Dayton Contemporary Dance Company
Dayton, OH 45402
Rooted in the African-American experience, the Dayton Contemporary Dance Company (DCDC) is a culturally diverse contemporary dance company committed to reaching the broadest audience through exceptional performance and arts-integrated education. Fifty-five years after its founding, the 10th largest modern contemporary dance company in the nation remains rooted in the African-American experience and committed to the development of diverse movement artists on the global stage.
DCDC founder Jeraldyne Blunden began her training with Josephine and Hermene Schwarz, founders of the Dayton Ballet. Through her training she met famed teachers Martha Graham, José Limón, George Balanchine, and James Truitte and performed with Dayton Ballet, Antioch Summer Theatre, and the Connecticut College Dance Theatre Workshop. At age 19, Blunden led the dance school at Linden Center, founded by the Schwarz sisters, before establishing DCDC in 1968. Blunden won numerous awards throughout her career, including the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation “Genius” Fellowship Award in 1994, the Dance/USA 2000 Honors Award (posthumously), the Katherine Dunham Achievement Award (1998), the Dance Magazine Award (1998), the National Black Festival’s Lifetime Achievement Award (1998), Dance Women Living Legend Honors (1997), and the Regional Dance America Northeast Award (1991).
Under Blunden’s leadership, DCDC gained national and international recognition. Today, DCDC is known as one of the United States’ finest contemporary dance companies. DCDC has appeared at American Dance Festival, Paul Taylor American Modern Dance, and Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, and toured in Bermuda, Canada, Chile, China, France, Germany, Kazakhstan, Poland, Russia, South Korea, and across the United States. The training program DCDC2 was created in 1973 to provide high-level training for emerging artists.
DCDC has historically reached nearly 30,000 K-12 students annually through its educational and outreach programming. DCDC offers a wide variety of grade-appropriate performances and experiential learning opportunities for young people, including performances and workshops that highlight issues of identity and social justice, culture, and self-expression. Classes in modern dance, jazz dance, and ballet are taught through a partnership with Jeraldyne’s School of Dance.
The 2022-2023 season featured/features: Dancing in the Streets (August 2022); Musicology (October 2022); Founder’s Day (December 2022); The Black Tour (February 2023); Memoirs (March 2023); and Crossroads (May 2023).
DCDC is governed by a 25-member board of directors, led by Chair Jacqueline Gamblin. Debbie Blunden-Diggs serves as Chief Artistic and Producing Director. For the fiscal year ending June 30, 2022, DCDC reported a total revenue of $1.7 million with $1.5 million from contributions and grants, $237,907 from program service revenue, $2,161 from investment income, and $19,969 from other revenue. Total expenses were $1.7 million. DCDC has received an unqualified (clean) audit for the past five years.
Known as the Gem City and the birthplace of aviation, Dayton is an urban city with a dense suburban feel. Located in Montgomery County which has a population of 782,200, it is rich in history and innovation as the sixth largest city in Ohio with a population of 126,000. Dayton has been voted the 67th best city to live in the US and the 4th most livable city in Ohio. Conveniently located 72 miles from Columbus and 50 miles north of Cincinnati, it is serviced by Dayton International Airport. For those who love road trips, Chicago is just five hours away, and Detroit is a three-hour jaunt up I-75. Acclaimed for inventions, academics, and flight, it ranks among the top 20 metropolitan areas for recent college graduates and number one for quality of life among the 100 largest cities according to Wallethub.
Located in proximity to Wright-Patterson Air Force Base and the National Museum of the US Air Force, Dayton is an aerospace innovation hub with a prominent technology and aviation industry.
The community boasts a diverse and inclusive arts and culture scene. The Victoria Theatre and the Schuster Performing Arts Center are cornerstones of downtown Dayton’s renaissance and revitalization. The Schuster Center is also home to the Dayton Performing Arts Alliance, which includes Dayton Opera, Dayton Philharmonic, and Dayton Ballet. Additionally, the Carillon Historical Park with its 65 acres and museum, the Dayton Art Institute, the Boonshoft Museum of Discovery, and the Paul Lawrence Dunbar House are essential viewing cultural attractions in the city. The four seasons of Dayton offer residents and visitors the opportunity to enjoy the 14,000 acres of Five Rivers Metro Parks year-round through educational programming and more than 350 miles of connecting trails, as well as kayaking and canoeing on Dayton’s rivers. Sports enthusiasts can enjoy baseball with the Dayton Dragons, Gem City Roller Derby, and seven golf courses.
Dayton sits near 19 institutions of higher education. More notably, Wright State University and its Raiders basketball team and the University of Dayton and its Dayton Flyers basketball team; Sinclair College; Antioch College; and two HBCUs; Central State University, a public institution; and Wilberforce University, the first private, African-American college in the United States. Ranking 19th for access to healthcare, Dayton is also home to Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine. Montgomery County encompasses 16 public school districts with 56 private schools and 22 public charter schools in Dayton and 27 public schools in the city serving more than 29,000 students.
The Executive Director (ED) will serve as a dynamic and visionary leader for Dayton Contemporary Dance Company. Reporting to the Board of Directors, the ED will serve as the public face of the organization and promote the advancement of the institution, ensuring the achievement of the organization’s philosophy, mission, core values, and strategic plan. The four main initiatives of the strategic plan are 1) maintain excellence in programs and productions, 2) diversify revenue streams, 3) amplify and market the work of DCDC locally, regionally, and internationally, and 4) engage inventive technology and digitization to further the mission and vision. The ED will leverage organizational resources to sustain and expand partnerships and grow the vitality of DCDC. They will provide the strategic and inspirational vision to strengthen the resiliency and sustainability of DCDC and its capacity to serve diverse communities and embrace the principles of equity, inclusion, and access.
The ED will collaborate with the Board of Directors, advisory groups, corporate partners, and civic partners in the active pursuit of financial resources to support the strategic plan. They will facilitate relationships with cultural partners, institutional funders, and individual donors, keenly aware of their motivations and interests for funding the arts. Leading a staff of about 15, with an additional 8-10 contractors, the ED’s direct reports include the Chief Artistic and Producing Director, Business Office Manager, Director of Development, Director of Strategic Initiatives, and an Executive Administrator. The ED will be responsible for overseeing the organization’s financial, operations, fundraising and development, human resources, and programmatic strategies, while contributing to and supervising a close-knit team of talented artistic professionals dedicated to DCDC who are led by the Chief Artistic and Producing Director.
Roles and Responsibilities
Serve as the primary fundraiser, principal spokesperson, and chief storyteller for the organization, identifying and stewarding philanthropic relationships.
Engineer strategies in fundraising, resource development, marketing, and communications to significantly enhance revenues and create a wider base of support.
Identify and cultivate potential individual donors, including major gifts, foundations, corporate partnerships, and sponsorships, as well as collaborative partnerships with state agencies, municipal governments, local and national funders, and regional and national organizations.
Strengthen DCDC’s reputation through effective community relations activities, making presentations in public forums and convenings in the business, philanthropic, and civic sectors to promote the organization’s work and enhance the entire cultural sector.
Embrace other community engagement duties as necessary.
Recruit, hire, mentor, and retain a diverse and qualified staff, supporting a culture of transparency and belonging, while fostering an environment of learning, empowerment, and discovery that supports professional growth.
Optimize and implement equitable operational policies, processes, and procedures that increase efficiency, establish quality customer service to grant recipients and artists, promote integrity, strengthen internal controls, and ensure a healthy workplace for staff.
Manage financial resources with integrity and transparency, establish and monitor financial controls, and oversee audit standards and money management policies.
Oversee the organization’s financial health to establish short- and long-range financial goals, develop and monitor the annual budget, and ensure adherence to strong financial controls.
Board Engagement and Strategic Direction
Engage board members and leverage their networks to secure resources that will advance the organization’s mission, while establishing strong reciprocal communication channels with the board, inclusive of triumphs and challenges in operations, finance, and programmatic initiatives.
Partner with the Board of Directors to implement the strategic plan, aligning goals with the organization’s core mission and allocating financial and human resources to achieve the goals.
Develop and guide a vision and strategy to accomplish the mission for an innovative, forward-thinking organization that inspires and engages a diverse set of partners.
Work collaboratively with the Chief Artistic and Producing Director and team to plan and fund seasons and series two- to three-years in advance, including an extensive annual tour, a regular series for the Dayton community, as well as robust educational and dancer residency programs.
Demonstrate a commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, and access throughout the organization, with policies and practices that foster transformative change.
Traits and Characteristics
The Executive Director will be an authentic, passionate, and diplomatic communicator with the ability to interact and guide diverse groups towards a common goal. The ED will be a skilled promoter with the ability to share DCDC’s mission and vision, be able to motivate and guide a team, and be able to communicate internal, innovative ideas to the Board of Directors and external partners and funders. They will be accountable for results and meeting fundraising, financial, operations, and system objectives, valuing efficiency and weighing the return on investment of time, energy, and resources. They will adapt to changing circumstances with ease, using their collaborative style and deep awareness of issues and trends impacting the arts to reach difficult decisions for the benefit of the organization’s mission.
Other key competencies include:
Personal Accountability and Decision Making – The capacity to be responsible for personal actions, while analyzing all aspects of a situation to make consistently sound and timely decisions.
Time and Priority Management and Flexibility – The facility to prioritize and complete tasks in order to deliver desired outcomes within allotted time frames, while being able to modify, respond, and adapt to change with minimal resistance.
Leadership – The capability to organize and influence people to believe in a vision, while creating a sense of purpose and direction.
Customer Focus and Interpersonal Skills – The ability to anticipate, meet, and/or exceed customer needs, wants and expectations, while effectively communicating, building rapport, and relating well to all people.
The ideal candidate will have seven to ten years of progressive leadership experience in public or nonprofit administration and management. Demonstrated effectiveness and leadership experience in fundraising, administration, and finance are required. A bachelor’s degree is required, and a master’s degree is preferred, in arts, business, public administration, or other related field. A demonstrated leadership capacity and experience with advanced communication strategies, including social media, is necessary. A background in coalescing diverse interests and managing complex collaborative partnerships will be advantageous. The ideal candidate will be a strategic thinker with the ability to represent and promote DCDC in a public setting, with cultural partners, and at conferences and workshops. Qualified applicants will have a history of personal involvement in and appreciation for the cultural sector and be committed to embracing and advancing the principles of equity, diversity, inclusion, and access.
Compensation and Benefits
Dayton Contemporary Dance Company provides a competitive and equitable compensation package with a salary in the range of $110,000 to $135,000, contingent on experience. Benefits after the first 90 days include 15 days of paid time off; 10 holidays; health, dental, life and disability insurance (70% paid by DCDC); and a 401(k) option. DCDC will also consider a relocation stipend.