Arts, Entertainment and Culture

Ft. Lauderdale/Broward County Florida

This project involved Strategic Plan Development with an emphasis on Cultural Tourism and development of the Centennial Celebration and long-term signature event. SAG completed a study and recommendations related to cultural tourism and a signature event for Broward County and the Greater Ft. Lauderdale Convention and Visitors Bureau.

SAG met with a broad base of tourism and cultural stakeholders to ensure comprehensive input and support for the recommendation. This included sales and marketing recommendations and the preparation of a budget to support a new direction for cultural tourism. SAG also proposed a new innovative plan for a major signature event for Broward County. The Cultural Tourism Committee and the Tourism Development Council unanimously approved SAG recommendations. This was an important positive development with the Hospitality and Arts community to have consensus in supporting the overall approach.

SAG has been retained to implement the Broward County Centennial as part of the overall cultural tourism strategy. The goal of a successful Centennial celebration is to implement this blend of local talent into an annual signature event that drives tourism, increases spending and length of stay. The Centennial Celebration and creation of the annual signature event also is geared to unify the County’s entities around tourism and the brand image below is the vehicle to do so through the Centennial. SAG is working with all County entities including the CVB, Hotel and Restaurant Association, Cultural Division and others to unify the community around this branded opportunity.

San Jose, CA – Zero One

Project Executive Dan Fenton and Senior Advisor Dan Keegan were founders of an international biennial that is in its sixth year and has brought thousands of new visitors to Silicon Valley. The support has included finance and operations as well as marketing. Zero One is a unique international program with year round offerings culminating in a biennial large scale exposition of the intersection of art and technology. As a founding member and working with the City of San Jose, we developed a ground up strategy for branding San Jose as an art and technology city with Zero One as a focal point. Leveraging Silicon Valley as a technology destination, Zero One successfully attracted international talent to lead the new enterprise and attract international artists. The biennial is in its tenth year, has expanded to venues throughout the region and is now recognized internationally for the convergence of Art and technology in Silicon Valley.

Southside Seattle, Seattle WA

SAG worked with Seattle Southside Visitor Services and the newly formed Seattle Southside Regional Tourism Authority to develop a grant program that generated arts and culture and tourism events. SAG created measurable program options and produced a transparent scoring sheet for event applicants to understand the importance of generating room nights and visitor spending during event periods. SAG supported the board, made entirely of hoteliers, and the DMO made of industry professionals on how to leverage current cultural events and drive more impact to the tourism industry including attractions, hotels, restaurants, shopping and dining outlets. Metrics for the event program included room night generation, economic impact, tourist direct spending, and attendee satisfaction and included requirements to determine those metrics efficiently.

Orlando, FL – Dr. P. Phillips Performing Arts Center

SAG was an advisor to the Orlando Performing Arts Center Corporation related to the development of the Dr. P. Phillips Performing Arts Center in Orlando, Florida. The project included a 2,800-seat amplified theater, 1,800-seat acoustic theater, and 300-seat theater. The site is also planned to include a 200-room hotel, two 400,000 sf office buildings, and 500 residential condominium units.

SAG assisted with all aspects of the development of the PAC, including project conception, finance plan development; obtaining funding approvals, master planning, design review, operating plan development, team assembly, developer solicitation, and project financing. SAG created a comprehensive finance plan that addressed both development and operating costs. SAG worked with the City of Orlando and Orange County to create a plan of finance that includes philanthropy, State grants, tax increment financing, tourist development tax, and the sale of the old PAC. The operating finance plan addressed the sustainability of the PAC, providing ongoing operating support generated by the development of the commercial real estate, capturing the taxes generated by the site’s commercial real estate, ongoing philanthropy, and securing annual funding commitments for capital replacements from the City. SAG also led the effort to secure an $80 million line of credit to provide for upfront project costs that will be repaid by pledged donation collections over the construction period. SAG’s ability to garner support was strengthen by an analysis of the economic impact of arts and culture. SAG demonstrated the direct spending, tax generation and job creation that would be generated through the development of a high profile arts and culture asset.

West Haven, CT – West Haven Center for the Arts

SAG prepared a strategic plan for a new cultural arts center in West Haven, Connecticut. The process included extensive local stakeholder impact and a competitive study of regional arts centers. SAG presented the plan with recommendations, accepted by the Mayor of West Haven. SAG was retained to implement the strategic plan recommendations and support the opening of the arts center. SAG is involved in all aspects of the planning, governance, fund raising, design, and management structure for the center.

SAG evaluated similar regional arts and culture assets to support the recommendation for the most impactful direction for the proposed new arts center. SAG developed a potential partnership with Yale University, University of New Haven and the City. This was a key foundational part of the overall plan.

Rochester, NY – Renaissance Square Performing Arts Center

SAG prepared a study for the development of a 2,800 seat amplified performing arts center in Rochester, New York. The PAC was part of a mixed-use development that also included a transit center and community college. SAG’s role was to study the viability of the PAC from a market and financial perspective and prepare a comprehensive Business Plan and Economic Impact Analysis.  The scope included gathering comparable performing arts center utilization and financial data, projecting utilization and attendance, developing a staffing plan, projecting operating revenues and expenses, assessing non-operating revenues, philanthropy, and planning for reserves for replacements. SAG also assessed the economic impact generated by the construction and operation of the project in terms of direct and induced spending, jobs, earnings, and tax generation.

Schaumburg, IL – Schaumburg Performing Arts Center

SAG was engaged by the Village of Schaumburg, a Chicago suburb, to complete a comprehensive market and financial feasibility study for a performing arts center that was part of a mixed-use projected that also included a convention center, hotel, and arena. The study was comprehensive, addressing building programming and phasing, site options, cost estimates, organizational and management structure, operating cash flows, economic impact and laid out an action plan for implementation.

At the conclusion of this study, the Village retained SAG to lead the implementation process for the convention center and hotel components of the master plan. The convention center and hotel opened in 2006. Due to funding constraints, the performing arts center was not included in the initial phase of the development; however, the Village plans to revisit development of the performing arts center as additional funding becomes available.

Los Angeles, CA – The Greek Theatre

SAG was engaged by the City of Los Angeles, Department of Recreation and Parks to reposition the Greek Theater through the development of a new vision and facilitating a new agreement. The goal of this project was to determine how to best position the theatre to compete for top revenue shows among larger venues in the area.

As part of the engagement, SAG provided the City with a market study of the live music industry and current trends. Part of this analysis involved understanding the breadth of the live music and venue management industries. In addition to industry trends and analysis, SAG also evaluated the Greek Theatre’s performance and profitability for the City. SAG, is currently working with the City of Los Angeles to implement a new operational model that maximizes venue functionality and profitability. SAG’s work at the Greek Theatre not only supported the City through a process of updating the venue through capital improvements, but also repositioned the venue for major performances.

Santa Monica Civic Auditorium, Santa Monica, California

SAG was engaged by the City of Santa Monica to structure and negotiate a public-private partnership/management agreement with the Nederlander Organization to promote and potentially operate the historic 3,000-seat Santa Monica Civic Auditorium. The key to the success of this engagement was helping City Staff and Council to understand the myriad of complicated issues and their financial ramifications, and bringing consensus for approval. SAG successfully worked on the City’s behalf to structure the agreement, negotiate the contract and implement the overall strategic plan.   To prepare for the negotiation, SAG prepared a full market, financial and business plan assessment for the City related to the renovation and future operations of the venue. The scope of work included prioritizing conflicting goals with City Council, analyzing current industry trends, understanding the local and regional market competitive position, case studies of similar venues, interviews with other venue operators, establishing needs for improvements and funding to allow the facility to compete successfully, and financial structuring, including an assessment of Nederlander proformas and cash flow generation and analyzing options related to funding the required improvements and reserves and creating a sustainable finance plan.

San Jose Civic Auditorium, San Jose, California

Project Executive Dan Fenton oversaw a 14 million dollar renovation and repositioning of the Civic Auditorium. This included front and back of the house improvements.

The Artist experienced was improved and therefore the Civic Auditorium became of preferred venue for the concert community. There was also a groundbreaking partnership created with a concert operator that has led to a successful concert and special event venue that was dormant for many years.

Sleep Train Pavilion, Concord, California

SAG assisted the City of Concord, CA (San Francisco suburb) with strategic planning for what in Council’s mind was a troubled asset; the 12,500 seat Sleep Train Pavilion at Concord outdoor amphitheater.

The venue was perceived to be performing poorly from a market perspective and was a burden on the general fund in the midst of a severe economic downturn that was straining the City budget. Phase 1 of the engagement developed strategic solutions that helped Council understand its competitive market position, financial operations, management alternatives and debt restructuring.

At the end of the engagement, Council no longer deemed the venue to be troubled and the stage was set for successful negotiations with Live Nation, the world’s largest concert promoter. SAG then assisted the City with negotiating the management/lease agreement with Live Nation.

The Center for the Performing Arts, San Jose, California

Project Executive Daniel Fenton oversaw a $2 million renovation and sound system upgrade of the Center for Performing Arts. The Center for Performing Arts is a 2,800 seat theatre that is the home to the San Jose Ballet.

Also as part of the repositioning of the Center for Performing Arts, Mr. Fenton negotiated a multi-year contract with the Nederlander Organization that brought first run Broadway performances to San Jose. This was a first in San Jose’s history. The Center for Performing Arts has been transformed into an important economic generator for the city.

Milwaukee Art Museum

Dan Keegan has been the director of the Milwaukee Art Museum since 2008 and leads the nations 15th largest art museum. During his tenure Dan has developed a strategic partnership with Milwaukee County, as owners of two of the three Museum campus buildings. Under Dan’s direction, the Museum worked with the County to reassign facility management responsibility to the Museum and to develop a new 85-year operating agreement.

Dan worked with the Museum’s board of trustees to develop a master plan to renovate and restore the historic buildings of the Museum in partnership with Milwaukee County. Dan led the effort to raise $31 million for the renovations, which will be completed, fall 2105.

Most significantly, through Dan’s leadership and engagement with the community, attendance and support has grown significantly. The Museum is a regional and national destination as a result of an innovative Visitor Experience program designed to build diverse audiences, and enhance relevance across broad community sectors. Dan is currently working on a new audience engagement initiative that includes teen leadership as a centerpiece of the new Museum experience. When implemented in 2015, teen engagement will span the spaces of the Museum to include front line visitor engagement, internships, and a new “collaborator” environment in which teens design and implement exhibition and audience engagement experiences.

San Jose Museum of Art

Dan Keegan was the director of the San Jose Museum of Art for over 7 years leading the board of trustees and staff through successful strategic growth initiatives, community engagement efforts, and diverse audience development initiatives. As the leading art museum in the South San Francisco Bay region, the San Jose Museum of held a unique position as a contemporary art museum with close ties to living artists. Dan developed strategies for showcasing Bay Area artists within a national and international context in an effort to establish San Jose as an arts destination within Silicon Valley.

In addition to leading the Museum operations, Dan developed an access initiative providing free admission to all visitors building attendance diversity as well as broad based regional support.

Kansas City Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art

Dan Keegan was executive director of the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art for 5 years and developed significant community engagement initiatives like the Kemper “Street Museum, “ a major component of the annual Kansas City Plaza Art Fair. During his tenure major large scale public art was added to the grounds of the Kemper Museum as part of the brand strategy for community engagement and destination branding.

Broadway San Jose

Project Executive Daniel Fenton co-founded Broadway San Jose with the Nederlander Organization. Broadway San Jose presents Broadway Musical Theater to the Silicon Valley. It has grown into a popular new opportunity for Bay Area patrons. Mr. Fenton formed a groundbreaking partnership with the Nederlander Organization. This has driven new spending into downtown San Jose and created hundreds of ongoing jobs in the cultural and theatrical industries.

San Jose Theater Preservation Inc.

Project Executive Dan Fenton was successful in unifying the Arts community to self-fund a new nonprofit organization dedicated to theatre preservation. This nonprofit has contributed over one million dollars to preserve four historic theatres. This has become a significant source for future fundraising opportunities.


Project Executive Daniel Fenton co-founded this National Arts Calendaring platform that is the largest source for Arts events in Silicon Valley. The platform has been adopted in 15 communities across the nation. The national platform has over one million visitors annually and is becoming an important tool for a collaborative arts community. This arts calendaring platform is currently utilized by the arts and tourism community in San José.