American Contemporary Ballet (ACB) is hiring an executive director to join its leadership team and oversee its operations, personnel, and fundraising efforts. ACB is seeking an experienced leader to help plan and implement its next phase of its growth.
ACB is entering its 10th season. For this important milestone ACB has mapped out key objectives that include increasing funding to attract and retain top talent, identifying a permanent space for performances, and establishing a ballet school that features both summer intensives and a year-round program for rising dancers.
HISTORY & ART—Based in Los Angeles, ACB was founded by choreographer Lincoln Jones to produce original contemporary classical ballets and present masterworks which exemplify dance as a musical art form. The company performs over 60 shows each season, spanning a repertory which includes works by George Balanchine, Fred Astaire, Lincoln Jones, and reconstructions of the seminal works of ballet history.
ACB performs in non-traditional spaces such as skyscrapers and other large, contemporary, and architecturally significant structures. With the audience seated at stage level, this creates a rare and visceral connection with the beauty and athleticism of ballet. Some of ACB’s productions, such as its original Nutcracker Suite, are immersive, placing the audience inside the set for a three-dimensional, experiential performance. ACB is the only ballet company in Los Angeles to perform exclusively to live music, which is played by some of the city’s finest classical musicians.
VISION & PHILOSOPHY—ACB draws upon the best of the classical tradition to create work of timeless relevance–work that is as entertaining as it is substantive. This approach has built a new audience for the art form in Los Angeles. Through innovative presentation and programs, an accessible ticket price, sophisticated backstage programs, and a high volume of performances, the company is bringing ballet to a mainstream level of cultural understanding in L.A. With strong creative ties in the film world, ACB is now also making cutting-edge use of the medium to make its product available internationally.
Artistic integrity is at the core of ACB’s values, as is the principle that while the expression of art almost always touches upon something other than itself, its creation and intent must never become a tool for something other than itself. As such, ACB fosters a creative and work environment that is independent of political, economic, or social agendas.
ABOUT THE POSITION
In season, ACB has five full-time staff members and 21 dancers. The executive director will be a much-needed leader for the staff, donors, and key stakeholders. Helping to bring organizational clarity and direction, this position will undertake all key operations, finances, and fundraising. The organization has been incredibly resourceful in its operations—leveraging many in-kind gifts, attracting supportive and dedicated donors and partners, and nurturing a deeply collaborative team. ACB is a beloved organization in the community, and the executive director would need to quickly build relationships and develop an understanding of the landscape.
The executive director must be a strong and decisive leader, and understand that his/her role ultimately serves the artistic vision. The ideal candidate will be excited by the challenge of meeting ACB’s high standards of excellence and have an ability to thrive among the unpredictable demands of live production, take ownership of multiple projects, manage competing deadlines, and bring order out of chaos.
The position will manage the company manager, production manager, patron manager, communications manager, and volunteers. Experience with operations, management, and budgets is paramount. Preference will be given to those who have greater experience in fundraising, especially in major gifts, donor cultivation, and solicitation. This position reports to founder and artistic director Lincoln Jones, who is ACB’s primary leader and visionary for the organization overall.
At ACB, all staff and dancers are selected through a process designed to identify an unusually high level of mission alignment, which has created a rare and rewarding culture of teamwork and camaraderie within the company in service to the quality and integrity of the art.
The rewards of the position include being a prominent member of the L.A. arts community and leading an organization with a strong mission and vision and an innovative, highly respected artistic product. You’ll be working within a network of highly accomplished artists in ballet, music, photography, cinematography, and design, and leaders in the Los Angeles philanthropic and cultural communities. It is an opportunity to hone your organizational and leadership skills in a company with an exciting trajectory and a gratifying company culture. This position may be a good fit for a seasoned professional hoping to identify a new mission to support, or for a rising professional who loves to be challenged and wants to grow.
COMPENSATION & BENEFITS
The compensation and benefits package is commensurate with experience. The position is based in Los Angeles, with local travel requirements to meet with partners and donors and some weekend commitments which increase during the performance season. Occasional national travel will be required.
Primary responsibilities include, but are not limited to, operations, management, fundraising oversight, and, more specifically:
7+ years relevant nonprofit experience in operations, community engagement, and fundraising—preferably in the arts community. Strong preference given to those with experience in donor relations and start-ups. The ideal candidate will also demonstrate:
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