Mayor Names Carto to Head Overture Center

Friday, September 1, 2006 - 7:42am

Madison – Mayor Dave Cieslewicz today named Thomas Carto to lead the Overture Center for the Arts. Carto has most recently served as head of the Renaissance Performing Arts Association in Mansfield, Ohio since 1996.

“Tom Carto is extremely well-qualified to take on both the opportunities and challenges that come with leading the Overture Center,” said Cieslewicz. “Thanks to the generosity of Jerry Frautschi, we have a world-class arts center in Madison. Tom Carto will help Overture fulfill its potential in the years to come. He possesses the critical combination of development expertise, programming knowledge, innovative outreach ideas and overall facility management experience that will make Overture not only successful, but an integral part of every corner of our diverse community.”

Cieslewicz also expressed his appreciation for Michael Goldberg’s service as Interim Director. “Michael took the reins of Overture during a challenging period of transition. I am grateful for his service, and for his dedication to the success of the Overture Center.”

Carto comes to Overture with 17 years of arts administration experience. Since 1996, he has served as President and CEO of the Renaissance Performing Arts Association, home to the Renaissance Theatre and the Mansfield Symphony Orchestra. Prior to that, Carto was Vice President for Development for the Pacific Symphony Association, managing fundraising and development for one of the nation’s top metropolitan symphony orchestras. Carto holds a Bachelor of Music degree from Ohio Wesleyan University and Master’s and Doctorate Degrees in Music from Indiana University.

“I am thrilled to be offered this opportunity and appreciate the mayor’s confidence in my abilities,” said Carto. “The Overture Center is an incredible facility and certainly has much potential for continued growth and success. I am especially impressed with the dedicated staff, MCAD board, and leaders of the resident companies. I look forward to working closely with the many stakeholders who are committed to advancing all of the arts in Dane County.”

“During the interview process, Tom Carto emphasized strategic planning and his extensive fundraising and management experience,” said Jim Ruhly, Chair of the Madison Cultural Arts District (MCAD) Board. “His varied background in arts management has prepared him to serve Overture and the entire community with enthusiasm and vision.

“The MCAD Board appreciates the process used to make the difficult but crucial selection of a leader for Overture. The Board’s suggestions for that process were implemented and the major stakeholders had opportunities to be heard. There were ultimately three fine candidates, and we appreciate the time the mayor took to learn in depth about each of them.

“The Board is grateful for Michael Goldberg’s service as Overture’s Interim Director for the past eleven months. We hope to continue benefiting from Michael’s service in the years ahead.”

“Tom will be a great asset for Overture and the entire Madison community,” said Andrew Sewell, Music Director and Maestro of the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra, one of Overture’s resident arts organizations. “I’ve known Tom for ten years, and he brings a wealth of experience to this important position.” Sewell previously served as music director at Mansfield Symphony Orchestra from 1997 until 2002.

As the Overture Director, President and CEO, Carto will be paid $113,364. He will also receive supplemental compensation from the 201 State Street Foundation, a non-profit organization that supports the Overture Center. His appointment is subject to Common Council approval.

Carto, 49, and his wife Laurie have two children. He is expected to start his new position at the beginning of 2007.


  • George Twigg608-266-4611