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Charlotte Ballet

 

 

Charlotte Ballet

Artistic Director

Organization

Established in 1970, Charlotte Ballet’s vision is to be the leading dance company in the Southeast region. Charlotte Ballet is renowned for its athletic dancers and versatile programming that ranges from full-length classical ballets to cutting-edge contemporary dance. The company presents five to six performance series in Charlotte from October through June and tours across the Southeast region and nationally. In recent years, Charlotte Ballet was invited to perform at the American Dance Festival, Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, and The Joyce Theater.

Whether performing locally or on tour, Charlotte Ballet’s progressive repertoire has provided a platform for emerging choreographers. The development of new and master works attracts both national and international choreographers to its audiences. In addition to master works by George Balanchine, William Forsythe, Jiří Kylián, and Ohad Naharin, Charlotte Ballet has presented North American premieres and new commissions by contemporary choreographers Bryan Arias, Rena Butler, Peter Chu, Javier de Frutos, Sasha Janes, Alonzo King, Stephanie Martinez, Helen Pickett, Dwight Rhoden, Christian Spuck, Medhi Walerski, and Robyn Mineko Williams. Previous Artistic Directors Robert Lindgren, Salvatore Aiello, Jean-Pierre Bonnefoux, and Hope Muir (now Artistic Director with National Ballet of Canada) have established a legacy of storybook ballets combined with contemporary dance.

Charlotte Ballet has received recognition for excellence in its diverse education, community engagement, and dance training programs. Founded in 1993, Charlotte Ballet Academy (the Academy) is the oldest ballet school in North Carolina to be affiliated with a nationally renowned professional ballet company. It attracts approximately 700 to 1,000 students annually from around the country and world. The Academy offers programs for students of different ages and abilities, providing instruction to those seeking a professional dance career, as well as those who simply want to experience the joy and benefits of dance training. The Pre-Professional Program is the most advanced division for students. Open to dancers ages 15 to 21 by audition only, this year-round program offers intensive study across a range of techniques. Patricia McBride, who was honored at the 37th Annual Kennedy Center Honors in 2014, serves as Master Teacher for the Pre-Professional Program. There are currently five dancers in the first or second company who trained as pre-professionals. Supporting and expanding this internal progression requires an Artistic Director’s active engagement and guidance. Financial aid and merit-based scholarships are awarded each year to select students. Academy alumni have gone on to join Charlotte Ballet and other professional ballet companies across the country and internationally.

Charlotte Ballet’s robust educational work has also gained wide admiration. Its educational programming serves thousands of students annually, providing curriculum-based arts education for schools across North Carolina. Dancers from Charlotte Ballet’s second company, Charlotte Ballet II, serve as primary ambassadors in the execution of educational programming. These dancers travel to schools for lecture demonstrations and community activities in auditoriums, gymnasiums, and other public venues, performing new works and excerpts from the main company’s repertoire. In addition, Charlotte Ballet offers a range of school residencies where professional dancers and teaching artists spend time with students, introducing them to the world of ballet through stories, creative movement, and music.

Charlotte Ballet is committed to making dance accessible to all through innovative programs, dynamic performances, and collaborative partnerships. Reach is Charlotte Ballet’s nationally recognized and award-winning community dance scholarship program for students ages 7 through 13. It offers children in diverse neighborhoods who demonstrate a natural talent for dance access 29 weeks of high-quality dance training free of charge— developing self-esteem, discipline, a strong work ethic, and an appreciation for the arts. Reach students perform in mid-year and year-end showcases for their peers and families in community partnerships and alongside Charlotte Ballet dancers in The Nutcracker.

Charlotte Ballet’s Center for Dance, a 37,000-square-foot facility, houses the company’s administrative and rehearsal spaces, as well as the Academy. The Center has six dance studios as well as an intimate 200-seat black box theater performance venue. There are current intentions to expand the facility, increasing the number of rehearsal studios and administrative and production offices. After having its previous season cut short due to the global pandemic, Charlotte Ballet will shortly be commencing its 50th anniversary celebration, honoring the company’s past while looking forward towards the next decade. The company performs in Uptown Charlotte at either the 1,100-seat Knight Theater or the 1,900-seat Belk Theater, where the company performs The Nutcracker annually alongside the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra.

With 45 percent of its professional dancers being people of color, Charlotte Ballet is dedicated to creating initiatives that welcome diverse audiences and participants to its performances, the Academy, and community engagement programs. Charlotte Ballet is an Equal Opportunity Employer and, as such, recognizes its collective responsibility to embrace and promote diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) throughout all aspects and levels of the organization, including artistic programming, talent recruiting and retention, training, workplace culture, and community engagement.

Charlotte Ballet is governed by a 38-member Board of Trustees, led by Claire Rauscher. Doug Singleton joined the company in 1996 as Director of Operations and became Executive Director in 2005. There are typically 20 first company dancers who are guaranteed 36 weeks of work and eight second company dancers who are guaranteed 30 weeks of work. Charlotte Ballet has a current total staff of 97 employees and its fiscal 2022 operating budget is $7 million.

Community

Affectionately known as “The Queen City” in honor of Queen Charlotte, wife of King George III, Charlotte is the most populous city in North Carolina and the 17th largest in the United States. One of the fastest growing cities in the nation, about 100 people move to the city every day and Charlotte Airport is the seventh busiest in the country. There is a plethora of residential and commercial development across a wide range of Charlotte, including a broad South End development just south of Uptown and a Camp North End development underway. With a creative and vibrant energy driving culture and events throughout the year, the city has 199 neighborhoods that create a buzzing metropolis with a wide range of shops, restaurants, and nightlife. Charlotte has also been dubbed “Tree City” for 33 consecutive years by the National Arbor Day Foundation for its beautiful natural landscape.

According to the 2019 United States Census, Charlotte’s diverse and vibrant population is 49 percent Caucasian, 35 percent African American, and 14 percent Latinx. University of North Carolina at Charlotte is the city’s largest university with Davidson College and Queens University of Charlotte providing more boutique learning environments. The city is in proximity to other prominent institutions of higher learning, including Appalachian State University, Clemson University, Duke University, University of South Carolina, and Wake Forest University. The city’s public school system is the second largest in the state and the 17th largest in the country with nearly every middle and high school employing a Dance Educator to service the state’s dance curriculum.

Charlotte is the second-largest banking center in the United States after New York City and has nine Fortune 500 and 17 Fortune 1000 companies headquartered in its metropolitan area. It is home to a wide range of businesses and major financial institutions, including Bank of America, Truist, and the East Coast operations of Wells Fargo. With highly recognized healthcare systems, Charlotte will soon boast its first four-year medical school, the Wake Forest School of Medicine.

A haven for artistic expression, the city is home to many museums, parks, state-of-the-art performing arts centers, and renowned performing arts organizations, including McColl Center for Art + Innovation, Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture, Mint Museum, Bechtler Museum of Modern Art, Charlotte Symphony Orchestra, and Opera Carolina. Charlotte also presents many annual festivals, including Charlotte SHOUT!, the celebration of art, music, food, and ideas. Foundation For The Carolinas recently led a campaign to raise $18 million from the private sector to create the Infusion Fund, supporting Charlotte’s cultural community, ultimately raising $23 million from generous donors. The City of Charlotte will match the original $18 million fundraising goal for a total of $41 million over three years.

The sub-tropical weather of Charlotte offers a bounty of local foods through all seasons, with local farmers markets, wine trails, breweries, food halls, and James Beard-nominated restaurants. Charlotte is home to the NFL Carolina Panthers and the NBA Charlotte Hornets. A new major league soccer team, the Charlotte Football Club, is expected to begin play in 2022.

Sources: charlottenc.gov; census.gov; charlotteiscreative.com; charlottesgotalot.com

Position Summary

The Artistic Director will provide inspirational leadership and set the organization’s artistic vision with a focus on collaboration and community engagement. Though the curation of programming for all of Charlotte Ballet, they will highlight the work of a broad range of ballet and contemporary choreographers to provide performances that are exciting, varied, and cutting-edge. Reporting to the Board of Trustees in a co-equal position with the Executive Director, the Artistic Director will serve as a public face and spokesperson for Charlotte Ballet. This individual will cultivate and deepen relationships by engaging with students, audiences, funders, and community partners, activating the organization’s growth and reputation locally, nationally, and internationally. The Artistic Director will collaborate regularly and transparently with all parts of the organization, including staff, faculty, teaching artists, and Academy students. The Artistic Director will ensure that all artistic decisions are made with a commitment to equity, diversity, inclusion, and access.

Roles and Responsibilities

Artistic Creativity and Programming

  • Conceive, plan, and develop Charlotte Ballet’s artistic vision, clearly and passionately articulating that vision to dancers, staff, board, funders, and audiences.
  • Curate a robust and dynamic mix of programming on a 36-month rolling cycle that includes works from the classical ballet canon alongside modern and contemporary dance works, generating enthusiasm and appreciation from dancers and audiences.
  • Diversify the range of choreographers whose work is set on the dancers, including more works by women, artists of color, and emerging talent.
  • Embrace creative risk-taking in order to challenge dancers and audiences and grow the company’s reputation for high-quality, artistic innovation.
  • Conduct auditions and dancer evaluations with an equitable and accessible approach, ensuring that dancers of all backgrounds and ethnicities have the same opportunities to join and succeed at Charlotte Ballet.
  • Mentor and nurture dancers, advocating for their best interests while respecting their individuality and unique talents and directing, teaching, and supervising classes and rehearsals.
  • Supervise and evaluate other artistic personnel, including the Rehearsal Director and the Artistic Director of Charlotte Ballet II, creating clear lines of communication and ensuring feedback is provided in a timely fashion.
  • Embrace other artistic creativity and programming activities, as required.

Community Engagement and External Relations

  • Collaborate with other local arts organizations, including the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra and local museums, developing new and innovative strategic partnerships.
  • Cultivate and maintain strong and meaningful collaborations outside of the Charlotte region, building awareness of the organization and strengthening its brand and reputation.
  • Serve as a prominent public spokesperson for the organization with the Executive Director, attending cultural events throughout the community and engaging with audiences, donors, and other stakeholders, including those from the BIPOC community, at performances or other events.
  • Maintain authentic relationships with individual donors, corporate sponsors, and other funders in collaboration with Development Department and attend fundraising events that support increased contributed revenue.
  • Actively participate in media interviews with the press on artistic matters pertaining to Charlotte Ballet to build visibility for the organization.
  • Elevate the personas of the Charlotte Ballet company dancers within the local community through social media promotion and other mediums.
  • Embrace other community engagement and external relation activities, as required.

Organizational Leadership and Collaboration

  • Partner with the Executive Director in developing and executing the strategic planning process alongside the Board of Trustees, unifying the artistic mission with organizational priorities, including a commitment to equity, diversity, inclusion, and access.
  • Develop a 36-month artistic planning budget in partnership with the Executive Director and Director of Artistic Operations, ensuring that artistic and programming decisions are made within clear financial parameters.
  • Support the marketing team by providing artistic input for marketing materials and collaborating on images and photographs so that Charlotte Ballet’s brand is clearly presented to supporters.
  • Mobilize Charlotte Ballet II in performances alongside the main company, valuing and respecting its contribution and talents.
  • Build strong relationships between the Academy, Charlotte Ballet, and Charlotte Ballet II by providing pre-professionals with performance opportunities, providing master classes, offering guidance to Academy leadership team on what skills are required to join the two companies, and being an approachable and visible presence for students and parents.
  • Contribute towards education and community engagement initiatives by developing new programs, delivering classroom presentations, and attending school performances.
  • Embrace other organizational leadership and collaboration activities, as required.

Traits and Characteristics

The Artistic Director will be an inspiring and charismatic leader who will serve as the face and spokesperson of the organization. A creative, passionate, and collaborative visionary, this individual will be dedicated to the dancers’ well-being and artistry while staying engaged with all parts of the organization, including the dancers, staff, and board members. The Artistic Director will be an influential person at the forefront advancing the values of equity, diversity, inclusion, and accessibility in all artistic decisions.

Other key competencies of this role include:

  • Leadership and Diplomacy – The capacity to facilitate cooperation between groups or individuals, tactfully handle difficult or sensitive issues, treat all parties fairly regardless of personal biases or beliefs, and build positive and productive relationships through addressing organizational challenges.
  • Personal Accountability – The credibility to meet the highest ethical standards in daily activity and in establishing relevant, realistic, and attainable artistic and financial goals to build trust in an atmosphere of transparency and honesty.
  • Planning and Organizing – The dexterity to prioritize and complete tasks within allotted time frames while establishing courses of action to ensure that work is completed effectively.
  • Teamwork and Resiliency – The ability to cooperate and collaborate with others to meet objectives while quickly adapting to unexpected circumstances.

Qualifications

Charlotte Ballet does not require any specific education credentials or a set number of years of experience. Qualified candidates should demonstrate skills in artistic leadership, relationship building, and community engagement. The successful candidate may or may not be an active choreographer but should possess a deep understanding of ballet and contemporary dance as well as broad connections within the dance field nationally and internationally. Deep knowledge of current trends within the dance sector is expected. Candidates should have experience working with a touring dance company and an ability to inspire dancers to perform at their highest level. Strong public speaking skills and a commitment to dance education are expected.

Compensation and Benefits

Charlotte Ballet provides a competitive and equitable compensation package with a salary in the range of $175,000 and $200,000. Benefits include 20 days annual paid vacation, five days annual paid sick leave, and 11 annual paid holidays; medical insurance with employer contribution; dental, vision, and life insurance; flexible dependent care plans; short-term and long-term disability, and a voluntary 403(b) retirement plan with employer match.

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, please contact:

Geoff Chang,
Vice President

1040 First Avenue, Suite 352
New York, NY 10022-2991
Tel       (888) 234.4236 Ext. 218
Email    CharlotteBallet@ArtsConsulting.com

Charlotte Ballet is an Equal Opportunity Employer and, as such, it recognizes its responsibility to embrace and promote diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) throughout all aspects and levels of the organization, including artistic programming, talent recruiting and retention, training, workplace culture, and community engagement.

Click here for the downloadable PDF.

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