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Executive Director Search Launch

We're thrilled to launch the search for a new Executive Director to lead the Kehrein Center for the Arts! The job description is listed below. To apply, click on the button on the bottom of the page. The deadline for applying is December 31, 2023.

Executive Director


The role of the Kehrein Center for the Arts Executive Director is to lead all aspects of Kehrein’s program development opportunities and administration. This includes managing Kehrein organizational development, marketing, service delivery, and operations and realizing a financial model that is ultimately self-sustaining. The director will work in close partnership with and reports to the Kehrein Center for the Arts Foundation Board. Together, they will drive program, partnership, and fund development efforts for Kehrein. S/he will report to the Kehrein Board of Directors.


Planning and Evaluation

• Develop annual and long-range goals, objectives, strategies, and implementation timelines for Kehrein

• Lead the development of Kehrein performance measures and assessment tools; manage ongoing and annual Kehrein programming and operations evaluations

• Identify, prioritize, and make recommendations for enhancing program services, marketing, communications, operations, and support systems that will enable Kehrein to meet its goals in the most productive and cost-effective ways possible

• As appropriate, participate in the evaluation of Catalyst’s broader objectives, strategies, and results

• Provide leadership and support in creating an independent nonprofit organization for Kehrein that builds on the values and resources of Catalyst

Board and Committee Relations

• Inspire a climate for meaningful Board and committee participation that drives their commitment and contributions to Kehrein

• Lead Kehrein Board and committee recruitment process

• Organize and facilitate Board and committee meetings

• Otherwise contribute to a results-oriented Board and committee structure


• Identify and explore new Kehrein funding prospects

• Cultivate and maintain strategic relationship development and Kehrein funding opportunities

• Develop and submit Kehrein grant requests and reports

• Coordinate other staff members’ and program partners ’contributions to Kehrein grant requests and reports

• In partnership with other Kehrein staff, secure individual donations that help make the organization’s work possible

• Identify, cultivate, and secure in-kind contributions to augment Kehrein’s monetary


• Conceptualize and execute additional contributed income opportunities for Kehrein

Financial Management

• Create and regularly refine a five-year financial model for Kehrein

• Handle annual Kehrein budget development

• Propose Kehrein staff salaries and wages

• Closely monitor Kehrein income, expenses, and cash flow


• Recruit, select, train, supervise, and contribute to the professional advancement of Kehrein staff

• Identify, cultivate, and manage Kehrein consultants/freelancers

• Support all Kehrein staff with volunteer management and vendor relations

• Ensure effective team relationship for all paid and volunteer Kehrein positions as well as how these individuals interact with and support Catalyst

Marketing, Communications, and Community Relations

• Facilitate the development of Kehrein’s annual and strategic marketing plans

• Help ensure all external relations activities best promote Kehrein as well as Catalyst

• In partnership with other Kehrein staff and consultants/freelancers, design and implement program marketing campaigns, communication materials, and related strategies and vehicles

• In partnership other Kehrein and Catalyst staff, identify, recruit, and secure program partners, participants, and space users

• Cultivate and maintain ties with outside organizations with whom Kehrein has

complementary program activities and/or can tap into for additional resources

Additional Program Development and Implementation

• Conceptualize and lead the development of Kehrein service components, including new income-generating opportunities and activities

• Create and clearly communicate program policies, procedures, and guidelines

• In partnership with pro bono advisors and other outside experts, create and update service agreements for Kehrein program partners that best minimize Kehrein and Catalyst liabilities and best safeguard both entities’ assets

• Lead and manage the participation of resident companies/anchor tenants and outside advisors/Kehrein advisory committee members in providing input and feedback for program development and implementation

• In partnership with other Kehrein and Catalyst staff and additional contributors (e.g., interns), develop and ensure quality implementation of systems to track and assess space/service use as well as Kehrein’s financial and broader impact on program participants

• Manage and guide other outside Kehrein partners




Skills and experience

• Complex and thorough, on-the-ground understanding of what it takes for a nonprofit creative endeavor to succeed artistically, financially, and from an infrastructure perspective

• Outstanding planning and implementation skills

• Excellent communicator and motivator

• At least 5 years in mid- to senior-level fundraising roles

• Experience managing personnel and volunteers

• Bachelor’s degree required; master’s strongly preferred

• Financial planning and fiscal management skills are a significant advantage

• Priority consideration provided to those with experience as an Executive Director or program director/manager, particularly of a smaller or start-up cultural entity

Personal attributes

•Cultural competency regarding (i.e.,keen thoughtfulness about, respect for, and sensitivity to) the unique challenges of a creative endeavor in Chicago’s Austin community

• Open mind and open heart in relation to the historical racial biases and other inequities that have adversely affected Chicago’s west side and African American communities

• Willingness to listen to and learn from community voices, regardless of individual (including the job candidate’s own) subjectivity

• Ability to lead as well as to follow


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