Steven is a highly successful and respected executive and consultant with over 35 years of experience leading major arts organizations with extensive experience managing orchestra, dance, and theatre companies and performing arts centers. He is nationally recognized for developing an entrepreneurial and creative approach to strategic planning, fund raising, programming, branding, marketing initiatives, institutional growth, and problem solving.
Steven is the President/CEO for the Jacksonville Symphony where he is responsible for the financial management, fund raising, marketing, and production functions for the Jacksonville Symphony, and partners with the Music Director on long range planning and programming. The Jacksonville Symphony, with a budget of $10M, serves over 150,000 people each season through performances at the Times-Union Performing Arts Center and through a robust Community Engagement program. The orchestra consists of 60 musicians performing 32 concert weekends representing 75 performances in Jacoby Symphony Hall and an additional 80 ensemble performances throughout the Jacksonville community.
During the Covid-19 Pandemic, Steven developed a plan that allowed the Symphony to perform before 38,000 people over 72 concerts under strict physical distancing guidelines. The Jacksonville Symphony was one of only ten orchestras in America that performed in their Hall during the 2020-21 season. Steven successfully raised four $1M gifts during this period.
Steven served as the Chief Advancement Officer (CAO) for Atlanta Ballet, where he was responsible for planning, implementing, overseeing, and assessing Atlanta Ballet’s development and governance strategies in support of the organization’s strategic vision and growth. As a key member of the leadership team, Steven represented the organization’s development interests to constituencies, both internal and external, and worked in close collaboration with the CEO, Artistic Director and the Board of Trustees. Steven successfully led a $23.5 million capital campaign and $5 million annual fund.
In Indiana, Steven was the founding President/CEO of the $175 million Center for the Performing Arts, a three-venue performing arts center and museum. He successfully branded the Center as a major community asset and developed programming for over 100 artists, built the staff from 2 to 80, the board from 3 to 30, raised over $12M in operating funds during the first two seasons, established seven resident companies, and created a volunteer corps of over 500. In addition, he instituted the business platform that resulted in a new web site, ticketing and accounting systems. At the Center, Steven produced the Emmy nominated PBS special “Michael Feinstein: The Sinatra Project”.
At the Tony Award winning La Jolla Playhouse, as the Managing Director, Steven ran a four venue theatre complex presenting over 300 performances per season, and produced 28 plays during his tenure, including ten world premieres. With an operating budget of $15 million, he supervised a staff of over 100, a part time staff of 125 and directed all strategic planning, financial management, fund raising and marketing. The Playhouse has received more than 300 awards for theatre excellence and is nationally acclaimed for its innovative productions of classics, new plays and musicals. Numerous Playhouse productions have moved to Broadway, garnering a total of 38 Tony Awards.
The block buster Tony Award winning musical Jersey Boys was created at La Jolla Playhouse and during Steven’s tenure he was part of the team that successfully transferred the production to Broadway, as well as Chicago, London and the national tour. Steven was also part of the team that moved the musicals Cry Baby and Memphis and the plays The Farnsworth Invention and 33 Variations to Broadway.
During his 17 years with the Pittsburgh Ballet–first as Director of Development, then 14 years as Managing Director–Steven broke new ground in funder relations, raising more than $50 million. He was equally successful in revitalizing programming and reaching new audiences where he produced ballets set to the music of Sting, Paul Simon, Pete Seeger, Bruce Springsteen, Ray Brown and Stanley Turrentine. When he left the Pittsburgh Ballet, he was the longest-serving arts executive in the city, and one of the two longest-serving managing directors of major ballet companies in North America.
Steven is the co-creator and co-host of a radio show focused on arts education called, “The Voice of the Performing Arts” that appeared weekly on public radio WICR from the University of Indianapolis and was pod cast nationally through I tunes. Since its launch in March 2013 through 2016 over 500 guests appeared on the show including members of the US Congress, presidents of universities and executive and education directors from the some of the most prestigious arts organizations in the world.
Steven is also the President and Founder of The Libman Group, an arts management consulting practice that focuses on operational planning, fund raising, governance, programming, strategic development and change management.
Steven is the author of many articles that focus on arts administration and has been a regular contributor to the Indianapolis Business Journal and Arts Management Network magazine. He is a frequent speaker at conferences and recently lectured about fund raising before the National Guild for Community Arts Education, and was the keynote speaker for the Florida Alliance for Arts Education. Steven has also taught classes in leadership and fund raising to graduate students at Carnegie Mellon University, University of Pittsburgh, University of California/San Diego and Syracuse University.
Steven holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Performing Arts Management from Rhode Island College and holds a Certificate in Strategic Perspectives in Non-profit Management from the Harvard University Graduate School of Business Administration, and a Certificate in Strategy from the Stanford University Graduate School of Business.
Steven is married to Carol Killworth, has one daughter, step-daughter, step-son, and two grandchildren.