Job Title: Director of Development
Reports To: General Manager
Status: Regular, full-time, exempt
Da Camera of Houston, a nationally recognized presenter and producer of innovative chamber music and jazz programming, seeks an experienced, growth-oriented Director of Development to lead its philanthropic efforts.
Now in its 29th season, Da Camera is a vital organization which has established itself as a national leader in the world of chamber music and jazz. Da Camera is widely acclaimed for its innovative programming, notably Artistic and General Director Sarah Rothenberg’s unique concerts connecting music with literature and the visual arts, as well as for its jazz series, featuring a distinctive mix of renowned performers and emerging artists.
Da Camera takes its name from the Italian phrase musica da camera, which literally means “music of the room” or “chamber music,” and refers to smaller ensemble music with one musician on a part, usually performed without conductor. Each season, Da Camera’s artist roster includes over 60 musicians, representing distinguished performers from around the world and outstanding musicians based in Houston, who perform at the Wortham Theater Center and The Menil Collection in a subscription series of curated programs often unified under a season theme. Enjoying a 29-year partnership with The Menil Collection, Da Camera’s concerts at the museum feature special programs created for the exhibits, free family events and community residency activities. Da Camera of Houston, along with the Houston Symphony, Houston Ballet and Houston Grand Opera, is one of seven of the city’s major performing arts organizations which form the leadership of Theater District Houston.
Da Camera’s goals include connecting music to other art forms; expanding the awareness of American music through the presentation of jazz and the commissioning of new compositions; and developing partnerships with a wide range of cultural institutions locally, nationally and internationally. Da Camera has been involved in the commissioning of over 25 new works by some of the nation’s leading composers. Recent commissions include Tobias Picker’s Piano Quintet “Live Oaks,” Vijay Iyer’s Piano Quintet, Richard Lavenda’s String Quintet “Afterimages,” Kaija Saariaho’s Sombre and Jason Moran’s The Rauschenberg Project: Holed Up.
Houston Chronicle describes Da Camera as “a Houston gem with a unique niche in the city’s milieu of performing arts,” with critical acclaim also shared by The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Chamber Music, Time Out/New York, Inside Arts and The Washington Post. Through innovative, thematic and curated programs, dynamic outreach activities and artist residencies, Da Camera shepherds musical excellence of uncompromising artistic standards with deeply rooted community programs that reach over 20,000 Houstonians annually, striving to make great music accessible to all.
Da Camera was invited to present Marcel Proust’s Paris, the first of its Music and the Literary Imagination programs created by Sarah Rothenberg, at New York’s Great Performers at Lincoln Center series in 1995; the success resulted in a Lincoln Center series for the next four years, as well as the co-commissioning of Moondrunk, a chamber music/dance theater piece which was hailed in New York as “the birth of a new genre.” Da Camera programs have also traveled to Washington’s Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, London’s Barbican Centre and to other prestigious concert series and festivals in the U.S., Mexico and Europe. In 2014, Da Camera launched the Jason Moran Homecoming Residency, a multi-year residency with acclaimed Houston native jazz pianist and composer Jason Moran, focused on an exploration of the interconnected relationships between jazz, neighborhood, community and visual art, which included the world premiere of Moran’s The Rauschenberg Project: Holed Up. Da Camera’s most recent original production, A Proust Sonata, premiered in February at Houston’s Wortham Theater Center. Other programs have traveled to Washington D.C.’s Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Barbican Centre and to other prestigious concert series and festivals in the U.S., Mexico and Europe.
2015 saw the release of two major international recordings: Da Camera’s unique Music for Rothko Chapel program featuring Morton Feldman’s Rothko Chapel and works of Satie and John Cage, on the prestigious European label ECM; and an all-Kaija Saariaho disc on Ondine featuring the Da Camera-commissioned Sombre. Previous recordings include Heartsounds: The Chamber Music of George Tsontakis on the Koch label and a disc of chamber works by American composer Charles Wuorinen, including the Da Camera-commissioned Ashberyana, on Naxos. Another Da Camera commission, Tobias Picker’s Quintet, performed by Sarah Rothenberg and the Brentano String Quartet, appears on the 2014 CD Invisible Lilacs on the Tzadik label.
In 2009, Da Camera of Houston launched the Young Artist Program, a professional development program for instrumentalists, singers and composers. Providing career-expanding experiences and training to the next generation of artists, the Young Artist Program encourages them to advocate for music in the community throughout their careers. Da Camera Young Artists form the core artist-teachers who lead Da Camera’s innovative Music Encounters in classrooms throughout Houston. Young Artist performances are presented by Da Camera in concert halls, museums, galleries, public schools, hospitals and even nightclubs.
The recipient of numerous awards, Da Camera was awarded three of the National Endowment for the Arts’ coveted American Masterpieces: Three Centuries of Artistic Genius grants. A three-time winner of Chamber Music America/ASCAP’s Adventurous Programming Award, in 2007 Da Camera was chosen by its peers to receive the CMAcclaim National Award in recognition of the organization’s “significant and lasting contribution to the cultural life of its region.” Da Camera has enjoyed partnerships with some of Houston’s finest cultural institutions, including The Menil Collection, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Moody Center at Rice University, Asia Society Texas Center and others.
As a highly collaborative organization, Da Camera is in a period of exciting, substantial growth. From 2011 to 2015, the organization’s budget grew 33%, now $2.2 million, and ticket sales have increased nearly 70%. In 2013, Da Camera established the Artistic Development Fund, and has raised over $500,000 to support original productions, commissions, recordings and other projects. In 2015, Da Camera opened the Da Camera Music Center with rehearsal and workshop space. This year, a generous bequest of $1.6 million from subscriber and donor James K. Schooler has allowed an infusion to Da Camera’s endowment and additional funding for programs and initiatives.
The organization seeks an individual with a positive, can-do attitude that will commit to Da Camera’s values and match its forward-moving momentum. Including the Director of Development, the Da Camera staff numbers 11 and truly operates like an ensemble. The ideal candidate will be equally at home in a formal board meeting and concert hall as they will in the organization’s bungalow office in the heart of Montrose.
MAJOR ATTRIBUTES AND ROLES
The Director of Development is responsible for the comprehensive planning, implementation, management and oversight of all fundraising and development volunteer relations activities. The Director will lead a collaborative effort charged with providing a dynamic integrated program and management of day-to-day fundraising.
S/he will report to the General Manager, and work closely with the Artistic and General Director, Development Committee and the Board of Directors to sustain current fundraising initiatives and develop strategies to broaden fundraising potential to support Da Camera and its mission.
The Director of Development is responsible for all aspects of the organization’s $1.6 million fundraising efforts which support the $2.2 million operating budget. The Director manages two experienced team members: the Assistant Development Director and the Special Events Manager. Other essential duties and responsibilities include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Serves as a key leadership team member and an active participant in making strategic decisions affecting Da Camera;
- Collaborates with the General Manager to prepare the department’s strategic plan with short- and long-range goals to meet Da Camera’s funding objectives, and develop and administer department budget, projecting and monitoring goals for both revenue and expense;
- Advises, prepares and supports the Artistic and General Director and Board Members to maximize the effectiveness of Da Camera’s fundraising efforts, including administrative support for board and committee meetings;
- Collaborates with the Artistic and General Director to serve the organization’s top-most donors and board members and to support stewardship strategies of these donors;
- Attends all Da Camera concerts and special events, serving as an advocate for the organization among key stakeholders and ensuring that patron management efforts are highly functioning;
- Manages the Development Department, setting objectives for department members consistent with the annual operating plan and linked to performance outcomes;
- Oversees the planning of fundraising events and provides direction and oversight to ensure maximum net financial and institutional results from such efforts; and
- Supervises the appropriate use of donor software (Tessitura), ensuring donor privacy, data accuracy and timeliness of reporting.
TRAITS AND CHARACTERISTICS
The ideal candidate will be an entrepreneurial development professional, able to provide strategic philanthropic leadership to a vital cultural organization at a time when it is expanding its reach and institutional influence. This natural leader should believe passionately in the mission of the organization. S/he will be a highly skilled and effective communicator, results-oriented professional and hands-on manager whose style results in positive institutional impact. Leading candidates will demonstrate success working with a wide range of people and possess an empathetic outlook and sense of diplomacy and tact. S/he will be organized and smart with a commitment to team-based management. All Da Camera staff members work together as a team in this creative and energetic environment, attending performances, outreach activities and special events.
EDUCATION AND QUALIFICATIONS
- College degree, coursework in fundraising a plus.
- 5 years or more development experience in a nonprofit setting, CFRE a plus, with a successful track record in securing significant gifts from individual, corporate, foundation and government sources combined with strong interpersonal skills, excellent organizational ability and superior communication skills.
- Excellent written and verbal skills, as well as the ability to manage multiple simultaneous projects and deadlines.
- Strong computer skills and some knowledge of Tessitura donor software helpful.
- Creative self-starter with a desire to be part of a dedicated team of music enthusiasts; prior musical or artistic administrative experience will be considered a plus.
Da Camera is able to provide financial assistance for individuals that may relocate to Houston for this role.
Da Camera of Houston is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. Candidates for employment are considered without regard to race, color, sex, creed, religion, national origin, sexual preference, age, non-job related disability or marital status.
Interested candidates should submit a resume, cover letter and salary requirements by e-mail to General Manager Ab Sengupta at email@example.com.