Cornerstone Theater Company





Director of Development
Position Description

The Vision:

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.

The Mission:

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.

The History:

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.

Overall Responsibilities:

Plans, directs and coordinates all development activities, major fundraising activities and special projects and events.

Primary Responsibilities:

Fund Raising:
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.

Database Management:
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.

To Apply:
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




Development Intern 2014 (Grant Writing)

Deadline May 2nd


Organization Description:

Founded in 1986, Cornerstone is a multi-ethnic theater company that, by making theater with and for people of many ages, cultures and levels of experience, builds bridges between and within diverse communities in Los Angeles and nationwide. With the help of a small yet dedicated staff and ensemble, Cornerstone has commissioned more than sixty playwrights, produced over ninety new works, trained over two thousand students in our unique methodology, and worked with tens of thousands of community members across the country.

708 Traction Ave., Los Angeles, California 90013

Position Description:

The Development Intern will be responsible for assisting the Development Department in the online giving campaign that will accompany the Hunger for Culture Residency in July and August; conduct research, compiling prospective foundations and grant programs with their due dates; and write and compile the necessary documentation for proposals and letters of intent. Daily, the Intern will update records in our database, maintain correspondence with donors and organize grant files.

Skills Required:

Successful applicants will have high-level organizational and research skills, ability to work with a team, ability to work under pressure and meet deadlines, excellent writing skills, and the ability to work independently with limited supervision.


- Have the legal right to work in the United States
- Be residents of Los Angeles County (verified with CA ID or Driver’s License)
- Be currently enrolled in a four-year university program AND
- Have completed at least one semester or the equivalent by June 2, 2014
- May not have already earned a bachelor’s degree or its equivalent, or higher degree*
- May not have already served as intern in the Los Angeles County Arts Internship Program
* Prospective graduates who will complete their undergraduate degree between May 1, 2014 and September 1, 2014, need not be currently enrolled at the time of internship.

Remuneration: $10/hr; 40hrs/week; 10-week period commencing June 2, 2014 and ending August 22, 2014

How to apply:

DEADLINE MAY 2ND. Please send writing sample, a cover letter, and resume to Maria Guerra at

This internship is sponsored by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors through the Los Angeles County Arts Commission. 74 undergraduate interns will participate in the program this year at 74 performing, presenting, and literary nonprofit arts organizations and municipal arts agencies throughout LA County. In addition to their full- time 10 week paid internship, interns will participate in several educational events as part of the program, which are funded by the perspective of the vibrant arts and cultural landscape of the County. For additional information on the Los Angeles County Arts Commission, the Arts Internship Program, and for a complete list of all the internships offered this summer, visit the Arts Commission website at



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