Opportunities at Dance/USA


Job Position: Executive Director
Reports To: Dance/USA Board of Trustees
Status: Full Time, exempt
Location: Headquartered in Washington, DC but open to candidates working remotely
Deadline: September 21, 2020

Our Organization 
Dance/USA, established in 1982 and based in Washington, DC, is a national service organization whose membership consists of a diverse and dynamic range of over 400 dance groups and artists; dance service and presenting organizations; artist managers and producers; and individuals. 

Dance/USA champions an inclusive and equitable dance field by leading, convening, advocating, and supporting individuals and organizations. Dance/USA’s core programs are focused in the areas of engagement, advocacy, research, and preservation. 

Propelled by our belief that dance can inspire a more just and humane world, Dance/USA will amplify the power of dance to inform and inspire a nation where creativity and the field thrive. Dance/USA strives to address racist, classist, ableist, ageist, homophobic, transphobic, sexist, and gender bias practices through our hiring, board recruitment, programming, membership demographics, and advocacy. As we continue on our journey, we envision a future where we meet the demands of the dance community, serve as a catalyst for change that models equitable practices, and leads with the urgency and innovation of now. 

The future holds a great opportunity for Dance/USA to expand its networks, build respect for all genres of dance, and reimagine its relevance in a just society.

The Opportunity 
Dance/USA is uniquely positioned within the dance and performing arts ecosystem. Everything we do is driven by, and in service to our vibrant and diverse membership. Our next Executive Director will have the opportunity to be at the forefront of activating change to secure a future for dance. They will build consensus informed by new and varied perspectives. They will be able to partner with all staff to oversee the implementation of our leadership development programs, artist fellowships, funding opportunities, annual conferences, dance forums, and distance learning. As the most public-facing ambassador of our organization, the right candidate will have the opportunity to represent Dance/USA in the dance community and in the broader performing arts and philanthropic communities nationally and internationally.

Our next Executive Director will be entering Dance/USA at a critical time and will implement the six interconnected goals from our latest strategic plan:

  1. Continue to incorporate equitable practices and policies into the organization’s programs and operations. 
  2. Re-affirm the value of membership. 
  3. Establish and strengthen partnerships with value-aligned organizations. 
  4. Sustain and increase operational and financial sustainability. 
  5. Measure and articulate the organization’s impact. 
  6. Utilize technology to improve operational efficiency, maximize prior technology investments, and modernize online presence. 

To enhance our next Executive Director’s capacity, they will be supported by an elected Board of Trustees of up to 40 members from the dance community. They will work with and oversee a full-time staff of 9 and 3 part-time employees. As Executive Director, they will have operational responsibility for Dance/USA’s programs, fundraising, events, finances, and staff oversight. 

Dance/USA projects revenue for the fiscal year ending December 31, 2020 at $2.1 million, with 2% from conferences and workshops, 8% percent from membership revenues, 88% percent from sponsorships and grants, and 2% percent from advertising and other revenues.

Key Roles and Responsibilities 
The Executive Director will advocate for equitable arts policy for the dance field. They will be an effective consensus builder that can inspire the Board of Trustees, staff, members, partners, and funders to invest in Dance/USA’s future and prepare for the future of the sector. This person will develop new and unique opportunities to serve the mission and bring innovation to spark organizational growth. They will be an assertive advocate for dance and effectively represent all dance professionals irrespective of the size and genre of the organization. The Executive Director will be skilled in fundraising and possess the ability to innovate on future fundraising models or structures. They will have demonstrated organizational management expertise with great interpersonal and relationship management skills. They will be trustworthy and possess high emotional intelligence and commitment. They will leverage their experience to address and reflect equity & justice within the organization effectively and externally for our members and the field. 

The next Executive Director will understand the importance, potential, and plurality of ways that art and dance can connect, engage, and transform individuals and communities alike. 

Strategic Leadership & Membership Engagement/Advocacy

  • Support the vision for Dance/USA’s future with a realistic understanding of the capacity of its human, financial, and technological resources.
  • Champion advocacy efforts, maintain, participate in, and build Dance/USA’s vital relationships with colleagues, key stakeholders, and related alliances and networks.
  • Implement and promote practices that ensure Dance/USA becomes a more inclusive and equitable organization.
  • Act as the principal spokesperson for Dance/USA members, exhibiting a broad, diverse and thorough knowledge of dance as well as an understanding of political action and political funding mechanisms at work in the field.
  • Recognize, acknowledge and address power imbalances and privilege within a membership that is diverse with regard to a role (e.g., dancer, choreographer, artistic director, arts administrator, presenter, agent) and locale, as well as broader diversity dimensions such as race, ethnicity, economic status, gender, disability status, gender expression, nationality, sexual orientation, and religion.
  • Support operations and administration of the Board of Trustees by advising and interfacing with the Board of Trustees and staff, keeping the Board of Trustees informed of developments in the organization, membership, and field.
  • Launch efforts to measure and articulate Dance/USA’s impact.

Fiscal Management 

  • Actively participate as a voting member of the Board of Trustees in creating policies, setting direction, regularly reviewing programs of the organization for consistency with the mission, and developing and recommending new initiatives and programs to the Board of Trustees for their consideration.
  • Design, implement, and coordinate fundraising structures and activities, collaborating with the Board of Trustees and staff to support critical initiatives, such as identification, development, and management of annual giving priorities (foundations, sponsorships, and individuals), major gifts and planned giving campaigns.
  • Coordinate, redefine, oversee, and accelerate Dance/USA’s budgets, programs, services, and business model while mitigating risks and ensuring sustainability.

Staff Engagement

  • Inspire, motivate, and create a people-centered staff and organization to continue achieving Dance/USA’s strategic goals and adapt to changing times, environments and needs.
  • Foster an authentic and welcoming work environment that encourages a collaborative and inclusive atmosphere, staff accountability and evaluation, professional development, and staff satisfaction.
  • Deploy technology to improve operational efficiency, maximize prior technology investments, and increase brand awareness.

Desired Qualifications and Professional Experience 

  • Strategic thinker with the demonstrated ability to build consensus and work collaboratively to execute plans and achieve goals
  • Deep understanding and evidenced commitment to combating systemic racism in the arts 
  • Significant leadership experience in dance or the performing arts field
  • Strong working knowledge of the dance field and its needs 
  • Experience with managing remote staff and overseeing projects, national events and initiatives 
  • Ability to drive fundraising at a service organization
  • Exceptional communication skills (both oral and written) and a commitment to life-long learning
  • The ability to travel approximately 20% of each calendar year

Compensation and Benefits
The salary range for this position is between $115,000 - $130,000 per year plus health benefits, generous paid time off, and professional development opportunities. The Board of Trustees is also committed to providing resources to support the Executive Director’s success that can include coaching resources during their transition if needed. 

Applications and Inquiries
Dance/USA has retained the services of Alison McNeil of McNeil Creative Enterprises to assist with this search. Confidential questions about the position may be directed to her at alison@mcearts.com.  Please send your resume to jobs@mcearts.com, accompanied by a cover letter that describes your interest in and qualifications for this role, including experiences working within dance or the arts, managing people, and fundraising for causes you care about. If you are selected to advance in our recruitment process you will be invited to participate in our first round of interviews, which we hope to schedule by September 2020.

Dance/USA is an equal opportunity employer, and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law. Dance/USA is committed to building a culturally diverse community, and strongly encourages applications from female-identified candidates and Black, Native, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC). 

Learn more about Dance/USA here.