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Executive Director

Organization: Chicago Cultural Alliance
Date Posted: 11/15/2013
City: Chicago
Location: Illinois
Country: United States
Primary Category: Public Folklore, Non-Profit
Type of Position: Full-Time
Experience Requirement: 5-10 years

Description & Details

The Chicago Cultural Alliance seeks an Executive Director to lead a growing consortium of Chicago- area ethnic museums, cultural centers, and historical societies (Core Members) partnered with mainstream institutions and agencies. The Chicago Cultural Alliance (CCA) works toward its mission of effecting social change and public understanding of cultural diversity through first voice perspectives. The CCA offers a new model of collaboration, one that benefits small and large organizations alike and prioritizes the rich perspectives and experiences of Chicago's diverse ethnic communities. All CCA programming is guided by the interests and needs of our member organizations and partner institutions and builds upon the concept that heritage is an asset. The CCA is not a network of organizations, but rather a community of diverse organizations with strong, trusting relationships that form the cornerstone of our work.

The ideal candidate will have direct experience leading collaborations and building community among organizations that are diverse in capacity and mission. S/he will be a strong leader, who is excited about working directly with community leaders and has well-developed ability to lead while also being flexible and responsive. The position acutely attends to the CCA's commitment to ‘first voice' as the primary mode of operation.

The Executive Director works with the Board of Directors and CCA staff to develop CCA's vision and goals and to implement a fundraising strategy to achieve them. S/he leads the organization as it serves Core Members and increases CCA's impact and visibility in the Chicago metropolitan area through public programming and advocacy. The Executive Director effectively manages tight resources, a small staff (between 5-7), and competing priorities to achieve the greatest impact for CCA's Core Members.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities

Management and Administrative Leadership

  • Provides oversight of all CCA activities, manages the day-to-day operations, provides fiscal oversight, and assures a smoothly functioning, efficient and financially viable organization.
  • Assures a work environment that recruits, retains and supports quality staff and volunteers
  • As primary human resource representative and financial manager, ensures compliance with all laws and regulations.

Fundraising & Board Relations

  • Maintains clear communication with the Board of Directors, informing them of progress towards organizational goals and informing them of opportunities and trends relevant to CCA.
  • Works with the Board to ensure their full engagement in policy making, governance, and resource development. Ensures a healthy board development process.
  • Plans and oversees a range of fundraising events and activities including but not limited to: direct mail, annual dinner, donor cultivation and grant writing to private and corporate foundations and governments.
  • Maintains and is guided by a strategic plan developed in collaboration with the Board and including input from Core Members and Partners.

Member Engagement & Advocacy

  • Fosters strong and trusting relationships with Core member and partner organizations.
  • Prioritizes needs of Core Members and an awareness of resources that CCA can leverage for them.
  • Shapes the vision for the CCA, providing creative leadership that maximizes resources.
  • As CCA's primary spokesperson, shapes and expands awareness of CCA's brand and mission through public presentations and innovative institutional marketing efforts.
  • Advocates for CCA's vision and Core Members in metropolitan and statewide policy meetings and in relevant policy-making bodies.
  • Regularly evaluates CCA's organizational and programmatic impact.

Minimum Qualifications

  • 5-7 years of demonstrated experience in a dynamic or non-profit organization managing its financial sustainability, supervising and developing personnel, overseeing marketing and communications and programs, and working with diverse partners in the arts and culture sector.
  • Experience working with or on a nonprofit board of directors.
  • Fundraising record that demonstrates ability to meet increasing goals and includes experience securing funds from foundations, corporations, government sources, and individuals
  • Bachelor's degree in Social Sciences, Humanities, Arts, Urban Planning or relevant fields.
  • Proven oral and written communication skills and ability to adjust presentation styles for different audiences and environments.
  • Demonstrated ability to provide leadership and to think strategically and creatively.
  • Entrepreneurial, politically astute, and committed to working in a collaborative environment.
  • Proven ability to organize, represent, and engage a diverse set of stakeholders including organizations and individuals in a way that builds community and consensus.
  • Experience working in deadline driven environment with tight resources.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Master's degree or higher in related field.
  • Strong connections and commitment to Chicago's ethnic communities, arts and culture sector, and immigrant rights and social justice movements.
  • Museum/cultural center experience.
  • Knowledge of arts and cultural policy.
  • Spanish or other second language proficiency.


This is a full time exempt position. This position requires a flexible schedule and ability to travel throughout the city and suburbs; applicants must be willing to work evenings and weekends. Salary commensurate with experience.

How to Apply

The Chicago Cultural Alliance is an equal opportunity employer. Women and minorities are encouraged to apply. Qualified and interested candidates should submit letter of interest, current résumé, email address and phone numbers. Applications received by December 15, 2013 will be given priority consideration.

If you meet the above criteria, please send your cover letter, resume, salary history, and contact information to with "Executive Director" in the subject line. All application documents must be in English and only short-listed candidates will be contacted. Short-listed candidates may be asked to submit a writing sample. Finalists may be required to undergo a criminal background check and will be asked to supply three work references.

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