Flynn Center for the Performing Arts STRATEGIC PLANNING STRATEGIES FOR SUCCESS Burlington, VT. 2007.

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The Flynn Center for the Performing Arts, built around a historic art deco movie palace, has long been one of the most admired small market performing arts centers in the US. It has maintained an extraordinary commitment to high quality programming while leading the field in developing innovative business practices. Its success has been recognized with many important foundation grants, and it is a leader as a presenting organization, a service organization for other arts groups, a producer of new programming (such as the Burlington Jazz Festival), and the creator of acclaimed for both in-house and outreach educational programs across Northern Vermont.

So when the Flynn Center asked MVPA to lead its strategic planning in 2007, it was an organization that had enjoyed great success. However, it was poised to enter a new phase in its development. Some of its large multi-year programming grants were expiring, its founding executive director planned to retire, and financial pressures were causing expenses to grow faster than earned revenue. It was the perfect time to undertake a serious re-examination, and MVPA guided the process throughout the first half of 2007. The results were a success, as was the leadership transition that ensued a year later. On the heels of the strategic planning, the Flynn Center received the League of Historic American Theatres’ Theatre of the Year award. As it continues to grow, MVPA continues to work with the Flynn, most recently helping to plan the renovation of the theatre’s seating geometry, making modifications to comply with the ADA while improving both patron comfort and the historic appeal of the interior.

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