José Mateo Ballet Theatre
Executive Artistic Director
José Mateo Ballet Theatre (JMBT) has forged a new model for a ballet organization through innovative programming, artistic excellence, an inclusive values-based approach, and extensive community outreach. Founded in 1986 by Cuban-born choreographer José Mateo as a professional company and an affiliate school, the organization has grown to be become the largest minority-led dance organization in New England. JMBT operates through three interconnected pillars: education, performance, and outreach.
Its founding mission that endures to the present is to:
- Produce new ballets of excellence that are stimulating and culturally relevant to diverse audiences;
- Create an innovative approach to ballet training that welcomes diversity and ensures unanimous participation and achievement by all students;
- Create sustainable, inclusive, and engaging outreach programs that make ballet accessible to participants of all racial, cultural, and economic backgrounds; and
- Reposition the role of dance in culture and expand its purpose in the education of youth and enrichment of communities locally and beyond.
Education: From its inception nearly 35 years ago, José Mateo Ballet Theatre School has boldly challenged a centuries-old tradition of exclusion and elitism to create a more inclusive, just, and humanistic approach to expert ballet training. Today, the school, with studios in Harvard Square and Dorchester, continues to strengthen its outstanding reputation. Distinguishing itself from other dance and ballet schools, it is highly regarded for its comprehensive curriculum, exceptional faculty, and welcoming, progressive, and diverse environment. The school serves children and adults from the beginner to the professional. The school features limited class sizes with customized, personal instruction and mentoring, a dedicated and experienced professional faculty, and an impressive record of training many students who go on to enter careers in the dance field.
Performance: For over 30 years through 2018, JMBT’s twenty-member company has been praised by local and national critics and was hailed by Boston Magazine as “2018 Best of Boston, Dance Troupe.” Although the JMBT performing company has not performed original works since 2018 due to the imminent retirement of Mr. Mateo, JMBT’s Board expects to work with its new Executive Artistic Director to reestablish the performing company. The company has presented its original repertory of new works at the Sanctuary Theatre in the Old Cambridge Baptist Church in Harvard Square, Cambridge. This intimate, cabaret-style venue offers a ballet experience with close-up views of the dancers and cocktails during the show. The company’s production of The Nutcracker is presented annually in two of Boston’s most popular theatres—The Cutler Majestic Theatre in the Theatre District and the historic Strand Theatre in Dorchester. Since 2019, JMBT has presented Dance Saturdays, showcasing local, culturally diverse dance groups along with music and visual arts for an immersive dance celebration.
Outreach: Dance for World Community (DWC) embodies JMBT’s commitment to making ballet an accessible art form. JMBT has made a commitment to have a meaningful presence in Boston’s inner city and has done that with the Dorchester school. The annual DWC Festival presents more than 60 dance programs and harnesses the power of dance to improve the social and environmental health of communities locally and beyond. DWC also provides a robust needs-based scholarship program for young ballet dancers and free performance tickets to disadvantaged children, seniors, and adults. JMBT believes in the values of equity and inclusion and creating an environment where students develop a sense of belonging, starting internally and expanding outward.
JMBT has a 16-member board of directors led by Chair Richard P. Shea. The staff includes six administrative and program staff members and more than 30 teaching artists and musicians. Pre-pandemic total revenues and expenses were approximately $2.4 million. For the fiscal year ending June 30, 2021, JMBT reported total revenue of $700,000, with $400,000 from contributions and grants and $300,000 from program services. As of June 30, 2021, net assets were $863,000. We anticipate closing FY22 with revenues of $1.8 million.
As New England’s largest city, Boston has long been the region’s economic and cultural hub, offering a variety of performing and visual arts organizations. With an estimated population of 667,000, Boston is one of the 25 largest cities in the country. Greater Boston is home to nearly 4.6 million residents. With strong professional sectors in education, technology, and healthcare, Greater Boston is youthful, culturally diverse, and socially active. Robust public and regional transportation systems support its draw as a preeminent international destination. More than 20 million visitors travel to Boston each year for national events such as the Boston Marathon, First Night/First Day, and Head of the Charles Regatta. Known for its historical roots and the American Revolution, Boston is a city that honors history.
The City of Cambridge is located across the Charles River from Boston and easily reachable by public transportation. Home to Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, one-fourth of the city’s residents are college students. Cambridge is known as a city of squares with historic neighborhoods such as Harvard Square, Kendall Square, Inman Square, and Porter Square. The Old Cambridge Baptist Church is a focal point in the Harvard Square Historic District, in the heart of Cambridge. Together, Boston and Cambridge boast leading educational and cultural institutions and offer a vibrant quality of life.
Sources: boston.gov; bostonusa.com; britannica.com
Reporting to and working closely with the board of directors, the Executive Artistic Director (EAD), supported by the Managing Director, will be responsible for the overall success of the organization including: the vibrancy and growth of its educational, performing, and outreach programs, as well as maintaining a sustainable business model. The EAD will champion the values-based approach to ballet education, performance, and community engagement that since JMBT’s inception, has distinguished the organization as a leading model for inclusion, diversity, and equity. This individual will be the organization’s primary relationship builder and a key spokesperson. The EAD will guide a strategic planning process to help shape the next stage of the organization as it shifts from being founder-led and looks to reestablish its performing company. The EAD will be an active community member networking across Greater Boston to build visibility and financial support for JMBT, working collaboratively with the board and staff members, other arts organizations, and community members to fulfill the organization’s mission. The EAD will supervise the Managing Director, Program Administrator, Studio Programs Manager, Production and Marketing Associate, and Administrator and Dorchester Studio Principal.
Roles and Responsibilities
Artistic Creativity and Curation
- Clearly guide and communicate JMBT’s artistic vision and work production, leading its education, performing, presenting, and outreach, and articulating that vision to partners, students, dancers, staff, faculty, board members, and funders.
- Promote an artistic environment centered on excellence, innovation, equity, diversity, and inclusion.
- Lead the hiring and support of a diverse faculty and performing company and ensure regular and transparent communication.
- Strengthen the performing and presenting arms of the organization by reestablishing the performing company, strengthening existing programs, and developing new programs that reposition the role of dance.
- Cultivate relationships with prominent and emerging choreographers, bringing their work to the performing company, and introducing and contextualizing it to the dancers and students of José Mateo Dance Theatre, while ensuring a high level of artistic excellence.
- Supervise and serve as a mentor to the program and artistic team in developing a diverse range of programming across both campuses.
- Embrace other artistic programming and curation activities, as required.
Strategic and Institutional Leadership
- Guide a collaborative process to develop the strategic framework for the organization that builds on the three pillars and guides short-term operational and long-term strategic planning.
- Serve as a key spokesperson to support JMBT’s image, clearly articulatingthe organization’s needs and long-termimpactswithin thecommunities it serves.
- Affirm JMBT’s role as avital and inclusive organization with multiple constituents and develop relationshipsthat support the organization’s strategic goals and priorities.
- Thoughtfully collaborate with the Managing Director on short- and long-term approaches to securing necessary resources to effectively develop and implement the artistic vision and goals of the company.
Fundraising, Governance, and Community Engagement
- Collaborate with the board to build an organization that leads in both the understanding and practical application of equity, diversity, inclusion, and anti-racism principles, including championing the engagement of culture- and identity-diverse choreographers, faculty, dancers, board members, and staff.
- Spearhead the formulation of fundraising strategies and implement them with support from the staff and board toincrease financial support through individual donors, grants, special events, and planned giving and fundraising activities.
- Partner with the board to ensure strong organizational governance, including the scheduling of board and committee meetings and the preparation and delivery of all relevant materials.
- Activate the board as ambassadors and provide support to best utilize the talents and resources of board members, stimulate board involvement, and recruit new members.
- Advise the board and its committees on matters within the EAD’s scope of responsibility to promote the efficient operation of JMBT.
- Initiate ongoing effective communication with the Board Chair, board of directors, staff, volunteers, and other stakeholders.
- Embrace other fundraising, governance, and community engagement activities as required.
- Model collaborative and inclusive communication that is people centered.
- Manage the development of sound financial management and administrative policies with the Managing Director.
- Oversee the supervision of administrative staff and volunteersto ensure students, families, and community members have a welcoming and inclusive experience.
- Supervise the hiring, training,mentoring,evaluation, and creation of accountability measures for staffand volunteerswhile actively addressing their concerns in creating a safe, collaborative, and productive work environment.
- Collaborate with the Managing Director to ensure that all activities adhere to contractual agreements, meet legal and ethical obligations, and are consistent with the organization’s mission and values.
- Embrace other operational excellence duties as required.
Traits and Characteristics
An authentic, engaging, and diplomatic leader, the EAD will make visible a vision and, in partnership with the board and supported by the Managing Director, set the tone for JMBT as a welcoming and inclusive organization that makes ballet accessible for everyone. They will develop and sustain relationships and will adapt to situations with ease. Receptive to new ideas and deeply committed to equity and inclusion, the successful candidate will have the ability to guide the artistic and strategic goals of the organization. Resourceful and versatile, the EAD will value partnerships, relationships, and self-expression.
Other key competencies include:
- Leadership and Influencing Others — The capacity to organize and motivate other people with a sense of purpose and direction and the commitment to personally affect others’ actions, decisions, and opinions.
- Innovation — The ability to create new approaches, designs, or systems and to challenge established theories and methods.
- Diplomacy — The capability to demonstrate sensitivity while effectively and tactfully handling difficult or sensitive issues.
- Resiliency and Personal Accountability — The adeptness to evaluate many aspects of a situation to create a positive outcome and quickly recover from adversity while being answerable for personal actions.
Qualified applicants must have a demonstrated commitment to the key pillars of the mission. A minimum of seven years of increasing responsibility in a management role with supervisory experience at a dance organization. Direct experience within a ballet teaching program and a record of prior ballet performance is essential. Candidates should possess a strong command of the business and financial side of a nonprofit organization, including donor and board cultivation, staff development, donor communications, and stakeholder relations. Candidates must know how to work effectively with board members, staff, volunteers, and community partners.
Compensation and Benefits
JMBT offers a competitive salary range of $110,000 to $130,000 and a comprehensive benefits package that includes medical, dental, and vision insurance; life and disability insurance; and generous paid time off and holidays.
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:
Wyona Lynch-McWhite, Senior Vice President
262 Newbury Street, Suite 315
Boston, MA 02115-2801
Tel (888) 234.4236 Ext. 225
JMBT is committed to equal opportunity and nondiscrimination in all programs, services, and employment and does not discriminate on the basis of race/ethnicity, economic background, cultural background, religion, sex, national origin, ancestry, age, sexual orientation, marital status, disability, criminal history, or veteran status.
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