 2017-2018 season.  With attendance at over 255,000 patrons annually, Shea’s has a strong economic impact locally, bringing over $80 million yearly to Downtown Buffalo and the Niagara Region.



Buffalo has a rich history, replete with countless historic sites and museum-worthy stories. Battles were waged here as the War of 1812 played out at Old Fort Niagara. Fortunes were made by the likes of William G. Fargo, founder of American Express and Wells Fargo. Jazz legends like Louis Armstrong jammed at the Buffalo Colored Musicians Club. And American presidents lived, died, governed and were buried in Buffalo.

Shea’s is a major cultural institution in Buffalo, NY. Shea’s Buffalo Theatre has been on the National Register of Historic Places since 1975. It was originally opened in 1926 as a movie palace, under the direction of Michael Shea. A self-made entertainment mogul, Shea had a reputation as an innovator and pioneer in the entertainment industry. After having already established several popular entertainment venues in Buffalo, he commissioned the design of Shea’s Buffalo by renowned architects C.W. and George L. Rapp of Chicago, with the interior designed by Louis Comfort Tiffany. Built in one year at a cost of nearly $2 million, the theatre is regarded by many as Shea’s crowning achievement, and is viewed as one of the finest intact movie palaces in the United States.  Modeled after European opera houses, Shea’s Buffalo Theatre is the only remaining Tiffany interior designed theatre in the country.  Shea’s also houses an original restored Wurlitzer Pipe Organ, one of the largest in New York State.

The theatre fell into disrepair in the 1960s and 1970s, when downtown Buffalo was in decline. Eventually, a small group of concerned citizens formed the “Friends of Buffalo Theatre” and, in coordination with the city, undertook to preserve and protect the theatre.  The theatre was reopened in the late 1970s with the volunteer Friends of Buffalo Theatre group replaced by a professional management team.

In late 1980, the City of Buffalo entered into a long-term lease for Shea’s with Shea’s–O’Connell Preservation Guild, Ltd., a newly formed not-for-profit corporation. The Guild began operating the theatre as a rental facility for concerts and various live performances.  The actual restoration of the theatre began in 1994 with a project to replace the Loew’s Marquee on Main Street with a replica of the original Shea’s Marquee.

In 1999, Shea’s completed a $16.5 million stagehouse expansion to accommodate larger touring productions.  Since then the Guild has invested an additional $31 million in a complete restoration of Shea’s Buffalo Theatre.  Shea’s has 1,300 highly devoted volunteers who support the organization and its operations annually, including 256 who volunteered to physically help restore the venue.  Photos of Shea’s Performing Arts Center can be accessed via this link:

An article from the NY Times regarding the importance of Broadway in Buffalo can be accessed via this link: .



Known as “The City of Good Neighbors,”Buffalo, the second largest city in New York State, is a vibrant community that offers all the attributes of a small town, coupled with all the amenities of a big city. featured Buffalo on its list of 16 U.S. travel hotspots to visit in 2016. Katie Couric and Yahoo! News are sharing the story of the Queen City’s resurgence with their national audience in a new video, “Buffalo’s Big Comeback.”  This classic American city is undergoing a 21st century renaissance that includes over $1 billion in redevelopment, a revitalized waterfront and neighborhoods, new attractions, restaurants, hotels and a comprehensive city-wide system of parks and green space designed by renowned landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted.  In the last three years, new chefs, new cuisine and new spaces have opened their doors to diners in downtown Buffalo.

In addition to this recent influx and growth of new businesses, Buffalo is also a very affordable city with economical housing. With daily expenses that are about 4% below the national median, Buffalo was ranked by Forbes as the most affordable city in America.

In addition to the Shea’s Performing Arts Center, Buffalo also is home to many other nationally and internationally recognized arts and entertainment centers.  This includes one of America’s best known galleries for contemporary art, the Albright-Knox, along with the Grammy Award-winning Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra.  Riverworks, a former industrial site on the Buffalo River has quickly made a name for itself as a go to entertainment complex featuring everything from roller derby to hockey tournaments, open skates, curling and concerts.  Buffalo is also home to CEPA Gallery, an internationally recognized arts center which curates exhibitions of contemporary photo-related art.  It has eight galleries, changing exhibitions and multi-media public art installations. That’s in addition to the classic American architecture including several Frank Lloyd Wright structures and a Louis Sullivan office building.

Sports are a major part of the city’s culture and Buffalo is a great place for sports fans.  Buffalo is home to two major league sports teams: the Buffalo Sabres (hockey) play in the City of Buffalo and the Buffalo Bills (football) play in the suburb of Orchard Park.  Buffalo is also home to several minor sports teams including the Buffalo Bisons (baseball), Buffalo Bandits (indoor lacrosse) and FC Buffalo (soccer).  Several Buffalo-area colleges and universities are active in college athletics. The State University of New York at Buffalo plays Division I FBS football as well as other sports in Buffalo and the suburb of Amherst.

Buffalo features outstanding high schools, including City Honors School, which Newsweek has recently ranked among the top 10 in the nation.  Many more schools rank within the top 100. The Canadian metropolis of Toronto is less than a two-hour drive away and is a favorite getaway destination for those seeking the metropolitan flair of this sophisticated city. Additional information about Buffalo can be accessed through