Executive Director, Clemens Center for the Performing Arts

Location: Elmira, NY
  • May 26, 2015

Elmira, NY

Executive Director

We seek an industry professional who will be an articulate champion for the Clemens Center, an engaging leader with financial acumen, a thorough grounding in performing arts facility management and a strong track record in fund-raising, programming, and collaborative projects. The Executive Director is a key participant in community affairs, representing the Clemens Center in a variety of settings.  

The Clemens Center:
The Clemens Center first opened in 1925 as a vaudeville and silent film house,  described at the time as “the largest and most magnificent theatre between New York and Buffalo.”  Surviving floods, a hurricane, and threatened demolition to accommodate a new highway, the Clemens Center of today is a stunning amalgamation of old and new, a testament to the love felt for the theatre by its community.

Located in the central Southern Tier of New York State, the Clemens Center is the region’s premier performing arts center.  Its mission is to enhance the quality of life for all the region’s residents by providing a diversity of excellent performing arts programming in a superior facility, continuing to be known as a national model for regional performing arts centers.

A citizens group was formed in 1975 to save the theatre, which re-opened in 1977 with a reduced seating capacity and upgraded stage lighting and audio systems.  In 1987 the 2,500 square foot 200-seat Mandeville Hall was added as an intimate black box theatre suitable for drama, recitals, community functions, lectures, and seminars.  A Facilities Master Plan was created in 1995 to guide the Center in maintaining and improving the facilities.  This has included renovating and expanding lobby spaces, the creation of offices and meeting room, adding an elevator and new concessions area, and the creation of a new entrance.  The beautiful now-1618 seat Powers Theater has been fully restored and upgraded to its original grandeur with magnificent murals, gold-leaf detailing, and reconstructed opera boxes.

The Clemens Center is bursting with activity for over 300 days per year: more than 100,000 area residents attend more than 100 professional and community performances annually with 200 plus volunteers contributing nearly 10,000 hours, working as ushers, concession operators, ticket takers, and board members. Its membership includes more than 1,700 individuals and more than 160 businesses.   The Clemens Center is proud to contribute to the cultural richness of Chemung County.

The Clemens Center annually leases space to more than 55 tenants including

Elmira Little Theatre, The Orchestra of the Southern Finger Lakes, Thursday Morning Musicales, Rafael Grigorian Ballet Theatre, Common Time Choral Group, and New Heights Dance Theater.  Its season encompasses a wide variety of attractions from Broadway to rock ‘n’ roll to family entertainment, working with NAC Entertainment of Binghamton.

Since 1979 the Mary Tripp Marks School-Time Series has touched the lives of more than half a million young people with curriculum-related programs.  The Clemens Center is proud to be a partner with area educators in providing arts experiences.

In a rural community the Clemens Center has remained financially stable for 36 years and is governed by a Board of Trustees of up to 21 members.

The annual budget is approximately $2.1 million.   

 The Position of Executive Director:
Reporting to the Board of Trustees, the Executive Director is charged with developing and implementing an effective strategic business model for the Center, balancing between resident companies, a series of professional programming, and other community/corporate rentals and uses such as receptions, fund-raisers, and meetings.

The Executive Director is responsible for general operations, budget development, general administration, revenue generation, community collaborations, and the oversight of a dedicated staff of 15 working in such areas as marketing, fund-raising, programming, box office, front of house, technical and artistic operations, volunteer liaison, education, building maintenance, and finance.

We seek a person of energy and passion with excellent analytical, communications, and listening skills who will build good relationships with both staff and Board.

The Southern Tier:

The Clemens Center is named after Samuel Clemens (“Mark Twain”) who wrote many of his books in Elmira.  Mr. Clemens married a young Elmira woman and together they spent many happy times, raising their family within our community.  “Mark Twain” remains in Elmira, buried in Woodlawn Cemetery – about 2 miles north of the Clemens Center.

The Southern Tier region of New York boasts some of the state’s finest natural resources and agriculture, as well as significant educational institutions, a booming tourism industry, and many businesses that employ more than 350,000 highly skilled and extremely well-educated workers who specialize in industrial machinery, materials processing, and contributing to the electronics, imaging, and simulation industries.

The Finger Lakes are home to a significant burgeoning wine and spirit business, and the wineries that dot the landscape of the nearby lakes host thousands and thousands of tourists each year.

The Clemens Center is located within the City of Elmira, which is the hub of Chemung County.  Elmira & Chemung County is home to Elmira College (the first college to award a college degree to women), the Arnot Art Museum, the National Soaring Museum (we are the Soaring Capital of the World), the National Warplane Museum and many other educational, recreational and historic venues that have emerged from a long and historically relevant history, which dates back to the Revolutionary War.

Chemung County is easily accessible, featuring an airport serviced by US Air/American Airlines, Delta, Allegiant Air and United.  Interstate 86 provides major access throughout the region.  Whether by car or through the air, Chemung County is conveniently located to major Northeast metropolitan cities: New York City (4 hrs), Boston (6 hrs), Philadelphia (4 hrs), Washington, DC (5½ hrs) and Toronto, Canada (4½ hrs) – just to name a few.

The ideal candidate will have a minimum of seven years of not-for-profit arts venue management, and a university degree in arts, humanities or business management or equivalent experience in facility management and administration.

The Executive Director represents the Clemens Center to the public, the media and the performing arts industry at large through leadership and participation in community activities.  The Executive Director must be able to establish and maintain effective working relationships with staff, elected officials, the media, artists, board members, artist managers, other arts groups, sponsors, educational institutions, volunteers, and the audience.

We seek an individual with business acumen with a solid knowledge of fund-raising, marketing, and community engagement; someone who is a strong manager of people/staff, a good listener and synthesizer who will encourage a climate of professionalism and respect.

 Other Information and Application Process:
Salary commensurate with experience.  Benefits package.  Interested candidates are invited to submit a letter of interest, resume, salary expectations, and a list of references by Monday, June 29th in confidence to:


 Margaret Genovese

Senior Partner


77 Carlton Street, Suite 1103
Toronto, ON
Canada  M5B 2J7



For additional information see:  www.genovesevanderhoof.com, www.clemenscenter.com