Lecturer Thomas Costello

American University

Lecturer, Arts Management
American University

4400 Massachusetts Avenue, NW
Washington, District of Columbia 20016
United States

Education  M.B.A., 1974, Washington University, St. Louis; Majors:Finance and Marketing

B.A., 1972, Williams College; Majors: American Studies, Music

Experience – Specific Positions

9/17 - Present     Lecturer, Arts Management Program, American University

3/07 - Present    Principal, Cultural Resources Management Group

Consulting group designs and implements strategic initiatives for non-profits, to build audiences, increase revenues and improve management.  Two principals with specialists for specific projects.  Clients include: Patapsco Heritage Greenway, Freedom Rides Museum, Montgomery AL; fundraising readiness; Columbia Festival of the Arts and Columbia Archives, Maryland, development of strategic plan; Arts Center/Old Forge, capital campaign restart; Inter-American Culture and Development Foundation, development of initiatives on community museums, GeoAmericas Internet cultural resource database; Sewall-Belmont House and Museum (DC), interim management, strategic planning and development; For The Good (NY), program planning/fundraising for an urban education and training organization.

6/14 – 9/16      Executive Director, Friends of the National Arboretum

                        Washington, DC

FONA is the principal private non-profit partner with the US National Arboretum, a research center and public garden in Northeast DC.  General management of the organization, developing strategic directions for FONA in support of the Arboretum, with particular focus on improving the visitor experience, education and public programs, and community outreach, raising the visibility of the Arboretum as a destination, community resource, and distinguished center for research in and development of woody plants. FONA includes the Washington Youth Garden, one of the leading educational resources in garden science, nutrition and environmental education in and for DC schools and the region.

8/05- 3/07        Director, Development and Marketing, Virginia Opera

                        Norfolk, Virginia

Responsible for statewide development and marketing to support ticket sales, fundraising and building presence of Virginia Opera in the Commonwealth of Virginia.  Supervised 10 full-time and 2 part-time staff.

12/01-7/05       Vice President, Development and Marketing

New York State Historical Association, and The Farmers’ Museum

Cooperstown, New York

Responsibilities for growth of attendance, visibility and identity of sister institutions, and for growing and diversifying their financial support.  Family-affiliation and substantial endowments had discouraged prior fundraising activity.  New fundraising programs grew at double digit rate over 3+ years.

9/99-5/02         Independent Consultant

Consulted for non-profit organizations and institutions in program evaluation, fundraising, executive search, marketing and human services.  Clients included: American Association of Museums; The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts; National Building Museum; America’s Promise; the British Royal Armouries; National Association for the Education of Young Children.

2/98-9/99         Deputy Director and Chief Operating Officer

The Baltimore Zoo, Baltimore, Maryland

General management of all external affairs, education, guest services, administrative, maintenance and security functions, and major capital planning activity.  Principal focus was to develop and manage process that secured $22 million in new state capital funding for major renovations and new construction.

12/96-12/97     Vice President, Development,

Columbus Center, Baltimore, Maryland

Responsible for planning and implementing development program for new marine science biotechnology research and public exhibition and education center. 

8/94-12/96       Director of Development,

The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, DC

Managed all fundraising including the National Symphony Orchestra, raising $23-28 million per year. Supervised a staff of 28 including development and special events.  Increased fundraising attainment from $21.6 million to $28 million ($25.5 million net after charges against 25th anniversary gala) in two years.

10/85-8/94       President, Springfield Library and Museums Association, Springfield, Massachusetts

Chief executive of this unusual, private, not-for-profit institution, consisting of four museums and the public library system in Springfield, Mass.  Employing nearly 200 full and part-time persons, with an operating budget of $9.9 million (FY 94), the Association was one of the largest cultural institutions in New England.  Museums and Library Directors reported to the president.  Responsible to a single board of trustees.

7/79-10/85       Saint Louis Art Museum

Assistant Director, Administration and Public Affairs  1984-85

Director of Development 1979-84

Responsible for all administrative activities in support of collections and curatorial divisions, including Development, Public Relations and Publications, retailing, Controller's Office, Building departments, Security, and long range planning (80 employees; $3.0 million of a $5.2 million budget).

2/78-7/79         Director of Development, School of Law, Case Western Reserve Uy, Cleveland, Ohio

7/74- 2/78        Miles College, Birmingham, AL

Woodrow Wilson Administrative Fellow

Director, Institutional Planning and Development

Federal Relations Officer

Secured grants for over $4 million in public and private grants, including U.S. Office of Education, Lilly Endowment, Mellon Foundation, Kresge Foundation, National Science Foundation, and NIH.

Adjunct Teaching        George Washington University, Museum Studies Graduate Program,  Museum Marketing, 2007-2009.

Notre Dame College of Ohio, 1979: Principles of Economics.

Miles College, 1974-78: Managerial Finance, Investments, Senior Business Seminar.