Job: Executive Director

“For me, this “Yard” would be a playground without walls. A place to explore, experiment, and construct. A place of possibility, joy, love, anger, frustration; a space in which to come together and to be alone.” 

 – Patricia Nanon, The Yard Founder

Founded in 1973 by the late choreographer/philanthropist Patricia N. Nanon, The Yard is singular in its legacy, mission and island community commitment.  Ms. Nanon’s vision of providing creative “new work” residencies and public performance opportunities for choreographers and dance companies—carried forward and amplified since 2011 under the leadership of David R. White, Alison Manning and Jesse Keller Jason—has had a lasting impact on the national dance field.

The institution achieves its mission through an integrated ensemble of extended national and international artist research residencies, public presentations, local education programs and year round community building activities.  The Yard’s main YARD ARTS season runs late May through mid-September. The new WINTER YARD series now populates the period November to May. And MAKING IT, our intergenerational applied movement and dance-making initiative, is now active year-round in virtually all Island schools, as well as at the YMCA, Island libraries, the Farm Institute, the island’s senior and assisted living centers and of course at The Yard with KidsDODance.

The Yard’s mission supports diverse, contemporary dance-makers and related artists in their creative processes through paid, creative residency, public performance, long-term education and artist-driven civic engagement. We serve all ages and cultural populations on Martha’s Vineyard, and work collaboratively with artists, producers and other cultural organizers within regional, national and international contexts. The Yard’s vision of its future is as an artist-driven, publicly-shared experience of dance and related arts that enriches the community and individual lives on stage and off.

The Yard is located on Martha’s Vineyard, while the position location is flexible there is a preference for the Executive Director to be Boston-based, and will need to travel to Martha’s Vineyard as needed, as well as reside there during the summer months (housing stipend provided). 

The Yard seeks a strategic and energetic leader to chart the course for the organization’s next chapter. The Executive Director will collaborate with an engaged Board of Directors to build on the organization’s success, identify new opportunities for increased revenue and advance a vision of increased impact. The ideal candidate will be a proven and respected leader with demonstrated expertise in fundraising, operations, long-range strategic planning, goal-setting and execution. They will also work closely with the Artistic Director, Executive Producer of The Yard in achieving the vision, programming goals and activities core to its mission.

Reporting directly to the Board of Trustees, the Executive Director will ensure The Yard is fiscally, operationally and administratively sound. They will be accountable for achieving fundraising and financial goals that are well conceived, attainable and balanced. The Executive Director will build relationships with key constituents to ensure successful mission delivery. As a dynamic leader and external presence and spokesperson, the individual will expand funding from individual donors, foundations and corporations and develop diverse sources of revenue.

A charismatic, strategic thinker with a focus on revenue generation and impact, the ideal candidate will bring a vision for the future of the organization and demonstrated experience leading teams of mission-driven and creative professionals to successful outcomes. Inspired by a genuine passion for the performing arts, they will work proactively to raise financial support and engage with a wide range of partners and stakeholders to grow the organization in the future.

The ideal candidate will have the following professional and personal skills, competencies and characteristics:
-Proven leadership, managerial, problem-solving and planning capability with a not-for-profit organization
-A record of success in having managed a complex organization with significant operations and programs serving constituents and community
-Strong financial management and budgeting skills including the ability to establish revenue and expense budgets
-Demonstrated experience delivering sound strategic and operational oversight and maintain responsibility for contributions, income and assets
-The ability to work at a strategic level and interact professionally with a dedicated board and staff who have diverse professional skills and perspectives
-A record of inspiring exceptional commitment from staff by building a consensus environment marked by collegiality and the development and retention of a talented, effective and diverse staff
-The skill to drive the successful execution of the strategic plan, setting clear milestones and performance expectations while making adjustments in response to internal and external changes
-An ability to take the lead in developing strategies to grow and leverage financial resources meeting the need to achieve fundraising and earned income objectives. Ideally the candidate will have successfully completed a capital campaign.
-Be an effective spokesperson and advocate who clearly articulates the mission, goals and programmatic objectives in a way the community and donors understand, relate and respond to
-A fair and thoughtful approach to management, well versed in human resource best practices with a commitment to diversity and inclusion
-A willingness to work in partnership with the Artistic Director to achieve the long term goals of The Yard
-Successful track record in team leadership and inspiring a mission-driven team to achieve results with a collegial and team-building approach
-Demonstrated leadership, coaching and relationship, management experience
-Demonstrated track record in developing, cultivating, and maintaining effective partnerships and relationships
-Strong ability to maintain tact and confidentiality at all times along with impeccable integrity
-Excellent coalition-building and consensus-building skills
-A high level of intellectual curiosity and desire to explore new ideas
-Strong interpersonal, presentation and communication skills with the ability to represent The Yard in a professional, engaging and dynamic manner
-Remains even tempered with the ability to adjust to changing circumstances
-Brings a sense of humor and personal warmth

Salary is competitive and commensurate with experience.

Alicia Salerno of Koya Leadership Partners has been exclusively retained for this search. To express your interest in this role, please submit your cover letter and resume materials here. All inquiries and discussions will be considered strictly confidential.

The Yard welcomes a diverse pool of candidates in this search.