Atlanta Ballet has selected Tom West as Executive Director, following an executive search process led by Arts Consulting Group (ACG). He will fully assume the post on September 27, 2021.
A nonprofit arts executive, Mr. West’s career in arts management spans more than 20 years. Most recently, Mr. West served as the Chief Advancement Officer at American Film Institute (AFI). During his tenure, he rebuilt the fundraising program, created the AFI National Council, and secured AFI’s first seven-figure endowed fellowships, increasing the scholarship endowment fund from $1.7 million to $15 million. Mr. West was also instrumental in expanding filmmaking programs for women and BIPOC storytellers by developing fundraising support and strengthening industry alliances with major studios. He has also served as Vice President of Development at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts and at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.
In addition to leading fundraising efforts for large cultural institutions, Mr. West has vast experience in strategic planning, board leadership development, revenue growth, donor and audience relations, community engagement, and team building. Mr. West earned a bachelor of fine arts degree in theater from the University of Florida and a master of arts degree in arts management from American University.
In making the announcement, Chair of Atlanta Ballet’s Board of Trustees Nancy Field said, “Tom's leadership experience in top-tier arts organizations, his ability to effectively communicate the power and relevance of the arts to community stakeholders, his business acumen, and his demonstrated commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion make him an outstanding choice to lead our organization at this pivotal time. On behalf of our Board of Trustees, I welcome Tom and look forward to working with him as we seek to gain greater national recognition for the extraordinary artistic caliber of our professional company under Artistic Director Gennadi Nedvigin and as we strive to become more integral to the fabric of Atlanta’s diverse community through inspiring performances, superior dance education, and increased community access.”
“Tom’s extensive experience in successful fundraising, board development, and governance combined with his knowledge and understanding of the benefits that the arts offer our community are invaluable,” said Artistic Director Gennadi Nedvigin. “He has a kind and calm demeanor yet has the ability to inspire an energetic and productive atmosphere with his fresh, dynamic leadership approach based on the collective experiences of everyone in the room. I look forward to merging his distinguished professional background and valuable connections with our existing strategic vision to expand our reach within the digital world, the metro Atlanta area, the state of Georgia, and beyond.”
“It is an honor to join the remarkable leadership team at the Atlanta Ballet as it returns to the stage and studios,” said Mr. West. “While there will be challenges in the year ahead, Gennadi Nedvigin’s artistic leadership throughout the last five years has elevated the company and its recognition nationally, and the Centre for Dance Education remains a top destination for the next generation of dancers. I am grateful to Nancy, Gennadi, and the Atlanta Ballet Board of Trustees for their vote of confidence as I step into the position at a unique moment for the organization and the dynamic Atlanta community that is serves. A solid foundation exists at Atlanta Ballet thanks to excellent leadership on the board and staff, and their generosity of spirit is a true gift as I begin my tenure.”
“Congratulations to the Atlanta Ballet board and staff on the appointment of Tom West as Executive Director,” said ACG President Bruce D. Thibodeau. “ACG was honored to collaborate with a dedicated search committee to place Mr. West in this important role. His vast experience will help guide Atlanta Ballet into its next phase of strategic growth to support the dynamic artistic vision of Gennadi Nedvigin.”