Recognized as one of the best children’s theaters in the U.S., New York City Children’s Theater (NYCCT) is the only theater to solely present all original work for young audiences. The award-winning and nationally funded NYCCT was founded in 1996 as Making Books Sing. Today, NYCCT celebrates over 25 years of children’s arts education programs and theater productions that have served over 400,000 children and families and will soon launch a capital campaign to establish its first permanent home.
The mission of NYCCT is to promote children’s literacy and social development through accessible, professional theater productions and arts-in-education programs. NYCCT has premiered 32 new works and its productions have reached over 33,000 audience members in the past eight years, with a commitment to providing arts accessibility for underserved communities in New York City.
NYCCT brings the power of theater education to thousands of school children each year, cultivating growth in emotional intelligence, community building and responsible decision-making to foster empathetic, creative, and independent thinkers. Its robust roster of education programs: Literature at Play, when students write their own scripts and songs; Anti-Bullying workshops; Music and Multilingual Learners; and PBS broadcast “Let’s Learn,” which features NYCCT teaching artists in an interactive video class, seen by over 2 million school children in New York City affected by COVID closures. NYCCT employs more than 40 teaching artists annually, helping to bridge gaps in arts access, education, and development; 70% of our partners are Title I and 80% of our audiences are students of color.
NYCCT is governed by a 14 to 16-member board of directors. The 2022 total reported budget is $1.5 million.
Reporting to the Board of Directors, the Executive Director (ED) will have the vision to move NYCCT to the next exciting chapter of its growth. In partnership with founder and Artistic Director (AD) Barbara Zinn Krieger, the ED will lead a full-time staff of ten and a part-time staff of five. The ED will be responsible for strategic leadership and vision, fundraising and revenue enhancement, staff management, and education. In concert with the AD, board, and staff, they will set a clear direction for the organization and ensure resources, systems, and structures are in place to meet NYCCT’s goals for the capital campaign and next iteration of the strategic plan. The ED will value diversity and create an environment that is sustainably inclusive and equitable. They will be a positive role model who works creatively and collaboratively across the organization and throughout the community to build strong external relationships.
Roles and Responsibilities
Strategic Vision and Organizational Oversight
Actively partner with the Artistic Director so business functions, artistic, programmatic, and educational vision work together to ensure the ongoing viability of NYCCT.
Lead the next iteration of the strategic plan with the board and staff around key organizational priorities to advance long-range institutional goals.
Spearhead the 25th anniversary capital campaign to raise support for NYCCT’s first permanent performance space and offices.
Oversee the hiring, retention and support of a diverse staff and teaching artists, with a focus on professional development.
Create and maintain a positive culture and work environment in which all departments are equally valued and staff of all genders, ethnicities, and backgrounds feel appreciated.
Prioritize equity, diversity, inclusion, and access in all aspects of artistic and management decisions.
Embrace other strategic and organizational oversight as needed.
Fundraising and Revenue Enhancement
Actively cultivate, solicit, and steward major individual, institutional, government and corporate donors in coordination with development staff as a primary fundraiser.
Serve as the lead spokesperson for NYCCT, communicating effectively with all internal and external constituents.
Participate in outward-facing events, workshops, committees, and associations to build and maintain external relationships and demonstrate leadership in the community.
Develop a comprehensive capital campaign strategy, including hiring and overseeing a campaign manager in the research and activation phases of the campaign.
Support the marketing department to ensure external marketing communications are consistent and timely.
Embrace other fundraising and revenue enhancement efforts as needed.
Financial Management and Board Governance
Oversee and present a comprehensive annual budget with a contributed revenue growth strategy, monitoring and reporting financial performance to the board to support decision making.
Develop forecasting models for all revenue streams in partnership with the Artistic Director and Finance Committee with the goal of advancing NYCCT to a $3 to $5 million budget.
Cultivate a strong and transparent working relationship with staff, funders, and board members so that everyone fully understands why financial decisions are made and how resources are allocated.
Help build a diverse and inclusive board that is representative of the community, highly engaged, and willing to leverage and secure resources.
Regularly update the board, acting as a liaison between board committees, staff, and the Artistic Director, ensuring open communication about the measurement of performance against goals and objectives.
Embrace other financial management efforts as needed.
Traits and Characteristics
The ED will be a diplomatic and inspirational leader who embraces NYCCT’s mission to promote children’s literacy and social development through accessible professional theater productions and arts-in-education programs. The people-oriented ED will inspire passion and commitment while maintaining the confidence of NYCCT’s stakeholders. They will value effective communication with high visibility and engagement in the community. A sound decision maker and problem solver, the ED will demonstrate integrity and empathy, involve people in decisions that affect them, and make difficult decisions firmly yet compassionately. Committed to creativity and continuous learning, the ED will be a strategic visionary who is receptive to new ideas and methods. They will also be able to respond to frequent change and prioritize tasks to ensure desired outcomes.
Other key competencies include:
Diplomacy and Understanding Others – The dexterity to handle difficult or sensitive issues effectively and tactfully and to constructively embrace different points of view, resolve conflicts, and bring cohesion to a wide array of stakeholders while interacting with them in a positive manner, treating them fairly, and listening carefully to what they have to say.
Personal Accountability – The ability to take responsibility, be accountable, listen and use feedback, and analyze data to learn from mistakes, possessing a high degree of awareness of the impact of personal actions and decisions.
Leadership and Self Starting – The capacity to organize, inspire, and influence people to believe in a vision, creating a sense of common purpose centered on the well-being and growth of NYCCT.
Planning and Organizing – The capability to set and prioritize relevant, realistic, and attainable goals and objectives while anticipating the effects, outcomes, and risks of managing resources and setting priorities.
Teamwork – The dexterity to organize and motivate others while creating a sense of order, direction, and active participation among the board, officers, staff, volunteers, and other stakeholders to achieve collective goals.
Time and Priority Management – The ability to analyze all aspects of a situation, ascertain competing priorities, resolve difficulties, overcome obstacles, and maximize the use of time and resources to attain desired artistic outcomes and consistently sound and timely decisions.
Qualified candidates will have a bachelor’s degree or equivalent plus at least 10 years of employment experience in a nonprofit, with 5 years of increasing responsibility in a senior leadership role. Candidate should have a proven track record of fundraising, marketing/branding, board development, and fiscal management. Insight in the K-8 education system preferred. They should possess outstanding presentation and communication skills and the ability to be a persuasive spokesperson, relationship builder, promoter, and fundraiser. A strong commitment to the professional development of staff and successful track record of recruiting and retaining a diverse team are essential.
Additional Salary Information: NYCCT provides a competitive salary, in the range of $115,000 to $135,000. Benefits include generous health, dental and vision insurance plans, a 401k option, summer Friday hours, vacation, and sick days. The office is closed for all major holidays, the week of Independence Day, and between Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.
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