Employment Opportunities

Position: Executive Director, DREAMS of Wilmington, Center for Arts Education
Location: 901 Fanning Street, Wilmington, NC 28401
Salary: $60,000 – $65,000 depending on experience
Job Posted:  June 22, 2018
Application Deadline: September 15, 2018

DREAMS of Wilmington, Inc. is a nationally award-winning nonprofit dedicated to building creative, committed citizens, one child at a time, through providing youth in need with high-quality, free-of-charge programming in the literary, visual, multimedia and performing arts. The mission of DREAMS is to create a Culture of Confidence via Youth Development through the Arts.

DREAMS of Wilmington is a caring and close-knit community.  We place a high priority on the development of each child. We are in search of an Executive Director who will bring excellent communication, skills, experiences, positive energy, and leadership to DREAMS of Wilmington.

The Executive Director (ED) is the key manager and leader of DREAMS of Wilmington (Youth Development through the Arts).  This is a complex, multifaceted role that requires vision, excellent management and communication skills while providing attention to detail. The ED is responsible for overseeing the strategic plan, administration, development and programming of the organization with the goal to always do what is best for students.

A significant component of the position is front-facing including fundraising, donor cultivation, marketing and community outreach.  The position reports directly to the Board of Directors and supports the various constituents of DREAMS: students, parents, teaching artists, staff, donors, government officials, schools, and other members of the community.

General Responsibilities

  1. Organization Mission and Strategy: Work with Board and Staff to ensure that the mission is fulfilled through programs, strategic planning, and community outreach.
    1. Implement programs that carry out the organization’s mission.
    2. Work with the Board to develop and execute strategic plans to ensure that DREAMS can successfully fulfill its mission in the future.
    3. Be active and visible in the community by closely working with other professional, civic, and private organizations.
      1. Cultivate and maintain relationships with current and potential partners.
      2. Cultivate community partnerships to maximize impact of programming dollars and in-kind support.
  1. Board Collaboration: Work with Board to fulfill mission of the organization: Creating a Culture of Confidence via Youth Development through the Arts.
    1. Execute the Board’s directives.
    2. Communicate effectively and transparently with the Board in a timely manner necessary for the Board to make informed decisions.  ED meets at least weekly with Board Chairperson.
    3. Engage in Board development in collaboration with the Board.
    4. Set DREAMS goals (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Timely) in collaboration with Board of Directors, Staff, and other key people.
  2. Fiscal Responsibility and Transparency: Develop resources sufficient to ensure the financial health of the organization
    1. Lead fundraising and develop additional resources necessary to support the organization’s mission and programming.
      1. Oversee and implement appropriate resources to ensure excellent fundraising and development.
        1. Manage fundraising, event planning, and publicity.
        2. Manage the grant writing process.
        3. Cultivate Corporate relationships.
    2. Develop and track budget
      1. Maintain the fiscal integrity of the organization including submission to the Board of a proposed annual budget and monthly financial statements that accurately reflect the financial condition of the organization.
      2. Manage and operate within the approved budget, ensuring maximum utilization of resources resulting in positive cash flow and in a strong, long-term financial position.
      3. Track finances and expenses while providing reports to the Board.
  3. Management: Bring strong leadership skills to play in working with staff, teaching artists, and other constituents. Recruiting, hiring and developing staff are key aspects of the position.
    1. Supervise all employees and conduct semi-annual employee reviews.
    2. Identify top talent and effectively manage staff hiring process.
    3. Provide clear communication and direction to staff.
    4. Facilitate weekly staff meetings.
    5. Provide continuous feedback and at least two formal performance reviews each year to each staff member.
    6. Listen to staff and be open to feedback.
    7. Consider key feedback to do what is best for students and the organization.
    8. Manage associate director and program director to effectively recruit, manage, and retain excellent staff and teaching artists.
      1. Hire and retain competent, qualified staff who champion the best interests of the students and organization.
      2. Recruit and manage competent, qualified teaching artists who champion the best interests of the students and organization.
      3. Develop a pipeline of potential DREAMS teaching artists.
      4. Identify human resources needs (staff development/artist orientation, etc.) and implement a development plan to address those needs.
    9. Set DREAMS research priorities and system for evaluating progress, e.g., number of students participating in programs, consistent methods for gathering feedback from students and families, etc.
    10. Actively engage and energize DREAMS volunteers, board members, event committees, alumni, partnering organizations, and funders/donors.
  1. Marketing and Communications
    1. Manage staff to effectively refine all aspects of communications—from web presence to print collateral for optimal impact with the goal of expanding a stronger brand identity for the organization.
  2. Operations: Oversee and implement appropriate resources to ensure excellent operations and facilities.
    1. Ensure the safety of the students and others participating in the DREAMS facilities and programs by following safety policies and standard operating procedures. Implement new policies and procedures as needed.
    2. Manage the DREAMS campus.
      1. The indoor space includes management of the Garage at DREAMS and the Gallery of DREAMS in addition to classrooms, studios, offices, and a kitchen space under development.
      2. The outdoor space includes a garden, workshop area, and outdoor mural.


Professional Characteristics and Qualifications

  • A Bachelor’s degree in Arts, Education, Youth Development, Social Work, Organizational Management or a related field or equivalent experience and training
  • Transparent and high integrity leadership
  • Knowledge of nonprofit fundraising strategies and donor relations
  • 5+ years senior non-profit management experience or equivalent experience and training
  • Solid, hands-on, budget management skills, including budget preparation, analysis, tracking, decision making, and reporting
  • Strong organizational abilities including time management, planning, delegating, program development and meeting deadlines
  • Ability to delegate, meet deadlines, and manage time effectively
  • Ability to convey a vision of DREAMS’s strategic future to staff, board, volunteers, donors, and others
  • Strong written, oral communication and public speaking skills
  • Ability to interface and engage diverse volunteer and donor groups
  • Demonstrated ability to oversee and collaborate with staff


Note: Benefits package available including health, dental, and vision.


To Apply:

Send resume and cover letter with three references to community@dreamswilmington.org.

Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis.

No applications accepted via third parties.

Applicants will be required to complete a certified background check successfully or provide background check information if already certified.