Marcus Performing Arts Center
Press Release

Long-time Marcus Center President and CEO to Retire at the End of 2019

Board to launch search for new leader; Mathews to continue involvement in Campus Master Plan fundraising

By - Jul 17th, 2019 01:32 pm
Paul Mathews. Photo courtesy of the Marcus Performing Arts Center.

Paul Mathews. Photo courtesy of the Marcus Performing Arts Center.

MILWAUKEE – Today, the Marcus Performing Arts Center (Marcus Center) announced that its long-time President and CEO, Paul Mathews, will retire at the end of this year. The Board of Directors will be launching a search process for a new President and CEO.

“Leading the Marcus Center for the past two decades has been an incredible honor,” said Mathews. “Thanks to our many supporters, committed Board and unmatched staff, the Marcus Center celebrates its 50th Anniversary stronger than ever. It is an exciting time for the Marcus Center, and for Milwaukee, and I look forward to passing the baton to new leadership as the organization begins its next 50 years of service to our community.”

The Board of Directors will be launching a search process for new leadership. At the Board’s request, Mathews will remain with the Marcus Center through the transition to new leadership and will continue his involvement in fundraising for the Campus Master Plan after his tenure ends.

“We are deeply grateful for Paul’s service to the Marcus Center over the past 21 years,” said Laura Gough, Marcus Center Board Chairperson. “He has been a transformational leader, deepening the Marcus Center’s connections within the community, establishing a strong financial foundation and positioning the Marcus Center for continued success well into the future.”

In reflecting on Mathews’ accomplishments, Gough noted his work in:

  • Transforming the Marcus Center into a more open and welcoming space for the entire community, including through more diverse performing arts programming, extensive arts education efforts and free outdoor programs for youth;
  • Building a skilled and committed leadership team and staff;
  • Providing strong financial management and performance, including 49 straight years of balanced budgets;
  • Securing a 99-year lease with Milwaukee County, ensuring the long-term future of the Marcus Center at its current location;
  • Completing a significant contract extension with Broadway Across America, which will bring the best of Broadway to Milwaukee for another 12 years;
  • Ensuring a well-maintained campus, with no deferred maintenance; and
  • Establishing a strong, vibrant vision for the future, through the Campus Master Plan, which represents a complete reimagining of the public spaces and gathering places on the campus, as well as significant improvements to the interior spaces, for the Center and its resident partners.

“Through Paul’s clear vision and strong leadership, the Marcus Center is incredibly well positioned for the future,” said David Marcus, Marcus Center Board Member and Chairman of Marcus Corporation Foundation. “We are sincerely grateful for his many years of commitment to the Marcus Center.”

“Paul’s retirement provides us with the opportunity to reflect on the growth and strength of the Marcus Performing Arts Center and all that’s been accomplished in the last 50 years,” said Lauren Reid, Chief Operating Office Broadway Across America. “The Marcus Center has been one of our strongest and most successful Broadway markets; we look forward to continuing our relationship with the Center and to bringing the best of Broadway to the Center for many more years to come.”

About Marcus Performing Arts Center
Established in 1969, the Marcus Performing Arts Center is the premier performing arts community gathering space in Southeastern Wisconsin. As the Marcus Center celebrates its 50th anniversary, it continues to build bridges between diverse members of our community through high-quality arts entertainment in the region and the state. The touring Broadway series, sponsored by Associated Bank, is recognized as bringing the best of Broadway entertainment to Milwaukee for the past 20 years and provides opportunities to educate, entertain and engage audiences. The Marcus Center is also the home to the Milwaukee Symphony, Milwaukee Ballet, Florentine Opera, First Stage plus a variety of other important community and family events throughout the year. For more information about events visit the Marcus Center website at The Marcus Center is a private non-profit 501(c) 3 corporation and is a dedicated veterans memorial in Milwaukee.

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