The Arts Consulting Group seeks your interest or candidate recommendations to fill the Managing Director position at the Cornerstone Theater Company located in Los Angeles, California.
Cornerstone Theater Company was founded in 1986 by Alison Carey and Bill Rauch. It is a multi-ethnic, ensemble-based theater company that commissions and produces new plays of both original works and contemporary adaptations of classics, which combine the artistry of professionals and community collaborators. By making theater with and for people of many ages, cultures and levels of theatrical experience, Cornerstone builds bridges between and within diverse communities in its home city of Los Angeles and nationwide. It has achieved critical acclaim for both its inclusive approach to theater making and the quality of its artistic work, including numerous awards and recognition for its achievements. Many of the country’s most significant regional theaters have sought to partner with Cornerstone in the creation of commissioned collaborations.
The original Ensemble initially lived and worked in primarily rural communities, creating 12 epic musical productions in 10 states. The company helped define “community based theater” with innovative collaborations, producing work that engaged the collective talent of professionals and community artists. In 1991, the first Bridge Show brought together over 50 community-based artists who toured 10,000 miles to each other’s hometowns. In 1992, Cornerstone settled in Los Angeles. During its 20 plus years, the Ensemble has commissioned nearly 50 playwrights and produced over 60 new works of American adaptations of classics and original plays.
Cornerstone is both a theater ensemble and a bridge building community organizing force. Pursuing its indivisible goals of excellence and inclusion, Cornerstone accomplishes its mission through five primary programs:
Community Collaborations are at the core of its work as a theater company. During a several-month residency, professional artists work alongside community artists of all ages on a new play or adapted classic that celebrates the community, which is then performed in a community venue. Following a series of community collaborations, the company produces a culminating Bridge Show that offers the opportunity for diverse groups of past participants to come together and experience deeper, ongoing community engagement with Cornerstone and with each other.
Ensemble Productions, original productions created by the ensemble and guest artists that allow the company to exercise different creative muscles than those typically engaged during community collaborations. Ensemble productions usually run four to six weeks, are sometimes site-specific, often created to tour, always include one pay-what-you-can performance per week and typically become part of the company’s permanent repertory
Educational Programs bring the company’s community-based theater methodology to young audiences and early career theater artists. In Literature to Life™ Los Angeles, Cornerstone brings productions based on books from Los Angeles Unified School District’s core curriculum to students in grades 6-12. The program has reached over 42,000 students. The company also offers training through an annual Summer Internship and the Altvater Fellowship, which offers 10-week programs that allow interns and fellows to develop a deeper understanding of the role that the arts can play in a community.
The Cornerstone Institute, a four-week summer residency program that offers a unique, hands-on collaborative experience of creating theater and exploring strategies for community engagement while living with and within a small diverse rural community. In many ways, the Institute allows students to revisit the early roots of the Ensemble and be informed by the lessons learned from over twenty years of successful collaborations.
Throughout its history, Cornerstone has been carefully managed and has grown into a company with an operating budget of over $1.1 million, of which over 83% is derived from contributed income. The company is consistently supported by national funding sources that recognize its long history of innovation and national impact. Cornerstone also has a modest endowment and cash reserve, upon which it seeks to build.
The values of Cornerstone Theater include:
– Commitment to process, accompanied by a shared belief that we learn more by listening than talking, exemplified by the ensemble’s consensus decision making on all artistic hiring and major program and policy decisions;
– Commitment to diversity of all types as exemplified by the make-up of our board, staff and ensemble;
– Belief that society can flourish only when its members know and respect one another, exemplified by our mission of building bridges between and within diverse communities;
– Belief that everyone is an artist, as exemplified by the community collaborations which form our primary program.
Cornerstone Theatre Company has effectively transitioned from a founder led company to the next generation of leadership when it named Michael John Garcès as its Artistic Director in 2006. The Ensemble is fully prepared to support new leadership, and the organization is financially sound and its core programs continue to attract loyal audiences, community collaborators and financial support. The governance and management of Cornerstone Theater Company is based on a unique structure. There are three core components of the organization: Ensemble, Board and Staff. The Ensemble, comprised of 16 professional actors, writers, designers, technicians and administrators committed to Cornerstone and its mission, makes decisions by consensus, and as a collective, is a key informant to all artistic decisions made within the company. The Ensemble is led by the Artistic Director who, with the Managing Director, is one of two contracted employees responsible to the Board of Directors. In addition to the Artistic Director and Managing Director, two other representatives of the Ensemble currently serve, in addition to their artistic responsibilities, as Board members, the 19-member Board of Directors sets policy, advocates for the organization, supports the company’s fundraising efforts, exercises its fiduciary duty, makes decisions democratically and attempts to seriously consider the opinions, values and concerns of the Ensemble as it makes decisions that impact the organization. The Staff, comprised of 10 full-time members, is charged with major responsibilities that include maintaining an administrative and production infrastructure, managing all programs, including producing the company’s shows, raising funds, and managing all income, expenses and assets at the direction of the Board.
The Managing Director works closely with the Artistic Director, Ensemble, staff, and an engaged Board of Directors, all of whom live Cornerstone’s mission within a dynamic team. The Managing Director is responsible for the overall management and staff supervision of the non-artistic aspects of the company, including fundraising, budgeting, financial management, contract administration, strategic planning, community engagement, and Board relations. The Managing Director must assume a leadership role within the context of a consensus-run ensemble. The Managing Director functions at the nexus between several important organizational goals, including the responsibility to support its ongoing ensemble, the commitment to fiscal stability, and the ongoing development of its important relationships with communities.
Institutional Advancement and Community Relations
– Serves as a primary spokesperson to the community along with the Artistic Director in clearly articulating the mission and impact of Cornerstone.
- Oversees development activities including assisting identification and cultivation of potential funding sources with Director of Development and Board of Directors.
– Provides stewardship for fundraising activities from individual, foundation, corporation and government agency supporters and the new initiative for social entrepreneurship with the Director of Development and Development Committee of the Board.
– Uses educational outreach programs to increase awareness of the Company by corporations, granting sources, and the general public.
– Ensures that education program impacts are effectively communicated to stakeholders and that Cornerstone is best serving the community’s needs in this area.
– Serves as a primary contact with media, foundations, arts community leaders and other institutional stakeholders as needed.
– Guides the creation and timely release of all printed materials including company marketing publications, newsletters, and press releases that generate interest and community participation and support.
Strategic Planning and Governance
– Works with Artistic Director, Board of Directors, Ensemble, Staff and other stakeholders in the development and implementation of short-term operational and long-term strategic plans.
– Works with Artistic Director, Board of Directors, Staff and Ensemble to oversee the strategic planning, including program development, financial support, facility needs and organizational structure.
– Evaluates progress towards goals on a regular basis with the Board, Artistic Director, and senior staff.
– Strategizes the best use of Board resources with the Chairman in developing policy-driven and critical-action item agendas for Board meetings.
– Prepares written reports for presentation to various committees and the Board.
Finance and Administration
– Supervises the preparation and timely financial reporting and oversees the annual operating budgeting and works with the Finance Committee of the Board to track and project income and expenses.
– Collaborates with Artistic Director on artistic budget development for upcoming season and determining feasibility of financing new artistic initiatives.
– Monitors expenses to budget with all departments, coordinates proper expense allocations with Business Manager, and mentors staff on effective budget monitoring and reporting.
– Hires, trains, and supervises administrative staff, and oversees the effective use of financial and technological resources needed to achieve the organization’s goals and objectives.
– Monitors employee performance against objectives, while mentoring, guiding, and providing appropriate leadership.
– Creates human resources policies, practices, and procedures with appropriate Board input to ensure that they comply with state and federal employment laws and regulations.
– Establishes an administrative environment and decision-making process that promotes a positive working atmosphere and collegial staff relations.
TRAITS AND CHARACTERISTICS
Cornerstone Theater seeks an innovative, proactive, and creative thinker, able to help shape the company’s future while providing internal stability and quiet confidence. This individual will possess a passion for community service and for bringing people together across community lines. In addition to articulating and demonstrating a commitment to the mission, vision, and values of Cornerstone Theater, he/she will also demonstrate a commitment to and share in Cornerstone’s aesthetic, which is contemporary, innovative, community-specific and joyful. Finally, the ideal candidate for Cornerstone’s new Managing Director will believe in the power of theater to change people’s lives.
Additionally, the candidate should demonstrate the key components of the following competencies:
– Self Management — Independently initiates and pursues objectives in an organized and efficient manner, prioritizes activities, maintains level of activity without direct supervision and maximizes team interaction to complete high quality work on time.
– Goal Achievement & Decision Making — Establishes consensus-generated goals that are relevant, realistic and attainable. Identifies and implements required plans and milestones to achieve specific goals. Stays on target to complete goals and devises best practices and decision making processes to overcome obstacles.
– Results Orientation & Problem Solving — Identifies strategic initiatives and embraces a comprehensive organizational focus that most effectively mobilizes human, technical and financial resources to maximize results. Embraces key components of a problem to formulate suitable solutions.
– Interpersonal Skills — Initiates and develops relationships in positive ways. Successfully works with a wide range of people at varying levels both inside and outside the organization. Communicates with others in ways that are clear and considerate. Demonstrates ease in relating to a diverse range of people.
– Diplomacy and Tact — The ability to treat others fairly, regardless of personal biases or beliefs. Maintains positive relationships with others through respect, fair treatment, valuing differences, and respecting diversity.
EXPERIENCE AND QUALIFICATIONS:
At least 5-7 years senior management experience with increasing levels of general management responsibility. Passion for and demonstrable results in an arts, educational, or cultural impact organizations preferred. Excellent verbal and written communication skills with a participatory leadership style in working collaboratively with artistic personnel, staff and volunteers. Compensation is commensurate with experience.
COMPENSATION AND BENEFITS
Competitive based on experience, plus a comprehensive benefits plan including medical and dental insurance, 403(B) contribution plan, vacation, sick leave, personal and holidays.
APPLICATIONS & INQUIRIES
Bruce D. Thibodeau, President
Arts Consulting Group, Inc.
1601 Hi Point Street
Los Angeles, CA 90035-4503
Tel (323) 936.06236
Fax (323) 936.1196