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When Reynold Levy became the new president of Lincoln Center in 2002, New York Magazine described the situation he walked in to as “a community in deep distress, riven by conflict.” Ideas for the redevelopment of Lincoln Center's artistic facilities and public spaces required spending more than 1.2 billion, but there was no clear pathway for how to raise that kind of unprecedented sum. The individual resident organizations that were the key constituents of Lincoln Centerthe Metropolitan Opera, the New York City Opera, the New York Philharmonic, the Juilliard School, and eight otherscould not agree on a common capital plan or fundraising course of action. Instead, intramural rivalries and disputes filled the vacuum.
Besides, some of those organizations had daunting problems of their own. Levy tells the inside story of the demise of the New York City Opera, the Metropolitan Opera's need to use as collateral its iconic Chagall tapestries in the face of mounting operating losses, and the New York Philharmonic's dalliance with Carnegie Hall.
Yet despite these and other challenges, Levy and the extraordinary civic leaders at his side were able to shape a consensus for the physical modernization of the sixteen-acre campus and raise the money necessary to maintain Lincoln Center as the country's most vibrant performing arts destination. By the time he left, Lincoln Center had prepared itself fully for the next generation of artists and audiences.
They Told Me Not to Take That Job is more than a memoir of life at the heart of one of the world's most prominent cultural institutions. It is also a case study of leadership and management in action. How Levy and his colleagues triumphantly steered Lincoln Centerthrough perhaps the most tumultuous decade of its history to a startling transformationis fully captured in his riveting account.
|Product dimensions:||6.20(w) x 9.40(h) x 1.40(d)|
About the Author
Reynold Levy was the president of the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts from March 1, 2002 to January 31, 2014. He has held leadership roles at the International Rescue Committee, at AT&T, and at the 92nd Street Y. He has taught at the Harvard Business School. Currently, he is an adjunct professor at the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University, a special advisor to the private equity firm General Atlantic, and a consultant to nonprofit institutions and foundations. He lives in New York City.
Table of Contents
Map of the Lincoln Center Campus xviii
Chapter 1 A Kid from Brooklyn Becomes a President (Again) 1
Chapter 2 Welcome to Lincoln Center 31
Chapter 3 Curtain Up 49
Chapter 4 Transformation 65
Chapter 5 Rejuvenation 93
Chapter 6 A Refugee Returns Home 119
Chapter 7 A Death Foretold and a Turnaround Unheralded 139
Chapter 8 The Fashionable Landlord 163
Chapter 9 A Year of Reckoning at the Met 177
Chapter 10 Close Encounters 197
Chapter 11 Civic Leaders Come and Go: In Search of Accountability 221
Chapter 12 Hale and Farewell 237
Chapter 13 Futures: The Third Sector's and My Own 255
Chapter 14 The Leadership Lessons That Matter Most 265
Appendix A 305
Appendix B 306
Appendix C 309
Appendix D 314
Selected Bibliography 324
About the Author 349