Chamber Orchestra head, Bill Rhoads, to lead new Esperanza Performing Arts Center

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For Immediate Release. Philadelphia, PA. June 8, 2018: Esperanza, Inc. is pleased to announce that Bill Rhoads has been appointed as Senior Vice President for the Esperanza Performing Arts Center.  Mr. Rhoads most recently served as Executive Director of The Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia and will assume his new role on July 30.

Mr. Rhoads attained his undergraduate degree in music composition and philosophy from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Following his studies in Madison, he pursued a degree in audio engineering and production from the Institute of Audio Research in New York City. His early career included roles directing the concert music division for Carl Fischer Music Publishers as well as presiding over of his own performing arts management and promotion agency through which he represented the interests of a wide variety of artists, publishers, and performers including Frank Zappa, John Zorn, Ornette Coleman, Fred Ho, Ethel, Arabesque Records, CRI Recordings, ECS Publishing, C.F. Peters Corporation and two Pulitzer Prize winning composers. 

In 2006, Mr. Rhoads’ professional career shifted to the management of arts institutions.  As Vice President of Marketing & Communications for Orchestra of St. Luke’s/The DiMenna Center for Classical Music in New York City, Rhoads successfully launched an innovative, business model that ensured the institution’s sustainability and success.  He also designed and implemented an extensive overhaul of the institution’s marketing and rebranding strategic plans, which included the creation of key promotional partnerships and program alliances with for-profit and non-profit businesses throughout the region. 

Rhoads assumed the Executive Director role in 2016 at The Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia, where he oversaw all facets of operations, including fundraising, programming, production, marketing, human resources, finance, administration and board member recruitment.  During his tenure, Rhoads spearheaded a strategic change in programming direction in alignment with the Chamber Orchestra’s mission and goals, orchestrated several strategic partnerships with prominent area performing and presenting organizations, restructured the organization’s budget and operations to achieve greater long-term stability, and substantially increased funding from a variety of new funding sources, resulting in expanded public programs and performances throughout the region and re-established confidence among key foundations, musicians, donors, and patrons.

“I’m so glad Bill has agreed to lead Esperanza’s strategic investment in the performing arts. His blend of management and promotional experience in arts organizations, his ability to work with key constituencies, his winsome personality, and especially his deep commitment to Esperanza’s transformative work in this region, ideally suit him to lead the development of our new Performing Arts Center.” said Esperanza President & CEO, Luis Cortes, Jr.

Of his new appointment at Esperanza, Mr. Rhoads stated, “Under Rev. Cortes’ visionary leadership, Esperanza is poised to expand its already significant influence and strong history of institution-building in North Philadelphia by moving into the arts in a substantive way. I grew up in a single-parent household, on public assistance, in a socioeconomically disadvantaged neighborhood in Brooklyn. While I was fortunate to have found my own way toward a successful personal life and professional career, many of my childhood friends and family-members were not that fortunate. Knowing the transformative power of the arts on youth and families, I often wonder how the lives of the people I knew growing up may have changed for the better if an Esperanza existed in my neighborhood. To have an opportunity to be an agent for positive change through the arts is personally very meaningful to me and immensely inspiring. I’m honored by this invitation to join Esperanza’s leadership team and to develop a highly-professional, mission-driven, community-centered space for arts creation and performance.”

The Esperanza Performing Arts Center will be a 5,750-square foot teaching theater that will serve as both an educational facility and venue for high-quality productions.The new space will facilitate the creation and presentation of Latino-focused performing and visual arts productions.  It will also engage regional partners, including Artistas y Músicos Latino Americanos (AMLA) and the companies of the Kimmel Center to develop a calendar of performances, rotating master classes, career training programs, and other educational initiatives that will serve area school students and community residents alike.  The capital requirements for the Esperanza Performing Arts Center have been fully subscribed with lead commitments provided by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Connelly Foundation and Comcast Corporation.

As one of the country’s largest Hispanic, faith-based nonprofit organizations, Esperanza is a catalyst for local, regional, and national change. Addressing the root causes of systemic poverty, Esperanza invests in institutions that serve as the building blocks for opportunity. More than 400 dedicated employees work from a ten-acre campus that houses award winning charter schools, a fully-accredited branch campus of Eastern University, and a school of music. In addition, Esperanza operates programs focused on housing counseling, economic and corridor development, workforce development, and immigration and legal services.  For more information visit www.esperanza.us or contact Joy Huertas, Media & Marketing Associate, 215-324-0746, jhuertas@esperanza.us.