Spotlight on the Future

2016//2019 Strategic Plan

strategicplan_graphicThe staff, board, volunteers, and audience of the The Z are looking to the future.

Together, we have created goals for The Z’s growth, refinement and improvement in a three-year strategic plan that builds on our strong foundation and sets a course for our constant and continued enhancement.

Over the last three decades, you have helped us build a strong performing arts center that enhances our economy, creates quality of life, and brings acclaim to our region. Together, we have created a non-profit organization that is more than a place for simple entertainment. It’s an anchor for inspiration. It’s a place where memories and traditions can take hold. It is an open-invitation to the greatest artists and thinkers in the nation and the world, to come to New Bedford. And they do come. They lift us up. They share their energy.

The Z is here to make you and New Bedford proud. We are here to say world class has never left New Bedford. We are, and will continue to be, a mirror of the excellence that already exists in this community.

The Z’s 2016-2019 Strategic Plan builds upon the excellence you have helped us achieve. You can look forward to some critical changes over the next three years. Some of the outcomes you’ll be able to see, hear, and feel; some will be embedded in the foundation of our practices.

We will continue to improve financial sustainability, deepen the impact of our programming, and make the building as excellent as our programs. Indeed, steps to these goals have already begun.

As part of the planning process we surveyed our community and many of your responses were about the building. We used that feedback to inform our priorities for the facility. In the strategic plan’s facilities chapter, you’ll see an ambitious list of capital improvements stretching beyond this three-year plan. Starting now, we will address facility goals that include a new marquee, new seats, expanded bathrooms, upgrades to sound and production equipment, video projection and interior repairs. It’s very exciting. And did we say ambitious?

In addition, other plan highlights include:

  • The Z’s mission was fine-tuned and a vision statement, guiding principles, and core values were articulated.
  • The Z will explore new ways to bring the full power of the performing arts to the community by creating new programming initiatives with an eye towards innovation and responsiveness to our community’s needs.
  • The Z will produce a range of festivals to build visibility for the organization, to enhance the role of The Z as a community asset, and, more importantly, to reflect festivity and a shared sense of joyfulness.
  • Educational programs will expand beyond The Z’s core SchoolTime offerings, including programs such as Teen Ambassadors, Creative Classroom, more internships and professional development workshops for teachers. In addition, we will increase opportunities for visiting artists to connect with audiences and the larger community, and there will be a continued focus on increasing opportunities for underserved children to experience the performing arts.
  • Audience development will focus on genre-specific audiences and geographic regions. Objectives will include cultivating and increasing a loyal audience that is diverse, younger and reflects the greater New Bedford community.
  • We will build on the current strengths of our staff and volunteers to increase the range of patron services we provide and our training as customer service professionals.
  • To strengthen The Z’s operational capacity, staffing issues relating to administration (programming, marketing, education, development, etc.) and facility operations, event production, and rentals will be addressed.
  • With respect to governance, the Board of Trustees will solidify its committee structure, nominations process, leadership development, and professional development activities, and update its bylaws accordingly. The Z Advisory Council will be created to broaden the input, assistance and support of the community for The Z.
  • A focus on improving future financial sustainability through deepening and broadening our audience base, and further expansion and stewardship of individuals, foundations, corporations and government agencies.

This Strategic Plan will be a living, breathing document and even though it is already published, we welcome your input along the way. Your opinion and experience with The Z is very important to us and we want your voice reflected in the continued growth and improvement of our beloved Z.

Rosemary Gill, Executive Director, Development and Programming
Justin LaCroix, Executive Director, Production and Facilities

Click here to read the Zeiterion’s complete 2016 // 2019 Strategic Plan.