The Tomlinson Graham Group provides a range of unique services to assist communities in creating strong, vibrant, and vital arts and cultural lives for their residents and visitors.
We work with community leaders to plan and develop cultural programs and facilities that will dramatically enhance the quality of life in each community, provide meaningful educational opportunities for young and old alike, and make the community a better place in which to live, do business, and invest.
Our practice places special emphasis on arts and culture in Smart Growth and New Urban communities, as well as work with local governments seeking to use the arts as resources for educational and economic development.
More Than 60 Years of Experience:
With more than 60 years of combined professional experience in arts management, TG2 can work with you in:
- Community-wide visioning for arts and culture
- Cultural facility planning, project management, and programming
- Cultural program development and planning
- Grass-roots arts organization development
- Fund raising feasibility studies and capital campaign counsel
- General arts and culture management counsel and services
Tom Tomlinson, Principal
Tom Tomlinson receives acclaim as a leading authority on the development, programming, and management of performing arts centers, with a reputation for leading successful projects to on-time and on-budget conclusions. Calling on over thirty-five years of experience building and managing historic theatres and modern major performing arts centers, this Tomlinson-Graham Group principal works with communities to realize their vision and meet their needs for arts facilities now, and for the future. From its founding, the Tomlinson- Graham Group advances the principles of inclusiveness, and public involvement - beliefs that are the hallmark of Tomlinson’s career.
Tomlinson’s work is evident in some of the most innovative and vibrant performing arts centers in the country. Four historic theatres bear his mark, including the Pantages Center in Tacoma, WA, The Capital Theatre in Yakima, WA, the Detroit Opera House, and the Rialto Theatre in IL. Tom planned, built and managed the historic Capitol Theatre in Yakima and Pantages Theater in Tacoma, as well as managed the Michigan Opera Theatre’s Detroit Opera House, steering them through processes that contemplated and balanced historic preservation with growing needs. Today, the Capital is undergoing a major, multi-million dollar expansion, and the Pantages stands at the center of the four theatre “Broadway Center” theatre complex – shining examples of how early, careful planning can pave the way for healthy and vibrant careers for these types of facilities and the communities within which they thrive.
Major new performing arts centers he has opened and/or managed include the Alaska Center for Performing Arts and the Orange County Performing Arts Center, as well as the $450+ million Performing Arts Center of Greater Miami, where he served as its first chief executive. The United States AID and the governments of former U.S.S.R. countries have also sought his counsel on their arts policies.
Tomlinson now brings his expertise to the role of Managing Director for Capital Projects for the much-anticipated expansion of Atlanta’s Woodruff Arts Center, including the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra’s new Symphony Center with famed architect Santiago Calatrava and acoustician Larry Kirkegaard.
In his role managing capital projects for the Woodruff Arts Center in Midtown Atlanta he demonstrates creative thinking on a grand scale overseeing a complex, multi-tiered community process, involving hundreds of stakeholders, artists, donors and community leaders. Originally planned as a $400+M concert hall on a site over a block away from the Arts Center campus, it has evolved into an addition and rescaling of the Arts Center’s existing main performing arts buildings, creating a striking new entrance on the campus, and efficiently utilizing nearly 100,000 square feet in the 42 year old building with a $150M savings in construction cost.
TG2 has unsurpassed experience in assessing multiple site options, examining a full range of cultural facilities and developing a keen understanding of organizational need.
John E. Graham, Principal
With a career spanning 30 years, John E. Graham is a sought- after consultant to the foremost performing and visual arts organizations in the nation. His role as principal at the Tomlinson-Graham Group enables him to share his expertise with museums, orchestras, arts agencies, and cultural fundraising initiatives. He has an unwavering commitment to empower communities to identify and grow civic life through art, culture and the environment, and has extensive experience assisting town founders and developers create true community. Some of the nation’s premier New Urban/Smart Growth communities have benefited from Tomlinson-Graham Group’s expertise in community building.
After receiving degrees from the University of Virginia, Bachelor of History, and the University of Washington, Master of Public Administration, Graham began his career as the director of development for the Seattle Symphony Orchestra. He later become the executive director of the Oregon Symphony in Portland where he successfully launched its endowment fund and fostered the development of the orchestra’s new home - The Portland Center for the Arts/Arlene Schnizter Concert Hall.
Graham continued his track record of success at Southern Methodist University. He served as director of the Center for Arts Administration and as the University’s associate vice president and director of development, supervising a fundraising staff of over fifty professionals raising more than $20 million per year. Graham advanced his impressive career again as the executive director of the Florida Philharmonic Orchestra, then the state’s largest arts organization. He also served as vice president of C. W. Shaver & Company, a highly regarded fundraising consulting firm and as general manager of the Concert Association of Florida.
Geoff Corbin, Associate
Geoff Corbin is a specialist in the setup, operation, and financing of nonprofit community-based organizations. A graduate of Seattle University’s highly regarded Executive Master of Not-for-Profit Leadership program, he has served in senior management positions or provided counsel to a wide range of institutions, including the Washington State Historical Society, Washington Special Olympics, the Oregon Air and Space Museum, the American Cancer Society, the Millennium Carillon Association, the Michigan Opera Theatre, and the Greater Miami Performing Arts Center.
Corbin has extensive experience in providing leadership and counsel to groups serving the needs of people who are displaced, marginalized, and disabled, and in community mental health and substance abuse programs. He has worked closely on major funding projects for Pacific Northwest Native American tribes.
Corbin has a deep appreciation for the role that community-based groups play in meeting pressing societal needs, and is particularly adept at identifying and building collaborations and partnerships that tap community resources. His background makes him particularly valuable in setting up programs for institutional advocacy and marketing, board and staff development, fund raising and membership, and strategic planning.
Corbin is a past member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals (formerly NSFRE), and the National Center for Nonprofit Boards. In addition to his graduate work at Seattle University, he holds a bachelor’s degree in public relations and political science from Central Washington University.
What We Believe
We believe that the arts and culture are integral to the vitality of community life.
We believe that practical experience in cultural planning, developing, building, and managing arts organizations and facilities is a valuable tool in creating strong, vibrant communities. We possess that experience.
We believe that carefully planned arts, cultural and environmental programs and facilities can play a particularly vital role in creating strong, vibrant and sustainable New Urban and Smart Growth communities and Traditional Neighborhood Developments.
We believe that the most successful projects spring from shared vision arrived at in collaborative and participatory ways.
We believe that arts and culture help communities come together over generations around shared values and cherished traditions.
We believe that effective community cultural planning and facility development are collaborative efforts requiring commitment, openness, and hard work.
We believe in an unwavering commitment to quality in art, design, and program.
We believe in community as an essential ingredient in a life fulfilled.
The Tomlinson-Graham Group specializes in planning and developing community civic programs and facilities emphasizing arts and culture in new urban settings. Contact us to see how we can support you.