Benjamin J. Luczak ’09, ’15 returned to Shenandoah for his master’s degree because he was granted an assistantship with former Conservatory Managing Director Kendra Whitlock-Ingram. Whitlock-Ingram served as a mentor to Luczak and he looked to her for advice as a friend and for career guidance. His fondest memory of Shenandoah is his four seasons as an actor with the Shenandoah Summer Music Theatre.
After graduating from Shenandoah, Luzack went on to receive a Certificate of Fundraising Management from the University of Nebraska Omaha, and a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in the Workplace Certificate from the University of South Florida.
Luczak is the director of development at Des Moines Performing Arts in Des Moines, Iowa. As the director of development, he leads a high-functioning team of fundraisers, provides strategic direction to grow contributed revenue, as well as directs annual, capital and endowment campaigns.
Prior to this position, Luczak worked as a development leader for Asolo Repertory Theatre, Broadway Dallas, Omaha Performing Arts, The Maryland Symphony Orchestra and Shenandoah Conservatory Performances. Most recently in his role at Asolo Repertory Theatre, he completed the first phase of a multi-year capital and endowment campaign entitled, “Staging Out Future,” which raised $15 million for new rehearsal and education facilities. The new facility opened in June of 2022, fully funded.
Outside of work, Luczak has served on the Board of Directors for Houston-based Social Movement Contemporary Dance, co-chaired the League of Resident Theatre’s Executive Search (a subcommittee of LORT’s EDI Committee) and was a grant panelist for Florida Department of State’s Division of Cultural Affairs. He has also served as an adjudicator for the Nebraska High School Theatre Awards, a grant maker for the Equality Fund of Omaha and a board member for Nebraska AIDS Project.
Luczak believes Shenandoah provided him with a well-rounded, liberal arts education. “With my BFA in Musical Theatre and my MS in Performing Arts Leadership and Management from SU, I am uniquely qualified to raise funds for performing arts,” said Luczak.
And, he wants Shenandoah students to know that he is available to answer questions regarding the arts administration business.
Luczak’s advice to students is: “Sometimes dreams change. Also work hard, be persistent, be open to new ideas, and keep dreaming. Work hard, play harder.”