Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Executive Director


Executive Director Position

Organizational Overview

AXIS Dance Company exists to change the face of dance and disability. By commissioning, creating, and performing contemporary dance that is inclusive of disabled and non-disabled artists, and championing engagement opportunities as well as advocacy efforts that broaden the reach of the physically integrated dance field, we are deepening an understanding across the Bay Area that all bodies can dance.

AXIS embodies the power of radical inclusion across our organization. We are people with and without disabilities, people of color, members of the LGBTQ community, immigrants and Americans. Our dancers, staff and board members each have personal commitments to representation and inclusion and to intentionally and thoughtfully growing our accessibility offerings. We are seeking an Executive Director to join our grassroots team who is both qualified and a strong cultural fit that shares our values and vision for a more inclusive, equitable, and diverse Oakland arts community.

Position Summary

The Executive Director reports to the Board of Directors and works in partnership with the Artistic Director to support the bold and ambitious artistic vision of the Artistic Director. It is crucial that the individuals in these two positions work in a cohesive and productive manner. This position is responsible for the organization's consistent achievement of its mission and financial objectives. Working with the Board of Directors and the staff, the ED develops and oversees the organization’s strategic mission and plan for the future of AXIS. This position is responsible for ensuring that the revenues necessary to carry out this mandate are secured. The Executive Director is also responsible for supervising the majority of office staff.

It is critical that the Executive Director maintain knowledge of significant developments and trends in the field of contemporary dance, physically integrated dance, and the disability community, as well as non-profit management.  To help ensure success, the final candidate will need to be strategic, collaborative, action-oriented, and a clear communicator. The ED should understand the legacy of AXIS and continue to lead AXIS as a “World Class Dance Company”. 

General Responsibilities

Financial Oversight:

- Ensure that the organization is fiscally sound and that the budget supports implementation of the strategic plan.

- Prepare annual budget for Board approval. Prepare quarterly budget with staff and board treasurer to meet financial needs of program and general operations. 

- Supervise Operations Manager and Accountant to coordinate management of financial and administrative procedures in order to maintain fiscally sound programs. 


- Ensure that the organization has long-range and diverse funding strategies supporting the success of AXIS’ programing and long-term goals.

- Identify, cultivate, solicit and steward major gift prospects and donors: individuals, corporate and foundation.

- Oversee grant writing and management, contract compliance, sponsorships and annual appeals with Development Manager. 

- Continue the growth and/or replacement of cash reserves.

Community Relations and Marketing:

- Ensure that the organization and its mission, programs, products and services are consistently presented in a strong and positive image. 

- Oversee the development and implementation of marketing strategies for Home Season, education programs, and other activities.

- Forge and maintain important external relationships with the broader community, including funders, presenters, and other arts organisations.

Leadership & Management:

- Ensure that job descriptions are developed, that regular performance evaluations are held, and that sound human resource practices are in place.  

- Ensure staff members have the tools and resources they need to do the work ensuring operational effectiveness.

- Ensure productive project management tools, company systems, policies and procedures are in place. 

- Build and sustain a collaborative and inclusive management culture that fosters cooperation, communication, teamwork and trust.

- Communicate with clear expectations when assigning tasks, including deadlines.

- Work closely with the company’s booking agent to facilitate strong, fiscally sound touring

Board Relations and Support: 

- Assist the board president and/or executive committee to develop board meeting agendas, and serve ex-officio on all Board committees, as requested.

- Support and provide Board with correct and adequate information to help members reach sound decisions and establish necessary and required policies that will promote the organization’s overall mission.

- Assist in recruiting new Board members.


Seven or more years of senior nonprofit management experience.

Proven fundraising background.

Proven commitment to inclusion. 

Ability to point to specific examples of developing and implementing strategies that have taken an organization to the next stage of growth or stability. 

Solid, hands-on, budget management skills, including budget preparation, analysis, decision-making and reporting.

Strong organizational abilities including planning, delegating, program development and task facilitation.

Experience in effectively developing and working with a non-profit Board of Directors.

Excellent oral and written communications skills.

Excellent skill with Microsoft Office Suite, Salesforce and QuickBooks.

Willingness and ability to work long hours often outside a normal Monday through Friday and 9 am to 5 pm schedule.

Comfortable in a multi-task environment with frequent interruptions and short deadlines.

Comfortable working in a small, open office space.

Have a valid driver’s license and be willing to drive to run errands and attend events as needed. 

A bachelor’s degree and/or equivalent experience. Master’s preferred.

Physical Demands

The responsibilities and tasks associated with this position will require that the Executive Director regularly remain in a sedentary position for at least 50% of the time. Executive Director must be able to move about inside the office to access file cabinets, office machinery, etc.  The ability to constantly use a computer and other office productivity machinery, such as a printer, copier, and calculator is necessary. Occasional lifting and/or moving of objects up to 20 pounds may be required. This position will require the ability to travel occasionally, both locally and long distances.  Reasonable accommodations will be considered to enable otherwise qualified individuals to perform these functions.

To apply please send resume, cover letter, a writing sample, and references to by September 30th, 2019.

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