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On July 21, Josh Jacobson will lead a presentation at the North Carolina Theatre Conference’s Producing Gathering in Charlotte, NC. Entitled Bridging the Gap: The Future Is Now, this session will explore staff and volunteer retention, and the challenge of succession planning for theatres.

Based on U.S. Census Bureau estimates, more than 4 million people each year will reach age 65 by 2020, a trend that has been dubbed the “Silver Tsunami” by leading thinkers.  As the baby boom generation retires, finding qualified leaders to fill their executive positions presents a problem, particularly in the nonprofit sector. Complicating matters, Millennials will be the largest percentage of the workforce in a few years – a generation known for job-hopping.

In the performing arts sector, the challenge is even more pronounced. Lower salaries and diminished professional development opportunities force many arts managers and boards to choose between individuals strong in artistic development or organizational administration, but less frequently both.

In this engaging session geared toward current and emerging theatre leaders, Josh will explore the challenges and opportunities of bridging the talent gap and ways to restructure your theatre for success in the following ways:

  • Staff/Volunteer Retention – The revolving door in key staff roles is frustrating, and though many are quick to blame the restless employees who depart, the fact is that poor retention is 0ne of the biggest challenges to theatres. Josh will identify the key reasons most employees leave and provide tips for improving the retention of talented professionals.
  • Succession Planning – Pretending succession isn’t an issue is not a smart way to approach organizational sustainability.  Josh will challenge participants to begin developing a succession plan for their theatres, and will suggest ways to make professional development a strategic strength.

The NCTC Producing Gathering is an annual event, this year taking place at Spirit Square in Charlotte. Theatrical producers from professional theatres, community theatres and educational institutions come together for three days of professional development and networking. Each year, 100+ theatre leaders from more than 50 companies come to this essential event.