Cape Arts & Entertainment President & CEO Executive Search Arts Consulting Group

Cape Arts & Entertainment

President & CEO


A dynamic organization committed to inspiring joy through the arts, Cape Arts & Entertainment (CA&E) is the largest arts nonprofit on Cape Cod and the parent organization of both the Cape Symphony and the Cape Conservatory, having merged these two organizations in 2010. Founded in 1961, the Cape Symphony has an annual audience of more than 27,000. Employing 63 professional musicians and nine professional and administrative staff, it is the second largest symphony orchestra in the state of Massachusetts. Founded in 1956, the Cape Conservatory serves more than 1,200 music, art, and dance students, employing 65 professional teaching artists and nine professional staff at two locations in West Barnstable and Falmouth, Massachusetts.

The Cape Symphony began as a community orchestra more than a half century ago. Each season, Artistic Director and Conductor Jung-Ho Pak, Chief Operating Officer Linda Mawhinney, and the Cape Symphony musicians bring emerging world-class soloists and innovative musical offerings to the Cape Cod community through both classical and pops series. The Cape Symphony presents approximately 25 featured performances each year with outstanding soloists. Featured guest artists have included Yo-Yo Ma, Jon Nakamatsu, Freddy Kempf, Joshua Bell, Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg, John Pizzarelli, Byron Stripling, and the Annie Moses Band.

In 2010 the organization introduced Cape Symphony Presents to bring a wider variety of artists and cultural experiences to the community and to complement the symphonic offerings. Fiddler Eileen Ivers, the classical/comedy duo Igudesman and Joo, and the Vienna Boys Choir have been featured performers. In 2014 the Cape Symphony introduced Nth Degree, an innovative chamber music series directed by the symphony’s concertmaster, Jae Cosmos Lee, and featuring the symphony’s principals and guest artists.

The Cape Conservatory has celebrated six decades of artistic excellence, offering a broad range of experiences to students ages two to 92. Led by Executive Director Dr. Stephanie Weaver, the Cape Conservatory is a member of the National Guild for Community Arts Education. It partners with other local arts organizations and artists to sponsor programs, exhibitions, and events, including the nationally recognized MusicWorks! education program, the Music Memory program, and Lesson Plans for the Classics, involving students from more than 27 schools. The Cape Conservatory also hosts a Cape Symphony Young People’s Concert for middle school students each year.

As CA&E looks to its future, presenting performances in a new state-of-the-art concert hall ranks highest among its priorities. The Cape Symphony currently performs in the local high school concert hall. While this venue is functional, the orchestra has outgrown the hall in its artistry and professionalism. The orchestra and its passionate audience eagerly await the proposed Oceanside Performing Arts Center (OSPAC) to be completed in the coming years. OSPAC is a separate 501(c)(3) and has 40 acres under agreement that will serve as the location for the future performance hall of the Cape Symphony. CA&E will lend expertise and visibility to this project and will enjoy exponential opportunities to expand its programs, reach, and excellence at this new site.

CA&E’s next President & CEO will work collaboratively with the board to ensure and expand the synergies of this combined organization to bring unparalleled educational and entertainment opportunities to Cape Cod and beyond. CA&E is governed by a 24-member board of trustees led by Chair Douglas MacDonald. The combined annual revenues in 2016 were $4.9 million, comprised of $2.6 million in earned revenue and $2.3 million in contributed revenue. The endowment is approximately $5.6 million.


Cape Cod offers the unique year-round opportunity to live next to the ocean and still be only an hour away from Boston or Providence, Rhode Island. In the summer, the Cape attracts tourists from all over the world and is renowned as a perfect holiday destination. The Cape has gorgeous beaches, pond-filled parks, miles of well-maintained bike trails, and dining options ranging from five-star restaurants to casual fried clam shacks. When the tourists are gone, Cape Cod becomes the year-round home to more than 200,000 individuals who value the connection to nature while still having easy access to shopping, a wide range of sports and cultural activities, and quality health care, including three major hospitals.

Cape Cod’s natural setting appeals to outdoor enthusiasts, as the surrounding waters have a moderating effect on seasonal change. Summertime warmth lasts well into the fall and because of this, gardeners have a longer growing season than anywhere else in New England. All kinds of fishing and boating abound and for cycling enthusiasts, and bike trails are one of the many joys of Cape Cod. Many are like mini-highways for bicycles, built on former railway rights of way. Nickerson State Park features eight miles of paved bike and walking trails and the Cape Cod Rail Trail stretches 28 miles from South Dennis to Wellfleet, connecting to the National Seashore for access to its trail network and world-class ocean beaches. Culture abounds on the Cape with numerous year-round museums, libraries, choral societies, art galleries, and theaters. For sports lovers, Cape Cod is home to numerous easily-accessible ballparks. The Cape Cod Baseball League’s 10 teams, which are partially supported by Major League Baseball, draw top college players from across the United States and are breeding grounds for future professionals.

While most locals depend on cars as their primary mode of transportation, the Cape also has a bus line with a hub in Hyannis, offering local inter-city service to Provincetown, Boston, and New York. Provincetown and Hyannis have airports that service New England locations with seasonal direct flights to New York City. For national and international travel, the Cod is located just 75 miles from Logan Airport in Boston and T.F. Green Airport in Providence, Rhode Island. A new seasonal train service, the CapeFlyer, offers service from Boston to the Cape.

For those deciding to move to the Cape, there is a wide range in real estate. Homes vary greatly in size and price, but the Cape was built for livability and most homes are conveniently located near supermarkets and small shopping malls. The year-round lifestyle is casual and, as in the rest of Massachusetts, there is no sales tax on non-luxury food and clothing. The major employers include The Steamship Authority, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute, the Falmouth and Cape Cod Hospitals, and Ocean Edge Resort & Golf Club. Additionally, there is a growing number of new residents who are self-employed or otherwise able to work independently. Massachusetts’ public schools rank number one in the United States and the Cape boasts excellent public and private schools. US News & World Report has ranked Sturgis Charter School in Hyannis number three on the Top Ten List of Charter Schools in America, Harwich High School and Nauset Regional High School on its list of best high schools in the country, and Massachusetts Maritime Academy as one of the top 10 schools in the region. The Cod also is home to Cape Cod Community College, with graduate programs offered by UMass and Bridgewater State University, among others.



CA&E’s next President & CEO will be an experienced, entrepreneurial visionary and a team leader who will work with the board to complete and implement its future and strategic plans for CA&E as a unified and synergistic organization. This individual will marshal the funds, expertise, and influence to lead, create cohesion, and develop a high-performing culture within this vital organization, which has grown steadily in revenue and personnel over the past ten years. The President & CEO will also work closely with OSPAC, lending expertise and prominence to help transform this important dream into reality.

Leading a senior team of 18 professional staff members across the organization, the President & CEO will exhibit special strengths in management, fundraising, marketing, team building, and communication. This individual will have a strong work ethic, a consensus-building can-do attitude, and a passion for music, education, and the arts.

Roles and Responsibilities

Leadership, Outreach, and Community Relations

  • Inspire staff, board, and all CA&E stakeholders and embody visionary leadership.
  • Align CA&E’s mission in all areas of the organization and within the community.
  • Develop a multi-year strategic plan in conjunction with the board of trustees and assume joint responsibility for its implementation, regularly reporting progress toward goals.
  • Serve as a proactive manager and motivator for all staff and volunteers within the Cape Symphony and Conservatory, ensuring unique issues are heard while unified priorities are executed.
  • Create a positive working environment that encourages communication and collaborations across geographic and structural boundaries.
  • Determine priorities that direct the use of operating and capital funds and deployment of institutional resources.
  • Communicate institutional plans and strategies both internally and externally to build commitment and support of CA&E’s mission and OSPAC’s future vision.
  • Ensure the development, monitoring, and reporting of all annual operational work plans.


External Affairs and Revenue Enhancement  

  • Serve as the chief fundraiser for CA&E and work to strengthen the institutional brand.
  • Convey the Cape Symphony and Conservatory’s mission and message throughout the Cape and the Islands.
  • Build strong relationships with a broad range of constituents to support the ongoing work as well as the development of innovative partnerships and programs.
  • Lead a comprehensive fundraising strategy, working with the Development Manager and board to ensure the realization of earned and contributed revenue goals.
  • Raise the profile of the organization through participation in regional, statewide, and national industry initiatives.
  • Cultivate existing donors for ongoing support while seeking opportunities to engage new donors in programs.
  • Expand and grow relationships with business, educational, regional, and civic partners.
  • Collaborate with internal stakeholders to develop brand unity and structure and explore new approaches toward audience development.



  • Establish a strong working relationship with the board to support their work as advocates for the organization.
  • Regularly and proactively communicate with board members and ensure the preparation of timely written and oral reports for presentation to the board.
  • Ensure the timely preparation of the budget in consultation with the board treasurer, finance committee, and senior staff.

Traits and Characteristics

The President & CEO will be an inspirational leader and experienced teambuilder. This individual will be committed to developing a culture of customer service and will value frequent interactions with a diverse range of community stakeholders and potential partners. The President & CEO will be adaptable to frequent change and comfortable juggling multiple projects and priorities within a demanding environment. The President & CEO will effectively follow through on all activities and will appreciate the skill, experience, and input of others in formulating plans and achieving successful outcomes. This individual will have a friendly, outgoing personality and a sense of humor.

Other key competencies include the following:

  • Self-Management and Personal Accountability – Prioritizes and completes tasks necessary to meet or exceed the mutually agreed upon expectations and assumes accountability for personal actions.
  • Leadership – Organizes and motivates others to accomplish goals while creating a sense of order, direction, and active participation among a variety of stakeholders.
  • Interpersonal Skills – Builds rapport and demonstrates a sincere interest in others. Effectively communicates and relates well to all kinds of people.


A successful track record in financial management, complex organizational structures, and project management is needed. Experience in fundraising, planning, consensus leadership, and team building is essential. This individual will have a minimum of seven to ten years of relevant business experience and a bachelor’s degree. A master’s degree is preferred. Successful candidates will demonstrate a passion for the importance of music, the arts, and education and a willingness to invest in the community. The President & CEO will be expected to live on Cape Cod and be a visible presence in the community.

Compensation and Benefits

Competitive salary is commensurate with experience. Benefits include medical, dental, and vision insurance, paid time off, participation in a 403(b)-retirement plan, and the quality of life found in the Cape Cod community.

Applications and Inquiries

Please submit a letter and resume (electronic submissions preferred) with a summary of demonstrable accomplishments to:

Mr. Bruce D. Thibodeau, DBA

292 Newbury Street, Suite 315
Boston, MA 02115-2801
Tel        (888) 234.4236 Ext. 201
Fax       (888) 284.6651

Cape Arts & Entertainment is an equal opportunity employer.

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