Charlie Owens is a respected leader in the nonprofit arts sector, where his career has been defined by growth in earned and contributed revenues, combined with his commitment to advancing audience diversity and community engagement, inspiring innovation in programming, and recruiting the next generation of arts leaders.
Now based in Buffalo, New York, he joined the Shaw Festival in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario – one of the world’s leading repertory theatre companies – in July 2020 as the Senior Development and U.S. Relations Ambassador. In partnership with the Shaw Festival Foundation in Buffalo, he is focused on enhancing The Shaw’s engagement with its community of supporters across the United States.
From 2007-2015, he was President & CEO of the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, which under his leadership achieved record-breaking results for subscription, single-ticket, and Annual Campaign revenues. Owens previously led the Hartford Symphony Orchestra in Connecticut as its Executive Director (1999-2007), where he garnered national recognition for community engagement initiatives. His previous positions include marketing/public relations roles for The Cleveland Orchestra, Cleveland Play House, and Columbus Symphony Orchestra, and as Director of External Affairs for Hartford’s Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art.
His recent consulting work has included executive recruiting for arts organizations around the country, including the Boston Philharmonic, South Carolina Philharmonic, Cleveland’s Dobama Theatre, and Connecticut’s Eugene O’Neill Theater Center – as well as revenue consulting for CONCORA—Connecticut Choral Artists; board work with the newly formed Harmundi Foundation in Rochester; and career development counseling for nonprofit arts professionals.