To apply, please send your cover letter and resume to jobs(at)storycatcherstheatre.org with the position title in the subject line.
About Storycatchers Theatre.
Storycatchers Theatre guides young people to transform their traumatic experiences into powerful musical theatre, developing the courage and vision to become leaders and mentors. By creating support for youth within the criminal justice system, Storycatchers prepares them to change their lives and emerge successfully from court involvement. We dedicate all our resources to meet the complex needs of adolescents and young adults who have become involved in the justice system. We have worked with young people in the Illinois juvenile justice system since 1990, developing and refining a nationally recognized, award-winning, trauma-informed creative youth development methodology. We conduct year-round residential programs in three separate juvenile justice facilities and offer a post-release performing arts jobs program, Changing Voices, to young people navigating reentry to Chicago.
We are a collaborative organization that believes in committing to each other as well as the youth we serve. We implement a uniquely effective arts education model that helps marginalized young people develop the capacity to envision and pursue meaningful futures. We believe in second chances.
Since 1984, Storycatchers Theatre has been empowering court-involved youth to craft and perform musical theatre from their own personal stories of growing up in Illinois’ underserved neighborhoods. Using an award-winning and transformational writing methodology, these youth develop the skills needed to successfully re-enter society and move beyond their histories to become peer mentors, civic influencers, and agents of change in our community.
Efforts include three residential programs inside juvenile justice facilities and “Changing Voices,” a temporary post-release employment program of 17–24-year-olds who write, rehearse, produce, and tour their original musicals to civic leaders, Illinois judges, at-risk youth, and other influential audiences to create space for crucial conversations.
Our Core Values.
- We commit to each other. We hold strong to our own integrity, beliefs, and actions. We care for each other, acknowledging our traumas and joys, challenges, and celebrations. We show up in the face of adversity; and with our shared trust, inspire others to realize the true measure of bravery in moving forward together.
- We commit to our community. We strive to create a place of safety and resource for young people. We do this by connecting with allies who share our values and understand what can be accomplished with a network of support. Through this collaborative vision, we provide young people with the stability that is necessary for meaningful growth.
- We respect that everyone has a unique story. We see each person’s story as a remarkable gift. We value the diversity of our staff and youth’s unique perspectives and their impact on our collaborative process. This allows us to expand boundaries and create innovative solutions to address challenges that often seem unconquerable.
- We believe that youth can be the authors of their own lives. By letting the youth voices guide our work, we develop a common language, build trust, and give them tools to unlock their potential. We affirm their lived experience and use the power of applause, positive reinforcement, and public acknowledgment to create a lasting sense of personal value for our entire Storycatchers community.
- We are innovative. We believe that paired together, creativity and purpose are the keys to tackling the complex challenges confronting youth. We explore and play, using our values to test boundaries and discover solutions that transcend traditional ideas and rules. We combine ingenuity and resources in extraordinary ways to develop art and the facility to make real change.
About the Changing Voices (CV) Program.
CV is a 30-hour per week, year-round supported employment program composed of system-impacted 17-24-year-olds. We define ‘system-impacted’ as anyone who has been recently released from arrest, detention, or incarceration; is on probation; or is enrolled in community-based alternatives to incarceration. The program, which has an eight-month enrollment period for groups of up to 21 youth at a time, uses story-writing, performances, civic engagement, job/life skills training, and case management support to empower youth to meet personal goals. Under the guidance of trained teaching artists, youth collaborate to create and perform original musical theatre inspired by their personal stories while also receiving comprehensive case management support.
The Program Manager is the administrative leader of Changing Voices, an innovative temporary employment and arts-development program, and is responsible for ensuring that all organizational and program goals are met. The position has the fiduciary responsibility to keep the program running within budget and collaborates with key staff to create a safe, nurturing, and structured environment that allows for optimal participant development during their stay at Storycatchers.
This position requires a decisive leader who thrives in a dynamic, unpredictable environment and sincerely believes that regardless of background or personal history, we should never give up on people.
A successful Program Manager will have a performance background with proven leadership, project management, and prior experience managing a team. Additionally, the Program Manager needs to demonstrate collaborative skills and be able to be a role model for others, especially in stressful situations.
This individual must work successfully with all persons in the organization without regard to ethnicity, religion, age, national origin, physical challenge, sexual orientation, or gender.
Job Duties and Expectations.
- Create, manage, and enforce adherence to daily and weekly program calendars.
- Coordinate with Outreach and Communications Manager to ensure that an optimal audience experience is being provided for all touring productions and events.
- With the Artistic Manager, collaborate with the artistic team to ensure that all teaching artists are teaching to the Storycatchers methodology.
- Work with the Artistic Manager and Lead Teaching Artist to track and record progress on artistic key metrics and other participant goals.
- Create a safe environment for youth to share and tell personal stories; manage behavior and interpersonal interactions during program sessions.
- Create and maintain a safe and nurturing environment for all program staff and participants by collaborating with key staff members to create effective policies and decisively and fairly enforcing those policies.
- Execute the program within the budget provided by the Director of Operations and/or the Executive Director by closely managing staff hours and other program expenses.
- Increase the efficiency of the program by proactively recommending and/or implementing strategic initiatives that show tangible results – whether in improved program effectiveness or reductions in expenses.
- Keep all relevant company and program staff updated with important information by managing all program communication.
- Ensure that the program has the resources needed to succeed by managing supplies for program sessions, performances, and special events, including printouts, writing utensils, snacks, equipment, and reception supplies.
- Provide the leadership team quarterly reviews of each reporting staff member as instructed by the Director of Operations or your supervisor.
- Schedule and lead weekly program meetings; manage program calendar; collect and compile information from artistic staff for use in Daily Activity Report.
- Ensure that all program and participant data is tracked, entered, and compiled as needed in a timely fashion. Be proactive in analyzing data to determine participants’ needs for meeting program readiness goals in a timely fashion.
- Ensure that all participant timesheets are accurate and submitted on time.
Essential Skills and Qualifications.
- Bachelor’s degree
- Project management experience.
- Past experience managing teams.
- Valid driver’s license.
- Experience managing theatrical productions or events.
- Extensive experience working with youth who have a history of trauma.
- Self-starter and team player with a positive mindset toward immediate responsibilities. and urgent tasks; ability to balance short-term and long-term responsibilities.
- Proficiency in Microsoft Office.
- Familiarity with the criminal justice system a plus.
- Have persistence with a positive attitude.
- Be willing to respectfully accept and apply feedback.
- Be innovative and forward-thinking about how to move the mission forward.
- Able to accommodate a flexible, changing schedule.
- Be level-headed and able to process challenges and/or volatile situations effectively.
- Be patient, yet decisive.
- Have a “thick skin” and the ability to see the best in people at all times.
- Full time position – 9am-5pm, Monday through Friday