Director of Community Programs, Lyric Opera of Chicago

Lyric Opera of Chicago exists to provide a broad, deep and relevant cultural service to the Chicago region and the nation, and to advance the development of the art form of opera. Lyric Unlimited, a division of Lyric Opera of Chicago, offers a multifaceted program of expanded community engagement and artistic initiatives that includes Lyric's longstanding education programs.


The Director of Community Programs is responsible for general administration of Lyric Unlimited community programs, including multi-year and seasonal community partnerships, creative youth development, co-created works, season specific engagement projects, and the development of a new community advisory group. Responsibilities include leading the design, creation, and implementation of new and season specific community programs and related activities and events, as well as ongoing management of continuing programs.  




·Grow and maintain relationships with Chicago area community organizations, former, current and potential partners; represent Lyric Unlimited in community settings.


·Lead the administration of continuing partnership with the Chicago Urban League and future creative youth development and/or co-created works. Develop a scalable, adaptable model.


·Maintain and grow Lyric Unlimited’s Caminos a la ópera initiative, to include small, medium and larger scale programming depending on season.


·With Lyric Unlimited VP, develop and implement a community advisory group for Lyric Opera of Chicago with the aim of establishing a voice for communities traditionally underrepresented at Lyric.


·Develop collaborative community relationships in conjunction with Lyric Unlimited chamber opera productions. Curate relevant ancillary programming including, but not limited to exhibits, pre- or post-performance elements, films and facilitated discussions.


·Contribute to the planning and development of new Lyric Unlimited commissions with an emphasis on determining and ensuring relevance for Chicago communities. 


·Create informal events each season that engage and re-engage current and former community partners and community programs participants.


·Oversee the Youth Opera Council, with support from Lyric Unlimited Coordinator, refreshing the program and ensuring appropriate support and staffing. 


·Hire and supervise part-time and contract employees engaged to support specific community programs.


·Liaise with contacts in Artistic, Tech, and Rehearsal to share needs in order to provide production elements of community programs.


·Create and monitor Lyric Unlimited community programs budgets, coordinating with Marketing and Technical Departments to fully incorporate all expenses.


·Develop project timelines and share information internally to staff across company and externally to partner organizations working to support each project. 


·Liaise with Marketing and Communications to develop messaging and promotional materials for Lyric Unlimited community programs and assist in the development of program materials.


·Contribute to the creation of proposals and respond to requests for information from Development Department to facilitate fundraising efforts; assist in the monitoring and tracking of expenses for budgetary reporting required by foundations and other funding entities.


·As the business evolves, so may this role. These duties may change as Lyric’s leadership identifies the need at any time.




·Bachelor's Degree from an accredited college or university in music performance, education, arts administration or equivalent experience.


·5-8 years of administrative work experience.


·Familiarity with opera, theater or other performing arts, essential.


·Experience in establishing and sustaining collaborative community partnerships.


·Ability to create and monitor program budgets on an annual and multi-year basis.


·Strong staff management skills with the ability to work collaboratively as part of a team and facilitate communication among team members.


·Must be culturally aware/sensitive, constituent-focused, energetic, enthusiastic, well-planned, and organized.


·Superior verbal and written communications skills, strong interpersonal and relationship skills, and excellent judgment and professionalism in dealing with the public are required.


·Ability to work and think independently, a motivated self-starter who also works well in a larger team.


·Familiarity with Chicago area neighborhoods and communities is highly desirable.


·Fluency in Spanish is highly desirable.




·Ability to oversee evening or weekend functions, deployments or performances at off-site venues and the Civic Opera House.


·Sitting for extended periods of time.


·Ability to operate a computer keyboard, mouse, and to handle other office equipment.


For more information and to apply, visit


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