SUMMARY OF OPPORTUNITY – Golden Thread Productions (goldenthread.org) is seeking a new Executive Artistic Director (EAD) to follow in the footsteps of Founding Artistic Director Torange Yeghiazarian. This is a full-time position in San Francisco, CA. The EAD leads a professional staff of 5 and reports to the Board of Trustees. The EAD is responsible for implementing Golden Thread’s mission through compelling artistic programming, visionary strategic planning and sound operational management. The ideal candidate would be an experienced theatre producer and inspiring artistic leader with exceptional understanding of Middle Eastern and Middle Eastern American theatre as well as lived understanding of the diverse communities that shape it.
BACKGROUND – Founded in 1996, Golden Thread Productions is the first American theatre company devoted to plays from or about the Middle East, defined broadly and inclusively. Golden Thread’s mission is to produce passionate and provocative plays from or about the Middle East – including its global diaspora – that celebrate the multiplicity of its perspectives and identities. We are a developmental catalyst and vibrant artistic home to artists at various stages of their career. We bring the Middle East to the American stage, creating treasured cultural experiences for audiences of all ages and backgrounds.
For more than two decades, Golden Thread Productions has been expanding the scope of mainstream American storytelling to include Middle Eastern immigrant perspectives, and advocating for diversity and inclusion in the American theatre nationally. Facilitating conversations and cultural bridge-building among artists, audiences, and diverse communities is at the core of our artistic practice. With more than half of our audience made up of individuals not of Middle Eastern heritage, many seek out Golden Thread in search of alternative perspectives of the Middle East and to learn about cultures different than their own.
Golden Thread’s signature programs include ReOrient Festival of short plays; development and production of full-length plays; New Threads staged reading series; What do the Women Say? a curated evening highlighting Middle East women artists, and Golden Thread Fairytale Players creation and touring of plays based on Middle Eastern folktales and traditions.
For the past five years, Golden Thread has enjoyed steady growth expanding from $213K budget in 2013 to $500K in 2019, through significant investment in staff and board development and community engagement [prospect cultivation]. Now about to celebrate its 25th anniversary, the company enjoys a leading position as the nation’s oldest producer of Middle Eastern work, a robust donor and audience base, an engaged board, and strong community partnerships.
DEscriptION – The position of Executive Artistic Director is full time. This position reports to the Board of Trustees. The Executive Artistic Director leads the company’s long-term vision, visibility and impact. The goal of this position is to implement Golden Thread’s mission through compelling artistic programming, visionary strategic planning and sound operational management. In addition to artistic leadership, this position holds primary responsibility for fundraising, partnerships, community engagement, and long-term planning.
Sustain and grow Golden Thread’s position as the leading producer of Middle East-focused plays in the US.Develop, implement, and evaluate artistic programs and productions for the season.
Hire main artistic personnel including directors, performers, and designers.
Cultivate relationship with playwrights locally, nationally, and internationally.
Identify emerging voices and create a pipeline to develop next generation artists.
Identify opportunities for collaborations, artistic exchange and partnerships that build cultural bridges and leverage resources.
Create and sustain a creative environment that supports theatre artists to tell personal stories.
Create a vibrant & thriving network of artists & organizations engaged with Middle Eastern Theatre.Engage Golden Thread’s resident artist community and create artistic opportunities for them.
Discover, develop and support theatre artists of Middle Eastern heritage.
Play a leading role in the national network of Middle Eastern and North African (MENA) Theatre artists and of theaters of color.
Challenge artist and audience expectations about the history, culture and people of the Middle East.Engage a diverse audience to reflect and share about our common human experiences superseding cultural and political differences.
Engage families and students in Golden Thread performances and programs.
Foster the development of good relations with Middle Eastern communities and other cultural organizations locally, nationally and internationally.
Hire, supervise and evaluate senior staff.
In collaboration with the Managing Director, develop the annual budget and quarterly operational objectives.
Maintain funder relationships, write project grants, and develop new sources of funding and new strategies for community investment.
Act as a spokesperson for the organization’s mission.
Report to the Board of Trustees regularly.
The position of Executive Artistic Director requires a strategic thinker and creative leader who motivates and inspires, and is passionate about Golden Thread’s mission. Background in theatre arts administration is required. The ideal candidate would be politically aware and sensitive to the plurality of thought and culture within the Middle East and its world-wide diaspora.
Significant experience in producing theater
Demonstrated ability to work with artists from diverse cultural backgrounds and artistic practices
Ability to foster a culture of inclusion, intersectionality of personal identities and brave exchange of conflicting views
High level of creative work, curation or comparable experience in developing creative projects
Strong creative programming abilities with proven ability to focus, prioritize, execute, collaborate, and delegate
Proven ability to motivate, develop, and lead teams of people
Strong experience with fundraising and financial management
High level skills managing timelines, people, and competing tasks
Demonstrated ability to speak and write about the work of the company
Ability to plan and execute fundraising strategy
Familiarity with the depth and complexity of Middle Eastern cultures and history
Ability to navigate conflicts and challenges within and among different Middle Eastern communities
Passionate about sharing Middle Eastern stories with a broad audience
Strong collaborator able to work with diverse community stakeholders and partners
Pride in Middle Eastern American community’s accomplishments and ability to leverage community resources and advocate for the community’s voice and needs
COMPENSATION AND START DATE
The salary for this position is budgeted at $65,000. Benefits include PTO, flexible schedule, and ability to work from home.
The expected start date is January 1, 2021. The current EAD (founder Torange Yeghiazarian) will stay on for the first three months of 2021 in order to transition responsibilities.
HOW TO APPLY
Interested candidates should send a cover letter, resume, references, and a link to online work samples to NewEADSearch@goldenthread.org.
Please save all your documents as one PDF file and title it as YOURLASTNAME_EADAPP.
The deadline for submission is August 31, 2020.
For questions, email NewEADSearch@goldenthread.org.