Executive Director

Posted by Dance Place ; Posted on 
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Executive Director



The incoming Executive Director will bring strong operations skills to the business of running a nonprofit arts center, balancing needs of internal and external stakeholders, building a stable revenue model to sustain challenging and responsive artistic programs, and guiding a collaborative team, many of whom are practicing movement artists.

The next leader will be an effective spokesperson for Dance Place, conveying enthusiasm for contemporary dance, a passion for community education, and a deep commitment to lifting up marginalized voices. They will embrace our unique role within the local, regional, and national dance community and while recognizing our responsibility to our longstanding supporters and neighbors in a rapidly changing neighborhood.

Dance Place is approaching an exciting new chapter as we begin to emerge from
pandemic-related shutdowns. With the support of Bloomberg Philanthropies, Dance Place is in the process of drafting a new strategic plan that refines our mission and vision for creative development, performance, and education initiatives that center artists who have been systematically excluded from opportunities.

Leading with the principles of justice, equity, diversity, access, and inclusion, the Executive Director will align our programmatic strategy, staffing, and infrastructure. In the first 12-18 months of their tenure, the incoming leader will assess and strengthen key operations, including fundraising, finances, human resources, and technology.

Dance Place cultivates an environment where all staff, teachers, and artists are welcomed regardless of their identity, socio-economic status, physical abilities, or familiarity with the organization. A main strategic focus is continuing to become a just and equitable workplace. Key priorities include increasing pay, attracting and retaining diverse staff reflective of Dance Place’s communities, and increasing accessibility of workspaces and programs.

The next leader will join an organization with an immediately stable financial position, preserved throughout the pandemic by a combination of pandemic assistance and major funding for salary support from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation. The Executive Director will have strong financial acumen and be an agile, eager fundraiser to grow our donor base and bolster our contributions.

The Executive Director reports to a 13-member Board of Directors representing DC’s civic, cultural, and business sectors as well as our Brookland and Edgewood neighbors. They lead an approximately 30-person team and operating revenues of approximately $2 million supported by individuals, grants, and foundations, as well as earned revenue from performances, education programs, rental income and management contracts.

Key Responsibilities

Like all nonprofit leaders, the next Executive Director should bring a balanced approach as a visionary and operational executive. They should have the capacity for organized, focused work, and an ability to manage multiple projects under tight deadlines, while maintaining an openness to changing situations and opportunities. Specific areas of responsibility include:

Strategy, Leadership & Governance

  • Set strategic direction for Dance Place’s mission, vision, and goals in collaboration with the board of directors, staff, and stakeholders. Create mechanisms to monitor progress and periodically evaluate alignment of existing strategies and new ideas.
  • Ensure all departments are working collaboratively to advance Dance Place’s mission, with direct supervisory responsibilities for the COO and other senior staff.
  • Show leadership for the dance community through authentic, transparent, and bold actions to address equity across race, ability, and identity at organizational, institutional, and systemic levels.
  • Collaborate with the Board of Directors to achieve good governance, including recruiting and onboarding new board members, advising about key artistic and management activities and ongoing resource development.
  • Maintain and expand Dance Place’s reputation and reach as a local, regional, national and global leader for the dance community.

Organizational Development & Administration

  • Advance racial, LGBTQ+, gender, disability, and economic justice throughout the organization’s culture, structures, policies, and operations.
  • Manage and develop a senior management team with the skills and expertise to administer programs with a high degree of creativity, professionalism, and sustainability.
  • Mentor and coach senior management in pursuit of a distributed leadership model; prioritize
    professional development and mentorship opportunities across the team.
  • Develop and support effective decision-making and clear communication practices to align staff across different departments and to facilitate productive working relationships.
  • Strengthen human resources practices, including onboarding, reporting structures, policies, and performance management.
  • Optimize technology to support cross-departmental collaboration, document retention, program management, reporting, and evaluation.
  • Ensure sound financial systems, bookkeeping, accounting procedures, and internal controls are in place and implemented by staff. Ensure reliable, regular, and timely financial information, as well as comply with annual audit and tax filing requirements.
  • Work with the COO to oversee budget preparation, monitor income and expenses, assure input from departmental leaders is integrated into budgetary assumptions, support long-range budget planning and analysis, and provide the staff, Finance Committee and Board of Directors with comprehensive and regular reports.
  • Oversee the management and maintenance of Dance Place’s real estate holdings and rented facilities, including administrative offices, classrooms and community spaces, and internship housing.

Fund Development

  • With senior management team, establish a long-term revenue strategy that expands fundraising and earned revenue activities to support existing and new programs, general operations, and long-term financial goals.
  • With development department, set annual and long-term plans to maintain and cultivate relationships with individual, corporate, and institutional funders. Serve as primary solicitor for support from major gifts and national funders.
  • Direct a messaging and institutional marketing plan that creatively integrates fundraising and programmatic goals, and guide fulfillment of artistic marketing plans, public relations efforts, and other communication initiatives.
  • Serve as primary spokesperson, effectively representing Dance Place at external engagements and events to enhance the organization’s profile among artists and the arts community, key partners, donors, and government and elected officials.

Artistic, Education, & Community Engagement Programs

  • Provide executive leadership in managing and enhancing Dance Place’s compelling, culturally relevant, and innovative artistic programs, education initiatives, and community engagement efforts as designed by Artistic and Education departments.
  • Monitor planning, implementation, and evaluation of programs, special projects, and services to maintain and improve quality for artists, audiences, and participants.
  • With resident artists, staff, and Board, support development of long-term financial and operational strategies for residencies, commissions, and other programs that encourage artistic risk-taking, strengthen community, and elevate new talent from diverse backgrounds.

Experience, Skills and Qualities
Dance Place is seeking highly qualified candidates that can lead the organization with vision, skill, and creativity, and a passion for Dance Place’s mission and values. While no single candidate can possess every qualification listed below, the following are priority areas:

  • A strong social justice record of advancing antiracism, anti-oppression, and LGBTQ+ rights.
  • A history of leadership and networks in dance, performing arts, and/or arts administration.
  • A strategic fundraiser experienced in setting and achieving ambitious development goals.
  • A skilled spokesperson comfortable engaging a variety of stakeholders in diverse settings.
  • A significant supervisory record, with experience developing a team culture that centers racial, LGBTQ+, gender, disability, and economic justice and fosters distributed leadership.
  • Experience systematizing organizational management and team communications.
  • Proven track record of business acumen, including a working understanding of multi-year budgeting, contract negotiations, IT and finance systems, and marketing.
  • Prior experience working with or serving on a nonprofit board. Understands the importance of governance, board development, and collective decision making.
  • Familiar with property management, commercial leasing and facilities planning.

Starting salary range of $110,000-120,000 plus benefits that includes health insurance, a matched retirement plan, pre-tax travel benefits, paid time off plus major holidays.

Application Process
Dance Place is conducting this search in partnership with Good Insight, a national executive search firm serving nonprofits and associations. Interested applicants should upload a resume and a detailed cover letter that describes their qualifications to www.good-insight.org/careers.

For best consideration, please apply by March 21, 2022. Early applications are encouraged due to the pace of the search. Direct confidential inquiries to DancePlace@good-insight.org.

Equal Opportunity Employer
Dance Place believes that people of color, people in the LGBTQ+ community, people with disabilities, and women must be centered in the work we do. We strongly encourage applications from people with these identities or who are members of other marginalized communities. As an equal opportunity employer, Dance Place will recruit and employ individuals without regard to race, color, religion, creed, age, gender, gender identity, sex, national origin, ancestry, marital status, pregnancy, familial status, ability, veteran status, sexual orientation, size, status with regard to public assistance, or genetic information.

Dance Place is committed to providing access, equal opportunity, and reasonable
accommodation for individuals with disabilities in employment, its services, programs, and activities. Request reasonable accommodation by contacting Kessa Thompson at DancePlace@good-insight.org.


COVID-19 Requirements
Those who wish to apply for this position will be required to comply with Dance Place’s COVID-19 vaccination policy. If hired, the booster vaccine dose must be administered at least two weeks prior to the employee’s official start date, and they must show proof of vaccination upon request.

Job Details (for job postings)

Job Category: Executive (CEO, Director, President)
Position Type: Full Time
Salary Range (annual): -
Experience: -
Education Level: -