Executive Director- Miami City Ballet
Arts Consulting Group
Miami, FL 33139
Founded in 1985 by Miami philanthropist Toby Lerner Ansin and ballet legend Edward Villella, Miami City Ballet (MCB) is one of the world’s leading ballet companies and universally admired among the preeminent interpreters of George Balanchine’s choreography. MCB serves and promotes South Florida’s highly diverse population, where the arts communicate across barriers of language, class, and culture. Three pillars propel the organizational mission as a leader in ballet: The Company, The School, and Community Engagement.
MCB’s Artistic Director, Lourdes Lopez is a former New York City Ballet principal dancer who worked directly with George Balanchine and Jerome Robbins. Now in her 11th year, she has helped MCB become a leader in opening new avenues of inclusivity within classical ballet. The company has a repertory of over 100 ballets, including world premieres and new choreography by contemporary artists. The company of more than 50 dancers performs annual seasons in Miami-Dade, Palm Beach, Broward, and Collier Counties, serving more than 120,000 people, and has toured extensively throughout the United States, Canada, and Europe. During the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, MCB produced ballet and virtually choreographed work for the digital space. Additionally, MCB programmed an outdoor performance of The Nutcracker in a hybrid digital format and created a digital streaming series of past performances from MCB’s archives.
Miami City Ballet School (MCB School) was founded in 1993 and is one of the largest and most prestigious ballet training academies in the nation. Comprised of three progressive levels for students ages 3 through 18, MCB School offers top-level training and $650,000 in scholarships annually to talented, dedicated students from the United States and abroad, regardless of their financial means. MCB School has trained more than 1,500 students for careers with MCB and other professional companies throughout the world. Students are offered unique performance opportunities alongside MCB dancers. There are also various levels of adult classes available in the Adult Open Division.
Rooted in its belief that dance can transcend boundaries, change lives, and transform entire communities, MCB’s Community Engagement programs promote access for all people, including communities that are systemically disenfranchised. Its Community Engagement programs serve more than 20,000 people annually through training, performance participation, and workshops. Community Engagement programs include Ballet Bus, Explore Dance, Behind the Ballet, Open Barre, Touch Tours, STEAM+, and the Palm Beach Summer Dance Camp, a free, three-week dance intensive program for students from Title I schools. Community partners include The Bass, His House Children’s Home, Lotus House, Nicklaus Children’s Hospital, Miami Lighthouse for the Blind, and neighborhood organizations from Little Havana, Little Haiti, Allapattah, and Belle Glade. Community performances are hosted by cultural presenters such as the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, Miami-Dade County Auditorium, Colony Theatre, Kravis Center for the Performing Arts, The Society for the Four Arts, and the A.W. Dreyfoos School of the Arts where the Palm Beach Summer Dance Camp is held.
To support its brand promise of leaving the ordinary behind, MCB raised more than $60 million as part of a comprehensive $55 million Transforming Lives Campaign which was completed in April 2022. The funds were used to implement MCB’s strategy for the 2018-2022 seasons and provided seed funding to develop and implement the 2023-2027 seasons.
MCB is committed to the following series of institutional values to transform its brand and lead the organization into a bold new era of continued excellence:
- Pursuit of Excellence: Relentless dedication to getting better every day, onstage and off. We care deeply about the caliber of our work, and we won’t settle for less.
- Elevation: We create work that stretches perspectives and raises spirits.
- Accountability: We trust every person to pursue our common mission with integrity, inclusivity, empathy, and diligence.
- Collaboration: We are part of the communities we serve. We value each person’s contribution and collectively solve problems because our greatest achievements come when we band together.
- Authentically Miami: We are energetic, diverse, dynamic, and welcoming.
- Joyful Generosity: When we share our work, we share our hearts. The care we take to engage our audiences demonstrates our love and appreciation for them.
MCB seeks to develop and nurture its diversity and is committed to maintaining an inclusive community that recognizes and values the inherent worth and dignity of every person, while fostering tolerance, sensitivity, understanding, and mutual respect.
MCB is governed by a 45-member board of directors and trustees led by Board Chair Jeff Davis who currently serves as the Interim Executive Director. MCB’s annual overall operating budget is $24.5 million for the fiscal year ending in April 2023, approximately one-third of which is earned through ticket sales, touring fees, and school tuition, and the remaining two-thirds from contributed revenue from local and national foundations, corporations, and the philanthropic community of South Florida.
Miami is a cosmopolitan city that combines urban amenities with outstanding beaches, a subtropical climate, and breathtaking natural beauty. Miami is the hub of the fast-growing Miami-Dade County. With a population of more than 2.7 million countywide residents and more than 454,000 citywide residents. An estimated 69 percent of the city’s population identify as Hispanic, 55 percent is foreign-born, and more than 76 percent of residents speak a language other than English at home.
Miami has a rich history as a trendsetting arts center. Its entertainment, production, and arts communities are stronger than ever, making the city a major international cultural destination. A recent economic impact study of the nonprofit arts and culture industry conducted by Americans for the Arts placed Miami-Dade County in the top ranks for arts-vibrant communities, along with Los Angeles, Chicago, and Philadelphia. The county’s arts and cultural sector annually generates an impressive $1.4 billion in local economic activity.
Set in the heart of downtown Miami and designed by world-renowned architect César Pelli, the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts is one of the world’s leading performing arts venues. Home to MCB, the Arsht Center presents approximately 300 performances annually, ranging from Broadway theater to classical masterworks. The visual arts play a stellar role in Miami and are represented by the world-class Pérez Art Museum Miami, Institute of Contemporary Art, The Bass, Vizcaya Museum & Gardens, numerous galleries, and Art Basel, the international exposition in Miami Beach. The Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science is also a major attraction, as well as the New World Symphony, which is based on Miami Beach within the Frank Gehry-designed New World Center. Neighboring Palm Beach and Broward Counties also offer distinctive and diverse communities for dance and are home of the Kravis Center for the Performing Arts and the Broward Center for the Performing Arts where MCB performs a full season each year. Additionally, Artis-Naples in Collier County presents the company several times per season.
With year-round sunny skies, outdoor activities abound in and near Miami. The beautiful Biscayne Bay, Bayfront Park, Coral Gables, Everglades, and Florida Keys offer numerous recreational activities all within easy reach. Miami’s nightlife is unsurpassed, with countless clubs, bars, and restaurants. Several major professional sports teams are also represented in Miami including the NBA Miami Heat, NFL Miami Dolphins, MLB Miami Marlins, and NHL Florida Panthers.
Edited Sources: census.gov; miamidadearts.org; arshtcenter.org; miamiandbeaches.com
Reporting to the board of directors in a shared leadership model alongside the Artistic Director, the Executive Director will manage all business aspects of the Company, School, and the Community Engagement programs in support of the Artistic Director’s vision, ensuring that the management infrastructure serves all three areas. They will provide overall strategic leadership and guide MCB and MCB School into its next phase of growth through the designing and controlling of a sustainable financial model to continually improve the bottom line through increased contributed and earned revenue and careful expense control. A dynamic and charismatic advocate and fundraiser, the Executive Director will be a spokesperson alongside the Artistic Director for MCB to donors, audiences, and the media, and will interact directly with agents, venues, other arts organizations, and government officials. The Executive Director will possess strong team building skills and create a cohesive work environment for all staff. With a deep commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion, the Executive Director will articulate the organization’s mission, vision, and values to all stakeholders, ensuring that MCB is accessible to people from all backgrounds.
Role and Responsibilities
Strategic Leadership and Financial Oversight
- Build a deep, effective, and positive working partnership with the Artistic Director, supporting their artistic vision in honoring MCB’s legacy while delivering exciting and diverse programming alongside exemplary educational and Community Engagement programs.
- Collaborate with the Artistic Director to form MCB’s artistic and management goals, building consensus with the board and staff to realize those goals in alignment with the organization’s mission, vision, and values.
- Spearhead conversations and lead measurable action plans with the senior leadership team to develop an organization-wide strategic vision and create a sustainable financial model, building a culture at MCB that supports growth and retains key talent.
- Envision the future of South Florida’s business and political landscape to map paths for future projects, programs, and resources for long-term sustainability.
- Demonstrate solid fiscal and business acumen, by developing multi-year financial goals, annual budgets, and cash-flow projections, ensuring the highest levels of financial compliance and accountability.
- In partnership with the Artistic Director and senior team, increase the revenue from performances, touring opportunities, school operations, and Community Engagement programs, while ensuring that the Artistic Director’s vision is maintained and supported.
Community Engagement and Revenue Enhancement
- In partnership with the Artistic Director, act as a visible and inspiring spokesperson and advocate for the organization, enthusiastically communicating the unique contributions made by MCB and the MCB School to the dance world with the community including donors, audience members, civic leaders, community partners, and leaders in South Florida and nationally.
- Collaborate with the development department to create and pursue fundraising goals including major gift solicitations, fundraising events, grants, and other development efforts that grow substantial contributed revenue opportunities and increase financial sustainability.
- In partnership with the marketing department, develop communication strategies for MCB and the MCB School, guiding the internal and external messaging to expand participation across audience, education, and Community Engagement programs, while demonstrating an understanding of new media, digital, and print branding.
- Increase diversity in audience, education, and community programs engaging individuals who actively interact in a meaningful way with the organization.
- Develop relationships with leaders of venues and broaden MCB’s national and international profile by securing performance venues and festivals for presentations.
Organizational Effectiveness and Board Governance
- Build and motivate a highly functional professional management team to execute MCB’s strategy with common objectives across the organization.
- Foster a positive and open culture of inclusivity and diversity that welcomes all voices, and where dancers, board, and staff are valued throughout the entire organization, and which supports the artistic vision of the company in service to audiences, students, and MCB’s communities.
- Maintain performance appraisal and staff management processes to ensure employee accountability, professional growth, and effective succession planning.
- Collaborate with the board in providing support to facilitate MCB’s policies, while building and expanding board membership and participation levels alongside the Chair of the Board.
- Create an actionable and measurable plan to advance MCB’s technology initiatives across the organization, that are in alignment with current and future trends in the field.
- Develop and implement a measurable plan to advance the strategic goals of the MCB School.
- Oversee the maintenance and upgrades of the company’s real estate assets.
Traits and Characteristics
The Executive Director will be a visionary leader and powerful communicator who will demonstrate the capability to join the ranks of leaders in the arts management field in South Florida and throughout the country. They will share the Artistic Director’s vision for the company and help position it as one of the great ballet companies in the US and globally. Ambition, excellent business skills and entrepreneurial drive, combined with a deep respect for the artistic process, are essential characteristics of the successful Executive Director. They will demonstrate a sense of urgency coupled with a calm demeanor and show comfort and ease working in diverse communities. With a positive outlook and sense of humor, the Executive Director will be a person of unquestioned integrity who engenders trust and confidence, and who leads with a keen sense of self-awareness and empathy.
Other key competencies include:
- Planning, Organizing, and Time and Priority Management – The capacity to establish courses of action to ensure that work is completed effectively, while prioritizing and completing tasks to deliver desired outcomes within allotted time frames.
- Personal Accountability – The acumen to be answerable for personal actions.
- Diplomacy and Teamwork – The ability to handle difficult or sensitive issues effectively and tactfully and cooperate with others to meet objectives.
- Resiliency and Flexibility – The dexterity to quickly recover from adversity while modifying, responding, and adapting to change with minimal resistance.
Qualified applicants will have a minimum of ten years of increasing responsibility in a senior leadership position within a complex for-profit or nonprofit organization. The ideal candidate should demonstrate a track record of leading growth initiatives with experience in upgrading systems, processes, and organization structures. They should have proven success collaborating with a Board of Directors and an Artistic Director, as well as a commitment to fundraising in developing contributed income, including individual, institutional, corporate, individual, and major gift solicitation. The ideal candidate will have an analytical approach to business development, with the ability to gather and synthesize data and to make calculated business investment decisions. They will be conversant in the classical arts and applicants who have demonstrated a personal interest in ballet as a donor or board member for a similar organization will be considered. Proficiency in Spanish is an advantage but not required. Occasional travel, as well as evening and weekend work, will be required. Applications will be accepted until the position is filled.
Compensation and Benefits
MCB provides a competitive and equitable compensation package, with an annual salary range between $300,000 and $350,000. Benefits include 100 percent employer paid medical, dental, and life insurances; 15 days paid vacation, six personal days, and 30 sick days per calendar year; and automatic participation in a 401(k)-retirement plan.