PRESS RELEASE: Nationally recognized arts leader Steven Libman to join Atlanta Ballet as CAO

ATLANTA – July 30, 2014 - Atlanta Ballet president and C.E.O. Arturo Jacobus announced during its annual meeting on July 29 that veteran arts leader Steven Libman will join the organization as chief advancement officer effective August 25.

Libman was hand-picked to fill the newly created position and brings more than 30 years of national arts management experience to Atlanta Ballet. He will be a member of the Ballet’s senior management team and will have overall accountability for the development function and primary responsibility for all major fundraising efforts, including the Company’s soon-to-be-announced capital campaign.

“Steven has been a colleague for whom I have had great respect and admiration for over 25 years,” said Jacobus. “Our careers have crossed and run parallel to each other through a variety of arts organizations, panels and associations through that time. What has always struck me about Steven is his boundless energy, his restless intellectual curiosity, his creative approach to solutions and his penchant for bottom-line results. Steven brings to Atlanta Ballet a proven track record in both fundraising and management. I am thrilled that we were able to attract him to our team at this critical time.”

Libman’s extensive background in the arts includes 14 years as managing director of Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre (PBT), the ninth largest ballet company and professional training school in America.

During his tenure at PBT, Libman secured the largest foundation, corporate and individual gifts in the organization’s history, spearheaded a $35 million capital campaign that included the renovation of its ballet studios and the creation of an endowment fund. In addition, he raised more than $2.5 million by broadening the donor base to include such prestigious New York City funders as The Wallace Foundation, AT&T and The Hearst Foundations.  Prior to his role as managing director, he worked as PBT development director for three years.

Most recently he served as president of The Libman Group, a full service arts management consulting firm that focuses on operational planning, fundraising, governance, strategic development and change management, with a client roster of arts organizations from across the country. His career also includes successful runs with the Tony Award-winning La Jolla Playhouse in San Diego, CA and The Center for the Performing Arts in Carmel, IN.

In addition to Libman’s strong leadership and development profile, he also nurtures his passion for the arts through his nationally broadcast radio program, The Voice of the Performing Arts, which he will continue to host.

 “I am deeply honored to have been selected by Arturo Jacobus to serve as the Chief Advancement Officer for Atlanta Ballet,” said Libman. “I have enormous respect for Arturo’s brilliant strategic planning skills, his inclusive style of leadership and his uncanny ability to always move organizations up the ladder of success.  We have been colleagues for over 25 years and I am anxiously looking forward to both learning from, and partnering with him, the staff and the board at this crucial time in the history of Atlanta Ballet.   I should add that I have also been following the artistic growth of the company under the artistic guidance of John McFall and am thrilled to be working with one of the top ballet companies in America.”

The annual meeting also included the announcement of three new members to its Board of Trustees: Chris Carlos, owner of Republic National Distributing Company; Anthony Catalfano, president and CEO of Worldplay US; and David Porter, lead for Microsoft’s Video Global Sales and Strategy. Each has agreed to serve a three-year term.

Atlanta Ballet will officially begin its 14-15 season in December with “Atlanta Ballet’s Nutcracker” at the Fabulous Fox Theatre. The season will continue in February at the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre with an encore presentation of Jean-Christophe Maillot’s “Roméo et Juliette,” the blockbuster production that made its premiere in Atlanta during the Ballet’s 13-14 season, followed by the world premiere of Atlanta Ballet resident choreographer Helen Pickett’s “Camino Real” in March, “Modern Choreographic Voices” in April, and “MAYhem” as the season finale in May. For additional information on the 14-15 season, including ticket information, visit


About Steven Libman: Steven Libman is a highly successful and respected executive with 30 years of experience leading major arts organizations with extensive knowledge of producing dance, theatre and presenting multi-disciplinary performing arts series.

He is nationally recognized for developing an entrepreneurial and creative approach to strategic planning, programming, branding, marketing initiatives, institutional growth, and problem solving. At the Center for the Performing Arts in Indiana, Steven launched the new $175 million, three venue performing arts center. 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 and established 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 Tony Award-winning La Jolla Playhouse, as the chief administrative officer, Steven ran a four venue complex that produced over 300 performances per season, and produced 28 plays, including ten world premieres. He supervised a staff of over 100 and a part time staff of 125 and directed all strategic planning, financial management, fund raising and marketing. During his 17 years with the Pittsburgh Ballet–first as director of development, then 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. When he left the 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. Recently, Steven produced the Emmy nominated PBS special called “Michael Feinstein: The Sinatra Project”. Steven is also the co-creator and co-host of a radio show called, “The Voice of the Performing Arts” - a show devoted exclusively to art education that appears weekly on public radio WICR in Indianapolis.

Steven is the author of many articles that focus on arts administration and is a regular contributor to the Indianapolis Business Journal and Arts Management Network magazine.  He is a frequent speaker at conferences having recently spoken about fund raising before the National Guild for Community Arts Education, and was most recently the keynote speaker before the Florida Alliance for Arts Education.  Steven also lectures at Syracuse University for the Jan low Arts Leadership Program.   He is also writing a book on arts administration for Cardinal Publishing.

About Atlanta Ballet: Founded in 1929, Atlanta Ballet is one of the premier dance companies in the country and the official state Ballet of Georgia. Atlanta Ballet's eclectic repertoire spans ballet history, highlighted by beloved classics and inventive originals. After 85 years, Atlanta Ballet continues its commitment to share and educate audiences on the empowering joy of dance. In 1996, Atlanta Ballet opened the Centre for Dance Education and is dedicated to nurturing young dancers while providing an outlet for adults to express their creativity. The Centre serves over 150,000 people in metro Atlanta each year. Atlanta Ballet's roots remain firmly grounded in the Atlanta community and continue to play a vital role in the city's cultural growth and revitalization. For more information, visit, follow us on Twitter @atlantaballet, and like us on Facebook at