Tom O'Connor

Tom O'Connor is a New York-based marketing and audience development consultant serving the arts and culture industries, spanning theatre (Broadway, Off-Broadway, and regional), music, opera, dance, visual art, multi-disciplinary performing arts centers, and museums. He founded TOCG in 2015 with a focus on marketing and organizational strategy, executive search, and coaching. This work has since supported organizations across a range of genres, locations, and budget categories. Select clients include the Metropolitan Opera, Boston Symphony Orchestra, Jacob’s Pillow, Lincoln Center Theater, Segerstrom Center for the Arts, George Mason University, Hartford Stage, Grand Rapids Symphony, and many others.

Tom serves on the faculty of the Yale School of Drama’s Graduate Theater Management Program, is a past Adjunct Lecturer in the Brooklyn College Graduate Performing Arts Management Program, and is a regular guest lecturer in the Graduate Producing and Theatre Management program at Columbia University. Beyond his marketing and audience development focus, he is also trained as a social worker, and utilizes a consulting philosophy that is based equally in healthy systems of human collaboration and community as it is in sound business practice. In April of 2020, he published his widely-read article “Engaging Arts Audiences in a Time of Trauma,” applying social work and trauma-informed care principles to audience engagement and eventual reopening post-COVID. He also utilizes social work frameworks and theory in his work as an executive coach and in organizational assessments and change management.

Prior to his current consultancy, he served as a founding Director of the Tessitura Network's Enterprise Consulting division, developing strategic plans and customer engagement strategies for some of the world's great arts and culture organizations, large and small. He formerly served as Director of Marketing & Audience Development for Roundabout Theatre Company, New York’s largest not-for-profit theatre. From 2009 to 2015, he played a key role in several major initiatives for Roundabout, resulting in sales records across all five venues, implementation of a new brand identity, marketing and audience services department restructuring, expanded utilization of research data and analytics, website redesign, and development of the company's first-ever loyalty program.

Tom has presented regularly on marketing and branding at conferences including the National Arts Marketing Project, Theatre Communications Group, Capacity Interactive Digital Marketing Bootcamp, Tessitura Learning & Community Conferences, and Australia/New Zealand Tessitura Regional Users' Conference. He was also the first-ever guest on Capacity Interactive's CI to Eye podcast. In addition to those referenced above, Tom has held roles at Manhattan Theatre Club, Situation Interactive, the Huntington Theatre Company, and Boston's Stuart Street Playhouse. He received his undergraduate degree in Theatre Education from Emerson College and a graduate degree in Social Work from Fordham University. Tom resides in New York City, and in addition to his home country of the United States, he is also a citizen of Ireland.

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