16 Apr 2021


Executive Director

American Contemporary Ballet  Los Angeles, California, United States

American Contemporary Ballet

Job Description

American Contemporary Ballet (ACB) is hiring an executive director to join its leadership team and oversee its operations, personnel, and fundraising efforts. ACB is seeking an experienced leader to help plan and implement its next phase of its growth.

ACB is entering its 10th season. For this important milestone ACB has mapped out key objectives that include increasing funding to attract and retain top talent, identifying a permanent space for performances, and establishing a ballet school that features both summer intensives and a year-round program for rising dancers.


HISTORY & ART—Based in Los Angeles, ACB was founded by choreographer Lincoln Jones to produce original contemporary classical ballets and present masterworks which exemplify dance as a musical art form. The company performs over 60 shows each season, spanning a repertory which includes works by George Balanchine, Fred Astaire, Lincoln Jones, and reconstructions of the seminal works of ballet history.

ACB performs in non-traditional spaces such as skyscrapers and other large, contemporary, and architecturally significant structures. With the audience seated at stage level, this creates a rare and visceral connection with the beauty and athleticism of ballet. Some of ACB’s productions, such as its original Nutcracker Suite, are immersive, placing the audience inside the set for a three-dimensional, experiential performance. ACB is the only ballet company in Los Angeles to perform exclusively to live music, which is played by some of the city’s finest classical musicians.

VISION & PHILOSOPHY—ACB draws upon the best of the classical tradition to create work of timeless relevance–work that is as entertaining as it is substantive. This approach has built a new audience for the art form in Los Angeles. Through innovative presentation and programs, an accessible ticket price, sophisticated backstage programs, and a high volume of performances, the company is bringing ballet to a mainstream level of cultural understanding in L.A. With strong creative ties in the film world, ACB is now also making cutting-edge use of the medium to make its product available internationally.

Artistic integrity is at the core of ACB’s values, as is the principle that while the expression of art almost always touches upon something other than itself, its creation and intent must never become a tool for something other than itself. As such, ACB fosters a creative and work environment that is independent of political, economic, or social agendas.


In season, ACB has five full-time staff members and 21 dancers. The executive director will be a much-needed leader for the staff, donors, and key stakeholders. Helping to bring organizational clarity and direction, this position will undertake all key operations, finances, and fundraising. The organization has been incredibly resourceful in its operations—leveraging many in-kind gifts, attracting supportive and dedicated donors and partners, and nurturing a deeply collaborative team. ACB is a beloved organization in the community, and the executive director would need to quickly build relationships and develop an understanding of the landscape.

The executive director must be a strong and decisive leader, and understand that his/her role ultimately serves the artistic vision. The ideal candidate will be excited by the challenge of meeting ACB’s high standards of excellence and have an ability to thrive among the unpredictable demands of live production, take ownership of multiple projects, manage competing deadlines, and bring order out of chaos.

The position will manage the company manager, production manager, patron manager, communications manager, and volunteers. Experience with operations, management, and budgets is paramount. Preference will be given to those who have greater experience in fundraising, especially in major gifts, donor cultivation, and solicitation. This position reports to founder and artistic director Lincoln Jones, who is ACB’s primary leader and visionary for the organization overall.

At ACB, all staff and dancers are selected through a process designed to identify an unusually high level of mission alignment, which has created a rare and rewarding culture of teamwork and camaraderie within the company in service to the quality and integrity of the art.

The rewards of the position include being a prominent member of the L.A. arts community and leading an organization with a strong mission and vision and an innovative, highly respected artistic product. You’ll be working within a network of highly accomplished artists in ballet, music, photography, cinematography, and design, and leaders in the Los Angeles philanthropic and cultural communities. It is an opportunity to hone your organizational and leadership skills in a company with an exciting trajectory and a gratifying company culture. This position may be a good fit for a seasoned professional hoping to identify a new mission to support, or for a rising professional who loves to be challenged and wants to grow.


The compensation and benefits package is commensurate with experience. The position is based in Los Angeles, with local travel requirements to meet with partners and donors and some weekend commitments which increase during the performance season. Occasional national travel will be required.


Primary responsibilities include, but are not limited to, operations, management, fundraising oversight, and, more specifically:

  • Serving as the primary operational executive, including technology, facilities, HR, payroll, staff, finances, and fundraising;
  • Working closely with the founder and artistic director to develop a strategic organizational and fundraising plan;
  • Scaling the organization’s needs for growth and new initiatives by identifying stronger platforms, developing cohesive procedures and processes, standardizing best practices, and using project management tools;
  • Preparing and managing annual operating budget;
  • Managing operations staff, reviewing job descriptions, communicating expectations and directing meetings;
  • Managing all third-party vendors and relationships, including contracts;
  • Attending performances and ensuring production needs are met through supervision of staff and volunteers;
  • Using and configuring database (Network for Good) to implement donor moves-management, updated records, and key reports;
  • Developing and implementing donor stewardship best practices;
  • Reviewing key performance indicators in fundraising and revenue quarterly;
  • Managing a caseload of active donors and managing up to the board for their major donor relationships;
  • Identifying and pursuing new sources of high-net-worth individuals and foundations;
  • Overseeing grants calendar, deadlines, submissions, and follow-up reports;
  • Leading a dedicated team of volunteers, fostering enthusiasm and graciousness;
  • Consistently reviewing operations and developing concrete ways to monitor progress and success, making revisions as needed;
  • Representing and maintaining ACB’s reputation as a leader in the arts, being a persuasive spokesperson for the mission and vision; and,
  • Meeting with the board regularly to present progress and objectives, and assisting the founder and artistic director as needed.


7+ years relevant nonprofit experience in operations, community engagement, and fundraising—preferably in the arts community. Strong preference given to those with experience in donor relations and start-ups. The ideal candidate will also demonstrate:

  • Alignment with ACB’s values, vision, and philosophical approach to the arts.
  • Strong work ethic and integrity.
  • Entrepreneurial and confident mindset.
  • Collaborative management style, supporting the work of others with patience, humility, and accountability.
  • Superior interpersonal communication skills with the ability to build strong relationships.
  • Motivation to initiate projects–designing and executing tactical plans from start to finish.
  • Ability to multi-task competing deadlines and priorities with professionalism and grace.
  • Ability to drive decision making and build consensus among stakeholders.
  • Successful track record of scaling organizational growth.
  • Good judgement working with vendors, consultants, and partners to manage organization strategically and efficiently.
  • Strong executive, organizational, and time-management skills with an aptitude for systems and processes.
  • Proficiency in creating and using management systems, budgeting systems, and databases.
  • Focus on goals, objectives, metrics, and results.


  • Cover letter that outlines your interest in the position, how your values align with the mission, and a highlight of your professional and/or personal achievements that have relevance to the position’s responsibilities
  • 2-3 minute video sharing why a particular piece of art is meaningful to you (i.e. a painting, poem, dance, film, piece of literature)
  • Resume
  • Writing sample from professional experience
  • Three professional references


Contact: lzambrana@americanphilanthropic.com



Full-Time Job in Arts and Culture:
Executive Director
American Contemporary Ballet
 Los Angeles, California, United States

Job Categories: Arts and Culture. Job Types: Full-Time. Job Tags: ballet, classical, and dance. States: California.
Job listing expires in 33 days.

 Please Share the Executive Director job: