Executive Director

Louisville Ballet - Louisville, Kentucky

Job Category: Administration (other)

Job Type: Paid

Job Term: Full Time

Compensation: $90000

About Our Organization

LOUISVILLE BALLET invites qualified candidates to submit applications to become its next Executive Director.

Louisville Ballet is one of the oldest continuously operating ballet companies in the country and serves as the official state ballet of Kentucky. Originally founded as a civic ballet in 1952, Louisville Ballet has steadily grown to become one of the nation’s leading regional ballet companies and has worked with some of ballet’s brightest lights, including Mikhail Baryshnikov, Twyla Tharp, and Wendy Whelan, among many others. The company is currently led by Artistic Director Robert Curran who has kept the Company connected to its roots while growing artistic collaborations and awareness of its work on a national and international stage. Find out more about the Company in this fundraising video, Louisville Ballet: Moving Forward and on its website: www.louisvilleballet.org.

The Executive Director is responsible for aligning and strengthening the capacity, resources, and strategy of Louisville Ballet and extending its important position amongst Louisville’s rich performing arts environment. Serving in a co-leadership role with Artistic Director Robert Curran, the next ED will have a proven track record in fundraising, fiscal responsibility, and operational excellence. They will demonstrate a strong commitment to Louisville Ballet’s values of inclusion, diversity, equity, and access, and will build greater audience engagement and donor participation as Louisville Ballet continues to present world-class dance to a supportive, diverse community. Interested candidates may apply through:  https://mcaonline.com/searches/executive-director-louisville-ballet


Job Summary

The next Executive Director will join an organization with a strong reputation and credibility based on its legacy of hard-earned artistic bona fides. Among the opportunities are:

  • Aligning, strengthening, and further integrating the Ballet’s position in a rich performing arts environment and building on the leadership role that the Ballet currently holds in the city.
  • Furthering existing partnerships and building new collaborations locally, regionally, and nationally.
  • Expanding the school, adaptive dance programs, and community engagement.
  • Diversifying audiences while bringing long-time, dedicated patrons into all future programmatic activities.
  • Continuing the Ballet’s leadership in new work development, with the potential for new and expanded new partnerships in co-production.

Along with these opportunities, there are notable challenges that the next ED must embrace:

  • Developing new and expanded revenue streams, with an emphasis on contributions from individual donors.
  • Managing cash and debt. Short-term debt is approximately $466,000 and scheduled to be paid off over the next two years and long-term debt is $1.35 million (primarily mortgage debt). The current cash position is positive and the approved budget for the 2021-2022 season is $4.2 million.
  • Finding the right balance of programming (size, scale, and number of productions) vis-à-vis resources.



The Executive Director will work in a co-CEO relationship with the Artistic Director with both positions reporting to the Board. It is, of course, critically important that the individuals in these two positions work in a cohesive and productive manner. The central roles of the Executive Director are as follows:

  • Build a deep partnership with the Artistic Director and Board to implement the Company’s current strategic plan and develop future five-year strategies.
  • In concert with the Artistic Director, work to create synergy and strong collaboration across the organization.
  • Serve as the primary major gifts officer, leading fundraising activities in a strategic and hands-on manner, developing relationships throughout the region, expanding annual contributed revenues, and raising capital funds.
  • Expand on successful communication strategies and guide the marketing, external messaging, and outreach of Louisville Ballet with a focus on increasing ticket sales.
  • Forge and maintain important external relationships in the Louisville community and act as an external voice and advocate of Louisville Ballet.
  • Forge strong relationships with and work actively to continue to build Louisville Ballet’s Board of Directors.
  • Establish, develop, and maintain national and international relationships with funders and presenters to increase financial resources and to expose Louisville Ballet to a wider audience.
  • Align all human and financial resources (including cash flow, budget, and financial systems) in a way that can sustainably realize the strategic and artistic vision for the Company.
  • Manage direct reports, which include the Directors of Development, Marketing, Education, Finance, the Executive Assistant, and any other positions that may fall under the administrative functions of the Company.

Job Qualifications & Requirements


The chosen candidate will be someone who is likely to establish strong and productive working partnerships with the Artistic Director and the Board; of course, prior experience with such partnerships would be deemed useful. They will also have the following skill sets and experience:

  • Strong passion for building a great cultural institution that can grow significantly with the community.
  • Demonstrated success in personally securing philanthropic support in a not-for-profit arts environment.
  • Detail oriented and methodical about organizational routines and processes.
  • A successful management career within the professional performing arts. Dance experience is not required, but serious candidates will have demonstrated enthusiasm for arts and culture.
  • Strong experience in and knowledge of the ramifications of artistic and budgetary decisions and the need to align them strategically.
  • Demonstrated ability to motivate and lead a team focused on long-term objectives.
  • A collaborative, non-political style to work within a partnership and engage staff, Board, and key donors.
  • A tenacity and drive to help Louisville Ballet continue to produce at a consistently high level.
  • Strong social and interpersonal skills in multiple social and business contexts.


How to Apply


The search for the Executive Director is headed by a committee, chaired by Ellen Shapira, consisting of four Board members and a trusted advisor. The committee’s desire is to identify a candidate by Fall of 2021 with the new Executive Director on site as soon as possible thereafter. The salary will be competitive with other companies of comparable stature and size with benefits including health, dental, vision, and life insurance policies as well as paid vacation/holidays.

Shruti Adhar and David Mallette are the MCA consultants who will facilitate this search. Interested candidates are invited to confidentially send a resumé, cover letter, and at least three professional references (name, work relationship, email, phone). All materials must be in.pdf (preferred) or Word format with the applicant’s name included as part of the document file name and submitted through the MCA application portal for this search: