Atlanta Ballet is one of the premier and oldest dance companies in America and the official state ballet of Georgia. Established in 1929 by dance visionary Dorothy Moses Alexander, Atlanta Ballet is currently led by Artistic Director Gennadi Nedvigin. A Bolshoi trained former principal dancer with San Francisco Ballet, Nedvigin was recruited to Atlanta Ballet in 2016 to elevate the artistic excellence and stature of the professional Company. Atlanta Ballet performs at the 2,750-seat Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre in Atlanta, accompanied by the Atlanta Ballet Orchestra.
Atlanta Ballet’s mission is to enrich its community by sharing the power and joy of dance at the highest caliber of excellence in its presentations, education initiatives, and community engagement activities. Atlanta Ballet’s five-year strategic plan prioritizes a balanced repertoire of both classical and contemporary ballet; a comprehensive commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion; and the centering of the patron experience in establishing effective and long-term financial sustainability. Atlanta Ballet’s vision is to be celebrated globally as one of the premier companies in the world of dance, recognized for its distinctive dancers, rich and diverse repertoire, respected stature in the Atlanta region, abiding commitment to diversity and inclusion at all levels of the organization, and notable impact on dance appreciation and education throughout the community.
During each performance season, Atlanta Ballet achieves a balanced repertoire through a mix of programming. In addition to world premieres that contribute to its distinctive, signature repertory, Atlanta Ballet presents contemporary works by today’s most sought after choreographers that are compatible with its aesthetic and artistic identity. The Company also performs iconic masterworks that are beloved parts of classic ballet repertory. In 2018, Atlanta Ballet premiered a new, groundbreaking Nutcracker choreographed by Yuri Possokhov. Debuting in Atlanta, the production was invited the following year to perform at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.
Atlanta Ballet is committed to promoting greater diversity, equity, and inclusion. The organization participated in The Equity Project, a three-year, national collaborative effort involving 21 major ballet companies committed to achieving diversity and inclusion in professional ballet. Atlanta Ballet also launched an internal assessment to further advance its goals for diversity and inclusion and established its Transformation Team, an internal committee made up of representatives from all sectors of the organization who plan and monitor diversity and inclusion initiatives. Atlanta Ballet's goal to collaborate with diverse artists and support both female choreographers and choreographers of color has been pursued in various ways. The organization has recently commissioned new work by Dwight Rhoden, Juliano Nunes, and Claudia Schreier, who is currently serving a three-year term as resident choreographer. Atlanta Ballet has also recently collaborated with the Spelman College Glee Club. Atlanta Ballet serves underrepresented communities in numerous ways, including providing community members with complimentary performance tickets and students with scholarships for dance education.
In 1996, Atlanta Ballet opened its school, the Atlanta Ballet Centre for Dance Education (CDE), which is dedicated to nurturing young dancers while providing an outlet for adults to express their creativity. Fully accredited by the National Association of Schools of Dance, the CDE is now the sixth largest dance education program in the country. In the current fiscal year, with registration diminished due to COVID-19, the CDE is serving nearly 800 young dancers in its enrollment division in three principal locations and more than 500 young dancers in its community engagement programs at numerous other educational and community venues. Of the nearly 800 students in the enrollment division, approximately 13 percent identify as Black, 11 percent as Asian, 6 percent as LatinX, 1 percent as Indigenous, and 4 percent as mixed race. Of the more than 500 students currently served in the community engagement programs, approximately 84 percent identify as Black and 12 percent as LatinX. Atlanta Ballet's roots remain firmly grounded in the Atlanta community and continue to play a vital role in the city's cultural growth. The CDE works to maintain an environment that fosters teamwork, promotes healthy life choices, and advances self-esteem. Its Academy track within the enrollment division is designed to prepare dancers for a professional career. Atlanta Ballet 2 (AB2) is a pre-professional ensemble that receives the highest level of training through the CDE and six of its members have risen to Company status for the 2020-2021 season. AB2 and Academy perform at various local venues during The Nutcracker and Family Ballet series and all CDE programs perform their annual Spring Concert at the Sandy Springs Performing Arts Center at City Springs.
Atlanta Ballet is governed by a 33-member board of trustees, led by Chair Nancy Field. President & CEO Arturo Jacobus, who is retiring at the end of his 12th season in July 2021, and Nedvigin oversee an administrative and artistic team of more than 140 people, including 38 seasonal dancers, 47 full- and part-time staff members, 19 full- and part-time faculty members, and a 53-member per-service orchestra. Atlanta Ballet has three collective bargaining agreements with the American Guild of Musical Artists for its dancers, American Federation of Musicians for its orchestra, and International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees for its stagehands.
For the fiscal year ending July 31, 2020, annual revenues were $13.3 million, with approximately $7 million from contributions and grants, $4 million from The Nutcracker and other ticket sales, $1.5 million from the CDE, and the remainder from investments and other revenues. For the fiscal year ending July 31, 2021, annual revenues are projected to decrease due to COVID-19 to approximately $8.8 million, with $6.9 million from contributions and grants, $1.6 million from the CDE, and the remainder from ticket sales, investments, and other revenues. Atlanta Ballet’s permanently restricted endowment stands at $1.5 million. Its long-term goal is to build the endowment to $12 million and shorter-term goals are to fund a Working Capital Reserve of $2 million and develop a Recovery Fund of $1 million.
Atlanta is the cultural and economic center of the Southeast region and home to more than six million residents. Known as a “city in a forest” due to its abundance of trees, Atlanta is popular among millennials for its diverse cultural and recreational offerings and affordable cost of living. It is the headquarters of 30 Fortune 500 Companies, including Delta Airlines and Coca-Cola, as well as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and CNN. A rapidly growing technology hub, Atlanta is recognized for its aerospace, transportation, media operations, medical, and information technology services.
Known as the cradle of the Civil Rights Movement, Atlanta has deep historical ties to modern civil rights activism. The city is home to the late Congressman John Lewis and the Ebenezer Baptist Church, which was led by the father of Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. Atlanta has also become a hub for the film industry, with television pilots, series, reality shows, and feature films currently in production. Popular television shows like The Walking Dead, Stranger Things, Ozark, The Resident, and MacGyver are currently filming in neighborhoods throughout metropolitan Atlanta. Film studios, stages, and production companies are also expanding the entertainment industry landscape in Atlanta, including Trilith Studios and Tyler Perry Studios, one of the largest production facilities in the country.
According to Americans for the Arts, the nonprofit arts and culture sector in metropolitan Atlanta is historically a $720 million industry—one that supports 23,514 full-time equivalent jobs and generates $64.5 million in local and state government revenue. Atlanta Ballet is part of a thriving performing arts and culture scene that includes the Tony award-winning Alliance Theatre, the Grammy award-winning Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, Alternate Roots, Atlanta Jewish Music Festival, High Museum of Art, National Black Arts Festival, Atlanta Shakespeare Company, Youth Ensemble of Atlanta, Woodruff Arts Center, The Atlanta Opera, and Atlanta Jazz Festival, among many others.
Downtown Atlanta hosts the business community, with hotels and destinations like Centennial Olympic Park, National Center for Civil and Human Rights, and Georgia Aquarium. Distinctive neighborhoods include Buckhead (a home to one of CDE’s studios), Druid Hills, Little Five Points, East Atlanta Village, and Edgewood Avenue. In a recent study, “2019 US Cities Scorecard for Millennials,” Atlanta ranked among the top five cities in 20 different categories, including second for best value, everyday expenses, and friendliest and third for restaurants. GayTravel.com recognized Atlanta as the winner of its city destination category as part of the 2020 Gay Travel Awards. The city is also a restaurant mecca and offers a wide range of sporting and outdoor activities.
Sources: InStyle, February 2021; census.gov; atlantaregional.org; 11alive.com; thelangstonco.com
The Executive Director will provide strategic leadership across the entire organization in partnership with the Artistic Director. Overseeing all business and managerial functions, the Executive Director will provide oversight in fundraising, marketing, finance, facilities, operations, and human resources, among other areas. Reporting directly to the board of trustees in a shared leadership model with the Artistic Director, the Executive Director will guide Atlanta Ballet into its next phase of financial and strategic growth by cultivating strong relationships with numerous stakeholders, including philanthropic supporters, business leaders, public officials, community and educational groups, and other cultural organizations. A confident and dynamic advocate and fundraiser, the Executive Director will elevate the visibility of Atlanta Ballet and effectively articulate the organization’s mission, vision, and values, inspire broader and deeper engagement by patrons and other stakeholders, and drive revenue through increased earned and contributed income.
Roles and Responsibilities
Strategic Leadership and Business Model Resiliency
- Build a deep partnership with the Artistic Director that supports artistic innovation, honors legacy, and celebrates diversity in delivering balanced programming, exceptional quality ballet productions, and exemplary educational programs.
- Actualize a comprehensive strategic plan that aligns with mission, vision, and values in synergy with the critical nature of equity, diversity, and inclusion.
- Develop strategic partnerships and alliances with other mission-compatible organizations that leverage future expansion of programs, diversity of audiences, and inclusivity of community.
- Initiate conversations about the future, including the ways in which ballet can bring socially, economically, and culturally diverse communities together.
- Investigate and envision the future of the region’s business climate, marketplace, and political landscape to map paths for future projects, programs, and resources for long-term sustainability.
- Demonstrate solid fiscal and business acumen, align resources, and ensure the highest levels of financial accountability.
Revenue Expansion and Community Engagement
- Evaluate and invigorate revenue streams where hybrid delivery of programs and educational activities will transform organizational business models and rapidly adapt to the future.
- Cultivate and maintain strong partnerships with the board, major donors, foundations, public agencies, and corporate funders in order to grow substantial contributed revenue opportunities.
- Form deep relationships with individual donors, steward strategic alliances, and engage publicly with an array of stakeholders.
- Increase diversity in audience, education, and community programs in size, scale, and number of patrons who actively interact in a meaningful way with Atlanta Ballet.
- Pursue patron loyalty programs where advocates, buyers, and tryers all support and become more deeply connected to Atlanta Ballet.
- Expand the endowment and increase working capital reserves as part of building long-term financial stability for the organization.
- Engage in all aspects of the organization, including educational programs, volunteer and development efforts, marketing activities, and social media campaigns.
Board Development and Governance
- Inspire effective working relationships with the board of trustees, collaborate in a rigorous board nominating process, engage with existing and prospective board members, and network with prospective board members locally and regionally.
- Encourage active board participation with an outward-facing approach to the community to cultivate diversity, deepen inclusion and belonging, and provide access throughout the organization.
- Expand and diversify the board so that membership is more representative of the city of Atlanta and its constituents and that new members have the unique skills, desire, and commitment to advance the organization’s mission.
- Deliver industry and nonprofit best practices information that enhances the board’s ability to perform its roles in policy making, fundraising, and community ambassadorship.
- Collaborate with board committees, support their operations, and align their goals with the overall organizational strategy.
Team and Organizational Effectiveness
- Foster an open and cohesive approach where dancers, faculty, board, volunteers, and staff are valued throughout the entire organization.
- Provide an inclusionary approach where voices are heard, creativity is celebrated, and innovation is respected.
- Empower and diversify the management team to better represent the community that Atlanta Ballet serves.
- Support team ingenuity with appropriate human resources, structures, systems, and technological platforms that are in alignment with current and future trends in the field.
- Facilitate professional development and maintain a culture where diversity and inclusion are celebrated in achieving common goals.
- Oversee management accountability and actively address questions and concerns that ensure a safe and healthy work environment.
Traits and Characteristics
A charismatic, creative, and community-oriented leader, the Executive Director will be committed to equity, diversity, inclusion, and access. This individual will be able to communicate effectively with people from all political, socioeconomic, and cultural backgrounds, internally and externally, and will have the ability to lead a diverse team of professionals. With an authentic, collaborative, and collegial working style, the Executive Director will demonstrate trust towards team members, providing guidance in an approachable and supportive manner yet unafraid to make difficult decisions.
Other key competencies include:
- Leadership and Diplomacy – The ability to inspire, build trust, and create a sense of purpose and direction while tactfully handling challenging and sensitive issues.
- Professional Accountability and Interpersonal Skills – The capacity to accept responsibility for actions and results, reevaluate, and develop long-term relationships with people across the organization and throughout the community.
- Flexibility and Teamwork – The dexterity to adapt quickly when dealing with unpredictable situations while cooperating and respecting team and community members in order to build consensus and forward momentum.
- Planning and Organizing – The acumen to use practical and efficient approaches in creating action plans that ensure work is effectively completed and desired outcomes are reached.
A bachelor’s degree or equivalent educational credential is required. A master’s degree in arts administration, nonprofit management, business, or a related field is preferred. A minimum of 10 years of senior leadership experience that includes developing new revenue sources, building and strengthening strategic partnerships, and demonstrating fiscal accountability is required. A track record of nonprofit fundraising success is ideal. Strong business experience, coupled with a deep interest and background in the performing arts, is welcomed. Exceptional writing abilities and verbal presentation skills are expected.
Compensation and Benefits
Atlanta Ballet provides a competitive and equitable compensation package with benefits that include paid vacation, sick leave, personal days, and holidays; health, long-term disability, and life insurances; and a voluntary 403(b) retirement plan.
Applications and Inquiries
To submit a cover letter and resume with a summary of demonstrable accomplishments (electronic submissions preferred), please click here or visit artsconsulting.com/employment. For questions or general inquiries about this job opportunity, including the anticipated salary range, please contact:
Dr. Bruce D. Thibodeau, President
292 Newbury Street, Suite 315
Boston, MA 02115-2801
Tel (888) 234.4236 Ext. 201
Atlanta Ballet's diversity, equity, and inclusion goals are to more fully reflect the diversity of its community; for performances to attract and resonate with Atlanta’s diverse communities; for everyone who works at Atlanta Ballet to feel valued for their contributions and competencies; and for everyone in the Atlanta Ballet community to have a sense of belonging, regardless of race, color, gender, age, ethnicity, socio-economic background, religion, or sexual orientation.
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