Opera House Arts

Opera House Arts (OHA) in Stonington, Maine is seeking a full-time Executive Director to lead a non-profit, multidisciplinary arts organization that stages Actors Equity productions and offers arts and education programming year around. OHA’s mission is to use the performing arts to foster and promote excellence in all the ways we perform our lives by offering programs throughout our communities, at our schools, and at two historic buildings - our institutional home, the upgraded 1912 Stonington Opera House, and a second performance space, the renovated 1886 Burnt Cove Community Church.

Historically we have presented an annual series ‘Shakespeare in Stonington’ and other original professional productions - sometimes site specific - of classics or new work; the Deer Isle Jazz Festival; the "Our Own" Community Playreading Series; weekly movies; Live for $5, an intergenerational live performance series; original artistic commissions in dance, music, musical theater, poetry and storytelling; and an educational program with the schools.


OHA’s mission and programming are grounded in its many important relationships, including with OHA’s Community Advisory Board, artists and theater professionals, teaching artists and students, local schools, community partners, local town officials and businesses, individual donors, foundations and supporters. The Opera House welcomes all and is an important gathering place for neighbors and visitors to the Deer Isle.


The ideal candidate will have strong leadership, management, development and strategic planning experience, the ability to work effectively with the Board of Directors and staff, and a strong interest in community engagement. This individual must be a visionary leader with a background in leading a community-based organization -- experience with an arts organization is a plus. They need to be a persuasive and passionate communicator who is able to inspire, consult, and collaborate with a broad constituency of partners and stakeholders in order to steward a 20+-year-old institution and historic venues. They will need to be comfortable living in an island community on a vibrant yet remote part of the Down East Maine coast.

Competitive candidates will have demonstrated success with and interest in the responsibilities of the OHA Executive Director.


The Executive Director reports to the Board of Directors and is responsible for the day-to-day management of OHA and is an ex officio member of the Board.  



Leadership and Strategy

  • Collaborating with our Board of Directors to develop and implement strategies to carry out the mission of our organization

  • Overseeing program development and execution

  • Working closely with development staff and board committees to devise and execute strategies to improve financial stability

  • Recruiting, training, motivating, supervising, and evaluating staff

  • Working with the public, donors, supporters, community partners and media to enhance our organization’s profile

  • Maintaining and enhancing relationships with our Board of Directors, Board Committees and Advisory Boards.



  • Expanding and maintaining relationships with donors, supporters, artists, community partners, businesses, local municipalities, state agencies, and other key constituencies

  • Promoting our organization’s programs and events

  • Maintaining, developing and implementing educational programs for schools and the public

  • Promoting the use of our organization’s facilities (Stonington Opera House and Burnt Cove Church) by the community and colleague organizations

  • Working with our Community Advisory Board and other advisory boards



  • Overseeing the development and implementation of the annual fundraising activities

  • Creating, cultivating, and maintaining relationships with donors

  • Expanding the base of donors

  • Increasing the endowment

  • Supervising the development staff

  • Collaborating with and supporting the Development Committee of the Board

  • Identifying and pursuing grants and other outside funding sources



  • Developing, managing, and operating within an annual budget in excess of $500,000

  • Collaborating with the Treasurer and Board Committees to prepare the annual budget

  • Ensuring that restricted funds are expended solely in accordance with donors’ instructions

  • Preparing and presenting monthly and other financial reports to the Finance Committee, Board of Directors, and others as needed

  • Managing the negotiation of all artist and general business contracts, including artist unions

  • Working with office software, including word processing, spreadsheets, presentation and design programs, common accounting systems, and donor databases

  • Overseeing the work of a bookkeeper

  • Ensuring that all insurance policies, documentation relating to charitable status, annual reports, and tax filings are up-to-date and executed in a timely fashion




Work with Board of Directors

  • Communicating monthly with the Boards and Committees to maintain a consistent flow of information both inside and outside the organization

  • Preparing and circulating required reports and materials to Board for each Board meeting

  • Attending Board meetings and Committee meetings as required

  • Reviewing and recommending to the Board appropriate changes to organizational structure and personnel policies

  • Developing the long-term strategic plan together with the Board and Staff

  • Implementing and monitoring adherence to the plan

Administration of staff and physical plant:

  • Working independently with limited administrative support 

  • Hiring, supervising, developing, and supporting staff—artistic, production, and administrative —and encouraging effective use of volunteers

  • Conducting annual performance reviews of staff

  • Maintaining all personnel files and Personnel Manual

  • Planning for and allocating staff resources to meet organizational and transactional deadlines

  • Adhering to relevant employment and tax laws and practices

  • Managing, maintaining and improving theatre facilities, properties, and assets – familiarity with management of historic property responsibilities is a plus

Development records:

  • Overseeing the maintenance of secure membership lists, donation records and other records in an orderly and accessible manner



Undergraduate degree or equivalent


At least five years of relevant and successful management and leadership experience

Knowledge, Skills, Attributes:

Budgeting, facility with basic accounting matters, time management, self-motivation, delegation, excellent written and oral communication skills, relationship building, teamwork, excellent organizational skills, high energy level, enthusiasm, action-oriented personality, willingness to work a flexible schedule including evenings and weekends particularly during summer production season, familiarity with performing arts and arts education, and a commitment to the Deer Isle area.


To apply for this position: Please send cover letter and résumé to Chair, search@operahousearts.org or mail to Chair of Search, Opera House Arts, P.O. Box 56, Stonington ME 04681. Deadline for application: September 30, 2020

© 2020 by Opera House Arts at the Stonington Opera House

207.367.2788      info@operahousearts.org

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