Executive Director 2021

Job Posting
Executive Director
Earthdance, Plainfield, MA

Anticipated Start Date: September 15, 2021


With respect to the limited capacity and possibilities of a single person, we acknowledge that the skillset and organizational needs expressed in this posting are diverse and multifaceted. We remind all applicants that it is not necessary to have all of these skills and experiences, rather the willingness to learn, as well as to work collaboratively and be supported by a talented and engaged team of colleagues, board of directors and committee members. We are excited to meet you and open to your insight, direction and ideas.

We are excited to consider single persons and collaborative team applicants for this position. If you are one person or a team of two proposing to divide the position in ways that suit your strengths, we are eager to hear from you.


Earthdance is a workshop, residency, and retreat center with a focus on improvisational movement arts; it occupies the homeland of the Nipmuc, and nearby tribes: Agawam, Pocumtuc, Wabanaki Confederacy, Mohican Indians in an area that is now known as the Berkshire hills of Western Massachusetts. When a group of friends who shared a love of contact improvisation and improvisational dance bought the land and moved in over 30 years ago, they had no idea Earthdance would evolve into the non-profit organization it is today. Currently we are looking for someone who has the skills to both nurture and maintain the community aspect of Earthdance and balance the needs of the institutional organization.  

The past year has been a challenging yet generative time, as we’ve dealt with the impacts of COVID-19. We’ve temporarily ceased most on-site programming and retreats (our main source of income) and utilized the opportunity to complete structural upgrades to our facilities. We have developed some online programming, received critical donations and grants, and also made use of government support programs. 

We plan to begin hosting on-site events again later this year, and to eventually return to our operations as a retreat center focused on improvisational movement, dance, community gathering and upholding the unique role Earthdance plays in the global Contact Improvisation community.  We are looking for someone to be an integral part of the team that will carry the organization forward. 

Motivated by a commitment to equity, social justice, and sustainability, the Earthdance Board and staff are interested in structures that promote horizontality and shared visioning.



The Executive Director is responsible for managing and overseeing all aspects of Earthdance, in collaboration with other staff leaders. The main areas of responsibility include development (fundraising, grant writing and donor relations), financial management and planning, staff hiring and supervision. Additionally, the Executive Director supports communications (publicity, marketing and outreach),  physical facilities planning, and event programming / artistic direction. The Executive Director reports to the Earthdance Board of Directors. At this time, the organization is engaged in substantial work to embed stronger equity and access procedures into all aspects of its functioning and is working to emerge from the pandemic with new clarity about financial models that support the health and sustainability of the organization and the individuals it serves. 

The new Executive Director is expected to:

  • Take a leading role in fundraising and business planning in order to sustainably expand Earthdance’s income
  • Deeply support the work of institutionalizing equity and access practices, in collaboration with the Equity and Justice Coordinator
  • Collaborate with the board to develop a staffing model that meets organizational needs in a way that is fiscally sustainable
  • Collaborate with the board and the Operations Director in developing an emergent strategy post-pandemic
  • Create and maintain accountability processes that are equitable and restorative working closely with the Equity and Justice Coordinator, Operations Director and board


Candidates should be highly self-motivated, creative, and detail-oriented, with excellent communication and organizational skills. Must be able to collaborate with staff members and volunteers, develop and steer projects, and structure time to handle multiple tasks simultaneously. We are looking for a director who embodies harmonious leadership, nurtures relationships, promotes expertise from all levels of the organization, and inspires and influences others to thrive in a collaboratively-run arts organization. The Executive Director of Earthdance must have: a familiarity with somatic dance and movement practices; a commitment to anti-oppression, access work, and environmental stewardship; and interest in community building and engagement. More detailed job responsibilities are listed below. 

Black, Indigenous and people of color, LGBTQIA+ folks, women, and people of differing abilities are encouraged to apply.


Compensation & Benefits

  • Salary: The Executive Director position is a full time salaried position, with an expected average of 35 hours/week. The ED is also expected to be present at Earthdance for some community events, jams, performances, etc; this presence will be flexibly blended with work time. The salary for this position is $50,000 - $55,000.
  • Health Insurance: Earthdance does not currently offer a healthcare plan, though an individual may qualify for subsidized insurance through the Massachusetts Healthcare Connector program
  • Housing: Housing is not currently being offered as part of this position, however, depending upon the candidate’s access needs and plans, this may be negotiable. 
  • Vacation: Earthdance offers 3 weeks (15 days) of paid vacation
  • Remote work capacity: The Executive Director or team may work in a hybrid work model (50/50 remote and on-site) in order to accommodate diverse living arrangements. We seek balance between candidates’ live/work needs and organizational needs that include the warmth of presence and leadership on-site.
  • Additional benefits: Leadership at Earthdance includes the opportunity to attend workshops and other events free of charge, access to studio space, and relationship-building with dance/movement teachers and practitioners domestically and internationally




Fundraising & Development

  • Expand Earthdance’s fundraising and development efforts 
  • Identify, develop, and meet with individual major donors
  • Develop and coordinate annual fund drives and materials, with the support of the Fundraising Committee
  • Explore potential sources of institutional funding and develop relationships with appropriate local, regional, and related international foundations
  • Manage all institutional grant research, writing, reporting, and budgeting


Business Planning & Management

  • Ensure that the organization is equipped with a solid foundation of financial practices, in collaboration with the Finance Committee and other board and staff 
  • Develop, recommend and manage the Annual Organizational Budget with Finance Committee
  • Strategize and plan Earthdance program models, pricing/fee structures, and contract templates in relation to fiscal health in collaboration with other staff
  • Monitor and plan in collaboration with other staff for long term health of the Earthdance buildings, facilities, and land


Staff Hiring, Development and Supervision

  • Develop a fiscally sustainable staffing model in conjunction with Finance Committee and Board
  • Hire and supervise Earthdance’s paid staff in a transparent manner
  • Work with various stakeholders to develop a non-hierarchical collaborative organizational structure which includes cooperative decision making, clear communication, and empowerment of others in the organization


Earthdance Programming & Rentals

  • Collaborate with Programming Committee (and at times, board) on artistic direction
  • Collaborate with Operations Director on event logistics and care
  • Strengthen Earthdance’s present program of workshops, festivals and events, collaborate with and offer additional programming for and by Black, Indigenous, and People of Color, LGBTQIA+ people, and differently-abled people
  • Engage in coalition-building with other arts and social justice organizations to develop combined programs
  • Develop relationships with prominent teachers, artists and visionaries in the fields of dance, somatics, and improvisational arts
  • Develop relationships with Earthdance’s rental clientele and expand Earthdance’s capacity as retreat center for rental groups (in collaboration with Operations Director)
  • Evaluate program models and develop rate structures to ensure access and profitability


Public Relations, Promotions & Marketing

  • Supervise marketing and Marketing Director for Earthdance, including visioning, developing strategy, assessing impact & access, and ensuring branding consistency, quality, timeliness of design materials, and disseminating information about Earthdance programming in collaboration with appropriate staff and/or contractors
  • Diversify Earthdance’s stakeholders and increase stakeholder engagement
  • Lead in Earthdance advocacy and positive public relations
  • With Equity and Access Committee,  support repair, accountability and restorative practices with community members as necessary


Preferred Skills/Competencies: 

  • One to three years of experience leading a non-profit, educational or arts organization or comparable experience
  • Experience and success in financial management, fundraising and development
  • Strong team leadership: skilled communicator, collaborator, consensus builder. Excellent interpersonal skills and ability to interface with others using tact and diplomacy
  • Excellent ability to tend to administrative functions, including email correspondence, composition of business/HR policies and contracts, and development of budgets and narratives
  • Experience in movement arts and improvisation (including some familiarity with Contact Improvisation), as well as a personal movement and/or artistic practice 
  • Demonstrated capacity to lead an organization towards becoming an actively anti-racist organization promoting social justice and equity
  • Ability to maintain healthy interpersonal relationships under pressure
  • Ability to offer authentic warmth and welcome to community members in your public role
  • Ability to nurture yourself with artistic practices and relationships in balance with organizational responsibilities in order to thrive


If you are interested in this position please submit the following:

  • A letter of interest that includes personal account of:
    1. your experience as an organizational leader, manager of projects and people, and/or as a fundraiser, 
    2. your interest and background in movement/dance,
    3. your experience in leading organizational culture change, specifically in the realm of social justice, anti-racism, and horizontal power sharing,
    4. how you are uniquely suited to the position of Executive Director at Earthdance. 
  • A resumé
  • Three references (include name, relationship, phone number, and email)
  • Any additional supporting materials (marketing or fundraising materials, general writing samples, project descriptions, etc.) 


Materials should be sent electronically to:  edhiring@earthdance.net


Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis, however review of applications will begin July 14, 2021.