The Jazz Institute of Chicago is a non-profit organization, founded in 1969, to provide jazz education, develop and support local artists, cultivate audiences for jazz and contribute positively to a thriving, diversified jazz ecosystem. The Jazz Institute helps to enable the creation, presentation, preservation and documentation of locally and regionally based jazz, to expand on a historic legacy of cultural achievement in ways accessible to the general public, encouraging individuals to get involved.
The Executive Director serves as the Chief Executive Officer of the organization and is responsible for the effective leadership, management and operations of the Jazz Institute of Chicago to ensure the organization’s consistent achievement of its mission and financial objectives. Reporting to the Board of Directors, the Executive Director directly manages a Development and Membership Director, an Education Director, a Communications and Marketing Director, an Operations Manager, a Director of Artistic Collaborations, a Program and Event Support Manager and future staff positions.
Accordingly, the Executive Director has primary responsibility for the accomplishment of the Jazz Institute’s organizational and programmatic goals and objectives including Board governance and support; executive leadership and management; program development and management; financial management; human resource management; information management (including online platforms) and administrative operations; and marketing and external relations. The Executive Director is instrumental in working with the board to set a strategic direction meant to elevate the Jazz Institute’s profile at local, regional, national and international levels.
In addition, the Executive Director leads the Board and the institution in funds development, including both fostering relationships with current and potential donors and diversifying the Jazz Institute’s funding support and revenues. Specific responsibilities for this position include:
Leadership: Serve as a decisive, credible leader for the Jazz Institute of Chicago and oversee all programs, services and activities to ensure that program objectives are met. Maintain a working knowledge of significant developments and trends in the field. Provide leadership in developing programs, organizational and financial plans with the Board of Directors and staff, and execute plans and policies authorized by the board.
Community Relations: Establish sound working relationships and cooperative arrangements with community groups and organizations. Represent the program and point of view of the organization to agencies, organizations and the general public.
Strategic Visioning: Work with the Board to identify and develop broad strategic direction, long-term goals and annual objectives for the Jazz Institute and facilitate a regular strategic planning process. Assure that the organization has a long-range strategy to achieve its mission, towards which it makes consistent and timely progress.
Fiscal/Budget: Develop and maintain sound financial practices. Work with the staff, Executive Committee and the Board in preparing a budget and ensuring that the organization operates within budget guidelines. Ensure that adequate funds are available to permit the organization to carry out its work, collaborating with the Development and Membership Director to maintain and grow the contributor base, and with the board to meet its responsibility to raise funds to meet the approved budget. Jointly, with designated officers, execute legal documents.
Board Relations: Nurture, grow and develop the Board, promoting active and broad participation by volunteers in all areas of the organization’s work. Help board chairperson plan agendas and develop background materials for meetings of the board of directors.
Human Resources: Oversee the recruitment, employment and release of all personnel, both paid staff and volunteers. Ensure that job descriptions are developed, that regular performance evaluations are held and that sound human resource practices are in place. Ensure that an effective management team, with appropriate provision for succession, is in place. Encourage staff and volunteer development and education, and assist program staff in relating their specialized work to the total program of the organization. Maintain a climate that attracts, retains and motivates a diverse staff of top quality people.
Policies and Procedures: Maintain office policies and procedures and oversee staff to ensure compliance in the day-to-day operations of the Jazz Institute. Maintain official records and documents, and ensure compliance with federal, state and local regulations.
A passion for jazz and understanding of how it builds culture and community; knowledge of Chicago and the Jazz Institute’s history is preferred.
Proven track record of success in a leadership position overseeing operations of an organization or program with exposure to foundations, while maintaining solid relationships with staff, board, donors and community.
A minimum of three years of senior level nonprofit organization experience is preferred.
Proven track record of successful resource development, fundraising and philanthropy experience.
Extensive knowledge of ongoing strategic planning, budgeting and financial management.
Experience in accounting, branding, merchandising, marketing, public speaking/public relations.
A solid knowledge of online as well as traditional communications with members, general public and organization stakeholders.
An entrepreneurial spirit, preferably including experience developing and implementing public-private partnerships to achieve community-based goals.
Additional Salary Information: Salary and benefits commensurate with prevailing standards.
Founded in 1969, the Jazz Institute of Chicago promotes and nurtures jazz in Chicago. We do this by providing jazz education, developing and supporting musicians, building audiences and fostering a thriving jazz scene.