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Position Announcement

Executive Director

American Jazz Museum

Kansas City, Missouri

Last updated on Friday, August 28, 2015 at 3:34:15 PM
[ *DOWNLOAD THIS POSITION ANNOUNCEMENT .PDF ]

The Opportunity

Opening in 1997 as the anchor to Kansas City’s 18th & Vine District Redevelopment, the future is bright as American Jazz Museum prepares to celebrate 20 years as the only cultural institution in the world focused solely on the preservation, exhibition and advancement of jazz. 

Our mission:  To celebrate and exhibit the experience of jazz as an original American art form through performance, exhibition, education, and research at one of the country’s jazz crossroads – 18th & Vine.

AJM seeks an energetic, visionary and collaborative leader to serve as Executive Director.

Celebrating jazz legends like Charlie “Yardbird” Parker, Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald and Jay MacShann, to living greats like the Marsalis Family, Chick Corea, Chuck Mangione and Pat Metheny, AJM is more than a single-site visitor destination.   AJM is a multi-faceted organization that allows children and adults, alike, to learn and experience jazz and American jazz heritage through the Museum’s Blue Room, Swing Shop, Changing Gallery and the historic Gem Theater.  These features generate earned income beyond the museum’s membership, sponsorship and donor programs.

Operating with a budget of approximately $2 million, a staff of 25 full- and part-time associates and a large corps of volunteers, AJM partners with more than 150 organizations to carry out our mission and programs.  AJM has been a Smithsonian affiliate since 2000.  It’s neighbor, the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum is an independent 501 ( c )( 3 ) housed in the AJM complex.

Our new executive director will inherit an organization on solid financial footing, with annual visitor-ship of around 40,000 and a full calendar of exhibits, performances and special events.  AJM relies on a mix of earned income, subsidies from the City of Kansas City, and private fundraising to supplement membership support. 

Our new leader will capitalize on synergies created around a resurgence of interest and economic development in Kansas City’s Power & Light and Crossroads neighborhoods. These include plans for creating a downtown campus for the University of Missouri-Kansas City’s Conservatory of Music, a connector line to 18th & Vine once the city’s new street cars are running in 2016, and an initiative by U.S. Congressman Emanuel Cleaver to transfer back to the city some of the properties in the District to serve as a foundation for a new master plan.  In all, city leaders estimate a $140 million investment in 18th & Vine and the surrounding neighborhoods.

Accountabilities:

Reporting to the Board of Directors, the Executive Director will have chief responsibility for all aspects of AJM operations, program, financial performance, fund development, and the customer experience. 

More specifically, the Executive Director will be accountable for:

Strategic vision and management of the mission.  Working with a 14-person Board on a three-year strategic plan and development of measurable goals to bring the vision to life for all aspects of the AJM brand.

Positive engagement and presence within the community – at the city, state and national levels (e.g., civic and community leaders, Board, City of Kansas City, neighborhood groups and 18th & Vine tenants, Kansas City Convention & Visitors Association, the Arts Council and fellow arts organizations, the Smithsonian, peers and others nationally that support Jazz and Jazz Heritage, and current and future stakeholders). The Executive Director will provide leadership in developing and executing strategies to drive strong community, partner and donor relations. 

Delivering quality, diverse Jazz, educational and outreach programming, ensuring a superb customer experience in all aspects of the AJM brand.

Financial health and success in all areas of the business: fundraising, sustainable growth via member and customer development for the performance venues and rentals; optimal pricing strategies; revenue optimization and expense control; and balance sheet management. The Executive Director will demonstrate responsible stewardship of  the historic venue and its value as a chief asset in the region.

Staff leadership and development.  Foster a strong, positive, empowered and progressive culture.

Requirements for the Position:

A minimum of 10 years’ progressively responsible experience in business, general nonprofit, or the cultural or performing arts, with a proven track record at a senior leadership level.  A working knowledge of nonprofit fundraising, programs and boardsmanship.  Knowledge of cultural arts patronage/audience development a plus.

An interest in Jazz, American history, and the African-American experience. 

Willing and able to work flexible hours which will include evenings and weekends.

Bachelor’s degree required; Master’s or other advanced degree is desired.

Desired Attributes: 

A dynamic leader with sound business experience, financial acumen and outstanding communication skills.

A collaborative presence, able to lead by example by motivating, inspiring, and building consensus among the staff, Board, and other key stakeholders.

A civic presence, able to cultivate and interact with the Board, donors and members, the City, state and federal representatives, neighborhood groups and peer arts and culture organizations, and others whose support is vital to the brand.

A strategic, creative thinker with an entrepreneurial instinct that anticipates AJM’s future needs and opportunities. S/he will exhibit energy, political sophistication, and dedication in delivering results.

Application procedures and deadlines:

Open until filled; however, applications received prior to October 1 will receive priority consideration.   Complete applications will be acknowledged by return e-mail within one week of submission.

Apply via email to:   [email protected] . Include in Word and PDF format:

Letter of application that addresses your interest in this position and highlights what you would bring to this position 

Resume

Five professional references we may contact

Questions may be directed to:

Laura McCray, Vice President/Search Consultant

[email protected]

  913-558-1713

The American Jazz Museum is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

ABOUT THE AMERICAN JAZZ MUSEUM

Opening in 1997 as the anchor to Kansas City’s 18th & Vine District Redevelopment,  the  mission of the American Jazz Museum is to celebrate and exhibit the experience of jazz as an original American art form through performance, exhibition, education, and research at one of the country’s jazz crossroads – 18th & Vine.

Operating with a budget of approximately $2 million, a staff of 25 full- and part-time associates and a large corps of volunteers, AJM is the only museum in the world solely focused on the preservation, exhibition and advancement of jazz music.  More than a single-site visitor destination, AJM is a multi-faceted organization that allows children and adults, alike, to learn and experience jazz and American jazz heritage through the Museum’s Blue Room, Swing Shop, Changing Gallery and the historic Gem Theater.  AJM has garnered numerous awards and recognition, including repeated recognition by Downbeat Magazine and the Kansas City Convention and Visitors Association, for Top 100 Jazz Clubs in the World, Best Jazz Club, and Best Jazz Festival. 

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 13, 2015

For more information, contact:
Chris Burnett
Director of Communications
[email protected]
(816) 421-6121

Community, Business Leader Ralph Reid
Named Interim CEO for American Jazz Museum

ralph-reid(KANSAS CITY, MO): The American Jazz Museum (AJM) announced today the appointment of Ralph Reid as interim CEO for the organization.

A well-known civic and business leader, Reid retired this year from Sprint, where he was Vice President for Corporate Social Responsibility and President of the Sprint Foundation. Formerly head of Executive Leadership Development, Sprint Human Resources, during his 33-year career with the company Reid held a wide range of financial and operations positions.

“We are incredibly fortunate Ralph has agreed to serve,” said AJM Board Chair Trey Runnion. “Beyond his clear business and leadership attributes, he is very supportive and committed to Kansas City and our cultural assets. Ralph is certainly a team builder, and his knowledge of AJM and our operating environment will provide us significant advantages during this time of transition.”

“I look forward to working with AJM to support the board and staff in continuing to build the brand,” said Reid, who is a longtime supporter of the AJM and 18th & Vine through his role as Sprint Foundation President. “My hope and vision for AJM is for the museum – and all of 18th & Vine – to be part of assets that civic leaders feature when they are selling Kansas City as a business and tourist destination. Jazz is such an integral part of our city’s heritage and brand, AJM should be front and center as part of that on a national scale.”

“I’m thrilled to have someone of Ralph’s stature on board,” said 3rd District Kansas City Councilman Jermaine Reed. “He brings so much to the table – knowledge of our organization, 18th & Vine, the community, and African-American arts and culture organizations on a national scale.” Reed is on the board of AJM, which is located in his city council district.

Reid has held a number of board leadership positions, including the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce, United Way, Park University, UMKC, Shawnee Mission Medical Center, the Missouri Repertory Theater, Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Kansas City and De La Salle Education Center.

Recognized numerous times for his leadership in the African-American and business communities, Reid was Co-Chair of the Blue Ribbon Planning Committee that led arrangements for the NAACP National Conference in Kansas City in 2010.

ABOUT THE AMERICAN JAZZ MUSEUM

Opening in 1997 as the anchor to Kansas City’s 18th & Vine District Redevelopment, the mission of the American Jazz Museum is to celebrate and exhibit the experience of jazz as an original American art form through performance, exhibition, education, and research at one of the country’s jazz crossroads – 18th & Vine.

Operating with a budget of approximately $2 million, a staff of 25 full and part-time associates and a large corps of volunteers, AJM is the only museum in the world solely focused on the preservation, exhibition and advancement of jazz music. More than a single-site visitor destination, AJM is a multi-faceted organization that allows children and adults, alike, to learn and experience jazz and American jazz heritage through the Museum’s Blue Room, Swing Shop, Changing Gallery and the historic Gem Theater. AJM has garnered numerous awards and recognition, including repeated recognition by Downbeat Magazine and the Kansas City Convention and Visitors Association, for Top 100 Jazz Clubs in the World, Best Jazz Club, and Best Jazz Festival.

On September 26, 2015, AJM will host “Hale Woodruff: Coming Home,” a special exhibit of family holdings of “Amistad” artist Hale Woodruff, which will run through February in the Changing Gallery. “Coming Home” is a companion exhibit to “Rising Up: Hale Woodruff’s Murals at Talladega College,” running concurrently at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. AJM re-branded its annual jazz festival to Kansas City’s 18th & Vine Jazz and Blues Festival, which will take place October 10 in the Jazz District.

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[ DOWNLOAD A COPY OF THIS PRESS RELEASE – AJM Ralph Reid Press Release – 8-13-15 ]

2012KC-SKYLINE
PRESS, ALERTS & MEDIA RELEASES
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FESTIVALHEADLINERS
PRESS ARTICLES:
o AJM Ralph Reid Press Release – 8-13-15

o The Call – 8-13-15

o Kansas City Business Journal – 8-13-15

o The Kansas City Star – 8-13-15

o AJM Position Announcement – 08-15

o KC Studio Magazine – September/October issue (pg 62)

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PRESS PHOTOS

Jammin' at the Gem performance series

Jammin’ at the Gem performance series

In The Blue Room

In The Blue Room

In The Changing Gallery

In The Changing Gallery

Gem Theater stage

Gem Theater stage

Horace Peterson III Visitors Center

Horace Peterson III Visitors Center

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Charlie Parker Grafton Saxophone played at Massey Hall

John H. Baker Film Collection Exhibit

John H. Baker Film Collection Exhibit

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ONE SHEETS
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ABOUT: AMERICAN JAZZ MUSEUM SHORT BIO

Located in the Historic 18th & Vine Jazz District in Kansas City, MO, the American Jazz Museum showcases the sights and sounds of jazz through interactive exhibits and films, the Changing Gallery exhibit space, Horace M. Peterson III Visitors Center, Blue Room jazz club and Gem Theater.Since its inception in 1997, the Museum has hosted thousands of students, scholars, musicians fans for over 200 performances, education programs, special exhibitions, community events and more each year, providing an opportunity to learn about the legends, honor their legacy, or simply enjoy the sounds of Kansas City jazz.Our mission is to celebrate and exhibit the experience of jazz as an original American art form through research, exhibition, education and performance at one of the country’s greatest jazz crossroads – 18th & Vine.As the only museum in the world solely focused on the preservation, exhibition and advancement of jazz, the American Jazz Museum is dedicated to public service and collaborative efforts to expand the influence, awareness and appreciation of jazz within Kansas City and to audiences worldwide.

PLEASE NOTE: COMMUNICATIONS FLYERS ARE .PDF

Board of Directors .pdf – more than a museum flyer Jazz Storytelling .pdf – community collaborations flyer
Administrative Staff In The Blue Room .pdf – facility rental flyer .pdf – professional performance services
Lifetime Achievement Award .pdf – gem theater flyer .pdf – charlie parker memorial flyer .pdf – corporate ads & sponsorship
Brief Institutional History .pdf – changing gallery flyer .pdf – john baker film collection flyer .pdf – support the museum flyer
Permanent Exhibit Jazz Poetry Jams .pdf – student workshops & performances flyer PEER Into The Future

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MEDIA AND PRESS CONTACT

Christopher L. Burnett
Marketing + Communications
(o) 816.421.6121
(e) [email protected]