In the midst of these unprecedented and uncertain times, Flying V has some good news: the company has hired Katherine Offutt as its new full-time managing director.
“We genuinely cannot express how thrilled we are to have Katherine join us in this essential leadership role,” said Artistic Director Jason Schlafstein and Associate Artistic Director Jonathan Ezra Rubin. “Her understanding of Flying V as a company, the needs of this position, and her passion for both, is so heartening and inspiring. Our conversations have instilled us with condence and excitement and we truly believe her hire can and will be a transformative moment for Flying V.”
“I’m beyond excited to be joining Flying V at this critical point in the company’s growth, said Offutt, who starts April 13, 2020.
To me, this is when small arts organizations get the exciting opportunity to function with a foot in two worlds – the place of the known and also the place of the “what ifs.” There is so much potential energy in this place.
Flying V has been asking “what if” questions through its whole history – it has been redefining what we expect from theater and how it wants patrons to engage with the content it’s producing. This willingness to step into the unknown combined with the support of an impressive network of creators and patrons gives me goosebumps – it’s an unbeatable combination. I look at everything that Flying V asks of itself, its supporters and its artists, and I think there’s not a single person on this team or in this company’s corner who doesn’t want to see, create, and be a part of something excellent. There’s no one settling. That push for uncompromising Awesome is something I can’t wait to give my skills to, and something I can’t wait to help ground.
The things I do aren’t traditionally “Awesome” – they’re not flashy, and they’re not exciting to talk about necessarily. For a long time, I tried to figure out what my role was in making art – I hadn’t really ever considered myself an artist, but I have filled many technical and administrative roles in production teams. A couple years ago I finally settled on the term “arts facilitator” – the person who gives other people the tools and time they need to make things that are amazing. Tools like rehearsal space, volunteers, calendars, contracts, raised funds, and more. I love getting down in the nitty gritty of a spreadsheet not only because I find the process satisfying, but also because I know that at the other end of that data crunching, or analysis, or report generating…someone else will eventually have better tools to make better art. I take great pride in making sure everything “behind the scenes” is going smoothly so that down the line the final product has the best chance at success. Essentially, I have an SM kit of arts administration skills, and I’m really excited to cart it into the heart of Flying V, a company that not only wants to make great artwork but wants to support artists in great ways. The performing arts aren’t just for audiences, they’re about the primal need artists have: to tell stories – their own, others’, and the ones that need places to go because they simply matter.
Fundamentally, what Flying V is doing right now is creating spaces for artists of all kinds, performers of all kinds, to create awesome for themselves and for others. To take the things that scare them, excite them, confuse them, and inspire them and put them somewhere, in something great. And it makes no assumptions about what that “something” has to be or look like. It’s continuing to thrive in a world of creative “what ifs.”
Our world is in a state of “what if” right now. And I have been thinking a lot about something Abigail Adams said: “These are the times in which a genius would wish to live. It is not in the still calm of life, or the repose of a pacific station, that great characters are formed. The habits of a vigorous mind are formed in contending with difficulties. Great necessities call out great virtues. When a mind is raised, and animated by scenes that engage the heart, then those qualities which would otherwise lay dormant, wake into life and form the character of the hero and the statesman.”
Flying V has been tapping into those qualities, engaging hearts, and constantly digging deeper into its own vigorous mind for years. There is no company better suited to creatively weathering this current storm than Flying V, and I am honored to get to be a part of this team of truly great character.
With Katherine Offutt’s arrival and the cancellation of all our live programming through the spring, there has never been a more impactful or important time to make a donation to Flying V. Your support at this time will allow us to both survive and succeed during and after this crisis as we continue to fulll our mission of using the Performing Arts to combat the threats of existential loneliness, isolation, and dread – more prevalent now than any other time since Flying V was founded. You can make a tax deductible donation here. 100% of your gift will go to Flying V.