Executive Director

Job Type

Full Time


Details: Competitive salary



Start Date


Application Deadline



800 Lake Washington Blvd.
United States


Experienced Managing Director Opening

Spectrum Dance Theater

+ Company + School + Outreach

Seattle, WA

Experienced Managing Director Opening

Spectrum Dance Theater seeks candidates for the position of Managing Director who:

  • is aligned with our social equity mission and vision;
  • has 3 or more years demonstrated success in a similar leadership role for in the arts in a major metropolitan area;
  • has managed annual budgets in the range of $1.5M - $5M related to both school tuition and art performances / productions;
  • is currently active in regional or national dialogue to elevate the role of performing in communities;
  • has a demonstrated background in making arts accessible for all; and
  • has delivered performing arts programs that address significant community challenges;

We seek candidates who have the expertise necessary to deliver global caliber, challenging and dynamic contemporary dance/theater and education to audiences, artists and students at the local, national and international level. We seek candidates that embody our mantra, “Dance for All.” (below).


Dance For All

“Dance for All” addresses diverse people and underserved communities. By way of example, Spectrum’s premier contemporary dance company is comprised of professional dancers of varying backgrounds and body types. Company performances invite audiences to participate in meaningful dialogue about dance as both an art form and as a social/civic instrument by calling forth strong emotions, deep feelings and thoughtful responses related to current or persistent social challenges.

In The School of Spectrum Dance Theater, “Dance for All” is reflected in accessible and high caliber curriculum. Any person who has a desire to dance is invited to dance at The School of Spectrum Dance Theater regardless of their body type, age, ability, challenges, personal identity and cultural background. “Dance for All” is not carefree undisciplined recreational classes. Spectrum offers a structured curriculum that is expertly led and challenges each student to deliver his or her best.  A successful student at The School of Spectrum Dance Theater learns with rigor and/or has desire, drive, ambition and discipline married to talent.

“[Donald Byrd] is really asking the questions, ‘What is dance?’, ‘What is a dancer?’, ‘Can we expand our idea of what is dancing and who dancers are?’”  

- Alice Kaderlan, Dance Writer, The Seattle Times

Race & Social Justice commitment

Spectrum Dance Theater’s commitment to racial and social justice is demonstrated through its dance/theater productions and education.  Fundamentally, Dance for All reflects our mission to eliminate barriers to participation in dance, whether in Company performances, School curriculum, or Community programs.   Spectrum mission is tightly aligned with the current national and citywide dialogue about race, equity, and inclusion.

Artistic Director Donald Byrd’s work is that of the “citizen artist”. Donald is at home creating cool, abstract pure dance works, yet his work is more often a voice for the issues that challenge the well being of our society. Performance frequently address issues that affect underserved and underrepresented communities, and in particular those that affect persons of color, which make up more than a third of Seattle’s population.  Racial disparities are seen in every major indicator of well-being and are apparent in the professional dance world in terms of number of professional dancers and choreographers of color. Spectrum combats this disparity by dismantling barriers to dance, and presenting work that not only addresses issues of social justice in content, but offers the perspective of an acclaimed Black American artist.

Organizational Structure

Spectrum is comprised of three organizational components: the professional Company, the School (including a pre-professional Academy), and Community programs. Spectrum is headquartered in a 10,000 sq. ft. dance facility in the City of Seattle, on the shore of Lake Washington, housing two studios for the Company and the School, as well as administrative offices for staff.  

Spectrum Dance Theater (Spectrum) was founded in 1982 to bring dance to diverse audiences from different social, cultural, ethnic and economic backgrounds.  Then the company was jazz dance oriented and classes were more recreational. In 2002, Spectrum began its transformation to a global caliber institution, beginning with the hiring of critically acclaimed choreographer Donald Byrd as Artistic Director, as well as highly skilled teachers and dancers.

Now, Spectrum’s professional contemporary company, 10 dancers under 30 week contracts, performs nationally, internationally and 4-5 productions in City of Seattle annually. Spectrum’s School serves 600 students a year in curriculum based dance education, including a pre-professional Academy. Spectrum’s Outreach provides K-12 school residencies and programs that include separate partnerships with the City of Seattle Office of Arts & Culture and Pacific Northwest Ballet.  Additionally, Spectrum provides extension programs for professional dancers, extension for adults, hosts guest choreographers, jointly presents / teaches with peer organizations, and is a partner in Dance for Parkinson’s.

We encourage applicants to research the works and press of Artistic Director Donald Byrd as well as the background of our School faculty and leadership. Spectrum is a leading arts organization for dance artists and arts workers.  We are seeking a Managing Director that has direct experience to compliment the quality of our current leaders.


Plan & Deliver

  • Takeover and lead the board’s ongoing capacity increase of Spectrum to add $1M+ to its annual operational budget within the next 12-24 months, inclusive of a soon to be announced major two year capacity grant though a leading U.S. foundation.  
  • Plan for the future by positioning the organization for a capital campaign that will follow success of the capacity plan,
  • Establish the brand Spectrum Dance Theater to be sustainable in the long run, in order to attract future leaders, talent, staff and donors to Spectrum’s mission and unique role amongst its peer organizations in contemporary dance,
  • Define short term achievable goals for staff, Board and the larger organization designed to deliver quarterly results that are aligned with long term strategic goals,
  • Collaborate with the Board, Artistic Director to prioritize the components of key strategic initiatives and agree to annual plans / budgets to achieve desired outcomes;

Financial Management

  • Develop and manage annual budget ranging from $1.5M
  • Grow annual budgets over a 3 year period to $2M+
  • Manage daily, weekly and monthly cash flow related to both school tuition and operating expense
  • Manage financial operations related to employees, independent contractors, vendors and partners
  • Manage executive level bank relationships, line of credits, accountants, tax compliance, insurance brokers and insurance policies
  • Develop insights, KPIs rand executive summaries related to monthly, quarterly, annual financial to be presented to board, major donors, foundations, or partners.

Grow Staff, Program Participants and Audiences

  • Lead and reorganize current under-capacity staff to deliver results that will allow for the transformation and hiring of roles required to sustain a quality work environment
  • Engage individuals and organizations that are complementary and productive advocates of Spectrum’s position as a national caliber institution and unique role in social justice;
  • Collaborate with the organization leaders and staff to develop marketing plans that increase performance audiences, student retention, outreach participation and acclaim,

Generate Revenue and Reserves

  • Lead the organization in national and local fund development aligned with the strategic plan to increase contributed income from Major Donors, including private foundations;
  • Maximize the School and Company resources to increase earned income from tuition, tickets and fees for services;
  • Manage the financial and operational model of the organization to deliver high caliber programs in a manner that effectively manages cash flow, delivers surplus / reserves

Other description

  • Manage the business aspects of the organization,
  • Effectively delegate budget, administration, tasks and deliverables to increase staff productivity, encourage accountability, support flexible work hours and simplify the way we work,
  • Foster transparent communication and emphasize collaboration
  • Represent the organization externally;
  • Oversee HR and professional development;

Generate Art and Impact the Community

  • Encourage and find the means to support works of art and arts education generated by the Artistic Director, dance artists, and faculty that are aligned with Spectrum’s mission to the community locally and abroad, through any financially and operationally responsible means;
  • Measure and market the social / community impact of Spectrum’s programs through easily understood, communicable and engaging metrics that demonstrate Spectrum’s local and national leadership in our mission;
  • Collaborate with the Artistic Director, Head of School, staff, partners and the community to ensure that all programs are visibly accessible to underserved or underrepresented communities;


Minimum Requirements

  • Minimum 3-5 years experience in similar comparable size, performing arts / complex organization as an Executive Director, Managing Director, Development Director, senior leader.  Other extensive backgrounds will be considered where broad community / executive leadership, revenue development or other experience strongly correlates with the job description and requirements;
  • Strong financial management skills with annual budgets in excess $1.5M required;
  • References from board, internal peer and external peers, both artistic and non-artistic required;
  • Understanding of the workings of a performing arts organization, of a school, 
and of building/facility ownership;


  • Experience preferred in collaborating with performance art workers, artistic visionaries and passionate advocates around challenging social and cultural issues, including race and inequality; ability to embrace passionate vision and strong opinions, while motivating people to listen and consider new perspectives are essential skills for this role,
  • A belief in the mission of Spectrum Dance Theater and a recognition of its importance in the field of dance and as part of the City of Seattle’s cultural landscape;
  • Further leadership ability and behaviors demonstrated by a sense of self awareness, empathy, the ability to analyze complex management situations, and the ability to lead, influence and to reach consensus on a range of topics among multiple constituents;
  • Cultural sensitivity, both organizationally and towards the community;
  • Proven success collaborating with a Board of Directors and an Artistic Director, 
or the equivalent.
  • Experience in developing contributed revenue streams, including individual, 
institutional, corporate and public donors and major gift cultivation.
  • Ability to recognize and support artistic excellence while maintaining a financially 
sustainable business model.
  • An understanding of the contemporary marketplace, including new media and technology.
  • A person of unquestioned integrity who engenders trust and confidence.
  • A calm demeanor and sense of humor.

SALARY:  Competitive salary for qualified candidates, with healthcare, benefits and bonus plan.   Spectrum Dance Theater is committed to fair and equitable compensation for arts workers.

START DATE: Position currently open.  National search targeting a start date no later than August / September 2018.

Qualified candidates are invited to send a letter of interest, resume with references, and salary requirements in a single attachment to andrew@spectrumdance.org.

No telephone inquiries, please.

Spectrum Dance Theater is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer.

About us: www.spectrumdance.org


qualified candidates, with healthcare, benefits and bonus plan. 

Professional Level


Minimum Education Required

Master's degree

How To Apply


Qualified candidates are invited to send a letter of interest, resume with references, and salary requirements in a single attachment to andrew@spectrumdance.org.