Artistic Director- Artists Repertory Theatre
Arts Consulting Group
Portland, OR 97209
Reporting to the Board as a co-leader with the Executive Director, the Artistic Director will provide an artistic vision and strategic direction that embraces ART’s long-standing commitment to new works and intimate, provocative community-engaged theater that ventures beyond the mainstream. This dynamic artist, who may be a stage director or active in their own artistic work in another aspect of production, will be dedicated to the concept of ensemble and embedding diversity, equity, inclusion, and access in all that they do. They will build upon ART’s legacy to conceptualize, develop, and deliver inventive and lively programming that provides an inclusive theater experience for a growing audience and demonstrates the commitment to nurturing the work of local artists and new playwrights.
The Artistic Director will enthusiastically represent the organization to multiple constituencies, including the cultivation and stewarding of donors, advancing partnerships, and deepening the engagement with communities across Portland. They will embrace an entrepreneurial spirit, encouraging creative risk-taking that fuels business model innovation as the field evolves, actively collaborating with the Executive Director to ensure the organization’s long-term sustainability. ART expects the Artistic Director to spend the majority of their time on artistic management, with a subset of time dedicated to providing infrastructure support to the organization, and a limited but active amount of time (roughly 10 percent) on their personal artistic practice within or without the organization. The Artistic Director will also embrace ART’s internal culture of accepting the whole person, with deep appreciation for work-life integration for staff and artists.
Roles and Responsibilities
Artistic Vision and Leadership
Collaborate with the resident artists, staff, board, and local, regional, national, and international artists to create a forward-thinking artistic vision that is inspired by and built on ART’s legacy of developing new work.
Directly create and indirectly manage the development and execution of inspiring and powerful works of theatre, including direct support of the artistic leadership team, including the Producing Director, Director of New Works, Artistic Directing Fellows, and teams by artistic project.
Champion the selection, development, and activation of the resident artists as a core priority, including innovations around how resident artists can add to the vibrancy and quality of artistic and organizational accomplishments throughout ART.
Hire and lead production teams, including directors, choreographers, designers, music directors, and other involved artists, working closely in partnership throughout artistic processes
Develop and cultivate creative and artistic relationships with local, national, and international playwrights, agents, managers, producing partners, and theater artists.
Invest in, evaluate, improve, and expand ART’s Education Programs.
Anchor the clarity and expression of ART’s brand identity, informing both artistic activity and marketing efforts in specific and identifiable ways.
In partnership with the board, Executive Director, and staff, foster ART’s equity, diversity, and inclusion initiatives in pursuit of the never-finished work required to create an anti-racist, anti-bias, anti-ableist, multi-cultural organization. Champion diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives and prioritize anti-racism, anti-oppression, anti-bias practices throughout every aspect of ART’s work.
Management and Administration
Maintain a transparent and productive working relationship with the Executive Director and the board of directors to pursue and amplify ART’s mission while establishing new models for sustainable operations.
Collaborate on the annual budgeting process with the goal of a creating a balanced and sustainable budget, while advancing the quality of artistic programs and maintaining ART’s standards for shared accountability and transparency.
Support the work of the marketing and audience development team to expand audiences and maximize ticket revenue, including actively providing content and context about artistic programs.
Engage in the organization’s revenue enhancement activities, cultivating and stewarding donors and actively taking part in development and fundraising activities.
Work closely with the board leadership to identify and cultivate new board members, maintain board member work plans, and providing artistic planning information in a timely fashion in advance of full board and committee meetings.
Maintain an active engagement in the conclusion of the multi-phase capital campaign and construction of 1515 SW Morrison Street: including supporting the Executive Director in the public-phase fundraising campaign for the sustainable and stable operation of the theatre and its programs in the new facility.
Community Engagement and Relationship Management
Embrace a role as a civic leader in Portland, invested in the theatre’s role in the ongoing quality of life of the region.
Value and prioritize engagement with ART’s Volunteer Guild to leverage community passions to benefit the theater and build its human capital and reputation.
Serve as spokesperson and ambassador for the artistic purpose and vision of the organization, participating in radio, television, online and in-person speaking engagements of all sizes and for all outlets.
Pro-actively pursue relationships as an engaged and available point of contact to local theatre artists and maintain a positive working relationship with Portland theatre and arts leaders.
Foster positive interactions with arts and cultural organizations at the local, regional, national, and international levels by participating in convenings, joint activities, and professional associations’ boards, committees, and panels.
Keep abreast of critical issues and conversations that impact the theatre community locally, nationally, and internationally, and manage the education and engagement of all members of the ART team around those conversations.
Traits and Characteristics
The Artistic Director will be an adaptable and creative leader, passionate about the theatre and personally engaged in advancing the values of equity and inclusion in evolving societal circumstances. They will be motivated by new ideas, methodologies, and approaches that expand the reach of theatrical activity. Using an inherently collaborative approach, the Artistic Director will be motivated by supporting the ART team and leveraging collective efforts. They will intuitively use past experiences and seek knowledge and input to achieve an artistic vision that is shared throughout the organization and its patrons. This individual will be comfortable interacting frequently with a variety of people, combining the ability to efficiently move projects and initiatives forward with an understanding of the impacts of decisions and decision-making processes on human beings inside and outside the organization.
Other key competencies of the role include:
Leadership and Diplomacy – The ability to collaborate to develop a consensus around an inspirational artistic vision, build trust that supports creative risks, and leverage networks and an understanding of different perspectives to advance the organization’s mission.
Teamwork and Employee Development – The capacity to invest in and empower team members to build shared growth and consensus decision making, while respecting and appreciating the contributions of all team members towards a shared purpose.
Self-Starting and Personal Accountability – The disposition and confidence to take initiative with assertiveness and persistence and the ability to self-evaluate and accept responsibility for actions and results.
Audience Focus – The acumen to invest in and understand the needs and journeys of both current patrons and those who have not yet become patrons of the theatre and relating those perspectives to artistic and managerial decision making within the organization.
The Artistic Director will have a history of significant artistic accomplishments as a theatre-maker, which could include as a director, producer, dramaturg, actor, playwright, or other artistic pursuit, and the proven ability to create complex and dynamic theatrical experiences in intimate spaces. Artistic leadership experience in a producing theatrical organization is strongly preferred. Knowledge and familiarity with Portland or a track record of entering and engaging authentically in new communities is highly valuable. A well-developed equity lens and a specific track record with engaging with anti-racist and anti-oppression strategies in practical and impactful ways is essential.
Compensation and Benefits
Artists Repertory Theatre offers a competitive salary commensurate with demonstrated experience. The starting salary is expected to be in the range of $125,000 to $140,000. The benefits package includes paid time off; medical and dental insurance; and a retirement program without company matching.