Global Arts Live
Global Arts Live is the leading presenter of international performing arts in New England, bringing global music, contemporary dance, and jazz from around the world to stages across Greater Boston. By putting the spotlight on artists from all corners of the globe and reflecting the diverse and vibrant community that is Boston, Global Arts Live aspires to transcend borders, cultivate community, and enrich lives.
Founded in 1990 by Maure Aronson, Global Arts Live has made live international music and dance a vital part of Greater Boston’s cultural scene by featuring more than 800 artists from over 70 countries in more than 1,500 performances attended by over 1 million people. A pioneer in its field, the organization has presented the Boston debut of hundreds of legendary artists such as Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, Paco de Lucía, Angélique Kidjo, Cesária Évora, and Buena Vista Social Club. It continues to introduce new generations of artists to Boston audiences, including Tinariwen, Caravan Palace, Stromae, Red Baraat, Mashrou’ Leila, and We Banjo 3, among others.
Since 2000, the organization has also presented the Boston debut of many dance companies, especially championing the work of African American choreographers, including Ronald K. Brown, Kyle Abraham, Camille A. Brown, Alonzo King, Raphael Xavier, and Philandanco. In 2018, Global Arts Live initiated a commissioning program that provides artist funding for creating and sharing new work. With an initial focus on dance, the organization has commissioned and presented a new collaboration by Indian tabla master Zakir Hussain with Alonzo King LINES Ballet and supported new work by Rubberband and Dorrance Dance. Its current commissions include works by Ronald K. Brown and Rennie Harris.
Since its inception, Global Arts Live has presented its programs in multiple venues throughout Greater Boston. Prior to COVID-19, the annual season featured more than 60 music and dance concerts and performances from artists across the globe. Among these, a signature program is the annual CRASHFEST global music festival, with more than 10 artists across three stages in a single venue. The breadth of performance venues used by Global Arts Live ranges from intimate 200-seat clubs to 2,500-seat theaters in Boston, Cambridge, and Somerville. During the pandemic, the organization pivoted to present livestreamed and pre-recorded concerts, interactive Zoom classes, and outdoor concerts at Cambridge’s Starlight Square.
Global Arts Live looks to impact its community by creating inclusive and accessible artistic experiences that encourage audiences to come together. It works with local, national, and international performers who are chosen for their artistic talent and their cultural relevance to Greater Boston’s under-represented communities of color. Many artistic projects express universal themes of identity, immigration, heritage, and race, with 70 percent of presented artists identifying as BIPOC. Recent audience surveys revealed that 23 percent of patrons identified as BIPOC and 44 percent speak a primary language other than English.
The organization offers a wide range of educational and community engagement programs that deepen the impact of its concert programs. Global Arts Live partners with high schools, after-school programs, and colleges and universities to provide young people with creative opportunities to engage with international touring artists through customized workshops, master classes, and artist talks. For lifelong learners, Global Arts Live offers pre- and post-concert programs hosted by performers and local experts to deepen the audience’s experience with the creative process and artforms presented.
Global Arts Live has recently completed a four-year $1.2 million grant from The Wallace Foundation and is currently part of the Barr Foundation’s ArtsAmplified funded cohort. Now is a pivotal moment in Global Arts Live's trajectory, guided by its 2017-2021 strategic plan. This plan includes a well-thought succession plan, artistic goals, and priorities for organizational capacity building. One component of the plan is the reformulation of the organization’s leadership, establishing an Artistic Director position to focus on artistic programming and reimagining the Executive Director position to lead management, fundraising, finance, and governance. This plan also foresees a dedicated performance space, which will be transformational for the organization’s institutional visibility, programming, and marketing efforts. A feasibility study and negotiations with potential partners are in progress with a potential decision and associated capitalization expected in 2021.
Global Arts Live is governed by an eight-member board of directors, led by President Nagesh Mahanthappa. Consisting of 43 percent BIPOC and 50 percent women, the board seeks to grow and diversify. The organization currently has eight full-time staff members who have received numerous equity, diversity, and inclusion training sessions, including a workshop by artEquity, and have recently completed the Cultural Equity Learning Community certificate program. The organization also engages various independent contractors and production team members. Founding Executive Director Maure Aronson will transition to the Artistic Director role in 2021 in a co-leadership role with the new Executive Director, both reporting directly to the board of directors.
For the fiscal year ending June 30, 2020, total revenues were approximately $2 million, with $700,000 from contributions and grants and $1.3 million from program service revenue. Global Arts Live anticipates its post-COVID operating budget to be approximately $3 million with additional capital campaign efforts pending finalization of its facility and program plan for its own rehearsal, performance, and administrative space.
Home to more than 4.8 million people, the City of Boston and the Greater Boston Metropolitan area are New England’s economic and cultural hub. Incorporated in 1822, Boston is the capital city of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The region is the ancestral home of the Massachusett, Pawtucket, Wampanoag, and Nipmuck, among others who inhabited the area for centuries before European colonists settled in the area in the late sixteenth century. Today, Greater Boston is the 11th largest metropolitan area in the United States. Its population represents a microcosm of the nation’s cultural diversity: 69 percent White, 12 percent Latinx, 8 percent African American, 8 percent Asian, and 2 percent multi-racial. More than 19 percent of the residents are foreign-born and 25 percent speak a language other than English at home. The average age is 38.8 years old, with 37 percent of the population younger than 30 years old.
The region is recognized for the strength and international reach of its education, health, and technology sectors. The area attracts dedicated faculty and ambitious students who choose to study in one of its many outstanding higher educational institutions. Quality of life is anchored by a vibrant arts and cultural sector with world-renowned museums, orchestras, historic sites, regional cultural centers, emerging and experimental performing and visual arts entities, and multi-disciplinary cultural heritage organizations. Individual artists and creatives from all disciplines and genres are active contributors to the region’s vibrant arts sector. The four-season climate and proximity to both mountains and the northern Atlantic seascape provides multiple outdoor recreational amenities. Residents are passionate about their sports teams, with the MLB Red Sox playing the field at historic Fenway Park, the NHL Bruins and NBA Celtics at TD Garden, and the NFL New England Patriots and the MLS New England Revolution at Gillette Stadium.
Sources: censusreporter.org, pluralism.org, visitboston.org
Reporting to the board of directors in an equal co-leadership position with the Artistic Director, the newly defined position of Executive Director will expand anti-racism and diversity, equity, inclusion, and access initiatives that are embedded within the mission, vision, and programs of the organization. This individual will focus on strategic programming, fundraising, marketing, and financial planning activities that support the evolution from a founder-driven organization to a new phase of growth and success. The Executive Director will collaborate with the Artistic Director, board of directors, and staff to explore new facility opportunities, embrace a capital campaign, build a robust development department, and expand philanthropic support. They will be an integral part of leveraging in-person and online program delivery, as well as earned revenue and branding opportunities to expand entrepreneurial sources of income. The Executive Director will focus on strategic leadership and operational implementation in ensuring effective community engagement and the fiscal resiliency of the organization.
Roles and Responsibilities
Strategic Leadership and Entrepreneurial Vision
- Provide leadership and guidance to invigorate a strategic plan with appropriate stakeholder engagement.
- Develop a short-term plan and catalyze a long-term strategic focus on programs, facilities, educational activities, and collaborations.
- Serve as a thought partner to the Artistic Director in determining the most effective approaches to program development, delivery, and audience engagement.
- Ensure all aspects of the organization’s strategy, vision, and programs are embedded in cultural diversity that is anchored in equity, inclusion, and access.
- Maintain existing relationships and create new strategic partnerships with arts, culture, educational, and other mission-aligned organizations.
Revenue Maximization and Expanded Governance
- Lead the organization’s contributed revenue initiatives, growing a team of fundraising staff to focus on nurturing year-round, robust efforts to expand the pipeline of individual, corporate, and institutional donors and support the programming and capital needs of the organization.
- Inspire, support, and grow the board as it advances its fundraising and policy-making roles.
- Ensure a comprehensive approach to equity, diversity, access, and inclusion in board representation, organizational staffing, vendor engagement, and audience development.
- Create a framework for a capital campaign and play an active role in prospecting, cultivating, and stewarding major donors to secure five- and six-figure gifts aligned with the long-term growth and sustainability of the organization.
- Drive the marketing strategy to maximize earned revenue opportunities through ticket sales, partnerships and sponsorships, and additional entrepreneurial approaches.
- Develop other revenue maximization and expanded governance opportunities.
Organizational Infrastructure and Fiscal Oversight
- Provide board members with accurate and timely financial reports, analysis of key performance indicators, and other information relevant to their governance and fiscal oversight responsibilities.
- Plan, implement, and monitor the financial, human resources, technology, and other institutional systems that strengthen and expand organizational capacity.
- Execute forward-thinking policies that ensure a healthy workplace in which equity, diversity, inclusion, and access are embraced.
- Encourage self-initiative, collaboration, and accountability among the staff and provide team members with professional development and growth opportunities.
- Supervise the operations, development, marketing and communications, and administrative teams and thoughtfully manage staff workloads as the organization grows and expands its programs and services.
- Recruit and retain highly-qualified personnel, set performance standards, and evaluate and coach staff towards optimal performance.
Traits and Characteristics
The Executive Director will be a collaborative and decisive leader with the capacity to build rapport and relationships with a wide range of people. Pragmatic yet innovative, they will be driven by results, possessing the capacity to identify and pursue opportunities for efficiency and to maximize return on investment of time, team, and technology. The Executive Director will be an assertive negotiator who prefers to use logical processes to analyze problems and create systems and solutions that overcome challenges and achieve positive outcomes. They will be approachable, charismatic, and focused on creating an environment that allows the team to be successful in making decisions. A natural connector motivated by anti-racism, diversity, equity, inclusion, and access, the Executive Director will be energized by the long-term impacts that the organization can achieve through the diverse global artists it presents and dynamic community it serves.
Other key competencies include:
- Leadership and Teamwork – The ability to drive the realization of a vision and inspire a team in pursuit of shared goals, identifying the strengths of each individual and offering support, guidance, and feedback.
- Professional Accountability and Self Starting – The capacity to take responsibility for decisions that are made and show eagerness to initiate projects with determination, clarity, and focus.
- Time and Priority Management – The aptitude to work in an efficient and organized manner, dividing time between specific activities while identifying the team members whose tasks will require the most attention.
- Resiliency and Problem Solving – The willingness and strength to adapt quickly in the face of challenges, remaining even-tempered during stressful situations and using an astute approach to identify issues and implement solutions.
Qualified applicants should have a bachelor’s degree or equivalent professional experience in arts management, performing arts, international studies, or a related field. A minimum of five to seven years of progressive senior management experience is required, preferably in the nonprofit performing arts sector, although for-profit experience in the creative industries will also be valued. Candidates must possess strong public speaking skills and demonstrated success working with a board of directors and managing, mentoring, and supervising a management team. A track record in fundraising, marketing, and related revenue generating activities is expected.
Compensation and Benefits
Global Arts Live offers competitive compensation, with a salary range expected between $150,000 and $190,000, and a generous benefits package that includes health, dental, life, and short-term disability insurance; a 403(b) retirement plan with matching contributions upon one year of employment; paid-time-off; and a Section 125 SIMPLE Cafeteria Plan.
Applications and Inquiries
To submit a cover letter and resume with a summary of demonstrable accomplishments (electronic submissions preferred), please click here or visit artsconsulting.com/employment. For questions or general inquiries about this job opportunity, please contact:
Dr. Bruce D. Thibodeau, President
Arts Consulting Group
292 Newbury Street, Suite 315
Boston, MA 02115-2801
Tel (888) 234.4236 Ext. 201
Global Arts Live is committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion in its programming,
educational activities, staffing, governance, vendor selection, and otherwise
in order to transcend borders, cultivate community, and enrich lives.