The Chicago Lights Dance Academy, a program of Chicago Lights, supports learning and self-expression through dance instruction for students who attend Chicago Public Schools (CPS) in addition to academic and social emotional support. The Chicago Lights Dance Academy offers three core programs: in-school instruction and dance ensembles, Saturday classes, and a month-long Summer Dance Intensive. Through these programs students learn various dances styles and corresponding technique, vocabulary, music, costuming, and choreography.
The Director of the Chicago Lights Dance Academy is a full-time position responsible for the operational success of the Chicago Lights Dance Academy. The Director ensures seamless program design and delivery, strong team management and development, responsible fiscal oversight, and meaningful quality control and evaluation. The Director will represent Dance Academy in the community, maintaining positive relationships within and beyond partner schools, Chicago Lights, and Fourth Presbyterian Church.
Execute the vision for the Dance Academy, provide effective and inspiring leadership, and ensure that all activities operate consistently within the mission of Chicago Lights for child and youth development, arts education, and social emotional learning.
Ensure students develop dance technique, vocabulary, and performance skills..
Oversee recruitment, retention, and relationships with students and families that participate in all programming.
Manage the measurement and continuous improvement plan. Oversee the use of evaluation as a tool in accomplishing program objectives and ensure that data is collected accurately, analyzed appropriately, and adapted as needed. Stay informed on research-based best practices and data driven outcomes to ensure that the programs are serving students in the most effective way.
Uphold an organization-wide trauma informed care plan, ensuring that program environments are safe, inviting, and demonstrate best practice. Ensure that all staff are implementing care regularly and appropriately.
Attract, develop, coach, and retain high-performing team members and dance instructors.
Develop staffing plans that meet the changing needs of the program. Facilitate professional development opportunities and goal development and attainment for staff.
Manage evaluation, raises, and termination in compliance with personnel policies and annual budget.
Internal and External Partnerships
Effectively communicate program success, goals, needs, and challenges internally and with funders, donors, and partners.
Develop strong relationships and communications with partner schools. Initiate coordination between administration, teachers, and teaching artists for the program.
Stay aware of happenings and changes with Chicago Public Schools (CPS) to oversee the program and leverage resources through CPS grant programs.
Collaborate with other organizations/collectives, especially those working in the schools, and form meaningful partnerships that leverage information and resources that promote youth development, education, arts, and mentoring.
Development and Fiscal Oversight
Partner with the Executive Programs Director to develop and manage annual budgets.
Work with the Chicago Lights fund development staff to advance the program’s revenue through collaboration on compelling grant proposals and post-grant activity reports to Foundation and Corporate funders.
Provide timely invoices to schools/organizations, follow up as needed to ensure payment, and keep accurate records.
Foster cultivation of new donors, corporate support, special events, partnerships, and grants.
Bachelor’s degree or ten years experience in the field of education, fine arts, or related field – dance background preferred
Strong project management skills in complex, multifaceted projects resulting in measurable successes and program growth
Proven ability to thrive in a diverse, equitable, just, and inclusive environment
Proven ability and experience in nonprofit programming and budget management
Strength in recruiting, managing, developing, coaching, and retaining individuals and teams
Equipped with own transportation to enable efficient and timely school visits
Experience in working with a high-performing, collaborative, and constructive peer group
Deep understanding of and commitment to providing trauma informed care
Excellent verbal and written communication skills with exceptional attention to details
Strong work ethic, solid judgment, and apparent leadership skills and personal qualities of integrity, credibility, and a commitment to for Chicago Lights’ mission
Generally Tuesday–Saturday, 9am to 5pm. However, schedule will be determined with around school events and Dance Academy rehearsals and performances.
Some additional afternoon and evening availability will be required (planned in advance).
Program aligns with the Chicago Public School academic schedule and requires a commitment when school is in session. June and August are planning periods. During the summer months, CLDA hosts the Summer Dance Intensive session in July.
Additional Salary Information: Robust benefits package including Medical (PPO (90% co-insurance), and HMO $0 ded/$10 office co-pay), and a HDHP w/HSA. Optional dental, vision, FSA, voluntary life and long-term disability and 403b participation. Generous PTO including holidays. Participation in federal transit program (pre-tax transit payroll deductions). Employer paid life insurance short-term disability, life insurance/AD&D 403b employer contributions after one year of employment.
The pay is hourly, commensurate with experience, and this position is not eligible for benefits.
About Chicago Lights at Fourth Presbyterian Church
At Fourth Presbyterian Church, we believe that through mission outreach, we can serve the community in need, sharing in their struggles and hopes and working together for a world of compassion, peace, and justice.
Fourth Church also hosts Chicago Lights, which seeks to support and meet the needs of children, youth, and adults facing the challenges of poverty in our city. Chicago Lights grew from the commitment of Fourth Presbyterian Church to social justice and compassionate service and offers five signature programs, serving more than 4,000 individuals annually. Our core service areas include one-to-one tutoring and mentoring, arts education, social services, and urban farming.
Fourth Presbyterian Church of Chicago and Chicago Lights are a proud, three-time winner of the Chicago Tribune's Top Workplaces in Chicago.