Circus Smirkus is an award-winning international youth circus founded in 1987. Described by The Boston Globe as “one of New England’s most treasured cultural and educational resources,” Circus Smirkus is dedicated to promoting the skills, culture, and traditions of the traveling circus and to inspiring youth to engage in life-changing adventures in the circus arts. Both the Circus Smirkus headquarters (38-acres) and Smirkus Camp (30 acres) are located in Greensboro, Vermont, nestled on two separate parcels of land among the rolling hills of the Northeast Kingdom.
Circus Smirkus is comprised of three principal programs:
- Smirkus Big Top Tour takes place every summer. Thirty circus performers aged 10-18 spend three weeks at the Greensboro HQ to create and rehearse a new circus production, ultimately taking a professional quality performance on the road throughout New England—performing 66 shows across 16 sites in our 720-seat big top circus tent.
- Smirkus Camp offers the country’s only residential circus arts training—ranging from one-day to two-week sessions—serving 600 children each summer in a traditional camp setting in a brand new purpose-built facility
- Smirkus Ringmaster Residencies bring trained circus professionals to schools throughout the Northeast to share traditional circus skills with students in a way that captures young imaginations while building confidence and fostering simple, proven strategies for success.
At Circus Smirkus we believe the universal allure of the performing arts, and circus in particular, helps children to form friendships and bonds that transcend the barriers of economic situation, class, culture, geography, age, and ability.
The Executive Director is responsible for the management and development of Circus Smirkus in accordance with the organization’s mission and core values. She/he provides leadership, vision, strategic direction, and organizational planning. The Executive Director works closely and collaboratively with the Chief Operating Officer as well as other senior staff, the Board of Directors, and key stakeholders in order to achieve the creative goals and financial objectives of the organization. She/he is a relationship builder who maintains a high professional profile, displays a passion for circus arts, and personally participates in major fundraising activities.
In Program Development and Administration, the Executive Director will:
- Ensure that Circus Smirkus has a long-range strategy to achieve its mission.
- Provide leadership in developing high quality programs and work with the Chief Operating Officer to ensure their effective implementation.
- Ensure sound risk management and legal compliance with federal, state, and local regulations.
- Maintain a knowledge of significant developments and trends in the field of circus arts.
- Ensure artistic oversight is provided for all programs, and provide support to the Artistic Director and the Creative Director for the Big Top Tour.
In Relations with Staff, the Executive Director will:
- Provide leadership, direction, and inspiration.
- Ensure that an effective senior management team, with appropriate provision for succession, is in place.
- Promote staff development and education in an organized, productive manner.
- Maintain a climate that attracts, keeps, and motivates a diverse top quality staff.
- Continue to establish and maintain the unique culture of Circus Smirkus.
In Budget and Finance, the Executive Director will:
- Oversee the financial status of the organization, including the development of financial forecasts and cash flow projections and the monitoring and control of budgets.
- Ensure funds are allocated properly to reflect present needs and future potential.
- Ensure sound financial practices and controls are in place and the organization operates within budget guidelines.
- Review and approve the monthly and annual financial reporting materials, and act as liaison to the Board’s Finance Committee.
- Jointly, with officers of the Board of Directors, conduct official correspondence and execute legal documents.
In Development and External Relations, the Executive Director will:
- Be the public face of Circus Smirkus with the media and external constituency groups (including community, governmental, and private organizations) and build excitement for Circus Smirkus’ mission.
- Formulate and execute a comprehensive development strategy that will enhance revenue from major donors, foundations, grants, and other sources.
- Cultivate and manage relationships with major funders and donors.
- Establish sound working relationships and cooperative arrangements with community groups and organizations.
With regard to the Board of Directors, the Executive Director will:
- Help to build, maintain, and support a diverse and inclusive Board, representative of stakeholders/constituent groups, that is highly engaged and willing to leverage and secure resources.
- Cultivate a strong and transparent working relationship with the Board and see that the Board is kept fully informed on the condition of the organization and all important factors influencing it.
- Serve as the primary liaison between the Board and Circus Smirkus staff.