Founded in 1963 by Barbara Weisberger with the encouragement of George Balanchine, Pennsylvania Ballet was established as a professional dance company to bring the best in dance to Pennsylvania and develop local talent to become great dancers. Subsequent Artistic Directors include Benjamin Harkarvy who had extensive experience in Europe, Robert Weiss and Christopher d’Amboise, both of whom danced for Mr. Balanchine at New York City Ballet, and Roy Kaiser who was a Pennsylvania Ballet dancer before becoming Artistic Director for nearly two decades.
With the appointment of Angel Corella in 2014, the company has risen to a whole new level of artistic excellence which has been noted by critics and is reflected in the growth of new audiences. While honoring the Company’s Balanchine roots, Angel Corella has introduced a new range of full-length classics along with internationally recognized contemporary works and new commissions by established and emerging choreographers.
Philadelphia is the fifth largest city in the US and placed third in the NY Times Big List of Travel Destinations. As the country’s first and only UNESCO World Heritage City, Philadelphia is the home of many sites key to American History and independence. This renaissance city offers world class museum collections, a major symphony orchestra, world class restaurants, a vibrant center of creative culture and innovation at a much more affordable cost of living than most major US centers. With one of the country’s best mass transit networks, Philadelphia is the fourth most walkable city and is an important knowledge capital of the US with the second largest medical research and education center in the country.
There are 34 dancers in the professional company with 8 apprentices and 12 Members of Pennsylvania Ballet II on a 36-week contract. A number of apprentices are hired each year and PBII offers performances throughout the community. These dancers perform with the company in the larger full-length ballets such as The Sleeping Beauty. Each year Pennsylvania Ballet produces 5 productions including 2 full-length ballets and 3 Mixed repertory programs, plus Nutcracker for a total of approximately 60 main season performances. The company performs at the national historic landmark, The Academy of Music (2,509 seats), one of the most treasured and legendary opera houses in the world. An additional two Mixed bills are performed at the Merriam Theater (1,870 seats). The 2016/17 season broke attendance records with over 83,000 seats and total revenues up over 12% from the previous year.
In addition to its main stage performances, the company engages with the Philadelphia community through a variety of community outreach efforts and education programs. Among these are programs such as Dance Chance, an instructional program bringing ballet to underserved schools, and a partnership with Art-Reach, creating opportunities for people with disabilities to access the world of ballet. PB II performs in Philadelphia area schools and in other small venues while the Company provides free tickets to children with disabilities and to those from low-income communities.
Pennsylvania Ballet has an annual operating budget of approximately $14 million and is governed by a 29-member Board of Trustees with an Emeritus Trustee Board of 30 and an administrative staff of 23.
The school of Pennsylvania Ballet provides a complete ballet education for students, starting with Creative Movement classes and progressing all the way to the training needed for a professional career. The faculty is comprised of current and former members of Pennsylvania Ballet, along with some of the area’s best dance educators. Each year students are chosen to perform in the company’s production of George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker and other full-length works.
Position Summary and Opportunity:
The Executive Director provides the leadership for Pennsylvania Ballet and has ultimate responsibility for the success of the company, working with the Artistic Director to ensure artistic excellence.
The Executive Director is responsible for developing and driving the implementation of Pennsylvania Ballet’s vision and strategic plan; developing and maintaining external relationships with donors and with other organizations; managing finances, staff and operations; supporting the Board of Trustees; and building its profile and its resources to advance its artistic mission.
The position offers the opportunity to build and lead an increasingly acclaimed ballet company whose artistic excellence in the gifted hands of Angel Corella, has brought new talent, technique and passion. The company is located in the creative hub of the performing arts in Philadelphia, with a vibrant and affordable lifestyle. The company’s main stage is The Academy of Music, the 150 year old “Grand Old Lady of Locust Street” captured in Martin Scorsese’s film “The Age of Innocence”.
The Executive Director reports to the Board of Trustees through its Chair, David Hoffman.
The Executive Director has an important partnership with the Artistic Director, Angel Corella. Together they fulfill the artistic mission while ensuring the long-term sustainability of Pennsylvania Ballet.
Reporting to the Executive Director are:
Director of Development
Director of Finance & HR
Director of Infrastructure *
Director of Community Engagement*
Assistant Artistic Director and Interim School Principal*
Director of Special Projects
*dual report to Artistic Director
The Executive and Artistic Directors both serve as voting members of the Board of Trustees.
Develop the company’s strategic plan and its subsequent execution with input from the Trustees.
Forge an effective and positive partnership with the Artistic Director and Board of Trustees to ensure the company stays true to its artistic vision while ensuring financial stability.
Lead the Pennsylvania Ballet’s development and fundraising efforts to provide for substantial growth in contributed income and in the donor base, providing leadership and support for the active participation of Trustees, volunteers, and staff in donor cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship.
Manage a calls portfolio of leading donors to the organization.
Assure the financial sustainability of the company through creating and achieving balanced annual operating budgets, ensuring that accurate financial reports are regularly provided to the Board.
Develop marketing and audience development strategies to support both earned and contributed revenue and to enhance the reputation of the company.
Oversee the company’s Community Outreach programs, working to build our relevance to the community and to increase and diversify the company’s audience and stakeholders.
Oversee the Assistant Artistic Director and School Principal to ensure an effective administration in support of the financial stability and growth of the Pennsylvania Ballet School.
Work closely with the Trustees to support their efforts, commitment, and leadership. Assist the Trustees in cultivating and recruiting new members.
Recruit, develop, inspire and retain skilled and experienced staff members who can help the company achieve its artistic and financial goals.
Maintain current knowledge of developments in ballet/arts management, and participate in appropriate regional, national, and international organizations and activities.
Increase appreciation of the Artistic leadership Pennsylvania Ballet provides regionally and work closely with the Artistic Director to further its rapidly growing national and international reputation.
Be a vocal, proactive advocate of Pennsylvania Ballet, and represent the company’s best interests in civic issues.
A strategic thinker and planner who can work collaboratively to establish and communicate a vision for the company and a plan for developing sustainable resources to support it.
An inspiring leader with exceptional networking skills and a high-energy level for donor cultivation and fundraising.
An exceptional manager with strong financial skills in sales and marketing with superb skills in building a management team and creating a positive working environment.
An experienced executive who understands the direct shirt-sleeves involvement necessary to run a performing arts organization with a small staff on a financially sound basis, and who also understands how to work effectively with a volunteer Board.
A confident and respected leader who can command the trust of the Board, staff, volunteers and community, and who can represent the company to its audiences, its stakeholders and the public.
A ballet advocate, with knowledge of and passion for the art form.
Education: This job requires organizational, analytical and communications skills normally acquired through the completion of a bachelor’s degree. An advanced degree or professional certification in arts management, business, or other relevant areas would be a valuable addition.
Experience: at least 10 years of experience in managing comparable staff and budget; experience leading a ballet company or other performing arts organization would be ideal. Strong financial management skills are essential. A knowledge of facilities issues would be an asset as would a thorough understanding of the issues and challenges facing ballet companies today.
Demonstrated experience in working with a non-profit Board of Trustees.
Candidates should have a successful track record in building donor relationships and in soliciting and stewarding significant gifts from individuals, foundations and corporations.
Excellent oral, written and presentation skills are required.
Exposure to labor unions and contract negotiations, including experience with successful labor partnerships would be helpful.
A positive attitude and a sense of humor are key attributes as well.
Interested candidates are invited to submit a letter of interest along with resume in confidence by June 30, 2017 to:
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