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Barbara G. and Lawrence A. Fleischman Executive Director of the Library for the Performing Arts – The New York Public Library – Manhattan, NY

Company: The New York Public Library

Location: Manhattan, NY

  • Full Time

The New York Public Library


The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts (“LPA”) houses the world’s most extensive combination of circulating, reference, and rare archival collections in its field. The materials in its collections are available free of charge, along with a wide range of special programs, including exhibitions, seminars, and performances. An essential resource for everyone with an interest in the arts—whether professional or amateur—the Library is known particularly for its prodigious collections of non-book materials such as historic recordings, videotapes, autograph manuscripts, correspondence, sheet music, stage designs, press clippings, programs, posters, and photographs. Scholars from across the nation and the world utilize the comprehensive collection of rare and unique materials to deepen their knowledge of and scholarship about the Performing Arts.

Located in Lincoln Center, the LPA is the third busiest branch of the New York Public Library. Patrons can access the general collections or engage in research through the special collections. The special collections include:

  • The Jerome Robbins Dance Division is the largest and most comprehensive archive in the world devoted to the documentation of dance, chronicling the art of dance in all its manifestations—ballet, ethnic, modern, social, and folk.
  • The Music Division, whose collections are second only to the Library of Congress in documenting the art of music in all its diversity—from classical and opera to the whole spectrum of popular music including spirituals, ragtime, jazz, musical theater, film, rock and world music—contains many scores and manuscripts from centuries past, while also having a curatorial mandate to capture the creative output of contemporary composers.
  • The Billy Rose Theatre Division houses preeminent collections whose strength and uniqueness lie in unparalleled collections of personal papers and organizational records, scrapbooks, photographs, posters, programs, reviews, and scripts, as well as its pioneering efforts to document live theatre through the Theatre on Film and Tape (TOFT) Archive.
  • The Theatre on Film and Tape Archive (TOFT) has preserved since 1970 live theatrical productions and documented the creative contributions of distinguished artists and legendary figures of the theatre. With the consent and cooperation of the theatrical unions and each production’s artistic collaborators, TOFT produces video recordings of Broadway, Off-Broadway, and regional theatre productions, as well as dialogues between notable theatre personalities.
  • The Rodgers and Hammerstein Archives of Recorded Sound of The New York Public Library is one of the richest resources of recorded sound in the world. The Archives’ extraordinary holdings cover virtually every aspect of recorded sound—from Mozart to Maria Callas to Motown, from symphonic works to presidential speeches, from radio dramas to television specials.

The Fleischman Director is the senior executive responsible for the management, fundraising, budget, and visionary leadership of LPA. Reporting to the Andrew W. Mellon Director of the Research Libraries at the New York Public Library, the Fleischman Director works with a talented team in managing LPA’s day-to-day operations, spanning 90-staff, 8 million artifacts, and a 100,000 sq. ft. Library facility. Furthermore, the Fleischman Director cultivates external relations among benefactors, the media, and the performing arts community. This individual serves as an active and engaged partner with NYPL’s senior leadership team to bring wider recognition, currency, and access to the LPA’s collections and rich program offerings in support of lifelong learning, steering LPA’s activities while aligning work within broader institutional goals.

Direct Reports

  • Associate Director, Collections & Research Services and Curator, Jerome Robbins Dance Division
  • Associate Director, Access and Administrative Operations
  • Associate Director, Exhibitions and Public Programs Administration

Opportunities and Challenges

  • Collections Stewardship: Steer LPA’s effort in developing long-term plans that address collections storage and access issues and in executing acquisitions strategies that enhance the collections while balancing resource consideration.
  • Fundraising: Develop a comprehensive approach to fundraising in partnership with Development, growing LPA’s annual giving for operations and in support of collections-based priorities, including preservation and digitization.
  • Access: Promote excellent public service and user experiences, and deeper connections to the collections for the next generation of researchers. Spearhead strategy for exhibitions, public programs and outreach that draws on and increases visibility and understanding of LPA’s collections.
  • Change Management: Lead LPA staff through leadership transition, working to align functions, reinforce a positive organizational culture, develop stronger ways of working, and mentor the senior leadership team.

Principal Responsibilities

  • Champion the work of LPA’s senior management team while aligning LPA efforts with NYPL’s institutional mandate and strategic plan.
  • Maintain LPA’s standards of excellence and innovation in collecting, preserving, and making materials discoverable and accessible to scholars, educators, creative professionals, and the general public.
  • Provide leadership and management of the collections, budget, operations, capital projects, exhibitions and programs.
  • Oversee the communications strategy by proactively fostering LPA’s reputation and standing through the use of social networking and traditional media to promote LPA-related news, programs and exhibitions.
  • Work closely with the Mellon Director and the Development Department to cultivate and solicit donors develop fundraising strategies and secure contributions to support individual projects, broader cross-disciplinary priorities, and annual operating support.
  • Recruit, motivate, mentor, and retain a highly-skilled staff at all levels.
  • Foster a culture of diversity, equity, and inclusion for staff and patrons
  • Develop and promote public programming and exhibitions that explore and illustrate the performing arts that will attract and inspire the multi-generational, diverse audiences of LPA.

Required Education & Experience

  • Advanced academic degree required; terminal degree preferred.
  • Ten (10) or more years of progressively increasing management responsibility.

Minimum Qualifications

  • A deep commitment to the performing arts as evidenced by prior roles.
  • Capacity to promote and manage a public institution that is both an internationally renowned research library and an important cultural center to the performing arts community.
  • Demonstrable experience working with staff at all levels and a proven ability to manage strategically, impact and influence key stakeholders, transform organizations, and innovate in and with a diverse community
  • Exceptional interpersonal and communication skills, including the ability to deal effectively with diverse constituencies, including staff, donors, Board members, and high profile members of the performing arts community.
  • Demonstrable experience in budget and resource development and management.

Critical Competencies for Success

  • Delivering Results – Sets high standards for quality, quantity, and timelines. Focuses on patron needs and satisfaction. Consistently achieves project goals.
  • Persuasion and Influence – Gains clear agreement and commitment from others by persuading, convincing and negotiating. Makes effective use of processes to influence others.
  • Adaptability and Flexibility – Demonstrates willingness and ability to elicit feedback, listen to multiple perspectives and respond to changing circumstances & expectations.
  • Coaching – Provides others with clear direction, motivates, and empowers. Recruits staff of a high caliber and provides staff with development opportunities and coaching.
  • Digitally Fluent – knows how to partner with digital leaders in creating digital service experiences.

Other Personal Characteristics

  • A person who is enthusiastic about guiding and communicating the mission of LPA, both on site and at such locations as the mission and needs of the organization demand.
  • Strong record of scholarly engagement and community engagement.

All team members are expected and encouraged to embody the NYPL Core Values:

  • Be Helpful to patrons and colleagues
  • Be Resourceful in solving problems
  • Be Curious in all aspects of your work


The New York Public Library has retained Park Square Executive Search to assist in the search for the next Barbara G. and Lawrence A. Fleischman Executive Director of the Library for the Performing Arts. Nominations, inquiries, and applications may be sent in confidence to:

Jonathan Fortescue, Managing Partner or

Kyle Meingast, Principal

+1 617 401 2991

[email protected]

Union / Non Union

Non Union

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