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Cincinnati Ballet Expands Leadership

January 28th, 2016

Cincinnati Ballet announces today that respected performing arts leader Scott Altman will join the organization as Executive Director, working alongside Artistic Director and CEO Victoria Morgan to lead the company into its next era of innovation and success. Altman has a proven record of fostering entrepreneurial spirit in arts organizations, increasing fiscal stability, maximizing ticket revenue, increasing contributed revenue and expanding physical footprints. He joins Cincinnati Ballet from his role as Executive Director of Ballet West in Salt Lake City, Utah, where he oversaw a 50% increase in its annual operating budget from $8 to $12.6 million spanning 2013-2016. Scott Altman will transition into his role with Cincinnati Ballet during the month of September, joining full-time October 1, 2016.

As Executive Director, Altman will direct the business strategy of Cincinnati Ballet and guide long-term planning for the company’s growth and future. Altman’s portfolio will include oversight of fundraising, finance, marketing, academy, education and community outreach, audience development, production, human resources, and company and facilities management. Victoria Morgan will maintain her position as Artistic Director and CEO through the 2016-2017 season, her 20th season with Cincinnati Ballet. Following that season, Morgan will focus on artistic programming and creative initiatives for Cincinnati Ballet. Morgan is one of very few female Artistic Directors in the ballet world; she is currently one of five women leading U.S. ballet companies with operating budgets of $5 million or more.

“I am thrilled to welcome Scott Altman to Cincinnati Ballet,” stated Victoria Morgan. “Our company finances are stronger than ever before in our 53-year history. Ticket sales, development efforts, education and outreach programs, and the Otto M. Budig Academy are achieving record expansion, and we continue to inspire our community through artistic excellence and invention. Our vision for the future of Cincinnati Ballet is ambitious, and I am so pleased that we have identified a strong industry leader to partner with me in leading the company into its next era.”

Morgan continued, “Scott has a proven executive history in the dance field and he understands the vital cultural and economic importance of the arts. He has a deep understanding of finance, marketing, development, community outreach, arts education, and how these efforts all work together. This is already such an exciting year for our company; we are celebrating my 20th season as Artistic Director and touring to the world-renowned Kennedy Center in November. Scott’s arrival is yet another exciting event marking organizational growth. After this momentous season, I am looking forward to focusing on my first passion: the beautiful, compelling artistry of ballet, choreography and other creative programs.”

“I am delighted Scott Altman is joining Cincinnati Ballet as our new Executive Director. His appointment marks an important milestone for this incredible company,” stated Cincinnati Ballet Board of Trustees Chairman Kelly Brown. “As a result of Victoria’s visionary leadership and keen business sense, Cincinnati Ballet has experienced outstanding growth, recently expanding from an operating budget of $5.9 million in 2009 to $8.5 million today. Victoria’s business and artistic results are unique and are, in many ways, the direct result of the strong partnership she has forged with the Board and also the greater Cincinnati community. The demands of the business have outgrown our current organizational structure. This new Executive Director position is essential as we continue to focus on healthy growth. Scott’s energy and proven track record at Ballet West make him the perfect person for the job. We are very excited about the possibilities this new partnership presents for Cincinnati Ballet.”

“I am excited to take on this new role and to join the tremendous Cincinnati Ballet family at this momentous time in company history,” said Altman. “The future of the company overflows with potential, thanks to the talented leadership of Victoria Morgan, the dedication of a world-class Board of Trustees, the passion of Cincinnati Ballet patrons and the outstanding Ballet staff.” Altman added: “My family and I have received the warmest welcome from the Cincinnati community and can’t wait to make the Queen City our new home.”

Scott Altman brings with him nearly three decades of experience in nonprofit administration and performing arts, including his most recent role as Executive Director of Ballet West, a position he has held since 2013. Under his leadership, Ballet West has experienced phenomenal expansion. In the last two years, the company has seen 21% growth in ticket sales, a vastly expanded touring schedule, robust growth in donor development and more. Most recently, Altman facilitated the 12-month long “Million Dollar Challenge,” which eliminated $2.2 million in operational debt. With a concentrated focus on Ballet West Academy, enrollment has grown 75% with the company opening three satellite locations during his tenure. Altman also helped negotiate financing and oversaw the construction of the

Jessie Eccles Quinney Ballet Centre, the new 55,000 square foot home for Ballet West which was completed in December of 2014.

Prior to Ballet West, Altman was the General Director of Arizona Opera where, under his leadership, the company experienced unprecedented audience development and achieved financial stability by launching – and completing – an $8.5 million capital campaign.

Altman attended Stanford University’s Executive Program for Nonprofit Leaders, was a Utah Business’ 2016 CEO of the Year honoree, and is also the recipient of the New Jersey State Council on the Arts Citation of Excellence Awards for 2007, 2008 and 2009. Prior to his roles in administration, Altman had a 20-year career as a professional opera singer and performed 37 opera roles internationally. Altman completed his Masters of Music degree at Manhattan School of Music in New York after receiving a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the State University College at Purchase in Purchase, New York. He will relocate to Cincinnati with his wife and two sons.

Cincinnati Ballet secured New York City-based firm Dunch Arts, LLC to manage this national search. The search and the new positon is supported, in part, by The Greater Cincinnati Foundation. Victoria Morgan served on the Search Committee along with a group of Cincinnati Ballet Board members and longtime donors Michael Bailes, Jennifer Damiano, Larry Kellar, Rhonda Sheakley, Bob Pitcairn and Kelly Vanasse.

During the 2016-2017 Season the company will celebrate Morgan’s 20th season with Cincinnati Ballet, and in addition to its September through April Cincinnati performance season, the company will tour to the world-renowned The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in November of 2016.

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