Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts is a destination for exceptional music, captivating programs, spectacular gardens and grounds, and wonderful moments with friends and family. It enriches the lives of its audiences through innovative and diverse musical performances of the highest quality. Its mission also includes mentoring young professional musicians and providing educational programs for children throughout the area, centered around music.
Caramoor is the legacy of Walter and Lucie Rosen, who developed the estate and built a great house as its centerpiece, filling it with treasures collected on their travels. In 1945, the Rosens bequeathed the Caramoor estate to the public as a center for music and art in memory of their son, who had died the previous year. Walter Rosen was the master planner, bringing to reality his dream of creating a place to entertain friends from around the world. Their legendary musical evenings were the seeds of the current Summer Music Festival, held annually on the estate.
Today, Caramoor features classical music (symphonic and chamber), jazz, American Roots (folk, blues, bluegrass, country, swing, and string band), opera, and the American Songbook. The artists who perform here range from iconic superstars to rising stars, from soloists to small and large ensembles and bands. The Orchestra of St. Luke’s has been Caramoor’s orchestra-in-residence since 1974. Other collaborations include Jazz at Lincoln Center and City Winery.
Audiences are invited to explore the beautiful grounds of this 90-acre Westchester County estate, tour the historic Rosen House, enjoy a pre-concert picnic, and discover beautiful music in the relaxed settings of the Venetian Theater – a fully covered 1,500-seat outdoor performance space used for orchestral performances, classical music, the Caramoor Jazz Festival, the American Roots Music Festival, major headline artists, opera, and other concerts. At the Rosen House, the 500-seat Spanish Courtyard, an intimate, partially covered outdoor venue in the Mediterranean style, is used for chamber music performances, recitals, and jazz and American Roots artists. The Music Room, with its Renaissance furniture, Gothic tapestries, and stained-glass elements, seats approximately 170 inside and is used for intimate musical performances.
Other performance spaces on the Caramoor campus include the Sunken Garden – an historic garden used for acoustic performances including Guitar in the Garden – and Friends Field – a large open lawn which served as the sole location on campus for live, in-person performances during the COVID shutdown, and is normally used throughout the summer season for Dancing at Dusk programs for children, Caramoor’s Jazz Festival, and its American Roots Music Festival. In addition, visitors to the campus can explore the site-specific sound art installations of Sonic Innovations and attend Beginner’s Ear concerts – a series pairing guided meditations with live music. Sonic Innovations continues to expand Caramoor’s programming with an annual exhibition of sound art from artists working with sonic materials outside the traditions of concert music.
Caramoor is governed by a 29-member Board of Trustees along with an active Advisory Board and has an annual budget of approximately $7 million, with a $30 million endowment and a recently completed $40 million capital campaign. Caramoor is managed by a full-time staff of 31, in partnership with outside technical support and artistic partners and augmented by seasonal employees.
The President and CEO will be an innovative leader committed to and passionate about world-class music across multiple genres, who will provide vision, strategic direction, and general management for Caramoor. Overseeing the day-to-day operations of this multifaceted cultural institution, the President and CEO will be responsible for implementing an evolving and forward-thinking artistic and business model in order to position Caramoor for the future.
As the arbiter of Caramoor’s overarching artistic and business objectives, the President and CEO will work closely with the Vice President for Artistic Programming, helping to realize the artistic and strategic aspirations of the organization while respecting Caramoor’s legacy, ensuring fiscal health and sound management practices. The President and CEO will ensure Caramoor keeps pace with evolving musical tastes and preferences, nurtures the creative interests of its constituents, and avails itself of enhanced presenting and educational opportunities, partnerships, and new ventures. The President and CEO will give priority to developing marketing and engagement initiatives that complement and balance current institutional strengths and constituent interests.
The President and CEO will also be responsible for the general management of the organization, including all administrative, fundraising, audience development, finance, educational outreach, community building, and collaborative ventures and partnerships, while also ensuring that all the physical, logistical, and production aspects of Caramoor are expertly managed and presented.
As Caramoor’s chief external spokesperson and advocate, the President and CEO will be particularly important in an externally facing role, while balancing internal responsibilities.
PRIORITIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES
The President and CEO will make an effort to engage with all constituencies, understand Caramoor’s legacy and culture, and set the following priorities:
Help chart Caramoor’s course for the future by taking a principal role in finalizing and implementing the organization’s strategic plan, ensuring that the plan’s structure, goals, and timeline are congruent with Caramoor’s mission;
Provide leadership, direction, and oversight of all functions; ensure that well-defined goals, clear responsibilities, and levels of accountability are in place to achieve excellence at all levels within the organization; engage with key stakeholders and partners in order to build authentic relationships;
Gain the support of Caramoor’s engaged Board; find ways to encourage their best efforts; keep Board members well informed and up to date on the venue’s artistic and fiscal standing;
Help lead and encourage Caramoor’s ongoing work around Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Access; support the ongoing dialogue and need for meaningful action plans;
Maintain organizational cohesiveness; provide leadership to the senior staff and foster an atmosphere of communication and collaboration among departments; staff the organization appropriately and motivate, encourage, integrate, and guide the entire team;
Take ownership of Caramoor’s earned income, expenses, and budgets; work closely with the Vice President and Chief Financial Officer to ensure the budget is balanced and the organization achieves and remains on stable financial footing from an operational perspective; challenge any historical assumptions built into its current business model which don’t support the goal of aggregated music performances achieving financial break-even;
Oversee current fundraising activities; as an active partner with the Board and the Vice President of Development, develop and implement long-term fundraising goals around capital projects, the ongoing effort to build an endowment, and annual giving;
Think more broadly about commercial opportunities and be open to shifting revenue models; increase earned income from current sources as well as seek opportunities for new revenue; embrace and coordinate the enhanced use of digital content streaming and presentation;
With the Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer, enhance Caramoor’s visibility and brand power; raise awareness of the organization and its programs through traditional and digital platforms; develop an understanding of and appreciation for what the community values in Caramoor’s programming and engagement; ensure that the visitor experience continues to evolve;
Make certain that there are strong relationships and a spirit of cooperation with all of Caramoor’s presenting partners;
Continue progress with developing opportunities for use of the Rosen House, family programming, and rethinking possible education initiatives; be open to future, innovative uses for the grounds, including possible building projects so Caramoor could support additional activities (master classes, more artists in residence, etc.), education opportunities, and more community engagement;
Move Caramoor in a direction that broadens the focus, definition, and reach of education opportunities; help develop initiatives and programs that are geared toward reaching the broadest possible audiences.
IDEAL EXPERIENCE AND PERSONAL CHARACTERISTICS
The President and CEO will have the temperament, creativity, and drive necessary to effect institutional growth and change. Additionally, he or she will have or be:
A professional demeanor with an engaging personality; the ability to be decisive, make tough decisions, and bring clarity to Caramoor’s plans and initiatives; someone who will be embraced and respected by the music community;
Proven managerial and leadership capabilities, ideally in a public or nonprofit music-related setting; appropriate private sector experience in a music-related field may also be considered; knowledge of and engagement with a range of music genres is preferred;
The ability to coalesce others around a vision for Caramoor, its goals, and their successful achievement; financial acumen, with the ability to oversee and deliver a balanced budget; business acumen, with the ability to develop and/or expand revenue-generating opportunities; the ability to take calculated risks and encourage that in others;
A proven commitment to and understanding of the importance of diversity, equity, inclusion, and access to the success of an organization;
A record of success in directing and working closely with an engaged and committed staff; able to seek input from others, reach consensus, and/or make unilateral decisions when needed; ability to set goals and expectations and then delegate; a commitment to transparency and accountability for the end product with both Board and staff;
Able to set the artistic vision in collaboration with the Vice President for Artistic Programming; able to oversee without dictating artistic decisions;
A record as a proven fundraiser who appreciates the importance of relationship building; the ability to connect with untapped philanthropic resources, identify potential partnerships, engage donors, and build constituency and support;
Tech savvy, with the understanding and ability to leverage social media and Caramoor’s digital content and explore potential opportunities to digitally stream/monetize content as appropriate;
The ability to communicate clearly and persuasively, both in writing and verbally; comfort with both formal and extemporaneous presentations to a variety of audiences;
A strong sense of integrity coupled with a strong work ethic.
Caramoor in the Age of COVID-19
Like most other cultural institutions, Caramoor closed its doors to the public on Friday, March 13, 2020 in response to the growing uncertainties and challenges posed by the COVID-19 worldwide pandemic. Its President and CEO and Board of Trustees, along with its Finance Committee, made a commitment not to lay off staff during the shutdown. Next, Caramoor developed a budget model for the financial operation that pared back revenues to the most realistic levels and reduced all expenses to the extent possible while maintaining the institution’s safety and care. This model has allowed Caramoor to stay financially stable during these unprecedented times and, at the same time, not negatively impact its endowment portfolio or create unnecessary debt.
Caramoor presented just a few limited-capacity outdoor performances over the summer and has ventured into live-streaming most of its scheduled fall performances. The grounds have reopened on weekends for guests to picnic, explore, and enjoy its four Sonic Innovations art works.
Caramoor is truly fortunate to project stable fiscal solvency during these difficult times for nonprofit organizations worldwide. A strong and supportive Board of Trustees, dedicated staff, and successful $41 million campaign has put Caramoor in a strong position to meet any future fiscal challenges.
Caramoor is committed to a fair and equitable workplace. Caramoor is an Equal Opportunity Employer (EEO); this means that all aspects of employment, including recruiting, advertising, hiring, training, promotions, compensation, benefits, transfers, layoffs, return from layoffs, disciplinary action, and discharge shall be conducted on the basis of qualification and ability without regard to race, religion, disability, sexual orientation, color, age, gender, national origin, citizenship, marital status, military and veteran status, or any other basis protected by law.