Director of Civic Engagement

Lyric Opera of Chicago

Chicago, IL

Work Location: In-office

Performing Arts Center

  • Full Time
  • Chicago, IL (Remote)
  • Sun, Apr 28, 2024
  • Work Location: In-office
  • Performing Arts Center
  • $75,000.00
  • $90,000.00

Lyric Opera of Chicago

REPORTS TO: Vice President, Lyric Unlimited & Artistic Operations
DIRECT REPORTS: Audience Programs Associate, contracted seasonal staff
STATUS: Full-time, Exempt

Through artistic excellence coupled with innovative, relevant programming; initiatives to connect with and grow new audiences; engagement with communities to ignite creativity across Chicago; and a modernized Opera House that is the setting for truly great experiences, Lyric is leading the advancement of opera. This collaborative vision will deliver ever more exciting, thought-provoking, and inclusive audience and community experiences – while increasing the gravitational pull of our art form, company, and city.

Lyric Unlimited, Learning and Civic Engagement, a division of Lyric Opera of Chicago that offers multifaceted programs of expanded Civic Engagement and artistic initiatives that includes Lyric’s longstanding learning and community programs. Through the work of Learning and Civic Engagement, we thrive to ignite creativity across Chicago through innovative learning opportunities, community partnerships, artistic creation, and collaboration with students, educators, families, arts aficionados and Chicagoans of all backgrounds. Utilizing Opera as the tool for discovery and a catalyst for change. Lyric’s Learning and Civic Engagement department defines how an opera company interacts with and serves its community. We provide a range of programs designed to stimulate curiosity, serve Chicago communities, and explore opera’s development as an innovative art form.

Our goal is to reduce or remove barriers to participating in opera, provide meaningful educational experiences for students with a specific focus on Chicago Public Schools lacking arts programming and engage communities historically distant from opera, specifically low-income, under-resourced youth, and communities of color. The Director of Civic Engagement is a critical member of the Learning and Civic Engagement team. Helping to lead, manage and operationalize Civic Engagement activities both inside and outside of the Civic Opera House.

The Director of Civic Engagement is responsible for successfully executing an annual, year-long youth opera tour: Opera in the Neighborhoods, as well as an extensive portfolio of civic activities with an eye toward innovative and impactful ways to engage the community in activities that take place outside of the Civic Opera house. The Director of Civic Engagement should have extensive familiarity with opera for youth and children, curiosity to explore and ideate within the performing arts, experience producing audience experiences in the opera house as well as in the community across modalities (live, in-person, and virtual programming). The Director of Civic Engagement should have a keen understanding for production of multi-year and seasonal community partnerships, co-created artistic projects, season-specific engagement projects, and the collaborative development and management of new and existing programs.

Demonstrate leadership in alignment with Lyric’s mission and vision.
Develop, grow, manage, maintain, and strengthen partnerships with past, current, prospective, and future community, city, and state partners.
In partnership with VP and Artistic Finance Manager, develop and oversee OIN and all Civic Engagement program budgets.
Supervise and provide leadership to Audience Programs Associate, OIN Tour Manager and contracted seasonal staff on all Civic programmatic activity
Strategize with VP’s of Learning and Civic Engagement and Marketing and Communications to implement a content plan for all Civic Engagement programs and events.
Assist with all elements as it pertains to Explore Your Lyric.
Hire and supervise part-time and contract employees engaged in supporting specific programming.
Collaborate with Sr. Director of Learning to produce educational resources and supplemental program materials for audience engagement programs (i.e. pre-opera talks, lobby exhibitions, OPERA Insights, Artist in Residence Masterclasses etc.).
As business needs of the department shift, so may this role.
Identify site-specific locations where Civic Engagement activities can take place across the greater Chicago area, as well as in-house at the Civic Opera House.
Collaborate with Lyric Unlimited staff to confirm performance sites for the Opera in the Neighborhoods (OIN) program and ensure all production logistics are handed over to OIN Tour Manager.
In partnership with CAAO and VP of Learning and Civic Engagement, strategize the selection of OIN productions and Artist in Residence.
Oversee logistics of Lyric Unlimited season auditions for OIN and all ancillary Civic Engagement performance programs.
In collaboration with OIN Tour Manager, directly oversee all production elements of Opera in the Neighborhoods (OIN) tour.
Collaborate with and manage relationships with Artistic, Facilities, Tech and Production, Company Management, and Marketing Departments on all Civic Engagement activities.
Work with contacts in Artistic, Tech, and Rehearsal to share needs and provide all production elements of Learning and Civic Engagement activities.
Guide, develop, implement, evaluate, manage, maintain and grow existing Civic Engagement audience programs (Pre-Opera Talks, Opera Insights, etc.) to support mainstage productions, including small, medium, and larger-scale programming depending on the season in collaboration with Audience Programs Associate to execute all logistics of programming.
In collaboration with the Sr. leadership of Learning and Civic Engagement, manage season content as it relates to audience programs. Collaborating with Audience Programs Associate in identifying and inviting guest speakers and hosts, reviewing and editing draft copy for marketing and promotion and occasional delivery during live in-person with possible digital components.
Produce, implement, and manage artistic initiatives designed for civic and community engagement that intersects with artistic practice as it pertains to Lyric Opera Chicago mainstage season productions and Civic Engagement programmatic activities and in response to the needs of Chicagoland communities.
In partnership with Sr. leadership of Learning and Civic Engagement, develop and create informal events that engage and re-engage current and former community partners and community programs participants each season.
In close partnership with VP, strategize, build and establish Artist in Residence annual program and schedule, as it supports, reflects and enhances the vision, values and artistic direction of Lyric Unlimited as well as Lyric Opera Chicago.
In collaboration with Audience Programs Associate, manage all logistics for in-house civic engagement programming including, but not limited to, lobby exhibits, pre or post-performance elements, films, and facilitated discussions.
In collaboration with the Sr. leadership of Learning and Civic Engagement develop, implement, produce, and manage existing creative youth development projects across Chicagoland.
Evaluate current and past youth programs to determine a sustainable offering of year-long youth programming, refreshing the program and ensuring appropriate support and staffing while providing leadership to the Civic Engagement team in programmatic implementation.
Collaborate with the Sr. Director of Learning on the strategic path and development of new programs for community/civic artistic programs (for example: Music that Heals and Message in the Music etc.)
Bachelor’s Degree from an accredited college or university in music performance, education, arts administration, or equivalent experience.
Five to seven years of professional experience in arts program management and opera production.
Experience managing a team of staff as well as contracted vendors.
Experience in creating and producing opera, theater and artistic programming with an eye toward social and cultural issues.
Outstanding verbal and written communication skills.
Experience managing and producing large-scale events for external facing audiences across live, in-person, and digital modalities with an individual and city-wide based approach.
Ability to work and think independently, a motivated self-starter who works excellently in collaborative workgroups.
Experience in establishing and sustaining collaborative community partnerships.
Excellent judgment and professionalism in dealing with internal and external contacts.
Working knowledge of and comfort working with: Microsoft Office, specifically Word, Excel, and PowerPoint; Google Suite programs; knowledge of video production and sound editing software is useful.
Proficient project management skills. Must have the ability to document and communicate project plans, monitor progress, and achieve project milestones/results for others to understand.
Must be culturally aware/sensitive, energetic, enthusiastic, well-planned, and organized.
Ability to oversee evening or weekend functions, deployments, or performances.
Sitting for extended periods.
Ability to operate a computer.
Ability to be on-site at Lyric and/or off-site partner locations.

Status: Full-Time, Exempt

Salary Range is $75,000-$90,000

Lyric Opera of Chicago offers benefits including health, dental, vision, 403B (no company match), 401(k) with company match, PTO (including sick, vacation, and personal days, and holidays), life/AD&D coverage, opportunities for professional development, and complimentary tickets.

Lyric Opera of Chicago is committed to enhancing our diverse work environment and is proud to be an equal opportunity employer. Lyric prohibits discrimination and harassment of any kind on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, gender identity, religion, sexual orientation, age, disability, genetic information, pregnancy, parental status, socio-economic status, veteran status, or any other protected status under applicable federal, state or local laws. We encourage individuals of all backgrounds to apply.

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