Albany Park Theater Project (APTP) creates transformative experiences that forge an inclusive community of youth artists, adult artists, and audiences to envision and build a more just, equitable, and joyful world. APTP’s teen ensemble and adult artistic team collaborate to devise world-class original theater that amplifies and illuminates the real-life stories of the immigrant and first-generation Albany Park community. Audiences come from throughout Chicago and beyond to experience APTP’s innovative and visionary theatrical performances.
Founded 25 years ago with a trifold commitment to art, youth development, and social justice, APTP serves as a cultural and community anchor in the Albany Park neighborhood and contributes to its vital and vibrant reputation. Since 1997, APTP has engaged more than 5,000 young people through its Performing Ensemble and APTP@School, its school-based program. Fueled by their participation in APTP’s creative community, teens envision and prepare to lead choice-filled lives, which they pursue with support from APTP’s mentoring, tutoring and post-secondary planning programs. More than 60 percent of Performing Ensemble alumni have graduated from college by the age of 25.
At its home theater in Albany Park and other venues, APTP’s Performing Ensemble has premiered more than 20 original plays and performed for more than 80,000 audience members. The teen ensemble’s performances foster empathy, humanize challenging social issues, encourage new ways of seeing the world, and inspire action. The Chicago Tribune recognizes APTP as “one of Chicago’s more remarkable artistic institutions,” and the Chicago Sun-Times hails APTP as “a prodigiously gifted, exquisitely directed youth ensemble that abounds in talent, technique, and emotional heat.”
In 2023, APTP will debut a 12,000 square-foot immersive performance space, supported by a $2.5 million major gifts campaign (85 percent completed) and an in-kind building donation by a major donor. The new facility will house Port of Entry, a signature immersive performance by the teen Performing Ensemble that will invite audiences to step inside the stories of immigrants from all parts of the world as they forge new lives side by side within the walls of a single apartment building.
Albany Park Theater Project has a 12-member board of directors, led by Board President Reena Bajowala. Guided by Co-Executive Directors David Feiner (also a co-founder) and Miguel Angel Rodriguez (also an alum of the Performing Ensemble), APTP has a full-time staff of seven which expands to a team of more than two dozen during productions. For the fiscal year ending June 2021, APTP reported total revenue of nearly $1.6 million, total expenses of $1.2 million, and net assets of $1.7 million; with the opening of Port of Entry in 2023, APTP anticipates an annual budget in the range of $2 million.
Known as a city of neighborhoods and comprising 77 unique communities, Chicago is the third largest city in the United States with more than 2.7 million residents. Chicago’s virtues include 26 miles of public lakefront, iconic architecture, world-class museums, more than 200 theater companies, loyal sports fans, renowned universities, four seasons (in a good year), and one of the most exciting restaurant scenes in the country. According to President Barack Obama, a longtime Chicago resident, “Chicago is a city where the practical and the inspirational exist in harmony.”
Located eight miles from downtown on the northwest side of Chicago, the Albany Park neighborhood is known as a port of entry that welcomes people from all around the world. Albany Park is frequently cited as one of the most culturally diverse communities in Chicago and the entire country. More than 68 percent of Albany Park residents are people of color, 40 percent immigrated from other countries, and 62 percent speak a language other than English at home. Reflecting the diversity of its residents, Albany Park boasts a phenomenal array of neighborhood restaurants serving up culinary delights from many parts of the globe. APTP’s office and its home theater sit within a public park nestled alongside the north branch of the Chicago River.
The Director of Development (DOD) will be a strategic, proactive, and highly collaborate development leader. The DOD will leverage available networks to cultivate new and existing funding relationships with individual and institutional donors and partner with the board of directors and executive leadership to identify and cultivate a pipeline of donor prospects. Reporting to the Co-Executive Directors, the DOD will mentor and expand APTP’s full time and contracted development team and oversee all aspects of fundraising to grow and diversity streams of philanthropic support. Collaborating with all staff, the DOD will serve as an ambassador for the APTP mission of art, youth, and justice and demonstrate compassion, care, and concern for social justice work with special emphasis on issues impacting the populations served by APTP.
Role and Responsibilities
Development Leadership and Planning
Ensure that inclusion, diversity, equity, and access are centered in APTP’s fund development strategy.
Partner with APTP’s Co-Executive Directors on strategic planning and other mission-driven organizational decisions as a member of the core leadership team.
Create and execute a comprehensive annual development plan addressing the identification, cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship of APTP donors and donor prospects with an emphasis on institutional giving and increasing individual giving at $5,000+.
Complete the current $2.5 million major gifts campaign to support the 2023 production of Port of Entry.
Serve as a partner in solicitation and development strategy, evaluation, design, and implementation opportunities to increase giving at all levels.
Expand APTP’s moves management strategy, building portfolios for board of directors and organizational leadership that support the cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship of major gift prospects.
Collaborate with APTP board of directors and organizational leadership to build a robust pipeline of donor prospects with capacity to support current and future revenue goals.
Identify, cultivate, steward, and solicit mission-aligned institutional funders and manage grant reporting process.
Engage as an articulate, passionate, and visible spokesperson and prominent fundraising presence for the organization among stakeholders, and in the Chicago philanthropic community.
Recruit, train, mentor, and supervise APTP’s development team ensuring a safe, positive, and productive work environment.
Foster an organizational culture of philanthropy, building participation in fundraising across the organization and with the board.
Monitor trends and changes in the local and national philanthropic landscape and take appropriate actions to ensure that APTP is well positioned to respond to the shifting dynamics.
Comply with all applicable regulations, statutes, and ethical and professional standards.
Administration, Financial Management, and Analytics
Partner with Co-Executive Directors to craft the annual budget and to set ambitious, yet realistic fundraising goals.
Collaborate with the Finance & Operations Manager to prepare budgets, financial reports, and financial statements for grant proposals, grant reports, and for board and leadership meetings.
Track fundraising progress, providing detailed monthly reports to support cash flow, annual budget, special project budgets, and overall financial decision-making.
Ensure highly accurate processing of gift entries, acknowledgements, donor and prospect engagement, and data entry and reporting protocols.
Maintain updated donor/sponsor information and recognition on APTP websites, newsletter, social media, production collateral, and other relevant communications vehicles.
Supervise the creation of all digital and print materials related to development.
Build community and mutuality with APTP youth artists and support their achievement, goals, and wellness.
Engage regularly with program staff and youth artists to keep abreast of artistic and youth development projects and attend APTP workshops, performances, and other events.
Create meaningful opportunities for APTP youth artists to participate in fundraising through donor engagement and storytelling.
Train with the youth development team to respond to the needs of young people in crisis, including addressing mental health and other medical emergencies.
Serve as a mandated reporter by becoming trained in APTP child abuse and neglect response procedures and by responding to observed, reported, and suspected cases of child abuse and neglect in accordance with organizational policy and Illinois state law.
Foster a deep understanding of APTP’s artmaking and youth development programming.
Traits and Characteristics
The successful Director of Development will be a collaborative, self-starting leader who is motivated by uplifting youth, the arts, and social justice while fostering an organization-wide culture embracing inclusion, diversity, equity, and accessibility. This confident, results driven leader moves with diplomacy and authenticity, building and maintaining relationships using empathy, and connection to the mission. The DoD will have the ability to develop, nurture, and leverage relationships with a wide variety of stakeholders.
Other key competencies include:
Planning and Organizing – The ingenuity to collaboratively establish strategic goals while assessing risks, organizing activities, people, and operational priorities to meet mutually agreed upon expectations and fund development goals.
Personal Accountability – The capacity to accept responsibility for personal actions, results, and outcomes and the willingness to take ownership of situations and decisions.
Time and Priority Management – The aptitude to effectively manage challenges and delays to balance timelines and priorities to stay on schedule while creating an environment of effectiveness.
Self-StartingandGoal Orientation – The ability to take initiative in the attainment of organizational goals through collaboration and effective use of available resources and acuity to take calculated risks to achieve and meet challenging goals while advocating for the organization.
Creativity and Innovation – The dexterity to create new approaches, processes, technologies, and systems to achieve organizational goals.
A minimum of five years of progressive fundraising experience with at least two years of supervisory leadership is essential in this role. The successful candidate will show evidence of establishing and increasing diverse revenue streams, building new partnerships, and will possess a successful track record of securing major gifts with the experience of raising at least $1 million annually. A demonstrated commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, and social justice and experience developing and mentoring diverse staff and volunteer teams are necessary. Experience working with youth is appreciated. This is a full-time exempt position and will require regular weekend and evening hours. The chosen candidate must be fully vaccinated prior to beginning the role.
Additional Salary Information: Albany Park Theater Project offers a competitive compensation package, with a salary range of $95,000 to $110,000, 100 percent employer-paid platinum health insurance (employee only), 50 percent employer-paid dental and vision coverage, retirement plan contribution, and a generous PTO benefits package.
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