Executive Director, DANCECleveland

Posted by DANCECleveland ; Posted on 
Jobs - DEADLINE :  
Executive Director, DANCECleveland




Position Description:  Executive Director

Title:   Executive Director

Job Status:  Full Time; exempt

Reports to:  Board of Directors

Position Summary:

DANCECleveland, one of the only stand-alone, dance-only presenters in the United States, has opened a leadership search upon the pending retirement of the current Executive/Artistic Director.  The current leadership structure has had a single Executive/Artistic Director. The Search Committee has determined that it may consider these as separate functions and is focusing their initial search on finding a dynamic and experienced professional for the position of Executive Director.  The successful candidate will be the public face of DANCECleveland and work with the highly talented and professional staff to lead all administrative, financial, development/fundraising and marketing functions for the organization.  DANCECleveland has a unique operating structure which works closely with a number of venue and presenting partners.  In addition to strong nonprofit management and organizational leadership experience, the successful candidate will need to have a demonstrated capability and temperament to work collaboratively and with many different partners.

The Search Committee will also consider each candidate’s qualifications and interests in being concurrently considered for the Artistic Director position, which leads the curatorial responsibilities for the organization.


DANCECleveland has a storied history and background.  The organization was founded in 1956 as the Cleveland Modern Dance Association, a grass-roots organization devoted to bringing dance enthusiasts together to share in educational and artistic workshops. Within a year, the volunteer membership began inviting nationally known artists to Cleveland for public performances. The organization was formally incorporated as a non-profit in 1965, and in 1973, the Board of Trustees hired its first executive director. In 1986, the trustees elected to adopt a new name for the organization: DANCECleveland. The success of DANCECleveland over the past six decades is evidenced by the more than 215 dance companies from all over the world that have performed here; the more than 1,200 workshops and master classes that have been conducted; and seven commissioned new works.  DANCECleveland has served Northeast Ohio and the field of modern and contemporary dance by providing audiences with unique opportunities to experience modern and contemporary dance through performances, events and educational opportunities.

Additionally, DANCECleveland has:

  • Led the way to raise the profile of our region as a center for modern dance excellence,
  • Maintained a sound financial position for many years,
  • Has a substantial season-pass subscriber base, as well as, strong single ticket sales for performances,
  • Continually enjoys significant financial support from foundations, corporations and individuals within Northeast Ohio.

Mission, Vision, and Core Values

DANCECleveland’s mission is to bring the passion and verve of modern and contemporary dance to the hearts and minds of Northeast Ohioans.

DANCECleveland’s vision is to be a culture-maker in Northeast Ohio, and the center for modern and contemporary dance in our region.  As a presenter, commissioner, collaborator and catalyst, DANCECleveland cultivates a dynamic level of activity that embraces, educates, inspires and supports dance enthusiasts and artists alike. The centerpiece of this endeavor is DANCECleveland’s annual performance series which is enhanced with a robust array of social and educational events that break artistic boundaries and provide community access to artists.

DANCECleveland’s core values are to:

  • nurture the human spirit,
  • expand the aesthetic experiences in our community, and
  • stimulate fun, joy and passion.

Further, DANCECleveland is administratively conservative while curating creatively innovative and adventurous series of dance.  We accomplish our mission and vision by:

  • Curating and presenting an annual performance series showcasing nationally and internationally renowned choreographers and companies;
  • Enhancing the performance experience through a series of free programs and sessions aimed at building a greater understanding of contemporary dance and the works being presented;
  • Educating dancers, dance students and dance educators through various free opportunities for them to learn from and with the dancers who come here as part of our performance series;
  • Conducting an early childhood literacy and movement program, Read to Learn…Dance to Move.

A key element of our work is in advocating for Northeast Ohio as a center for dance.

The Executive Director serves as the chief executive of DANCECleveland.  He/she reports to the Board of Directors, is responsible for all aspects of the operations and works collaboratively with a vast array of partners, community groups and venues.

Key Responsibilities:  Executive Director

Leadership, Strategy, and Operations

  • Serve as chief executive of DANCECleveland, actively participating in all aspects of administration, operations and Board communications.
  • Serve as the public face of DANCECleveland and liaison to the local, regional and national communities including the funding community as well as DANCECleveland’s collaborative partners and venues.
  • Create and communicate a clear strategy for achieving and broadening DANCECleveland’s mission. Articulate the vision and mission on a local, regional and national level.
  • Provide a consistent and constant focus on equity, diversity and inclusion.
  • Provide leadership and support for initiatives that advance DANCECleveland’s strategic plan.
  • Manage the budgeting process and financial management.
  • Nurture positive working relationships across the highly competent team of staff members, consultants and external specialists. Hire, mentor and retain an engaged, competent and qualified staff.
  • Work collaboratively with the Artistic Director to create and present each season of dance performances and programs.
  • Maintain all financial files. Complete accounts payable and receivable functions and oversee financial reports generated by an outside Financial Manager.  Coordinate annual Audit.
  • Manage and oversee all aspects of the physical office environment including lease, office equipment, etc.
  • Manage marketing and communications outreach to maximize communications about performances and other DANCECleveland activities. These efforts need to blend the strategic goals of audience development, brand identity and communications.

Board Relations and Governance

  • Communicate effectively with the Board of Directors, provide timely and accurate information, and support all Board activities. Work with the Board Chair to set Board meeting schedule (six meetings per year), agenda and reports.  Prepare and present written and oral reports for the Board as necessary. Create or collect all Board materials for dissemination to the Board prior to each meeting.
  • Partner with the Board Trustee Committee to identify, cultivate and recruit new Board members and play an active role in the orientation and education of new and existing members.
  • Engage Board members to maximize their participation in their contribution to DANCECleveland’s success and growth.
  • Ensure DANCECleveland’s fiscal integrity, including submission to the Board of a proposed annual budget, monthly financial statements and annual audit and 990 which accurately reflect the organization’s financial condition.
  • Embrace other Board relations and governance responsibilities as needed.

Resource Cultivation and Revenue Generation

  • Lead development efforts for all contributed and earned revenues.
  • Work with the current grants manager to produce all grant applications and reports.
  • Expand revenue generating and fundraising activities to support existing operations as well as other financial campaigns already seeded.
  • Lead the individual giving and annual fund campaigns.
  • Manage donor relations.


  • Work with the Artistic Director to review and approve the pro forma artistic budget for each season in consideration of the overall organizational budget.
  • Complete letters of agreement and contracts for each season’s artists and venues.
  • Work with the Production Manager to manage all aspects of producing and presenting all performances and programs.
  • Work with the Marketing Manager to review all audience development efforts and strategies.
  • Work with the Administrative Assistant to oversee all ticketing procedure and processes.

Programming/Education & Outreach

  • Work with staff to determine the educational and outreach programming for the season.
  • Create a calendar of Education & Outreach activities
  • Complete letters of agreements for Education & Outreach programs, including teacher contracts, venue/site agreements, etc.
  • Monitor the progress of all programs; create survey materials and reports.

Key Responsibilities:  Artistic Director


  • Ensure ongoing programmatic excellence while leveraging past artistic success. Determine curatorial priorities and oversee the artist/dance company selection process that takes into consideration advancing the artform of modern and contemporary dance while creating a financially viable season of dance.
  • Continue the ethos of equity, inclusion and diversity across all facets of the organization and where multigenerational and multi-cultural audiences continue to value DANCECleveland’s role in the community. Build upon the growing audience base.
  • Work with the Executive Director to coordinate all surrounding educational and outreach programming.
  • Cultivate relationships with agents, dance companies and dance artists.
  • Negotiate all artist fees and other arrangements.
  • Work with the Executive Director to review all performance/artistic pro forma budgets to ensure the proposed performances will be financially viable within the context of the organizational budgets.
  • Develop new and deepen existing relationships with collaborating partners, venues and other key stakeholder organizations.


Core Competencies and QualificationsThe next Executive Director of DANCECleveland will be a visionary, forward-thinking leader and passionate advocate for dance who enjoys connecting with diverse stakeholders at every level.  Possessing a working knowledge of non-profit arts management, fundraising and building audiences for the arts, this individual will be committed to advancing DANCECleveland’s mission, vision and core values.  The successful candidate will have a strong knowledge of the art form of dance and dance performance as well as the national dance ecosystem.  Qualified candidates will have a proven track record of visionary, collaborative leadership, strategic resource development, and experience in short and long-term planning.

Education: Qualified candidates will possess an undergraduate degree in a related field with at least 10 years of relevant experience.  Preference will be given to candidates with an advanced degree in arts administration, business administration or relevant advanced degree.

Compensation:  Salary and employment package commensurate with experience and organization’s budget.  Based in Cleveland, Ohio, this is a full-time position.

To Apply:

Please submit a cover letter and resume by email to DANCEClevelandSearch@gmail.com


No phone calls, please.



Artsopolis Network Members: Akron OH | Austin TX | Bainbridge Island WA | Birmingham AL | Boston MA | Cape Cod MA | Cincinnati OH | Cleveland OH | Colorado Springs CO | Columbia SC | DuPage County IL | Durham NC | Essex County MA | Flagstaff AZ | Flint MI | Fort Lauderdale FL | Indianapolis IN | Kalamazoo MI | Kansas City MO | KeepMovingOKC | Macon GA | Main Line Area PA | Marin County CA | Marquette County MI | Mendocino County CA | Middlesex County NJ | Milwaukee WI | Montgomery County MD | Napa Valley CA | Nashville TN | Niagara County NY | Oklahoma City OK | Orange County CA | Orlando FL | Ottawa IL | Panama City FL | Pittsburgh PA | Providence RI | Richardson TX | Sacramento CA | San Antonio TX | St. Cloud MN | St. Croix Valley MN/WI | St. Johns County FL | Stillwater MN | Tallahassee FL | Utah | Ventura CA | York County PA