The untimely death of Rodney Smith, 58, executive director of the Tobin Center for the Performing Arts in San Antonio, Texas, on March 27 has left a pall over the venue industry.

Smith was larger than life to his peers in the performing arts field, renowned for his leadership, mentoring and volunteerism. Chris Miller, McCaw Hall, Seattle, was among several who couldn’t count “the number of times I talked to him about a challenge I had here. He was always generous and availa...

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