AMS Welcomes Bill Blake Back as West Coast Director

Bill_Blake_6x9_6816 CROPPEDAMS is pleased to announce the appointment of Bill Blake as AMS’s West Coast Director. Bill rejoins AMS after having served as the Managing Director of B Street Theatre in Sacramento. In addition to driving the diverse activity of the company, Bill led the effort to develop its new home. The $24 million landmark theatre complex will be part of the City of Sacramento’s vision of a new central city mixed-use district that includes street enhancements and entertainment.

Bill’s work with AMS has included over 50 consulting and planning projects, including strategic plans, business plans and feasibility studies for museums, historic theaters, and performing arts centers (including Folsom Lake College’s Brice W. Harris Performing Arts Center). In addition, he previously served as General Manager of the Everett Performing Arts Center and an administrator at Village Theatre, both in Washington State, and as an arts educator for Seattle Children’s Theatre and Idyllwild Arts Academy in Southern California.

Bill holds a Masters Degree in Arts Administration from Goucher College in Baltimore and an undergraduate degree in Theatre Production from Principia College. In 2009 the Arts and Business Council of Sacramento honored him as Arts Executive of the Year. Bill is a native of Kansas City and lives in East Sacramento with his wife, Emily, and their daughter, Raji.

Please join us in welcoming back Bill and click here for more news on his transition from B Street Theatre to AMS.

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A New Chapter for the Apollo Theater

ApolloAMS is pleased to congratulate the Apollo Theater, long-time AMS strategic planning client, on the appointment of Kamilah Forbes as Executive Producer, beginning in September 2016. Ms. Forbes will bring her experience as an award-winning director, producer, and cofounder of HiARTS/Hip Hop Theater Festival, to continue the Apollo’s mission in expanding their artistic vision, which began during predecessor Mikki Shepard’s tenure. AMS has been deeply engaged in the Apollo’s transformation from its legacy as a springboard for amateur musical talent, and rental venue, to an immersed performing arts center serving Harlem and all of New York City. AMS has worked with staff and board leadership for more than a decade to maximize the effectiveness of its mission and “rethink success” in changing times.



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Changing the Game at Auburn University

Auburn UniversityAMS is assisting Auburn University to determine how a new performing arts venue would complement the campus community and the City of Auburn. Our study is focused on how the new facility would complement existing area venues, looks at how facility innovations might impact programming, operation and design, and investigates operational and financial outcomes of the project. AMS is also supporting the University in a design charette to bring multiple architectural firms to the campus to learn how they work and to develop design ideas from multiple perspectives. For more news, click here.

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Event: Art, Culture, Urban Design, and Capital: Shaping Cities for the Future


AMS Principal, Steven Wolff will join industry colleagues in the discussion, “Art, Culture, Urban Design, and Capital: Shaping Cities for the Future.” The discussion, hosted by the AIA New York Chapter will take place at The Center for Architecture, 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM THURSDAY, MARCH 31. For more information or to register, click here.

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Auburn University seeks proposals from qualified professionals to consult with the University in the: development of architectural and engineering bidding documents for the new Performing Arts Center (AU Project Number: 15-158).

Details regarding this RFQ can be found here.



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AMS congratulates Writers Theatre on NEA Grant


AMS is proud to congratulate Writers Theatre as recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Art Works grant of $20,000, in support of its production of Arcadia by Tom Stoppard.

The play, opening in March 2016, is the first to take place in the organization’s new theatre center, at 325 Tudor Court in Glencoe, within the Alexandra C. and John D. Nichols Theatre. Writers Theatre is a well-known Chicagoland cultural destination that embarked on a $34 million “On to a New Stage” campaign in order to establish their new venue. The new facilities will enable the theatre to accommodate audience growth, while proving the intimacy and artistry, for which the organization is renowned.

For more information, read the Writers Theatre announcement, download the NEA news release (pdf format), or visit the organization’s construction updates page.

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AMS Intern Joins Seattle’s Art Interruptions

Art Interruptions, SeattleThe artwork of AMS intern, Hanako O’Leary is featured along Seattle’s Central Area Neighborhood Greenway until January 3rd, 2016. The program, Art Interruptions, a product of the Seattle Office of Arts & Culture, highlights the way in which artists respond to their environments and their communities. Based on community interviews, Hanako’s work incorporates the likes and dislikes, hopes and dreams for the future of the Central Area neighborhood, through a series of textile installations and collages in the form of Japanese Koi fish.


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Jordan Gross-Richmond, Director of Knowledge Management

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Jordan Gross-Richmond has extensive experience in client management and business operations. He is a co-founder of Angeles Partners and was Chief of Operations for Meor Foundation, a multinational non-profit based in the Middle East with operations on three continents. Before moving abroad, he was a business intelligence analyst with the Broward Center for the Performing Arts in Ft. Lauderdale, FL. Jordan is a vocal advocate for music and arts education and serves as a founding member of the Rising Leaders Council, a committee dedicated to building new audience under the helm of the Segerstrom Center for the Arts.  Jordan studied advanced Talmudic and Middle-Age commentary in Jerusalem, Israel and holds a B.A. in Music Performance from UCLA.

Jordan works and lives in Cleveland, OH.

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Ricky Li, Intern

Ricky Li is an intern with AMS Planning & Research, based in the Southport, Connecticut office. At AMS, Ricky assists clients across the country in operations assessment, industry research, facilities and business planning working in tandem with the analyst and consultant team.

Ricky is currently pursuing the Master of Arts degree in Visual Arts Administration from New York University with professional experience in both the arts and management consulting industry. Ricky began her career in the field of arts at Sotheby’s Beijing, where she conducted auction market research and organized presale auction exhibitions. She also worked with the art advisory team at Schiff Fine Art, where she assisted in artwork research and managed the digitalization of the art collection.

Besides her experience in arts, Ricky has experience working for marketing research and management consulting companies before she joined AMS. During her experience working in technology, media and telecom (TMT) team at Nielson, she performed customer insight research and analysis covering government policy, competitor, business model and pain points analysis. When working with the strategy consulting team at EY-Parthenon, she coordinated the commercial due diligence projects, compiling research reports, formulating marketing metrics, competitor market share and burgeoning income. She continued to enhance her working capacity in management consulting when working for Accenture, where she handled strategy projects with retails and urban planning clients.

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Kristian Otten, Analyst

Kristian Otten

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Kristian Otten is an Analyst with AMS Planning & Research, based in the Southport, Connecticut office. His current work includes a market assessment and business plan for the Newport Performing Arts Center in Newport, RI; strategic planning for the Old Globe Theater in San Diego, CA; consulting support for planning, operator procurement, and implementation of a new downtown performance space for the City of New Rochelle, NY; a feasibility study for venues at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary in Pittsburgh, PA; and a utilization forecast for The Fort Mason Center for Arts & Culture in San Francisco, CA.

Kristian is currently pursuing a particular interest in the inner workings of the commercial music industry and its relationship with not-for-profit and municipal entities, manifest through recent work on an operating model study for the Starlight Bowl Amphitheater, owned by the City of Burbank, CA. Other notable recent work has included a performing arts center market impact study for the City of Rochester, NY; research and analysis of the impact of the Mellon Foundation’s New York Theater Program on the local, regional, and national nonprofit theater landscape; a facility feasibility study for a nonprofit performing arts center and opera house in Alameda, CA; and a facility use business plan for a theater company in Hartford, CT. He has also provided support for a diversity of other AMS projects including a transition, implementation, and strategic planning for Gulfshore Playhouse in Naples, FL and an executive search for the Columbus Association for the Performing Arts.

Kristian holds a Master of Arts degree in Arts Administration from Teachers College, Columbia University. He also holds a B.M. in Music Performance (bassoon) from Wheaton College Conservatory of Music (IL).

Prior to joining AMS, Kristian worked for the off-Broadway general management firm Daryl Roth Theatrical Management in New York City. He also worked as Assistant Company Manager for the off-Broadway production iLuminate. Kristian is an active musician, and in tandem with his work at AMS, he serves as Director of Music and Worship Arts for the Covenant Church of Easton, Connecticut.


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