Tessitura's Innovator Series

Tessitura’s Innovator Series is an ongoing program of brief and inspiring presentations by industry innovators, each focused on a single theme to advance insight and innovation in the business of arts and culture. Presented periodically at no cost to a live webinar audience of Tessitura Network Members and others engaged in or studying the arts and cultural sector, Innovator Series presentations are subsequently released through the Tessitura Network YouTube™ channel to expand and extend the accessibility of these powerfully innovative ideas globally.


Our next Innovator Series event will be presented live from the stage of the Tessitura Learning and Community Conference in Orlando on Wednesday, August 19 at 9:15am U.S. Eastern.

Watch the recording of this event: www.tessituranetwork.com/live

Seb ChanSeb Chan, Director of Digital & Emerging Media
Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum
Making the Physical Experience Matter Even More: From Sleepy House Museum to Vibrant Interactive Experience
Both cultural heritage institutions and the performing arts have struggled with integrating digital media and technology into their organizational DNA. But some institutions are getting it right, augmenting and enhancing their offerings with digital experiences that transform their customer experiences, impacts and missions. Along with other ideas and observations, Seb will share his experience working as part of a team to transform the Cooper Hewitt museum, despite the architectural challenges of being housed in a 64-room former Carnegie mansion, into a visitor-facing interactive experience.

Kelly TweeddaleKelly Tweeddale, Executive Director
Seattle Opera
The Art of Reinvention: Lessons Learned When Rethinking, Reimaging and Retooling Became Necessary
In 2008, Seattle Opera was in the midst of a major capital campaign to fund a game-changing building project that suffered a near death moment when the U.S. recession hit. Kelly will discuss how this project, and others since, have been brought back to life or propelled forward through thinking and practices that might seem counter-intuitive to organizations traditionally rooted in conservative, risk-averse environments. Learn how Seattle Opera is combining the power of observation with Newton’s First Law to steer a new course and build momentum for the future.

Russell Kelban Richard LonsdorfRussell Kelban, Chief Marketing Director
Richard Lonsdorf, Artistic Administrator
San Francisco Symphony
Playing in the SoundBox: The Performance Space as Laboratory

Last December, the San Francisco Symphony transformed a drab, cavernous rehearsal hall into a club-like venue that offers enormous possibilities for creative performance, technological innovation, and the audience experience. The experimental nature of the space - which enables them to test program concepts, learn from their fans, and explore new directions in everything from the participant environment to sound and visual design - has already made SoundBox a hot ticket with the potential to offer a path forward for the traditional concert experience.

Presenter Bios and Links to More Information

Seb Chan
Seb Chan is currently Director of Digital & Emerging Media, Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum in New York. He has been responsible for the museum’s recent digital renewal and its transformation into an interactive, playful new museum reopened after a 3 year rebuilding and reimagining.  Prior to relocating to New York, he was Head of Digital, Social & Emerging Technologies at the Powerhouse Museum in Sydney where he led teams responsible for the Powerhouse’s pioneering work throughout the ’00s in open access, mass collaboration, web metrics and digital engagement, as well as large scale Australian cross-agency projects.  He also led a parallel life in electronic art and music organising and curating festivals, international touring, and was founding editor-in-chief for a long running music magazine.

Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum website 
Cooper Hewitt Labs blog
Seb’s blog Fresh and New(er)

Kelly Tweeddale
As Seattle Opera’s Executive Director, Kelly plays a key role in organizing and supervising the Opera’s daily operations, in generating and overseeing the company’s budgets, and in developing and implementing the Opera’s strategic long-range plan.  She is overseeing Seattle Opera’s future development projects: new media and using technology to expand the organization’s reach, securing a permanent home for the company’s operations including administrative, rehearsal, production, educational, technical support, costume and scenic assembly spaces, and creating a culture that maximizes community access, innovation and collaboration. Kelly has spent the last 25 years of her career in the performing arts with a focus on developing new audiences, managing major transitions, and increasing earned revenues. She is currently an adjunct professor for Seattle University’s Masters program for Arts Leadership and has been an instructor for the University of Washington’s Certificate Program, teaching Marketing and Public Relations in the Arts. She has previously held leadership positions at Seattle Symphony and The Cleveland Orchestra and has chaired the Tessitura Network board.

Seattle Opera website 
Kelly’s LinkedIn Profile

Russell Kelban
Russell Kelban is the Chief Marketing Director at the San Francisco Symphony with broad oversight of all aspects of the customer experience, encompassing marketing and sales, patron and ticket services, front-of-house, and retail operations. He most recently served as Senior VP of Marketing for Paramount Home Media Distribution, where he was responsible for the marketing of new film releases and catalogue titles across traditional and digital platforms. Russell brings to the Orchestra 25 years of experience in marketing and sales, advertising, and brand strategy.  Previously, he held similar positions at several major entertainment studios, including Universal Pictures, The Walt Disney Company, and Turner Broadcasting.  In addition, Russell has held senior marketing roles at Bay Area high-tech companies including Macromedia and Autodesk.

Richard Lonsdorf
Richard Lonsdorf has been the Artistic Administrator of the San Francisco Symphony since March 2013, where he oversees the orchestra's non-subscription programming, including the new SoundBox series, as well as summer, holiday, film and heritage offerings.  During his three years in Artistic Planning at the New York Philharmonic, he produced projects such as Stockhausen's Gruppen at the Park Avenue Armory, and an Emmy-nominated production of Rodgers & Hammerstein's Carousel.  Richard began his career in artist management, first at Columbia Artists Management, Inc. and then in the general management for the global pop star Shakira. He received a bachelor's degree in Psychology with a certificate in German from Harvard University.

The San Francisco Symphony website 
Russell’s LinkedIn Profile 
Richard’s LinkedIn Profile

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Alan Valentine, Executive Director, Nashville Symphony

"Managing our growth would not have been possible without Tessitura Software."

Gary Keehner, Asolo Repertory Theatre

“The thing that drove us to Tessitura to begin with is the integration of the entire organization.”

Amy Lampi, Alley Theatre

"You can treat the person as an entire patron, because that's how the patrons view our organization… And I feel like Tessitura encourages that kind of collaboration inter-departmentally."

Jennifer Buzzell, Signature Theatre

"Tessitura does a lot to improve our departmental communication. I think that it gives us a common vocabulary, and it gives us insight into the overall business as opposed to our individual silos."

Recently Added Licensees

English National Ballet (UK)
Somerset House (UK)
Canadian Museum for Human Rights
Theatre Under the Stars (Houston)
California Musical Theatre
Museum of Contemporary Art Toronto
Minnesota Opera
Gettysburg Foundation
Institute for Contemporary Art, VCU
Zoological Society of Milwaukee
New England Historic Geneological Society
Birch Aquarium at Scripps
The Smith Center for the Performing Arts
Georgia Aquarium
American Film Institute
Dallas Zoo & Children's Aquarium at Fair Park
ICA Boston
The Carson Center
2econd Stage Theatre
Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art
Canadian Museum of Nature
Olney Theatre Center
Ogunquit Playhouse
The Florida Orchestra
Calgary Zoo
Handel and Haydn Society
Mystic Aquarium
Adventure Theatre
Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment (UK)
London Sinfonietta (UK)
Alberta Ballet (CA)
Minnesota Orchestra
Toronto Consort (CA)
Hawaii Opera Theatre
Stages Theatre Company
Science Museum Group (UK)
Museum of the Bible
Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra & Chamber Choir (Canada)
Almeida Theatre (UK)
Des Moines Performing Arts
Friends of the National Zoo
Alys Stephens Performing Arts Center
California Science Center
Ford's Theatre
Virginia Arts Festival
El Dorado Festival & Events
Country Music Hall of Fame & Museum
Lawrence Family JCC
Sydney Writers' Festival (Australia)
Madison Opera
Children's Theater of Madison
Jacob Burns Film Center
Arizona Opera
Australian National Academy of Music (Australia)
Frost Science
Belvoir Theatre (Australia)
Black Country Living Museum (UK)
Museum of Chinese in America
Austin Opera
Hartford Stage
Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum
Minnesota Historical Society