Harlem Stage

Managing Director

To Apply

Harlem Stage has retained the services of Harris Rand Lusk to conduct this search. Inquiries, nominations, and applications (resume and cover letter that articulates interest in the mission,) may be directed in confidence to:

Jack Lusk, President & CEO
Harris Rand Lusk
122 East 42nd Street, Suite 3605
New York, NY  10168


Please put “Harlem Stage” in the subject line of your emailed application.


Harlem Stage, one of New York City’s most vital cultural centers, celebrates the profound and indelible influence Harlem has had on American arts and culture. Hailed by the New York Times as ‘an invaluable incubator of talent’ and boasting five MacArthur Genius Fellowship and Pulitzer Prize awardees among its artistic family, Harlem Stage’s mission has been to bridge the rich and diverse artistic legacy of Harlem to contemporary artists of color. By fostering talent, commissioning works and providing support, Harlem Stage allows visionary artists of color the space and freedom to explore and create new work that is innovative, relevant and socially significant.

In their support of artists and organizations both local and around the globe, Harlem Stage, for close to thirty-seven years, has been presenting a wide array of performances accessible to all audiences. Harlem Stage supports a full range of musical offerings with legendary talents such as Celia Cruz, Jessye Norman, and Harry Belafonte, and contemporary artists including Nona Hendryx, Mumu Fresh, Jason Moran, Stew and Jose James. Among many programs offered are a dance series, films that celebrate emerging artists, performances of both traditional and non-traditional theater, and Dive Deeper – an innovative program that allows audiences to take part in the creative process by engaging with artists both live and in virtual activities. Harlem Stage’s education programming introduces over 2,300 New York City school children every year, to the unparalleled excitement of live performance while establishing in them a link to their cultural heritage through the arts.

Housed in a dramatic and nationally landmarked building known as The Gatehouse, the Harlem Stage theater seats 160 and is available to the community for private functions.

The Position:
Harlem Stage is seeking a Managing Director to replace their longtime and successful incumbent. Joining its team of highly engaged professionals, the Managing Director will be charged with enabling Harlem Stage to realize its goals for artistic excellence, education, financial stability, and audience engagement, and be responsible for leadership and direction on key institutional activities. Reporting directly to the Executive Director and within this collaborative partnership, the Managing Director is responsible for rendering the Board and Executive Director’s vision into initiatives that are financially sound and well run, and which galvanize the board, staff, and extended community behind it.

The Managing Director will have direct responsibility for the business, administrative, and operational management of the organization. Producing is a significant part of the role. New partners/partnerships are also a priority for this role. This person must be skilled at budget oversight and financial planning, detail oriented, and be well- organized with a demonstrated ability to establish priorities and achieve results. Familiarity with performing arts organizations is key. The Managing Director will be a dynamic individual with demonstrated leadership skills who is knowledgeable and passionate about the arts and the mission of Harlem Stage. In addition, they must be a highly intelligent, ambitious, energetic, creative, and strong, roll-up-your sleeves manager, as well as an effective communicator. They must be able to work collaboratively with leadership and staff to promote an open, inclusive environment that emphasizes cooperation and teamwork with a minimum of ego.

Responsibilities include:

  • Provide oversight of and direction for Harlem Stage’s day-to-day operations
  • Oversee leasing operations with a mission of maximizing leasing income through innovative approaches
  • Supervise all contractual negotiations and monitor contractual compliance with vendors, unions, artists, contracted workers, etc.
  • Supervise all staff including Directors
  • Lead labor negotiations with IATSE Local 1 in consultation with legal counsel, Finance team and Production Manager
  • Approve and supervise all institutional staffing changes including consultants and part-time labor
  • Work closely with the Executive Director and the Finance team in planning and implementing annual budgets and earned income goals
  • Develop and track budget for leasing, production, operations
  • Oversee the purchase of equipment and develop usage and maintenance policy
  • Responsible for smooth operation of all events/performances
  • Oversight of all capital projects
  • Negotiate health, liability, D&O and Workers Comp insurance
  • Work with senior staff on key operational initiatives as well lead the development and implementation of annual and long-term strategic plans
  • Provide contractual and producing support to programming and presentation by programming partners (substantial amount of time to be spent on producing)


  • Bachelor’s Degree; Advanced degree a plus
  • Minimum 8 years relevant experience; Experience working in a performing arts organization strongly preferred
  • Strong verbal, written and interpersonal communication skills
  • Excellent time management, organizational, supervisory, and creative problem-solving skills in facility operations and business issues required to support a multifunctional cultural or other nonprofit institution or corporation
  • Sensitivity to culturally diverse constituencies
  • Comfort level with balancing multiple ongoing issues and changing circumstances
  • Knowledge of current trends in social media and direct mail
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office and Database Management software and utilization
  • Knowledge of Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop and inDesign
  • Bright and diplomatic communicator while working with the highest level of personal integrity.
  • Sound judgment, high emotional intelligence, and a sense of humor

Salary and Benefits
Competitive salary and benefits commensurate with experience.

Harlem Stage is committed to diversity and especially encourages members of underrepresented communities to apply. It offers equal opportunity employment regardless of race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, genetics, disability status, age, marital status, or protected veteran status.

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