Doug Curtis, who has spent 16 years with the AT&T Performing Arts Center, will step down as its president and CEO May 18th — the end of his current contract. Curtis was chief operating officer when he assumed the responsibilities of acting president and CEO in 2013 after Mark Weinstein abruptly resigned. But Curtis had previously guided the Center’s design, construction, completion and opening.
In the past two years, the AT&T PAC has raised $24.5 million in commitments towards the remaining $27 million of the center’s outstanding construction debt and capital campaign. The question of whether the City of Dallas should contribute to retiring that debt with $15 million over 10 years ignited controversy in 2016 and protests from smaller and minority arts groups. The city council eventually agreed to pay the $15 million while also approving an additional $285,000 for “culturally specific arts groups” and $400,000 for facility repairs.
Debbie Storey, a current AT&T PAC board member and former executive vice president of AT&T, will serve as acting CEO as the center launches a search for Curtis’ replacement.
The full release:
AT&T PERFORMING ARTS CENTER PRESIDENT AND CEO TO STEP DOWN
Search Begins for New CEO to Lead the Center into Its Next Phase
(Dallas) Today the nonprofit AT&T Performing Arts Center announced that Doug Curtis, its president and CEO, will resign. The decision comes as Curtis approached the end of his current contract, following 16 years with the organization. Debbie Storey, a current Board member and former executive vice president of AT&T, will serve as acting CEO as the Center launches a search for Curtis’ replacement.
“Doug’s contributions to the Center have been invaluable,” said Matrice Ellis-Kirk, chair of the Board of Directors of the AT&T Performing Arts Center. “On behalf of the Board and staff, I’d like to thank Doug for his stewardship of the Center over the last 16 years. He is leaving the Center in a strong position as we move into the next era in a highly competitive cultural and entertainment environment.”
Curtis joined the Center in 2002 to as vice president of design and construction, where he oversaw all aspects of construction of the Center’s highly acclaimed venues, Winspear Opera House, Wyly Theatre, Strauss Square, and Sammons Park. Following the opening of the Center in 2009, he served in various leadership roles, and was named president and CEO in 2013. Recently, Curtis spearheaded efforts to create a plan that would retire the Center’s outstanding construction debt and close its capital campaign. In the past two years, the Center has raised $24.5 million in commitments towards the remaining $27-million goal in that campaign.
“When I joined this project in 2002, it was the opportunity of a lifetime to bring to life world-class performing arts venues designed by some of the greatest architects of our time,” said Doug Curtis, president and CEO of the Center. “For the last six years, I’ve been proud to lead the AT&T Performing Arts Center, with its dedicated staff and Board, as it has made a significant impact on our community. As the Center prepares for its 10th anniversary, the time is right for a new leader to shape the next phase for this organization, and for me to pursue new opportunities.”
Storey will begin her role as acting CEO on May 7. Curtis will work with her through May 18 to allow for a smooth transition. She has served on the Center’s Board of Directors since 2011, and is chair of its Programming Committee, which sets the programmatic and artistic vision for the Center.
Storey retired in 2016 after 34 years with AT&T. Throughout her tenure, she served in a variety of roles, including Executive Vice President—AT&T Mobility Customer Service and Senior Vice President—Talent Development and Chief Diversity Officer at AT&T. Storey is an author, consultant, and speaker on the topics of diversity and inclusion, leadership, and inspiring and empowering women.
Vice President of External Affairs
ABOUT THE AT&T PERFORMING ARTS CENTER
The AT&T Performing Arts Center is a nonprofit foundation that operates and programs a 10-acre campus comprised of three premier performance venues and a park in downtown Dallas. Opening in October 2009, the Center has helped complete the 30-year vision of the Dallas Arts District.
Audiences enjoy the best and most recent from Broadway and off-Broadway; the finest dance companies from across the globe co-presented with TITAS Presents; top concerts and performers with Center Presents; and cutting-edge speakers from the #hearhere series. Thousands of students explore and more deeply experience the arts through the Center’s education program, Open Stages. Working with local service agencies, the Center provides free tickets to underserved individuals and families through Community Partners. These programs are made possible by the ongoing support of donors and members.
The Center’s five resident companies are among the city’s leading arts institutions: Anita N. Martinez Ballet Folklorico, Dallas Black Dance Theatre, The Dallas Opera, Dallas Theater Center and Texas Ballet Theater. And through its Elevator Project, the Center supports small and emerging arts organizations by providing them performance space on the Center’s stages.
Designed by internationally acclaimed architects, the Center’s performance spaces are some of the finest venues in the world:
- Margot and Bill Winspear Opera House, designed by Foster + Partners of London, is a stunning 2,200-seat venue wrapped in red glass with outstanding acoustic performance halls.
- Dee and Charles Wyly Theatre is a 575-seat theatre with one of the most versatile stages in the world and a distinctive aluminum exterior. It was designed by REX/OMA, Joshua Prince-Ramus (partner in charge) and Rem Koolhaas.
- Annette Strauss Square, designed by Foster + Partners, is an open-air entertainment venue with lawn and patio seating for 2,000 surrounded by the downtown skyline.
- Elaine D. and Charles A. Sammons Park is an urban park with native plants and grasses, landscaped lawns, performance spaces, a reflecting pool. Sammons Park was designed by Michel Desvigne and includes the Information Center designed by Foster + Partners.
The Center’s mission is to provide a public gathering place that strengthens community and fosters creativity through the presentation of performing arts. For more information about the AT&T Performing Arts Center and to purchase tickets, become a member