Tom Dunn, a cultural nonprofit executive with over 20 years of leadership experience, was appointed executive director of Tilles Center for the Performing Arts at LIU Post in August 2022.
Prior to joining Tilles, Dunn served as executive director of Southampton Arts Center from 2018 to 2022.
During Dunn’s tenure at SAC, he successfully led the organization through the pandemic, oversaw significant growth of the institution, growing the annual operating budget by 70%, diversifying revenue streams, developing new artistic and programmatic partnerships – all while delivering balanced or surplus budgets.
From 2001 to 2017, Dunn was part of the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts senior management team that oversaw the $1.2 billion physical redevelopment of Lincoln Center’s 16-acre campus.
As senior director, Concert Halls Operations, Dunn managed all the patron-facing businesses at Lincoln Center and led the effort to redesign and elevate the overall guest experience as Lincoln Center. Previously, his roles included founding director of the David Rubenstein Atrium and aide to the President of Lincoln Center.
How do you see your business evolving due to the changing times?*
Tilles Center has been presenting the world’s finest artists – across all genres – for over 40 years. That’s not going to change moving forward. In an increasingly competitive marketplace, we are going to be more selective in who we present. We’re also focusing on the entire guest experience. Pre-show performances.
Expanded and elevated food and beverage offerings. This will expand revenue while improving the overall guest experience. In sum though, the Tilles message remains the same, you do not need to travel to New York City to experience world-class live entertainment. It’s right here on Long Island in your own backyard!
What advice would you give other business owners?*
It always comes back to mission. Tilles Center’s mission is to entertain and enrich the Long Island community through world-class arts performance, education, and advocacy.
My advice to other business owners is to invest in and focus on what separates you from your competitors and stay true to your organizational mission.