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6 Jul 2018

Full-Time Chief Development Officer

Knoxville Opera  Knoxville, Tennessee, United States

Knoxville Opera - job posting

Job Description


As soon as possible by August 20, 2018.


Salary, paid time off, bonus potential, flexible schedule, medical benefits, life insurance, performance tickets, the pleasure of working in the middle of fabulous musical theatre and great artists!



•  Join the most exciting of Knoxville’s three Major Cultural Institutions at the best position in its history.

•  Building upon a solid financial footing, provide strategic development and implementation of annual fund, major gift, and planned giving campaigns.

•  Work closely with the Executive/Artistic Director and Board of Director to formulate and implement policies and plans to meet company’s short- and long-term objectives.

•  Participate in the plan to create a permanent home for the company’s administrative, rehearsal, and storage facilities.

•  Depending on the successful candidate’s interests, skills, and performance, this position has the possibility of growing into a substantial Operations Manager or General Director position which would go significantly beyond just development activities.


•  Create, manage, and execute the company’s development campaigns by identifying stakeholders, developing strategies, and defining how key communications are delivered in order to increase participation in and visibility for the company.

•  Create, manage, and execute a comprehensive fundraising, development, and advancement plan that supports the company’s programs and the growth of its artistic and education activities.

•  Develop and implement a robust planned giving and legacy building program.

•  Guide staff, Board, and Guild in development activities.

•  Identify, develop, and coordinate major grant opportunities.

•  Prepare, administer, and monitor the development budget for both revenue and expenses.


•  Collaborate with other arts organizations to foster improved arts awareness.

•  Represent the company at local community events.

•  Work with regional Chambers of Commerce and tourist agencies to promote the company.

•  Handle sales and customer service issues.

•  Solve patron issues at performances and events.

•  Collaborate with and support Dir. of Marketing/PR on developing cash and in-kind partnerships.

•  Assist the Knoxville Opera Guild with their events.

•  Maintain office software proficiencies.


As a result of the leadership of Executive and Artistic Director Brian Salesky, Knoxville Opera has just completed its 13th consecutive debt-free, “in-the-black” season with an operating reserve of $1 million, a new endowment fund with the East Tennessee Foundation, and a new investment fund with The Trust Company of Tennessee.  The company’s $1.3 million budget is supported by a wide variety of businesses, foundations, government agencies, and individuals (including its 35-member Board of Directors).


The company has just completed its 40th Anniversary Season which featured Turandot and Aida.  Each season the company presents 85-100 Education/Outreach programs reaching 20,000-30,000 students and 30,000-50,000 adults.  These include in-school presentations of staged operas, Opera 101, African-American Voices Series; Knoxville Opera Goes to Church community concert, Rossini Festival International Street Fair (with 750-1000 performers), and much more.  The 2018-2019 main stage productions include a Double Bill of The Impresario/ Gianni Schicchi (October) and Lucia di Lammermoor (February) at the magnificent 1,600-seat Tennessee Theatre followed by a Double Bill of a Sacred Music Concert and Cavalleria Rusticana (May) at the new Cathedral of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus.  2019-2020 is tentatively to be themed a Season of Extraordinary Women featuring two operas about legendary women (underground railroad heroine Harriet Tubman, cellist Jacqueline du Pre) by women composers, Adriana Lecouvreur (the distinguished French actress), and Roméo et Juliette.  KO’s artistic standard is among the highest in regional opera companies and its productions run the gamut from traditional to unique (such as the recent Mefistofele and three-venue Tosca presentations).


The company is held in high esteem by the general public and elected officials due to its broad diversity of artists and Board members, contributions to students’ education, high performance standards, and its active participation in civic organizations and events.


•  Exhibits an enthusiastic, positive approach to multi-tasking in a non-profit company environment.

•  Is an engaging, attractive personality with excellent personal presentation and communication skills.

•  Is a strategic thinker, tactical analyzer, and pragmatic problem solver.

•  Is energetic, inspiring, optimistic, committed, confident, mature, well-spoken, and a model of integrity.

•  Values and communicates the company’s cultural, educational, and economic impact to the community.

•  Brings creativity, knowledge, experience, and vision to the position.

•  Is self-driven to create and accomplish all goals, stays on task regardless of obstacles.

•  Independently pursues objectives in an organized and efficient manner, prioritizes and maintains high level of activity without direct supervision and minimizes disruptions to complete work on time.


•  At least three years of experience in professional development positions with demonstrated success in soliciting and securing major gifts from individuals, businesses, foundations, and/or government agencies.

•  Bachelor’s degree.

•  Proficiency with Microsoft Office Suite programs, patron databases, and basic computer skills.

•  Availability to work on days and at times as needed at company meetings and events.

•  A knowledge of the performing arts and development/marketing experience in the East Tennessee market is preferable but not required.


Send email with detailed curriculum vitae, references, and cover letter to Executive Director Brian Salesky at
On request Knoxville Opera will provide FY18 list of contributed revenues, balance sheet, and income statement.
No phone calls, please.


July 6, 2018.

This position is also listed on the Knoxville opera website:

Job Categories: Arts and Culture. Job Types: Full-Time. Job Tags: arts, development, director, and opera. States: Tennessee.

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