Director of Development
Cornerstone Theater Company envisions a world transformed through the recognition that every individual has the capacity for creativity and each has a story worth telling. Cornerstone believes that Theater can catalyze dialogue around crucial issues and bring together disparate communities. We believe that conversations about the urgent issues of our times must include many voices and diverse perspectives.
The work is based on the conviction that aesthetic practice is social justice, artistic expression is civic engagement, and that access to a creative forum is an essential part of the wellness and health of every individual and community.
Cornerstone Theater Company is a multi-ethnic, ensemble-based Theater company. The Company commissions and produces plays that combine the artistry of professional and community collaborators. By making Theater with and for people of many ages, cultures and levels of theatrical experience, Cornerstone builds bridges between and within diverse communities in Los Angeles and nationwide.
Cornerstone was founded in 1986 as a traveling ensemble, which adapted classic works to tell the stories of rural communities across the country. The Company settled in Los Angeles in 1992 to focus on urban collaborations, and launched a series of multiyear play cycles. CTC’s method of engagement of community members provides a national model for community-based art making. Its summer Institute, now in its tenth year and which focuses primarily on rural California communities, draws emerging artists from across the country to learn and practice the creation of community engaged theater. From 2001 through 2005, Cornerstone engaged in a series of projects with communities of faith. In 2006 Cornerstone began its four-year-long The Justice Cycle examining how laws shape and disrupt our communities through the lens of immigration, reproductive rights, punishment and retribution and environmental justice. After celebrating our 25th year with a series of projects in diverse Los Angeles neighborhoods we’re in the middle of our current project, a nine-play, six-year exploration of food equity and resource scarcity in California: The Hunger Cycle.
The company consists of three entities: the Ensemble of artists who hold responsibility for artistic decision-making, the Staff, and the Board of Directors.
Characteristics and Traits Essential for the Director of Development:
The Director of Development must be a proven leader demonstrating effective decision-making, strategic thinking and planning relative to fund development and advancement activities. Strong, confident and compassionate communication skills with an emphasis on excellent active listening skills are essential for this role.
The Director of Development must be comfortable and experienced with working within a flexible and an adaptable environment. The ideal candidate should have either experience or strong desire to work within an ensemble process. H/she must be skilled at working with a number of constituencies, being hands-on as well as a big-picture thinker. Fostering collaboration by building trust and facilitating relationships is expected and valued. Being fair-minded, dependable, honest, flexible, and an adaptable and collaborative team player are essential qualities for a successful Director of Development. H/she should also have an interest/passion in arts and social change.
Plans, directs and coordinates all development activities, major fundraising activities and special projects and events.
Establishes short and long-range goals for unrestricted funding sources. Creates a calendar of development activities for the Managing Director, Artistic Director, and Board to support and participate in. Supports the development goals and action items as outlined in the organization’s Strategic Engagement Plan. Creates, organizes and/or manages a successful Capital Campaign effort.
Foundations and Grants:
Interfaces with Foundations and is often the “face” of the organization with new and renewed Foundations. Seeks out potential new Foundations to submit grants. Collaborates with the Managing Director and Artistic Director to identify potential programs to seek grant support. Authors grant proposals, reviews the grants written by the development associate.
Individual Major Gifts and Donor Support:
Creates a strategy to increase the number and amount of individual donors. Supports the efforts of the Board and the Managing Director in the building and growing of the individual donor group.
Resource Development Committee:
Responsible for staffing the Board’s Development Committee, the Resource Development Committee (RDC). Works closely with the co-chairs of the RDC to create fund development activities and to enhance Board members participation.
Maintains all records of donations, grants etc. Prepares and provides appropriate reports for the Managing Director and the Board. Works with the Managing Director to ensure all funds are accounted for properly.
Fund Raising Events:
Supports and staffs Cornerstone’s major fund raising events, e.g. The Bridge Awards and other cultivation and community events.
The Development Associate and additional contract and volunteer development staff.
Reports to: Managing Director
Critical Skills and Experiences:
• 5-7 years in a non-profit arena
• Extensive development experience in non-profit fund raising, proven track record of achieving and exceeding revenue goals
• Substantial fund-raising and resource development experience, including demonstrated success in raising funds from multiple donor types e.g. foundations and individual donors
• Experience working with senior staff, Board members, foundations, volunteers and community resources
• Experience in theater and performing arts organizations preferred
• Strong oral communication skills and demonstrated ability to write clearly and persuasively
• Demonstrated ability to think strategically and thorough understanding of strategic development concepts
• Demonstrated ability to prospect, cultivate and manage new supporters
• Strong partnership-building and event planning skills
• Thorough understanding of all components of a diversified funding base
• Good computer skills and knowledge of data base program
Bachelor’s degree required; Advanced degree in Theater Management, Arts Management preferred.
Salary and benefits will be competitive and commensurate with qualification and experience.
Cornerstone Theater Company is an Equal Access, Equal Opportunity employer. Interested candidates are invited to submit a resume and brief cover letter to: Lauren Frankel at email@example.com.
No internship opportunities are available at this time. Cornerstone’s Institute Summer Residency fulfills equivalent hours and experiences for many internships required by higher learning institutions.
Sign up for Cornerstone’s email list to receive timely announcements of future opportunities.
This Fellowship is not being offered at this time. Sign up for Cornerstone email updates to receive timely announcements about future opportunities.
Paula Altvater Fellowship
Cornerstone’s Altvater Fellowship program provides professional development to individuals interested in theater and community.
About the Altvater Fellowship
Fellows work full-time with Cornerstone on management or production aspects of current programming over an eight-week residency. Each year’s Fellowship focus is determined based on the needs and schedule of Cornerstone’s production schedule.
The Fellowship includes participation in bi-weekly company meetings, weekly staff meetings, and inclusion in company-wide community engagement activities and/or planning.
Successful fellowship candidates have prioritized interest in community-engaged theater and have some understanding of Cornerstone’s mission. They are curious, grounded, and ready to be immersed in the daily running of a theater company from the mundane to the extraordinary.
The Fellowship takes place in Los Angeles at Cornerstone’s office and/or on location of a community residency. The Fellowship includes a $2000 honorarium. Travel to/within Los Angeles and housing are not provided. Applicants must be at least 21 years old.
About Paula Altvater
Paula Altvater was a resident of the Pleasant Point Passamaquoddy Indian Reservation. She participated in Pier Gynt, Cornerstone’s 1990 residency in Eastport, Maine, and in the 1991 national tour of The Winter’s Tale: An Interstate Adventure. Paula passed away in 1992 and Cornerstone named this fellowship program as a tribute to her belief in the importance of community and the power of people working together.
Past Altvater Fellows
2011 Park Cofield
2010 Jay Briggs, Ashley Walden
2009 Mieke Duffly
2008 Sarah E. Peterson
2007 Loraine Shields, William Jamarillo
2006 Sibyl O’Malley
2005 Victor Moag, Luanh Ph Hwee Yen
2004 Laura Henry
2003 Leticia Lopez
2003 Soo Lee
2002 Julie Carpineto
2001 Maya Gurantz, Karla Diaz
2000 Donnetta Grays, Sergio Marin, B*Wak Comfort
1999 Elizabeth Gonzalez, Katherine Chappel
1998 Mark Valdez, José Casas, Scott Cheek
1997 Claudia Pardo, Pete Galindo, Damion “Teeko” Parran