A lthough he’s only been behind the wheel at TACA
(The Arts Community Alliance) as Carlson President and Executive Director since mid-October, Terry Loftis already feels right at home.
The Dallas native, an alum of Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts,
COMING has had a fascinating career in the for-profit arts world: he’s produced Tony-nominated Broadway shows,
was president of Dallas creative branding agency Eisenberg and Associates, served as vice president of a New York performing arts-focused investment firm, and has been on the boards of numerous arts organizations.
And as a jazz vocalist, Loftis is the first executive director in TACA’s 53-year history who’s a performer himself.
“I think I bring a unique perspective that’s different than my predecessors,” the ebullient Loftis says.
“I understand what it’s like to be a performer…there’s a comfort level between myself
and TACA beneficiaries—I get them, they get me, and I’m hoping the lovefest lasts for many years.”
And while he identifies empathically with the artistic imperatives of TACA grantees, there’s also the little matter of fundraising—he gets that too.
“Some people have questioned my sanity, going from an investment firm in New York to a nonprofit,” Loftis continues with a laugh. “It’s a unique skill set that I’m excited to share with TACA.
When you look at events we do, when you look at programming, and fundraising being most pivotal of those—I know from producing shows on Broadway that you can’t be shy about asking people for money.”
Loftis has hit the ground at full speed, and his ability to imagineer, short-, mid-, and long-term, is in bloom. Consider the following:
1) A quarterly roundtable luncheon with all of TACA’s beneficiaries in attendance.
“I want to create this transparent collaborative environment where we’re sharing best practices,
trends—collaborating to help each other; it’s never been done before.”
2) “Pop-Up Grants” for emerging arts organizations.
“It could be individual visual artists, musicians, theater or dance companies that are not on the radar yet…not
in the running for a large grant but might be in the running for a ‘pop-up grant’ based on content they’re producing.”
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