Danielle St. Germain-Gordon, the Boston-born bon vivant who has been the theater’s effective and high-profile development director for five years, has accepted the job of chief development officer for the San Francisco Ballet.
The dance company, founded in 1933, has an annual budget twice the size of the Guthrie’s. She leaves the Twin Cities in mid-July.
“The hardest part is moving away from the broad swath of great people I’ve grown close to here — from my team here at the Guthrie to my neighbors in Uptown to the board, which is second to none,” she said. “It’s very bittersweet.”
St. Germain-Gordon came to the Twin Cities in 2013, served through the last two years of the Joe Dowling era before Haj was hired. She has spearheaded the raising of record amounts of cash for the theater during her tenure, more than $80 million in all, including $11 million last fiscal year.
In a letter to staff, Haj wrote: “While it is hard to see Danielle go, it is not hard to celebrate her for being offered this prestigious post and for choosing to accept it.
“Five years ago, Danielle came to Minneapolis and advocated passionately on behalf of the Guthrie and the amazing arts scene in the Twin Cities. I am grateful to have had the opportunity to partner with her since my arrival and know that you join me in thanking Danielle for her great service to the Guthrie and in wishing her all good things in the future.”
The move to California is in the best interest of her family, St. Germain-Gordon said. A single mother of two, she has a son who’s a junior Loyola Marymount University in California. Her daughter, who’s completing her sophomore year in high school in Minneapolis, also intends to go to college in California.
“And she'll be eligible for in-state tuition,” St. Germain-Gordon said.
St. Germain-Gordon has spent most of her development career in theater. She served in similar capacities at Arena Stage, the Shakespeare Theatre Company and the American Alliance of Museums, all in Washington, D.C., before moving to the Twin Cities.
The same tectonic forces that are roiling theater are tugging on the dance world, she said. Those include demographic changes and technology.
“I’m super-eager to apply the things I’ve learned to a new field,” she said.
The Guthrie is launching a search for her replacement.