Executive Director | Playbill

Executive Director

CATEGORY: Administrative

Wichita Symphony Orchestra
Wichita, KS


Renee Danger-James

Job Details


The Executive Director will advance the mission of the Wichita Symphony Orchestra, maintain its fiscal resiliency, and oversee WSO’s management team. Reporting to the Board of Directors, the Executive Director will partner with the Music Director to enhance the brand, visibility, and artistic vision of WSO, engage with Wichita’s diverse community, and build authentic relationships locally, regionally, and nationally. Actively engaged in supporting current and crafting new partnerships with other artistic, educational, civic, social justice, and other organizations, the Executive Director will be a visible presence and respected community leader. They will be proactive in board and donor relations with a focus on garnering philanthropic support, maximizing earned revenue opportunities and promoting fiscal responsibility throughout the organization. This individual will mentor, coach, guide, and advise a dynamic management team of emerging leaders empowering their professional growth and personal advancement.

Roles and Responsibilities

Strategic Leadership and Community Engagement

  • Guide the strategic vision and planning of WSO’s future artistic, educational, and community position within the vibrant Wichita community, the region, and beyond.
  • Develop strategies with and oversee implementation by WSO’s management team in artistic administration, marketing, development, education, community relations, and finance.
  • Innovate and elevate WSO’s profile for current and potential new audiences, educators, program participants, community leaders, and donors.

· Nurture and develop robust collaborative partnerships locally and regionally to enhance the artistic, education, and community engagement goals of WSO.

  • Actively engage and participate in the League of American Orchestras and similar peer-serving organizations, staying abreast of activities and developments in the orchestra industry, and advising the board on trends and practices that may be helpful to advance the WSO’s objectives.
  • Embrace other strategic leadership and community engagement responsibilities, as needed.

Revenue Enhancement and Board Governance

· Oversee the development of strategic and innovative fundraising and marketing plans, in collaboration with the Development and Marketing Managers and Board of Directors, to maximize contributed and earned revenues.

· Identify, cultivate, and steward strong relationships with key community leaders and partners to diversify and expand the Symphony’s revenue, partnership, and audience base.

· Regularly meet with current and potential donors through symphony program, community, and fundraising events in collaboration with the Development Manager, taking an active role as the primary fundraiser for WSO.

· Build and empower a diverse and inclusive board, representative of the community and reflective of the skillsets needed, who are engaged and empowered to leverage and secure resources and relationships for the Symphony.

· Develop and advise on board orientation, education, and engagement activities, guiding and updating board governance.

· Ensure regular and effective communications with the Board and engage and empower the management team in building direct relationships with the Board through shared reporting responsibilities and board engagement.

· Embrace other revenue enhancement & board governance responsibilities, as needed.

Artistic Engagement and Support

· Serve as the Music Director and Conductor’s main point of contact and engage with the musicians regularly in collaboration with the Orchestra Committee.

· Support the Music Director and Conductor in crafting compelling Symphony programs in alignment with programming and financial goals.

· Engage strategically with WSO’s current, and lead the development of new, artistic and programming partners.

· Participate in collective bargaining agreement negotiations alongside the Orchestra Committee, building a collaborative relationship and reporting structure with the committee.

· Strategize with the Music Director and Conductor in negotiations with the artist staff, including the Chorus Director and Conductor, and education program artistic staff, including the Repertory Orchestra, and Youth Symphony, Chamber Players, Concert Band, and Wind Ensemble Conductors.

· Embrace other artistic engagement and support responsibilities, as needed.

Fiscal Resiliency and Organizational Diversity

· Guide long-term financial planning and oversight in partnership with the Board of Directors Finance Committee, Controller, and Business Manager, maintaining a transparent reporting process and serving on the Endowment Committee of the Board.

· Steer the development of marketing strategies and action plans for concerts, ticket sales, and patron experience activities with the Marketing Manager.

· Oversee all financial matters including receivables, payables, and internal controls, and ensure strategic budgeting and sound day-to-day financial management.

· Serve as the WSO ambassador, participating in media interviews, public appearances, and presentations, in collaboration with the Marketing Manager and Partner for Audience Engagement.

· Champion organizational diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility initiatives with the board, staff, musicians, artists, and audiences.

· Manage health plan coverage and costs, benefit plan administration, employment policies, and employee performance reviews.

· Embrace other fiscal resiliency and organizational diversity responsibilities, as needed.

Traits and Characteristics

The Executive Director will be a collaborative and innovative leader, internally and externally, guiding organizational and community alignment. This individual will embrace growth opportunities measured with a commitment to fiscal resilience. The Executive Director will be instinctive and authentic in establishing, cultivating, and building relationships throughout the region. A people-oriented problem solver who adeptly interacts with diverse individuals and stakeholder groups, the Executive Director will evolve the WSO brand and business model to meet the artistic, educational, and community needs of the diverse constituencies it serves.

Other key competencies include:

· Creativity and Innovation – The creativity to explore new approaches, partnerships, and solutions crafted to augment current operations and enhance organizational vision and goals.

· Leadership and Teamwork - The ability to organize and motivate others to accomplish goals, share responsibility for success and failure, create a sense of direction, develop a deeply rooted organizational culture, and gain active participation from the board, staff, musicians, donors, and strategic partners.

· Interpersonal Skills and Customer Focus – The clarity to demonstrate emotional intelligence and sensitivity when handling challenging issues while communicating effectively, building rapport, listening carefully, and relating well to an array of diverse constituencies.

· Problem-solving, Negotiation, and Diplomacy - The capacity to understand diverse perspectives and set a course of action that respects others, treats them fairly, regardless of personal biases or beliefs, and maintains positive and productive relationships in facilitating mutually beneficial agreements.


A minimum of eight years of progressively responsible senior management experience in financial oversight, strategic planning, and community engagement is essential. Demonstrable expertise in cultivating philanthropic support, maximizing earned revenues, and financial accountability is necessary. A bachelor’s degree or equivalent experience is required and a master’s degree or relevant expertise in business, the arts, nonprofit management, or a related field is preferred. A passion for and commitment to the performing arts sector, specifically classical music, pops, and adventurous programming is expected. Candidates must have the ability to travel throughout the region regularly and the capacity to attend evening and weekend performances, programs, and events.

Compensation and Benefits

The Wichita Symphony Orchestra offers an attractive compensation package with a base salary estimated in the range of $100,000 to $120,000. Benefits include health & dental insurance provided by Blue Cross Blue Shield with WSO covering 100% of employee premiums, vacation and sick leave, company-paid parking, and mileage reimbursement.

Applications and Inquiries

To submit a cover letter and resume with a summary of demonstrable revenue, fiscal accountability, and community engagement accomplishments (electronic submissions preferred), please visit https://artsconsulting.com/opensearches/wichita-symphony-seeks-executive-director/. For questions or general inquiries about this job opportunity, please contact:

Renée Danger-James, Vice President

1040 First Avenue, Suite 352

New York, New York 10022-2991

Tel (888) 234.4236 Ext. 212

Email [email protected]

The Wichita Symphony believes a diverse and inclusive team is critical to our ongoing relevance and growth, beginning with the selection process. Therefore, the team is working to ensure comprehensive candidate pools and encourages candidates from diverse backgrounds to apply. The Wichita Symphony is an equal opportunity employer and considers qualified applicants for employment without regard to race, color, creed, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, marital or civil partnership status, pregnancy, age, disability, veteran status, or any other protected factor under federal, state, or local law.


$100,000.00 – $120,000.00 per year





Blocking belongs
on the stage,
not on websites.

Our website is made possible by
displaying online advertisements to our visitors.

Please consider supporting us by
whitelisting playbill.com with your ad blocker.
Thank you!