Castle of Our Skins - Executive Director
- Expired: February 28, 2023. Applications are no longer accepted.
Castle of Our Skins seeks a bold, creative, and visionary Executive Director (ED) to co-lead its growing organization into the future.
Who is Castle of Our Skins?
Castle of our Skins is a Black arts institution dedicated to fostering cultural curiosity and celebrating Black artistry through music. In classrooms, concert halls, and beyond, Castle of our Skins invites Black heritage and culture exploration, spotlighting both unsung and celebrated figures of past and present.
The name Castle of our Skins comes from the celebrated poet Nikki Giovanni's poem for nina. The poem beautifully captures the sense of adoration and celebration for the very fabric that makes us who we are: our skin.
Celebrating Black Artistry: Challenging inequities with cultural representation. Castle of our Skins is deeply aware of the lack of equity in composer representation on concert stages and the omission of important stories and figures in Black history. It is this lack of equity that we seek to change.
Fostering Cultural Curiosity: Showcasing the beauty found within a richly diverse culture. Through carefully designed educational workshops and creative concert programs, we aim to highlight the achievements of Black artists and historical figures.
Thought-Provoking Concerts: Combining music, history, spoken word and other arts. Our intergenerational and interdisciplinary concerts range in themes from Black love, African American quilting, and Black Feminism to freedom, civil rights, visual arts and Black excellence.
Interactive Education: Reaching audiences of all ages with music and storytelling. Through workshops, residencies, masterclasses, lectures, panel discussions and educational concert programs, we work to illustrate the breadth and depth of Black culture.
Black people and our arts, culture, and history are universally centered and celebrated across cultures and continents.
Who is in Leadership?
Ashleigh Gordon, Incoming Artistic Director (outgoing Artistic and Executive Director)
Ashleigh Gordon (She/Her) has performed throughout North America, Europe, and Hong Kong, ranging from chamber and orchestral music settings to off-Broadway and new music productions. She has worked and recorded with Germany's Ensemble Modern, Switzerland's Ensemble Proton, and the Grammy award winning BMOP; performed with Boston Landmark's Orchestra, Odyssey Opera, and A Far Cry; and has performed with Chineke! Orchestra, Europe's first majority Black/minority ethnic orchestra at the prestigious BBC Proms Festival. In recognition for her advocacy of cultural awareness, she has presented at IDEAS UMass Boston Conference and 180 Degrees Festival in Bulgaria; has been featured in the International Musician and Improper Bostonian magazines as well as the Boston Globe; and was awarded the 2016 Charles Walton Diversity Advocate Award from the American Federation of Musicians. She is a 2015 St. Botolph Emerging Artist Award recipient, a 2019 Brother Thomas Fellow, a nominee for the 2020 "Americans for the Arts Johnson Fellowship for Artists Transforming Communities," and named one of WBUR's "ARTery 25", twenty-five millennials of color impacting Boston's arts and culture scene. www.violashe.com
Lynn DuVal Luse, Chair of Board of Directors
Lynn DuVal Luse (She/Her) is the former Director of Marketing and Public Programming for the Museum of African American History, Lynn DuVal Luse oversaw media and community outreach, graphic design and branding, and program development, including diverse lectures and concerts. She was charged with expanding awareness for historic sites in Boston and Nantucket, which historians consider the country's most important national historic landmarks relating to black history. To her role, she brought some 20 years experience in media, marketing, design, and events planning through NIAmedia, the Boston-based firm known for building successful strategic marketing initiatives for socially-conscious companies and non-profit organizations. As NIA's founder and chief visionary, DuVal Luse offered a smorgasbord of creative services, custom developed to address each client's unique strategic goals through image development and branding, media marketing and community outreach, graphic and web design, and signature events. Prior to launching NIA, DuVal Luse worked for the WGBH Educational Foundation, for whom she designed and executed award-winning public awareness campaigns; publicized the flagship public broadcaster's two local television stations; managed institutional and program promotions for its local, national and international radio operations; and served as spokesperson for WGBH/Channel 2, WGBX/Channel 44, and WGBH Radio/89.7 FM. Now retired from the Museum, she continues to serve community through NIA's new ventures celebrating black history and culture.
What will you do?
The new Executive Director will set the direction for this brand new position, which will significantly increase the capacity of the organization. The Executive Director will work in close partnership and collaboration with the Artistic Director to lead the organization in its growth trajectory. Opportunities for the organization include regional, national and international partnerships and performances, the expansion of the organization's individual donor base and a general expansion of internal infrastructure.
Black heritage and culture exploration remain central to Castle of Our Skins. The Executive Director will build a business vision and strategy that prioritizes the organization's Black-centric mission, vision and values.
Areas of Accountability
- Determine strategic decisions about the organization in collaboration with the Artistic Director and Board of Directors.
- Collaborate with the Artistic Director to determine performance objectives, priorities, and capacity for sustainability and growth within the organization.
- Support artists and their work throughout all aspects of COOS's operations, including contract negotiations, payroll and marketing.
- Evaluate potential projects, resources and partnerships within the context of the organization's mission and values.
- Report progress on financial and organizational goals to the Board of Directors.
Finance and Fundraising
- Increase the amount in yearly contributed income and yearly earned revenue to aid the growth of the organization.
- Lead strategic efforts to grow income and revenue across upcoming fiscal years.
- Cultivate and steward donors, and maintain a donor database.
- Lead grant writing, write reports, and maintain a grants calendar.
- Draft and execute fundraising appeals, thank you notes and other fundraising communications.
- Collaborate with the Artistic Director to develop and execute an annual organizational budget that is fiscally sound and monitored by both leaders.
- Manage, supervise and track a $460K budget.
- Develop strategies to grow the organization's operating budget.
- Develop relationships with current board of directors and board of advisors members, cultivate relationships with prospective board members, and inspire both groups to continue to invest in the organization.
- Directly supervise Digital Media Manager and any additional new hires.
- Manage human resources needs of employees, contractors and artists including payroll, performance reviews and contracts.
- Nurture a culture that is welcoming, collaborative and productive for artists and administrators.
Marketing and External Relationships
- Develop a strategic marketing plan with measurable and realistic goals to increase the number of people reached with COOS programming.
- Lead all of the organization's marketing activities, in collaboration with the Artistic Director and Digital Media Manager.
- Ensure that COOS programming broadens participation in classical music and the arts, including participation by individuals who are Black and in geographic areas around Boston with few formal arts venues.
- Establish and maintain professional relationships with organizations and industry leaders across the local and national arts and culture field.
- Strategize revenue goals for COOS's arts education programs, in collaboration with the Artistic Director and Digital Media Manager.
- Act as a public spokesperson for the organization for press and community relations.
Who are we looking for?
The role is ideal for a person with entrepreneurial skills and a wide range of business skills including team management, finance and fundraising. A love of classical music, and the performing arts in general, will guide the new Executive Director's interest and commitment to the organization. The incoming Executive Director will be able to balance the needs of bold art making with fiscal responsibility in order to maintain and grow the organization's fiscal, physical, and human infrastructure.
The Executive Director must be willing to reside in the Boston/Cambridge area for the majority of the year.
This individual will possess
- Enthusiasm for Black aesthetics, artists, and structures from across the American and international music world.
- Experience working toward anti-racist practices in the arts and an understanding of the dynamics of power and privilege into all facets of institutional life and artistic leadership.
- Existing strong relationships with community leaders, music lovers and stakeholders in the Boston/Cambridge area.
- Entrepreneurial skills to benefit a small organization with high growth potential.
- Skills in building strategic partnerships and relationships with institutional, corporate and individual donors.
- Knowledge of non-profit arts management and working in small and evolving companies.
- Experience working within shared leadership structures and collaborative work environments.
- Excellent written communication and public speaking skills.
- A commitment to the organizational values of Castle of Our Skins.
How much are we paying and what are the perks?
Annual Salary Range: $60,000 - 75,000. Full time, exempt position. Some evening and weekend work required.
Benefits package: Health, dental and vision insurance included. Hybrid work environment (on-site and remote options). Relocation assistance.
March 2023, ASAP
How do I apply?
Visit aljpconsulting.com/apply-for-jobs to submit your application. Application deadline is February 17th, 2023.
We know there are great candidates that may not have all of the qualifications listed above but possess intuitive knowledge or other fully transferable skills. If that's you, don't hesitate to apply and tell us about yourself.
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