After ten glorious years of service to Dad’s Garage, Kevin Gillese has decided to transition out of his role as Artistic Director at the end of December to focus on more artistic projects close to his heart. We purposefully say “transition” instead of “step down;” Kevin will be heading up Dad’s Garage Television (DGTV), will remain an ensemble member, and will be in charge of new initiatives to advance the Dad’s Garage brand. Kevin came to this decision after much consideration and feels the time is right personally and organizationally to hand the baton to a new leader.
“I’m so excited to be able to spend more time as an artist at Dad’s Garage and focus more of my energies on passion projects,” Kevin said. In his new role leading DGTV, Kevin will expand our ability to create digital content and reach national and international audiences with Dad’s Garage work.
The board of directors has put together a transition task force to focus on the work ahead. Derin Dickerson, Board Chair and Chair of the Transition Task Force, had this to say: “We’re coming at this from such a position of strength because of where Kevin has brought this organization, our new strategic plan, Lara’s continued involvement, and our succession planning work from the previous few years.”
Among the successes Kevin brought to Dad’s Garage are significantly increased diversity in our roster of artists, adding in 8 p.m. shows, the creation of DGTV, and leading us through the development of our permanent home in the Old Fourth Ward. Kevin’s leadership had opened up new streams of revenue, expanded our audience base, and moved us to a more professional business model.
Jon Carr has been named as the Interim Artistic Director during the search. Jon has been an ensemble member for seven years, served as the Marketing Director for Dad’s Garage from 2014-2019, and currently works as Audience Development Manager at the Alliance Theatre. Derin had this to say about Jon stepping into the role: “We’re thrilled to have Jon as interim — he brings the exact skillset we need to remain stable and focused on our mission while the board searches for a new Artistic Director.” Jon describes Dad’s as his artistic home and is eager to step into the role — he will begin his overlap with Kevin in December.
Managing Director Lara Smith will be involved in the search and had this to say: “It’s been such a pleasure working side-by-side with Kevin over the past seven years, and I’m glad I don’t have to truly say goodbye. I’m looking forward to working with Jon again, and can’t wait to help our new Artistic Director step into the role.”
This announcement kicks off the search for a new Artistic Director. You can find the position description here and apply here. Dad’s Garage requests all applications be in by end of day September 29th. Please pass this along to anyone you think might be appropriate for the position!