Goetz celebrates 30 years of making art happen at Overture Center
To Jacquie Goetz of Madison, Overture feels like her second home. After three decades with the organization, she’s familiar with all the public and private spaces, hallways and nooks throughout the 386,000 square-foot building. She knows its history firsthand and has been a part of numerous organizational milestones.
Goetz’s Overture story began in February 1992 when she joined Madison Civic Center as house manager of the Oscar Mayer Theater.
“Madison Civic Center was a performing arts facility with several spaces and a variety of programming, from local to touring, and also hosted events,” recalls Goetz, who was drawn to the center because it seemed exciting.
An organized, diligent worker, Goetz soon gained responsibility for events and catering as assistant events manager and director of event services. She created a new in-house security team, took over resident company responsibilities and later, in the vice president of operations role, added the facilities and production departments.
Goetz played an integral role in opening the new Overture Center facility, which replaced Madison Civic Center, in 2004. She established operating policies and procedures, functional capacities, usage parameters and training programs for front-of-house operations, security and rental services.
“I think back on how monumental it was to create operational plans and guidelines, job descriptions and room rental policies, procedures and pricing as well as combine several volunteer usher groups into one and create security plans and procedures,” said Goetz. “It took so many people, many of them volunteers, to make it happen, and I am still impressed after all of these years by the work we did together.”
She considers her role in opening Overture Center one of her greatest professional accomplishments.
Since its opening, Overture has continued to expand its diverse programming and offerings, and in 2011, it separated from the City of Madison, becoming an independent nonprofit organization.
“I’m really proud to see how this organization, through so many changes and struggles, has persevered, and through it all, it never wavered on what it wanted to give this community and be for this community,” she said.
Experiencing the arts is one of Goetz’s favorite parts of her job, especially music-based performances and Broadway at Overture. Another perk is working alongside an “eclectic mix of wonderful, creative, passionate people.”
Working for the same organization for 30 years is uncommon these days, but according to Goetz, holding a job she loves for an organization she loves in a city she loves, she never felt tempted to leave.
Her role in operations is complex and ever-changing, but Goetz welcomes the challenge. As a calm and thoughtful individual, she strives to be flexible and to find solutions that make most people happy.
“I like taking complicated things, different pieces, varying interests and goals, whether it’s people, activity, teams or functions, and making them work together,” she said.
Goetz describes her career at Overture Center as “gratifying, fulfilling, challenging, fun and exciting.” But it hasn’t always been easy, especially the past two years.
“My biggest challenge has been COVID-19 and everything about it,” she said. “I hope we can emerge from this pandemic with grace and understanding, and that we all can safely gather at Overture again soon without additional rules and requirements.”
Goetz is confident Overture will overcome the latest setbacks like it has overcome so many previous ones. She believes the organization is a vital piece of the community, truly a place for everyone with something for everyone.
“Overture is a hub of enrichment,” she explains. “It’s a place to see your favorite show, concert, company, artistic genre; a place to see your favorite local organization or touring act; a place to stretch and see something new; a place to explore visual arts; a place to work, volunteer, donate; a place to host an event, get married, hold a business conference; a place to bring a friend, date, someone you are trying to lure to Madison; it’s a place to just stop in and see what’s happening; a place to check out when you have a free night.”
The organization has been a major part of her life, a part of her identity, and Goetz is committed to its continued success.
“Overture will always mean a great deal to me, personally and professionally,” she said.
Congratulations to Jacquie Goetz on her 30th anniversary!