The Sheldon Theatre of Performing Arts is pleased to announce the engagement of Arts Progress LLC, an arts management consultancy, to provide interim Executive Leadership and Executive Search services, seeking the next leader for the Sheldon.

Board President Nancy Dimunation stated, “It is a priority of the Board to find the best individual to lead in the next phase of development for the Sheldon. At the same time, we are committed to maintaining operational and leadership stability during the interim period when the search is underway. To that end, we are very pleased to partner with Arts Progress LLC, an arts management consultancy specializing in this very scenario. The Sheldon board has the utmost confidence that this interim contract will support a thoughtful, intentional, and successful search process. Building upon the recent period of extraordinary growth and vibrancy at the Sheldon, there is a truly bright future ahead for the performing arts in Red Wing.”

Arts Progress consists of principal partners Robin Gillette and Jeff Larson, who bring complementary and comprehensive arts management skills to bear upon each of their projects. The consultancy group is based in the Twin Cities with broad and deep connections to both Minnesota’s thriving arts and cultural ecosystem, as well as the national arts landscape.  Specializing in the areas of interim management, executive search and organizational structure, Arts Progress is well matched to support the Sheldon board and staff through this period of transition.

Robin Gillette said “Jeff and I have both witnessed the impact that Bonnie has had on the Minnesota arts scene for many years, and it’s an honor to assist the Sheldon board to identify her successor and ensure a smooth transition. Bonnie will be sorely missed, but we’re confident that a solid process is in place to find a new leader who will continue the cultural growth that Bonnie has overseen in Red Wing for the past five years.”

Arts Progress has recently conducted successful national searches for new leadership of high profile Minnesota arts organizations including Theater Mu, The Playwrights’ Center, and Jungle Theater, among others.

Outgoing Executive Director Bonnie Schock’s last day with the Sheldon is February 28. She departs Red Wing after leading the Sheldon through 5 years of sustained organizational growth to take on a new position as the Executive Director of the Fox Tucson Theatre in Arizona. Arts Progress, LLC starts their work with the Sheldon effective immediately to ensure overlap. Jeff Larson will serve in the interim management role, with Robin Gillette heading up the executive search.

The Sheldon is in an exceptionally strong financial and artistic position. In just 5 years during the tenure of outgoing Executive Director Bonnie Schock, the Sheldon has seen sustained financial growth, nearly doubling total operating revenue from $663,000 in 2014 to $1.14 million in 2019; achieving 5 straight years of operating surpluses; growing individual giving by 203%; building local business support; securing new and increased funding from the National Endowment for Arts, Minnesota State Arts Board, SE MN Regional Arts Council, National Dance Project, New England Foundation for Arts, and others; and increasing overall ticket sales by 36%.


Arts Progress is an arts management consultancy founded by Robin Gillette in 2013, specializing in interim management, executive search and organizational structure. Current/recent Arts Progress clients include Ann Bancroft Foundation, Capri Theater, Cuban American Youth Orchestra, Hennepin Theatre Trust, Iraqi and American Reconciliation Project, Jungle Theater, Mill City Summer Opera, Minnesota Jewish Theatre, OneVoice Mixed Chorus, The O’Shaughnessy, Park Square Theatre, SOS Theater, Theater Mu, TigerLion Arts, and Twin Cities Gay Men’s Chorus.

Bonnie Schock Image

With gratitude and sadness, the Sheldon Theatre’s Board of Directors announces that Bonnie Schock will be stepping down as Executive Director.

The Board wishes Bonnie the best in the next chapter of her career, as she takes on leadership of the Fox Tucson Theatre in Arizona. []

Bonnie came to the Sheldon in 2015. During her tenure, the Red Wing community has reinvested in its “jewel-box” theatre, resulting in a physical, programmatic, and operational transformation of the 115 year old cultural cornerstone. Among her most significant accomplishments, Bonnie introduced a new programming structure, including increased and higher profile national touring acts, as well as a multi-faceted education and outreach program which is now serving thousands of area students and residents annually.

“Bonnie is the pivotal element in the resurgence of genuine excitement in the performing arts in Red Wing. Her commitment to the arts as a medium for community connection and inspiration advanced a vision of possibility that will continue into the future,” says Board President Nancy Dimunation.

Schock’s efforts led to an increase in annual ticket sales by nearly 40%. Through her leadership, the Sheldon saw unprecedented growth in individual and corporate support, including new and increased funding from the National Endowment for the Arts, Minnesota State Arts Board, and other regional funders. During this time, the Sheldon Theatre was named Red Wing Chamber Tourism Business of the Year three years running and Southern Minnesota’s “Best Theatre” and “Best Place for Live Music” by Southern MN Scene. Bonnie also oversaw the Sheldon’s 2018 $3.4 million renovation project, Grand Reopening celebration, and Grand Reopening season, presenting a renewed, refreshed and revitalized Sheldon to the community.

About her time in Red Wing, Bonnie says “It has been an extraordinary privilege to lead the Sheldon during a defining period of its long, storied history. The community’s love for this place has been beautiful to witness, and I am humbled by all that we have been able to accomplish together. I am deeply grateful to have had the opportunity to be a part of this ongoing story.”

Bonnie leaves the Sheldon in an exceptionally strong financial and artistic position, poised to build on recent successes. The Board thanks her for her contributions and leadership during her time at the helm.

Bonnie’s last day will be Friday, February 28, 2020. The Board will announce an interim leadership and executive search plan by the end of January and looks forward to working with Bonnie and the full staff to ensure a smooth transition.

It was a party like it was 1989! We had so much fun and made so many great new memories together as we launched the Sheldon’s 2019-2020 season with an 80s blowout Open House Party. There were leg warmers, off-the-shoulder tops, and lots of big hair as we all came down with a case of late ‘80s nostalgia.

“During last season’s Grand Reopening celebration, the House Party was so much fun, everybody told us we had to do it again,” said Executive Director Bonnie Schock. “It was a new way to experience this special place. So this year, we decided to honor our late 80s rebirth, and we paid homage to both the music and the culture we were living in when the Sheldon was first renovated 30 years ago.”

Here are a few highlights and memories from the evening, which encompassed the entire building, and featured live performance sets by Brat Pack Radio and Minneapolis sound pioneer Tina and the B-sides!

Warm welcome from the Sheldon doormen, David Oakes and Greg Nixon.

As the 115th year of programming gets underway this week, the Sheldon staff reflects on their roles as caretakers of a community treasure, and as facilitators of community experiences and human connections. What makes Red Wing’s jewel-box special?

Gina Chavez

We are proud to share the bold, eclectic lineup of powerhouse performers from Minnesota and around the globe that make up the 2019/20 season. Whether you yearn to revisit familiar favorites, seek out new performance adventures, or introduce a next generation to the wonders of the stage, we’ve built the season with an eye toward excellence and diversity. We hope to offer experiences to satisfy every taste and mood.

The walls of the Sheldon have seen so very much over its 115 year history. What keeps us going strong is how the offerings on stage evolve and adapt, reflecting and leading with the times. This season we are proud to feature tradition and innovation side by side.

Aaron Neville

Living legends like Aaron Neville and Max Weinberg will grace our stage and leave their mark here in Red Wing. And, bands like the BoDeans as well as singer-songwriter Dan Wilson, whose songs are destined to become the next generation’s ‘oldies’, will join us here and now so you can say you saw them when.

So too, we welcome those addressing issues of today and shaping the future of performance. Artists like rising musical star Gina Chavez, who is blending cultures and styles in a way that epitomizes the promise of an America that finds strength in its diversity; the women of L.A. Theatre Works’ SEVEN who are bringing true stories of obstacles overcome in the lives of real women around the globe; and the playful, unexpectedly poignant, social commentary found in Monica Bill Barnes’ delightful Happy Hour.


The music, words, visions and talents of these remarkable artists and dozens more will entertain, educate and enlighten, as they are forever woven into the ongoing story of this grand home for performance. The momentum continues.