Rialto Center for the Arts logo
Opportunity Type
Jobs - Full-Time
Atlanta, GA

Executive Director, Rialto Center

Rialto Center for the Arts


Georgia State University’s Rialto Center for the Arts is the cultural centerpiece of Downtown Atlanta, located in the heart of Atlanta’s historic Fairlie-Poplar district. An anchor for the arts, the Rialto’s diverse offerings and unique role as a university performing and visual arts venue make it a cultural resource for the entire Georgia State and Metro Atlanta community.The Rialto’s mission is to inspire, educate and entertain diverse audiences by presenting innovative and exceptional arts programming and cultivating community partnerships. Its nationally renowned arts programming is carefully curated to appeal to diverse audiences and represent the widest possible array of artistic styles and genres.

The Rialto’s intimate, 833-seat performing arts venue is home to the Rialto Series, featuring the best of national and international music, dance, comedy, and visual arts and Georgia State’s School of Music performances. It is also the Downtown Atlanta go-to venue for other arts organizations’ performances, visiting companies and independent film screenings, who utilize:

  1. the main performing arts venue;
  2. the multi-purpose 1,100 square foot SunTrust Presidential Suite;
  3. the intimate Rialto Lobby, which has a raised stage and can host almost 400 people for receptions and other events;
  4. the 1,100 sq. ft. SunTrust Presidential Suite for small meetings and workshops; and
  5. several 10 ft. – 30 ft. gallery walls throughout the building capable of showcasing a variety of art.

Each year, the Rialto Center presents the Rialto Series, a unique subscription series featuring world-class artists, presenting an eclectic mix of music, dance, comedy, and visual artists. In addition, the Rialto offers innovative educational programs to support and enhance the performing arts with Georgia State academic departments and students. The Rialto has a fast-growing reputation as the arts center that brings once-in-a-lifetime cultural experiences to the Southeast and challenges patrons to expand their artistic worldview.

The Rialto is proud to be part of Georgia State University in the heart of Downtown Atlanta. Georgia State is a leading research institution of higher learning, ranked as the #2 “most innovative” universities in the country, among the top “up and coming” national universities and among the country’s most diverse institutions. More than 53,000 students are enrolled annually on its seven campuses, arriving from every county in Georgia, all 50 states, and 159 countries.

Priorities and Ongoing Responsibilities:

Reporting to the Office of the Provost, the Executive Director will have responsibility for defining and implementing the Rialto’s strategic goals, overseeing the strategy and design for fundraising initiatives, developing and administering program activities, providing leadership of the day-to-day administrative functions including overseeing staff, collaborating with Georgia State academic and student affairs departments, convening the City of Atlanta’s arts community to bring about new ideas and programs at the Rialto, and ensuring that the Rialto functions as a true university performing arts center. This individual should have a broad vision, be bold and creative in shaping the Rialto’s position as a vibrant community cultural center, be an ally of the arts, and be a collaborative, energetic, and visionary member of the Georgia State University community. All endeavors of the Executive Director will be to implement the Rialto’s mission in furtherance of Georgia State’s Strategic Plan.

Much of the Executive Director’s energy will be spent with various Georgia State academic departments and student organizations and in the Metro Atlanta community creating and growing the Rialto’s image with a diverse variety of constituents. These will include Georgia State faculty, staff, and students, governmental officials, community leaders, donors, artists, leaders of other artistic/cultural organizations as well as other stakeholders. The Executive Director should have the standing to function socially and professionally among the community’s most highly respected business leaders and philanthropists, with a focus on maintaining and building strategic alliances.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

The Executive Director will:

  • Vision, Strategy, and Leadership
    • Develop a strategic plan – in support of Georgia State’s global strategic plan – and be creative and willing to work closely with University administration and unit/department management to enhance the mission of the Rialto, its programs, and development efforts.
    • Develop a lean organizational culture that supports cohesive, creative, and productive relationships with Georgia State University stakeholders and strategic partners.
  • Fundraising
    • Develop, in conjunction with a development officer and the Rialto’s Advisory Board, an annual fundraising goal to fund the strategic priorities and programs of the Rialto and monitor progress and metrics associated with such efforts.
    • Work with Georgia State’s Foundation and Rialto’s Adivsory Board to lead and strengthen fundraising endeavors utilizing local, regional, and national resources, and oversee a robust fundraising initiative with individual, corporate, and foundation donors and appropriate underwriting sponsors.
    • In collaboration with development staff and volunteer leadership, meet face-to-face with donors to solicit gifts and steward relationships to fund the strategic priorities of the Rialto.
  • Management and Financial Oversight
    • Lead and develop the team of experienced professionals and volunteers responsible for the management of daily affairs of the Rialto, including, but not limited to, artistic direction, production, ticketing, technical theatre operations, and marketing and public relations.
    • Work closely with University administration and unit/department management, the Executive Director will be responsible for developing financial resilience through annual operating budgets, overseeing the assets and financial affairs of the Rialto, ensuring expenditures are in line with the Rialto’s resources, and achieving an appropriate balance between revenue generation and fundraising and overall budget management, with a goal of achieving a net profit each year.
    • Identify and realize opportunities to improve the Rialto’s income generating activities, including maximizing the rental of all available spaces at the Rialto year-round.
  • Programs, Educational Programs, Community Engagement, and Activities
    • Collaborate with Georgia State academic departments and engage the entire campus community – faculty, staff, students, and alumni – to celebrate the arts with high-quality exhibitions, programs, and activities, to support the curriculum of academic departments, and to broadly support the educational aims of Georgia State.
    • Create rich experiences for Georgia State students, including points of entry to the arts and fortifying opportunities for students to gain an understanding of the creativity and business of the arts.
    • Lead the development, securing, and scheduling of the Rialto’s high quality theatrical offerings, innovative educational programs (from K-12 to continuing education) and artistic performance programming, consistent with the Rialto’s mission and relevant to a diverse range of audiences.
    • Inspire external stakeholders to engage in the wide array of activities at the Rialto and convene varied, diverse voices from the arts community at the Rialto.
  • Marketing, Branding, and Governance
    • Continue to develop and promote the Rialto as a brand and successfully establish the theatre as a recognized leader of artistic endeavors in the region, including, but not limited to, developing a strong digital presence that extends the Rialto’s marketing reach and communication with its diverse audiences.
    • Develop and maintain long-term relationships that will enhance the financial, artistic, and educational goals of the Rialto, including, but not limited to internal connections with Georgia State’s College of the Arts and the institution’s student programming board, Spotlight Programs Board.
    • Help to develop, engage and support a strong Board of Advisors and participate in local, state, and federal arts organizations.
    • Ensure proper communication and relationships between Rialto staff and Georgia State administrative and unit/department management through ongoing verbal and written reports and adherence to all Georgia State policies and procedures.

Disclaimer: This job requisition provides a high-level job definition. It is not intended to provide a comprehensive or exclusive list of job duties. As such, job duties and/or responsibilities within the context of this job requisition may change at the discretion the employee’s direct supervisor.


The successful candidate will have a minimum of 5 years’ experience as an executive director or senior manager in a performing arts organization or have equivalent relevant experience.  A Bachelor’s degree or equivalent is required; an advanced degree is desirable (experience may be considered in lieu of an advanced degree.). Candidates shall be able to maintain a rigorous schedule that includes evening and weekend performances and events. Experience working in a university environment will be considered an asset.

Shift: Monday - Friday 8:30am - 5:15pm
Salary: Competitive salary and benefits
Pay Grade: 4-3 FLSA Status: Exempt
Job Type: Full Time (Benefits Eligible)
Job Posting: 07/01/19, 1:24:24 AM
Closing Date: 07/31/19, 3:59:00 AM 

Special Instructions: Resume; Cover letter; Three References; Portfolio of representative work associated with previous position(s), especially creation of an arts performance series and special showcases; Salary requirements.

Please note, Georgia State University’s career board updates daily and requisitions are subject to be removed without prior notice or before the posting expires. Georgia State University is an Equal Opportunity Employer and does not discriminate against applicants due to race, ethnicity, gender, veteran status, or on the basis of disability or any other federal, state or local protected class.

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