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CALL FOR APPLICATIONS: Director, Performing Arts Program

Like an Old Tale, 2011 (photo: Katherine Fleitas).

The goal of the George Cedric Metcalf Charitable Foundation is to enhance the effectiveness of people and organizations working together to help Canadians imagine and build a just, healthy, and creative society.

Across its three programs areas – leveraging opportunities for new approaches and shared learning in the performing arts; building a low-carbon, resource efficient, and resilient Canada; and improving economic livelihoods for low-income people in Toronto – the Metcalf Foundation advances its mission through practice, policy, and collaboration.

Using grant-making programs to support initiatives and organizations that are modelling innovative approaches to intractable problems, the Foundation’s work is rooted in community-based efforts at achieving tangible outcomes. It focuses on addressing existing challenges in new ways and is particularly interested in approaches that can serve as models for other communities or that show potential to be applied on a larger scale.

The Metcalf Foundation is seeking a new Director for its Performing Arts Program. Metcalf’s Performing Arts Program is based on the belief that art is a transformative way of learning about ourselves and the world we live in. Artists help us celebrate life. They challenge our assumptions and bear witness to our common humanity. They help us remember the past and explore all the possibilities of the future.

Metcalf’s Performing Arts Program works primarily in the City of Toronto with some grantmaking occurring across the province. The Foundation’s three core strategies – fostering dynamic leadership, integrated thinking, and new ideas and practice – underpin the Program’s two primary granting components:

  • Creative Strategies Incubator – multi-year funding that helps companies explore new strategies for addressing longstanding sectoral issues in meaningful new ways, nurture the organizational change that comes from developing and implementing innovation, and foster a culture of shared learning.
  • Performing Arts Internships – helps organizations create productive entry points into the sector, realize opportunities to foster leadership, and respond to skill shortages in critical areas; provides individuals with more knowledge, better skills, broader work experience, and useful contacts to help them make a stronger professional contribution to the performing arts.

In addition, applicants from the performing arts sector are eligible to apply to Metcalf’s two foundation-wide programs – Renewal Program and Innovation Fellowships – and Metcalf has just begun a multi-year collaboration with four public funders to pilot a shared charitable platform for the arts sector.

Working collaboratively with the President and CEO, program advisory committees, staff, fellows, and community stakeholders, the new Program Director will build on the dynamic work already in place and help the Foundation realize even greater positive impact on the local and provincial performing arts sector.

Reporting to the Foundation’s President and CEO, and as a core member of Metcalf’s team, the Program Director will have a broad portfolio of responsibilities, including: daily management of the Performing Arts Program; strategic oversight of the Foundation’s Renewal Program and Innovation Fellowships; critical thinking about issues, goals, priorities, and granting practice; and acting as a collaborative catalyst to explore new ideas and new initiatives with leading thinkers and organizations engaged in sectoral issues in the performing arts, seeking opportunities for greater impact, i.e. research, outreach, and liaison on behalf of the Foundation.

In short, this is a unique and exciting opportunity to help shape and lead a notable philanthropic program with high potential to make a significant contribution to improving the non-profit performing arts sector in the Toronto region.

The Program Director holds primary responsibility for the vision, strategic development, and implementation of all aspects of the Performing Arts Program and contributes to the Foundation’s broader mission and mandate, including the Renewal Program and Innovation Fellowships, through:

Constituency Building and Community Relations

  • Nurture and develop relationships with a wide range of organizations and individuals to advance the Foundation’s mission and programmatic goals
  • Encourage and participate in collaborations, particularly those that cross sectors and build broad alliances and networks

Program Design and Implementation

  • Monitor and update the Performing Arts Program focus and strategy to ensure it remains relevant and effectively addresses opportunities and needs
  • Contribute to the oversight and management of the Renewal Program and Innovation Fellowships
  • Prepare and deliver clear and accurate written and oral presentations concerning grant proposals for advisory committee and board review
  • Work constructively with applicants and grantees to develop applications and to manage ongoing relationships, facilitating honest and reflective conversations with grantees over the course of their funding
  • Ensure appropriate budget and cash flow management for the program
  • Inspire and support staff, advisors, and fellows in their roles

Communications, Research, and Policy

  • Provide clear and concise communication to the President and CEO and the Board of the Foundation
  • Foster broad awareness of the Foundation and the Performing Arts Program on-the-ground and among funders, business, labour, residents, non-profits, entrepreneurs, academics, advocates, and governments
  • Ensure the Foundation is informed about the performing arts community it serves
  • Develop and oversee research and policy initiatives
  • Work closely with the President and CEO and Metcalf’s Communications Lead to ensure the Program’s public communications objectives are met

Strategic Thinking

  • Identify emerging issues and trends and potential strategic responses within the Performing Arts Program and related Metcalf programs
  • Work in a multi-disciplinary / multi-sector context on complex issues, facilitating progress towards tangible results and solutions
  • Proactively make connections across issues, people, ideas, and practice to advance the Foundation’s mission and mandate

Organizational Development

  • Collaborate with Board, President and CEO, and staff to realize the organization’s broader vision and mission
  • Work in cooperation with other program areas at the Metcalf Foundation to develop and realize integrated grant-making practices and approaches
  • Contribute to the alignment and management of the Renewal Program and Innovation Fellowships
  • Help build, and contribute to, the Foundation’s culture and values of innovation, risk-taking, collaboration, learning, and reflection

Learning and Evaluation

  • Engage in ongoing and active assessment of program design and effectiveness
  • Keep abreast of trends / new and innovative approaches in the sector that could enhance the impact of the Foundation

The ideal candidate will be innovative, entrepreneurial, collaborative, and visionary with the expertise necessary to effectively deliver on the program’s mandate. In particular the Director, Performing Arts Program will:

  • Be a strong critical thinker with the ability to conceptualize the characteristics and evolution of an issue and to devise effective responses
  • Work effectively across multiple issues as it relates both to programmatic content and to broader sectoral issues
  • Possess significant knowledge of the issue areas in which the Performing Arts Program is focused and of the wider issues facing Ontario’s performing arts community, particularly issues related to emerging artistic forms and producing practices
  • Possess strong knowledge of the Toronto and Ontario artistic communities
  • Have an understanding of and/or experience working within the performing arts sector including management of non-profit arts organizations and funding models within the arts sector
  • Have demonstrated leadership and management experience in an organization similar to 
  • Possess the ability to take initiative, think strategically, and work creatively
  • Have experience, or an understanding, of public policy change processes
  • Be knowledgeable in the work of foundations as well 
as the regulations associated with 
  • Be proficient in basic financial management
  • Have a flexible and enthusiastic approach to work and be an effective team player with others in a collaborative workplace
  • Be known as a relationship-builder and collaborator
  • Have excellent oral and written communication skills and be a strong communicator in many settings
  • Have computer proficiency
  • Have a minimum of a bachelor’s degree; a master’s degree is considered an asset
  • Have 8+ years of experience, with a significant emphasis on experience relevant to this role
  • Have a high level of energy and passion for, and be a strong advocate for, the Foundation’s mission and programs and its role 
within the philanthropic landscape
  • Have a high level of energy and passion for the performing arts and their contribution to a healthy and creative society
  • Have mature judgment and discretion

Compensation is commensurate with experience. The position is based in Toronto, Ontario and the ability to travel occasionally is considered an asset.

Interested candidates should send their resume by September 18, 2015, 5:00 PM EDT to info@metcalffoundation.com. Should you have any questions or wish to recommend candidates for the position, please e-mail Grants Manager Heather Dunford, in confidence, at info@metcalffoundation.com.

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The George Cedric Metcalf Charitable Foundation
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