Strategic Planning Expert Douglas R. Clayton Joins Arts Consulting Group as Senior Vice President

Douglas R. Clayton Senior Vice President Arts Consulting Group

May 24, 2019
Contact: Amanda Bertone
(888) 234.4236 Ext. 219

BOSTON — Arts Consulting Group (ACG), the leading provider of hands-on management consulting services for the arts and culture industry, today announced that Douglas R. Clayton has joined the firm. Based in Chicago, Mr. Clayton will oversee the firm’s Planning & Capacity Building areas, guiding strategic planning and community engagement, facilities and program planning, organizational benchmarking studies, board governance summits, team building retreats, and a variety of services that strengthen nonprofit organizations, universities, government agencies, and the communities they serve. With more than 20 years of experience in the arts and culture industry, specifically within opera, theater, and arts service organizations, Mr. Clayton is passionate about creating innovative business models. He has an extensive background in cross-sector collaboration in public-private partnerships and the dynamic relationships that exist in the creative industries.

In making the announcement, ACG President Dr. Bruce D. Thibodeau said, “I am delighted to welcome Douglas Clayton to the ACG team. Mr. Clayton brings an abundance of experience in strategic planning, capacity building, and organizational management to the firm. His leadership insights, collaborative nature, and dedication to fostering long-standing relationships with clients and their stakeholders will enhance ACG’s ability to provide the highest level of service to the arts and culture sector throughout North America.”

Mr. Clayton most recently served as General Director for Chicago Opera Theater. In this role, he redeveloped the organization’s artistic identity and led the creation of a robust strategic planning and community engagement process that reversed a multiyear downward trend in audience attendance and donations. He also strategically prioritized recruitment and retention of key individuals, leaving the organization as the only multimillion-dollar opera company in the United States with an all-female executive leadership team.

Prior to moving to Chicago, he held the role of Director of Programming and Operations for LA Stage Alliance, where he used his multifaceted background to advise hundreds of performing arts organizations throughout the five-county Los Angeles region. He collaborated on multiple national infrastructure and marketing initiatives and was instrumental in the development and launch of an arts and culture focused customer relationship management system. Mr. Clayton also oversaw the complex rules administration and online voting systems for the LA Stage Ovation Awards and initiated an innovative resource-sharing facility in Los Angeles for small and midsized theater companies. Additionally, he served as the Chair of the Host Committee for the record-breaking 2011 Theater Communications Group national conference and was a member of the Directors Lab West’s steering committee.

Mr. Clayton has worked artistically as a stage director, playwright, and performer and has hands-on experience as both an artist and producer with a range of theatrical unions in the United States, including the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society, Actors’ Equity Association, American Guild of Musical Artists, and United Scenic Artists. He holds a bachelor of science from the University of Southern California and earned a master of business administration from the Anderson School of Management at the University of California, Los Angeles. In 2018 he was named to Crain’s Chicago Business 40 under 40 list as a leading innovator in the business of culture.

"Having known and respected the work of Arts Consulting Group for over a decade, it is my great pleasure to join the firm as a new Senior Vice President,” said Mr. Clayton. “I look forward to using my background in strategic thinking and sustainability—as well as my years in opera, theater, and arts service organizations—to bring new insights that support the field. With ACG, I hope to engage cultural organizations of all kinds to explore their challenges and develop solutions that address their big ideas for the future.”

About Arts Consulting Group (ACG)
Arts Consulting Group (ACG) is the leading provider of hands-on interim management, executive search, revenue enhancement, strategic planning & community engagement, and facilities & program planning services for the arts and culture industry. ACG consultants are located in communities throughout North America to best serve the needs of its clients. With decades of senior leadership experience in every artistic and cultural discipline and area of functional management, ACG team members match their clients’ passion and energy like no other organization. Delivering high-performance ideas from the most trusted and knowledgeable minds in the arts and culture world, the firm quickly helps its clients achieve results. ACG is the best choice to help transform arts and culture institutions, enhance the communities they serve, and provide the perfect blend of local perspective and international expertise. For more information, visit, contact (888) 234.4236, or email


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