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Arts administration ,
submitted by
Lauren Slipkowsky

Director of Community Ventures

Director of Community Ventures

The Old Town School of Folk Music is seeking a strong leader for its Community Ventures program.


The Old Town School of Folk Music's Community Ventures program is a portfolio of fee and grant-based programs that operate in partnership with Chicago Public Schools and community partners primarily located in Chicago's south and west side neighborhoods. The Director of the Community Ventures program is responsible for ensuring the smooth operation of high-quality programs across the portfolio, deepening Old Town School's engagement with our current audiences and broadening the School's reach to new audiences in neighborhoods across Chicago.


Highly creative thinker with a solid track record of accomplishment in program development and execution. Entrepreneurial Leadership experience taking complex projects from conception through development, funding, coalition building, production, and assessment. Experience and solid track record of applying for grants and tracking activities, expenses, etc. Experience managing a budget.Ability to build relationships within Old Town School, as well as with community partners, funders teaching artists, and program participants. Articulate and persuasive in oral and written communications; comfortable as a public speaker. Passion for and knowledge of the arts (especially music and dance) and arts education. Familiar with the landscape of Chicago funders, arts programmers, and artistic communities strongly preferred. Committed and dedicated to justice, addressing inequality, amplifying the voices of marginalized communities and using music, dance, and the arts to heal and grow. Adept with current web and social media platforms as well as MS Office. Experience supervising direct reports and overseeing program staff. Five years of related experience required. Bachelor's degree or equivalent work experience. Direct experience working with the arts and/or education communities on the south and west sides of Chicago strongly preferred. Ability to work a flexible schedule including nights and weekends .Ability to travel to program locations. Bilingual Spanish/English a plus.

Examples of Duties:

Reporting to the CEO, this senior leadership position is responsible for conceiving, developing, and producing a variety of new projects, and coordinating innovation across departments. The director produces an extensive calendar of one-off and drop-in programs, residencies with visiting artists, special events, and ambitious extended thematic engagement programs.

The Director of Community Ventures fulfills several related roles:

As a planner, looks for creative solutions to ongoing issues and new directions for innovative project development, and looks for new opportunities to grow programs, partnerships, and funding. As a sustainability engineer, builds fiscally sound programs with appropriate input from within the School and the community. As a researcher, pursues data collection and/or seeks outside assistance in assembling relevant information to inform program direction. As a facilitator, brings together and catalyzes the work of ad-hoc working groups necessary for success. As a visionary, conceives new ideas for engaging audiences, and adapts best practices from across the creative economy. As a partner and colleague, is an enthusiastic and inspirational change leader.

If interested and qualified, please submit a resume and cover letter to

Contact Info:
Lauren Slipkowsky
Job Type: Permanent
Location: Chicago, IL