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Transformation and Transition

Updated: Apr 1, 2021

A Message from President and Board Chair, Mary Rozsa de Coquet.

After 16 years serving in the dual roles of President and Board Chair of the Rozsa Foundation, I’ve advised our Board that I wish to transition responsibility for operations to a full-time Executive Director. I will continue to serve as Board Chair, but with the 25th Anniversary behind us and the Foundation’s expansion and evolution over the past few years well established, it’s a good time to divide the roles.

I’m pleased to let you know that the Board has accepted this recommendation and that a national search for a new Executive Director is under way. The Board has retained Prospector Executive Search to assist in this recruitment, and the appointment of a new Executive Director is expected to be made early in 2017.

Our family will continue its guiding role on the Foundation’s philosophy and strategy, while the Executive Director expands our focus on operations. In the past quarter-century we have moved well beyond our core mission of grants, with a strong and growing presence in arts management and research.

The vision of our parents, Ted and Lola, was to support a strong and sustainable arts community. We remain true to that vision and their passion. I think they would be proud to see that the Foundation now has a provincial mandate and is increasingly recognized as a national arts leader. Our world is changing rapidly and we have not hesitated to seize opportunities.

To be sure, we will continue supporting arts on the frontlines with our grants program, which has supported some 90 organizations over the years, and many of those multiple times. While we believe in artistic innovation and outreach to new audiences, it should be done within a sound business model. We are proud to support outstanding arts leaders through our flagship initiative, the Rozsa Award for Excellence in Arts Management, and to develop future leaders through our arts management program (RAMP). A total 135 arts administrators have completed RAMP since its inception in 2012. In addition, new leadership programs are set to commence in 2017.

We’ve also pursued opportunities to redefine the impact of the arts in other sectors, including health and wellness (Dancing with Parkinson’s) and education. Recent Socially Empowered Learning research is creating new knowledge on the academic front that has direct relevance to how we should teach in order to maximize student engagement. We are also breaking new ground in terms of business and the arts, and have entered into various national research collaborations. We see – and we are acting on – the wonderful potential of the arts to influence society more broadly and profoundly for the next 25 years!

I know that that the strength and breadth of our operations is a real tribute to the arts sector itself and especially and most importantly to the relationships we’ve all built with stakeholders and partner institutions. I can’t stress enough how much the depth and quality of those relationships makes this transition possible. Both the Family and the Foundation are determined to make the time to continue to nurture these friendships even as we reach out and grow our network. So, as much as I’ll miss the operational side, I’m delighted that I’ll be able to spend more time in that community leadership role as Board Chair. With the backing of a thoughtful and passionate board, and the vitality of a new Executive Director, the Foundation will most assuredly continue to explore new frontiers in the arts.

Needless to say, we’re looking for a candidate with a strong leadership background in arts management, business, and external relations. We are seeking a connector: of ideas, people, and possibilities. Granting and philanthropy experience, as I mentioned, are a cornerstone of the role. Above all, we’re looking for someone who shares our passion for the arts, arts management and innovation. In our view, it’s all of a whole and what defines the Rozsa Foundation, now and in the future. Our next Executive Director will continue to build the legacy that honors our parents, Drs. Ted and Lola.

As always, we look forward to great ideas and great conversations. And of course, great performances and arts leadership!



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