Leading new work commissioner seeks an entrepreneurial leader to serve as its first Managing Director.
Music of Remembrance invites applications from arts management leaders interested in providing strategic and collaborative leadership in the inaugural role of Managing Director.
WHO ARE WE?
Music of Remembrance (MOR) is a Seattle-based performing arts organization focused on addressing questions of human rights and social justice. Established in 1998 to ensure that voices of witness to the Holocaust be heard, it has grown into a creative catalyst for “testimonies for tomorrow” – persuasive works that explore the consequences of intolerance toward the other. Under the visionary leadership of founder and Artistic Director Mina Miller, it honors, unearths, and shares stories of the resilience of those who have been persecuted or excluded for their faith, ethnicity, gender or sexuality.
MOR brings together world-class musicians, composers, and performing artists for concert performances, educational programs and recordings. Over the years, its repertoire has grown from mainly small chamber ensembles to include song cycles, choral music, choreography, dance works, musical dramas, film scores, and fully-staged operas. Most notably, it has commissioned and premiered over 40 important new works which inspire compassion, understanding, and empathy while preserving the memory of historical injustices. Many of these works come from some of today’s leading composers; others are by emerging composers that MOR has championed.
The organization’s commitment to addressing both timeless and contemporary themes has led to collaborations with more than 20 composers, including Jake Heggie, Ryuichi Sakamoto, Tom Cipullo, Lori Laitman, Mary Kouyoumdjian, and Paul Schoenfield, whose MOR commission Camp Songs was a finalist for the 2003 Pulitzer Prize in Music. As music journalist Thomas May described, “MOR has proved to be ahead of its time in grappling with issues of social justice and persecution. Commissions in recent years have become, alarmingly, more and more topical.”
Miller leads with a visceral awareness of the power of memory – and the stories of persecution and exclusion that need to be told. As she describes, “If history has taught us anything, it’s the terrible price of silence in the face of injustice suffered by others. Music has a power to reach people’s hearts in ways that textbooks and newspapers cannot. We do not merely look back at history, but confront its meaning and important implications for our future. We bring past and present together, combining music that preserves memory with intimate emotional stories that draw on those lessons to address urgent questions of today. We continue to discover and share a priceless legacy of musicians, artists, writers and political free thinkers who refused to be silenced.”
Recent programs have introduced new works speaking out on the worldwide refugee crisis and the plight of families separated by borders; the threats of nuclear war; the consequences of religious intolerance, xenophobia, and racism; the wartime incarceration of Japanese Americans; and the persecution of LGBT communities by the Nazis. The coming season spotlights the lived experiences and creative traditions of Indigenous artists, delivers a powerful musical statement about the current women’s rights struggle in Iran, and traces the reverberating effects of cultural vandalism.
Reflecting on its work, composers and artists have shared:
“The journey I’ve been able to take with Music of Remembrance has forever touched and changed me as a composer. Being able to explore and tell important, often surprising stories of Holocaust survival, remembrance and legacy in this powerful way has affected every aspect of my work as an artist and human being.” – Jake Heggie, composer
“Music of Remembrance is that rare organization that presents music with a conscience, performances with a conscience.” – José Rubio, baritone
MOR’s home season is at Seattle’s Benaroya Hall. It annually tours to San Francisco and Chicago, and aspires to expand this touring domestically and abroad. MOR has produced nine audio CDs, an opera DVD, three documentary films, and a suite of virtual programming including online concerts and educational outreach offerings. It additionally hosts a young artist award that nurtures early-career musicians aspiring to address human rights questions through their art.
Music of Remembrance’s evolution and success has been dually driven by the visionary leadership of its founder and Artistic Director, Mina Miller, and its exceptional artistic collaborators. Its core ensemble, drawn from the ranks of the Seattle Symphony, is joined by world-class soloists, artistic teams, and composers who create and perform masterpieces that express the organization’s powerful vision. MOR benefits from a committed Board of Directors, each of whom provide meaningful ambassadorial leadership, as well as a family of dedicated donors, patrons, foundation partners, and volunteers who enable it to thrive.
Music of Remembrance has an approximately one million dollar operating budget and has enjoyed 25 years of balanced budgets.
For nearly thirty years, Music of Remembrance has been led by its founder and Artistic Director Mina Miller. In recent years, Miller and the Board of Directors have been envisioning Music of Remembrance’s future, which will include a focus on organizational sustainability, an amplified messaging and visibility effort and a diversified philanthropic effort. Recognizing that both the artistic and management roles have increased in scope and complexity as the organization has evolved, Miller and the Board have designed a new leadership role which will split the artistic and management responsibilities and support Music of Remembrance’s next stage of evolution. In support of its long-term organizational sustainability, Music of Remembrance received a transformative gift. At this important juncture, Music of Remembrance invites interest from committed arts management leaders who have a passion for advancing this important institution as its inaugural Managing Director.
WHAT WE ARE LOOKING FOR IN THIS POSITION
The Managing Director is a new position which will lead Music of Remembrance’s operations and management strategy and serve as a trusted collaborator to its Artistic Director and its Board of Directors.
At their core, they will be a confident, empathetic and grounded leader, driven to tell stories that speak to the experience of those facing persecution and exclusion and expand Music of Remembrance’s visibility and impact.
They will be a relationship builder, long-term planner, and operations strategist, able to operationalize the Artistic Director’s vision and produce the organizational structures, institutional visibility, and resources necessary to achieve it.
They will have strong operational acumen and demonstrated experience which will enable them to efficiently lead day-to-day organizational operations while prioritizing efforts on the organization’s long-term strategy development and advancement. They will bring the ability to ably lead all aspects of operations, encompassing concert production, touring, contracting, marketing and external relations, and financial management.
They will be a persuasive communicator able to articulate a compelling case for support for Music of Remembrance’s commissions, tours, performances, artists, outreach, and future legacy. They will bring experience developing engaging messaging, marketing and communication efforts that celebrate and amplify an organization’s distinct contribution.
An interest in fundraising and board engagement efforts will support their effort to partner meaningfully with the company’s Artistic Director, Director of Development and Board of Directors to diversify and expand its contributed revenue portfolio.
Lastly, they will exude an affinity for Music of Remembrance’s vital, important work and be able to share this enthusiasm with stakeholders, donors, audiences, partners, and the communities in which they perform.
Who you’ll be working with
The Managing Director will report to the Artistic Director and work closely with the Board of Directors. Additional Music of Remembrance staff include a full-time Executive Assistant and a Director of Development. External contractors support public relations, graphic design, web hosting, accounting, legal needs, and the annual financial review.
Organizational Leadership: In partnership with the Artistic Director, provide strong organizational leadership to set the overall strategic and operational direction for MOR. Collaborate with the Artistic Director to bring the artistic vision to fruition. Advance MOR’s culture of artistic excellence, precision, and legacy with clear and thoughtful communication. Play a leading and collaborative role in long-range strategic planning and ongoing strategy development. Develop strong relationships with stakeholders, including board members, donors, artists, collaborators, and volunteers.
Program Operations: Oversee the execution of all of MOR’s performances, educational programs, and adjacent programs, with support from the executive assistant, volunteers, and venue management teams, inclusive of concert logistics, artist travel, and program production. Execute performance agreements negotiated by the Artistic Director, and lead negotiations and contracting for venue agreements. In partnership with the Artistic Director, maximize opportunities for touring and performance in the United States and abroad.
Visibility, Marketing, and External Relations: Lead the development of annual programmatic and organizational marketing strategies that maximize ticket sales and other revenue generating opportunities. Promote MOR’s brand and advance its position at the forefront of international commissioning within its mission area. Lead coordination with its external public relations firm. Serve as a spokesperson of the organization in partnership with the Artistic Director, attending MOR performances and participating in community and civic, and social events. Broaden and deepen relationships with current and future presenting and community partners.
Financial Management: Serve as the organization’s lead financial manager, leveraging efficient systems and processes to monitor and report on financial performance including: supporting the annual budgeting process; providing timely and meaningful financial reports for the Board; monitoring cash flow and liquidity; developing, implementing, and monitoring policies and procedures that ensure fiscal responsibility; and developing long-term financial plans. Oversee external bookkeeper’s effort including preparation of monthly financial statements, bi-weekly payrolls, weekly A/P, and annual review materials.
Board of Directors: Build trusting and engaging relationships with board members in order to keep members informed and excited about the work of the organization and maximize their participation in the life of the organization. Organize and attend Board and Committee meetings. Support the Board as it fulfills key responsibilities in new member recruitment, budget approval, resource stewardship, strategic planning, public advocacy, and revenue generation.
Fundraising: Support the development of annual and multi-year fundraising strategies in partnership with the Artistic Director and Director of Development to achieve short-term and long-term contributed revenue goals. Develop and steward high-level relationships with key individual, foundation, corporate, and government funders. Partner with the Development Committee of the Board in these efforts.
Required Skills and Attributes:
- 5+ years of progressive leadership or management experience, preferably in a non-profit setting.
- Strong operational experience in music/concert/performance planning & producing, including financial management and working with venues and presenting partners.
- Demonstrated experience in developing messaging, marketing, and communications strategies.
- Confident, grounded and collaborative demeanor.
- Precise attention to detail and nuance in written and verbal communication.
- A mission-driven, strategic thinker, able to make thoughtful decisions when faced with competing priorities.
- A keen understanding of the unique operating environment of an international producing and commissioning music organization.
- A passion for classical repertoire, the development of new works, music history, dramaturgy, or similar.
- Knowledge of the arts ecosystem, national & international music presenters, and nonprofit philanthropic landscape.
- Prior experience with fundraising and/or working with a Board of Directors.
- Master’s degree or equivalent experience in management, the performing arts, or a related field.
Employment and Compensation:
–Salary: $90,000 – 100,000
-Start date: Negotiable, Approximately late 2023 / early 2024.
-Music of Rememberance’s office is located in Seattle, WA. The Managing Director must be Seattle-based in order to have a regular in-person presence (hybrid position). The Managing Director will travel annually with out-of-town tours, and meet with donors, partners, and institutional funders. A relocation stipend is available for non-Seattle based candidates.
–Benefits: Full employer sponsored health insurance (individual) and paid time off inclusive of all federal holidays.
HOW TO APPLY
This search is being facilitated by Syrah Gunning, Director, Executive Development of the DeVos Institute of Arts Management, a leading provider of arts management services, training and thought leadership for arts, cultural, and educational sectors worldwide.
To apply, please upload your resume and answer the questions below by visiting https://tinyurl.com/MORaj01.
- Why are you interested in this position at this point in your career? What interests you most about MOR’s mission, programs and trajectory?
- Please briefly describe your experience producing performing arts programming (such as concerts, operas, festivals, tours, or similar).
- Please briefly describe your experience developing messaging/marketing strategies, and managing budgets and financials.
Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis and will continue to be accepted until the position is filled. For priority consideration, please apply by early-October. If you have questions or require accommodation of any kind throughout the process, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Music of Remembrance welcomes inquiries from all interested candidates and encourages individuals identifying as BIPOC, LBGTQIA+, neuro-diverse, and differently-abled to consider the opportunity, as well as individuals who meet some, but not all, criteria and bring relatable experience that they feel would prepare them to excel in the role.