Encore Creativity for Older Adults (Encore), founded in 2007, and headquartered in Churchton, MD, is the nation’s largest choral program for adults over the age of 55. Encore’s mission is to provide an excellent and accessible artistic environment for older adults, regardless of experience or ability, who seek arts education and performance opportunities under a professional artist. Encore is an IRS 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.
In its nearly eleven years of existence, Encore has grown to 21 choral groups in the Baltimore-Washington area, including 15 Encore Chorales and six Encore ROCKS rock & roll choruses. Additionally, Encore has a Chorale and ROCKS in Manhattan, as well as affiliate programs in CA, CO, IL, OH, and PA. Encore currently serves nearly 2,000 singers.
Encore’s annual program consists of two fifteen-week “semesters” of rehearsing repertoire, followed by concerts that are free and open to the public. All groups rehearse the same music,enabling them to come together for concerts with as many as 250 singers in any one concert. Concerts are held at high quality, high visibility locations including the Kennedy Center and recently, DAR Constitution Hall.
In addition to the rehearse/perform cycles, Encore conducts three “summer camps” per year. Two of the camps concentrate on the traditional choral repertoire while one is a rock & roll camp. The camps are usually five days in duration. Encore also offers a travel program, with singers traveling and performing in Europe, North
America and on cruise ships. There is typically one of these events per year, usually in late May and early June.
Encore’s program participants pay tuition for Chorale participation which accounts for 42% of revenue. The remaining revenue breakdown is: special programs (camps and travel) 31%; contributions and sponsorships 24%; grants 2%; and miscellaneous income 1%.
In view of the above, Encore’s operating tempo is intense year-round. Well managed and continuous growth is a priority in Encore’s three-year Business and Strategic Plan. This requires an inspired, committed and visionary Executive Director who will work closely and in collaboration with the Artistic Director.
With an annual operating budget of approximately $1 million, Encore is governed by an engaged and supportive 9-member board of directors. The ED and AD are both direct reports to the board. There are currently three staff members providing administrative support and ten conductors.
The Executive Director serves as Encore’s the Chief Administrative Officer. The Executive Director plans, organizes, leads, directs, coordinates, and controls Encore’s overall business operations, adhering to the highest professional standards consistent with the objectives and policies established by the Encore’s Board of Directors (Board). The Executive Director collaborates with the Artistic Director to support and implement the philosophy and policy established by the Board and is accountable and reports to the Board President. The Executive Director has legal authority to carry out any and all directives of the Board and is responsible for organizing and coordinating office operations and procedures to ensure organizational effectiveness and efficiency.
The Executive Director must have a bachelor’s degree, master’s degree preferred, plus a minimum of five to seven years of increasing responsibility in a senior management role at a performing arts or similar nonprofit organization. The Executive Director must demonstrate excellent and proven leadership and should also possess a strong command of the business of running a performing arts organization, including financial management, staff development, communication skills, and a track record in donor stewardship and the successful solicitation of major gifts. Candidates must also know how to work collaboratively and effectively with the
Artistic Director, board members, staff, singers, and volunteers and have an avid interest in and/or knowledge of choral music or a closely related art form.
I. Governance and Financial Stewardship
- Collaborate with the board to ensure strong fiscal health and organizational governance and provide support to best utilize the talents and resources of board members, stimulate involvement, and recruit new members.
- Develop and maintain fiscal responsibility for Encore’s annual operating budget and financial and strategic objectives and provide the most effective use of financial resources, working closely with the board.
- Ensure sound financial management and administrative policies and maintain accurate financial records and monthly reports for board review.
- Understand and maintain compliance with best accounting practices, tax filing requirements, IRS reporting requirements and audits.
- Initiate ongoing effective communication with the Board President, board of directors, Artistic Director, staff, singers, and volunteers.
- Advise the board and its committees on matters within the ED’s scope of responsibility to promote the efficient operation of the organization and to ensure the delivery to the public of the services outlined in Encore’s annual operating and strategic plans.
- Support the board in board member prospect identification, cultivation, and recruitment.
- Assist and provide staff support to board committees, as may be needed, to develop and implement their goals and objectives.
II. Operational and Strategic Planning and Execution
- Oversee short-term operational and long-range strategic planning and implementation processes. Collaborate with the Artistic Director in the development, implementation, and monitoring of Encore’s artistic objectives, including semester and special programs planning and scheduling, concert program development, and the selection and contracting of guest performers and instructors, balancing artistic goals with marketability and financial resources.
- Direct administrative personnel relations so that the organization is effectively structured and staffed with competent employees.
- Ensure that Encore’s legal and ethical employer obligations to its staff are fully met.
- Facilitate programs and activities to meaningfully engage volunteers.
III. Revenue Enhancement
- Identify stakeholders, develop strategies, and define how key messages will be delivered to various individuals and institutions to maximize the visibility, brand, and Encore’s earned and contributed revenues.
- Lead the board and staff in development activities, maintain strong relationships with the funding community, and develop the most effective donor stewardship and cultivation methods.
- Take a hands-on leadership role in growing all potential sources of contributed income, including annual and special fund development, special project fundraising, major gift cultivation, corporate sponsorship, grant writing, and all reporting required to receive state and local government support at maximum levels.
- Guide and actively advance Encore’s public image by overseeing the creation of consistently attractive, highly polished, and well-designed print and electronic media.
- Ensure the highest levels of customer service, effective audience interaction, and community engagement.
IV. Community Affairs and Outreach
- Communicate the work and artistic mission of the organization to the public through the media and at public speaking engagements, as needed, in a manner that enhances Encore’s reputation and standing in the community, regionally, and nationally.
- Be an active participant in the ongoing dialogue between arts organizations, community, public agencies, and the media by participating regularly in relevant gatherings, seminars, and festivals.
TRAITS AND CHARACTERISTICS
The Encore’s ED must be an optimistic and resilient leader who is inspired by the organization’s mission, vision, and values and is excited to advance the organization as a vibrant and indispensable musical leader and community partner in the region. The ED will be an intellectually curious, versatile, and assertive professional and hands-on manager ready to do “whatever it takes.” An optimistic problem-solver with strong communication skills, this individual will also have the ability to thrive within an organizational culture that values collaboration, practicality and sensitivity to customer needs.
Other key competencies include:
Self-Management and Personal Accountability – Prioritize and complete tasks necessary to meet or exceed the mutually agreed upon expectations of the role while
being accountable for personal and professional actions.
Stakeholder Focus – Commit to singer, board member, staff, and volunteer satisfaction, with a high value on multiple stakeholder needs. Anticipate challenges and
develop appropriate solutions.
Diplomacy and Interpersonal Skills – Embrace different points of view constructively, resolve conflicts, and bring cohesion to a wide array of stakeholders while interacting with them in a positive manner, treating them fairly, and listening carefully to what they have to say.