Executive Director

End Date
Mar 6, 2020


See Chicago Dance (SCD) the leading service organization for professional dance in Chicago. SCD advocates for the dance field and strengthens a diverse range of dance organizations and artists through services and programs that build and engage audiences.

See Chicago Dance believes in the transformative power of dance, fosters the growth of a strong dance sector, and helps to cultivate Chicago's role as an international dance capital. SCD received its 501(c)(3) status in 2008 and is an equal opportunity employer committed to inclusivity and equity in its staff and all practices.


The Board of Directors seeks an arts management leader to leverage the creative and financial resources of See Chicago Dance to:

  • Fearlessly inspire an ever-growing inclusive community to share in and spread the power of dance in Chicago;
  • Advocate for the dance field and strengthen a diverse range of dance organizations and artists through services and programs that build and engage audiences;
  • Foster an ever-growing community for Chicago dance and provide a diverse array of dance organizations and artists with increased visibility through expansive audience engagement opportunities and forums to showcase their talents.


Position Function

The Executive Director (ED) reports to the Board of Directors (BOD) and is responsible for the organization’s consistent achievement of its mission and financial objectives. The ED serves as the primary spokesperson for the organization, further advances and advocates for the art form of dance, and articulates the mission, vision and goals to the local and broader community. As senior leader, the ED has primary responsibility for fundraising and the financial and operational health of SCD in all areas. The ED works with the BOD to ensure the organization's sustainability and stature within the dance field.

The ED manages a staff of direct reports including (but not limited to) Marketing and Programs Manager, Grants Manager, Community Engagement Consultant, Part-time/Shared Director of Finance and Operations and External Affairs Coordinator. Additional seasonal/contract employees are hired and report to the ED as programs and goals require.


Primary Roles and Responsibilities

  • Successfully elevate the dance field in Chicago through development of superlative strategies, cultivation of funder partnerships, and demonstration of tactical excellence
  • Develop and execute successful fundraising strategies including corporate sponsorships, membership, individual giving, foundations and special events
  • Enhance all aspects of SCD's communications and presence (both digitally and physically) for heightened visibility, broader reach, and stronger brand awareness
  • Implement SCD's strategic plan, building a multi-year, sustainable business model that achieves financial goals and furthers the organization's core values of diversity, equity and inclusivity
  • Seen as board liaison in keeping the BOD informed of programmatic, financial and administrative organizational activity
  • Prepare, present and implement an annual budget and financial reports in conjunction with the Finance Committee of the BOD
  • Establish, develop, and maintain relationships with SCD partners and constituencies
  • Provide overall administration of SCD including financial controls and the recruitment, hiring and supervision of staff
  • Work collaboratively with staff, board and volunteers in producing programs, fundraising and events



  1. Non-Profit/Business Leadership Experience: The successful candidate will have significant leadership experience in a similar non-profit/arts organization with an annual budget of at least $400,000.
  2. Arts & Culture Experience: The successful candidate will have a strong appreciation for the arts and culture. While direct experience in dance is not required, a love and appreciation for dance will be a strong differentiator.
  3. Fundraising & Development: The successful candidate will have a strong track record of fundraising and development throughout his/her/their career. The ED works closely with the Board Development Committee on all fundraising initiatives and all aspects of donor relations.
  4. Relationship Building: The successful candidate will demonstrate the ability to build relationships in both the private and public sectors. Strong networking skills and the ability to communicate with individuals from a variety of backgrounds and cultural communities is required.
  5. Leadership & Team Building: The successful candidate will possess strong leadership skills and the ability to build teams. The ED is a leader in the community; therefore, the candidate should demonstrate the ability to positively influence donors and external stakeholders.
  6. Communication & Presence: The successful candidate will possess strong communication skills and have a strong executive presence. He/She/They will be the face of See Chicago Dance and should lead by example.
  7. Education Requirements: The successful candidate will have a bachelor's degree in arts or business from an accredited educational institution, or an equivalent combination of education and experience.


Personal Qualifications:

  • Mission-driven with a strong belief in SCD mission
  • An impressive strategist able to view the big picture
  • Eager and able to positively influence the future of dance in Chicago
  • Team builder and team player, alliance builder
  • Straightforward and shares information easily
  • Professional yet fun-loving with a sense of humor and the ability to maintain balance and perspective
  • Results-oriented
  • Adept at prioritizing, organizing, and follow-through
  • Dynamic and able to motivate others
  • Open-minded and adventurous
  • Able to navigate the nuances of leading an organization and complex needs and demands of key constituents



  • Exceptional financial skills including but not limited to budgeting, cash flow management, long range forecasting, audit preparation, and mastery of financial statements
  • Computer skills including email, Microsoft Word and Excel, QuickBooks, NEON (CRM), and open to exploring and adopting innovative technologies
  • Resourceful and able to effectively utilize the Board, grantees, community leaders, donors, and staff
  • Strong time management skills
  • Thoughtful and active listening and processing skills


Compensation: Salary is competitive in the Chicago nonprofit sector and commensurate with experience. The qualified candidate can expect a salary range from $60-$65k. Benefits include health and dental insurance, paid holidays and time off.

To formally apply for this position please send a cover letter and resume to jobs@seechicagodance.com