The Yard

Executive Director

To Apply

The Yard has retained the services of Harris Rand Lusk to conduct this search.  Inquiries, nominations and applications may be directed in confidence to:

Jack Lusk, Managing Partner & CEO
Sabrina Stoker, Senior Director
Harris Rand Lusk
260 Madison Avenue, 15th Floor
New York, NY  10016

Email your resume and cover letter to Sabrina Stoker at: sstoker@harrisrand.com

Please put “The Yard” in the subject line of your emailed application.

One of the oldest non-profits on Martha’s Vineyard, The Yard supports contemporary dance-makers and movement-related performance artists from around the world through paid, creative residencies, public performances, development opportunities, and artist-driven civic engagement. Founded in 1973 by Patricia N. Nanon and envisioned as “a playground without walls, a place to explore, to experiment, construct…a space in which to come together and to be alone,” The Yard has fostered thousands of artists and enriched the cultural life of the island beyond measure. Further, Ms. Nanon’s goal of nurturing and promoting the work of choreographers and dance companies has had a lasting impact on the international, national, and local dance field for nearly fifty years.

The Yard is an inclusive and welcoming community with an expressed commitment to anti-racism, cultural exploration, and the cultivation of diverse forms of expression. Residencies enable and amplify the work of artists by providing financial stipends, access to rehearsal and performance spaces, teaching opportunities, support in technical production, videography, and marketing. Community engagement with the residents and visitors of the island includes public performances, intergenerational dance classes and workshops, and dance and creativity-centered education programs.

With the departure of their current Executive Director, The Yard is seeking a passionate and agile leader with the vision to lead the organization into their next stage of growth, influence, and exploration.

Reporting to the Board of Directors, The Yard’s Executive Director will be a strategic thinker with strong interpersonal and analytical skills, keen judgment, and the ability to work collaboratively with a team of people from a wide array of cultural backgrounds. The ideal candidate will be a front-facing and dynamic leader with proven success in fundraising who is able to build, cultivate, and maintain partnerships and relationships with key community stakeholders and funders. They will be an inspirational and collaborative manager who can oversee all administrative functions and provide guidance, support, and direction in fundraising, programming, and community outreach.

The Yard’s Executive Director will possess a passion and commitment to the organization’s long-term goals for artistic excellence, collaboration, civic engagement, and cultural equity. They will possess outstanding communication and negotiation skills, be a persuasive advocate and spokesperson, and lead the execution of a capital campaign to coincide with the celebration of The Yard’s 50th anniversary.

Specific Responsibilities:
Strategic Direction & Leadership:

  • In partnership with the Board, provide leadership and strategic direction for the Yard as an advocate and champion of dance and the performing arts locally, nationally, and internationally
  • Foster staff development in a supportive and inclusive manner, providing leadership and setting quality standards while promoting a culture that reflects the organization’s values and rewards productivity; manage recruitment and hiring of new staff as necessary
  • Ensure ongoing artistic and programmatic excellence and consistent, quality delivery of mission and values
  • Guide purposeful and sustainable growth for the organization and its year-round presence as a home for dancers and as a cultural institution on Martha’s Vineyard

Fundraising & Communications:

  • Lead the launch and successful execution of The Yard’s 50th anniversary celebration, capital campaign, and campus revitalization initiative
  • Serve as The Yard’s spokesperson and advocate in fundraising, partnership, and performance settings, deepening all aspects of communications, island presence, and external relations to garner new opportunities and ensure sustainable sources of support
  • Create and pursue a strong fundraising plan that ensures the growth of a diversified funding streams, including the planning an execution of fundraising events, individual gifts, corporate sponsorships, foundation support, and grant seeking and stewardship
  • Oversee all marketing and public relations activities, including social media, effectively communicating the mission and work of The Yard and engaging the local community as well as national and international arts communities

Management, Board, and Community Relations:

  • Cultivate a strong working relationship with the Board and staff based on trust, confidence, and transparency, encouraging collaboration in pursuit of organizational effectiveness and growth
  • Engage the Board in meaningful participation that will facilitate communication of a clear and sustainable vision, mission, and strategy for the organization
  • In collaboration with the Board, actively identify and recruit potential board members to meet the organization’s needs and demographics of the community
  • Build, cultivate, and maintain partnerships with stakeholders in the community
  • Respectfully engage and collaborate with culturally diverse stakeholders
  • Evaluate the success of the organization’s programming, outreach, and education programs to meet the needs of the community; identify opportunities for growth and development


  • 10+ years of experience in progressive non-profit leadership roles, experience in cultural arena/arts organizations preferred
  • Bachelor’s degree required, master’s degree a plus
  • Ability to provide dynamic, visionary, and credible leadership and advocacy for The Yard to ensure its continued excellence and provision of programs
  • Excellence in organizational management with the ability to oversee, coach, and develop high-performing teams, set and achieve strategic objectives, and manage a budget
  • Past success working with a Board of Directors and demonstrated experience cultivating and engaging Board Members
  • Entrepreneurial, adaptable, collaborative, and inclusive approach to strategy and organizational management
  • Passion for dance, education, arts, and culture with a commitment to promoting inclusivity and diversity in the arts
  • Willingness to live on Martha’s Vineyard during the summer season (May – September) and travel additional times throughout the year, as required

Compensation: $100 to $125K, based on experience

All positions at The Yard are filled without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, disability, HIV/AIDS status, veteran status or any other characteristic protected by law.  All are encouraged to apply. 

For more information about The Yard, please visit their website at: https://www.dancetheyard.org

122 East 42nd Street, Suite 3605, New York, NY 10168