Job Description and Person Specification
WILDWORKS is an international art-led theatre company, based in Cornwall. The company was founded in 2005 by Bill Mitchell to focus on site-specific events and installations. We balance high production values with a distinctive commitment to community engagement; and believe that community is a simple but profound conjuncture of people and place. Our shows happen in found landscapes rather than formal theatre spaces. They reflect and embrace the host communities from which they draw their meaning.
The work constantly changes as new collaborations take us into different places. Partnership working is an essential part of the WildWorks process – to help us realise our big aspirations for each project and to influence the work creatively. Projects with the Historic Royal Palaces or Belgian castles don’t produce the same results as partnerships with English festivals, French creation centres, national theatres or a consortium of London producing theatres. Creative methodologies evolve as each show grows out of seeds unique to the place, mixed with our tried and tested landscape theatre techniques.
The WildWorks staffing team is currently a full time Artistic Director, full time General Manager and part time Finance and Admin Officer. The wider company is made up of freelance multi-disciplined artists of many kinds who are driven by the artistic possibilities and creative challenges that are born out of working in this way. WildWorks has a management team to enable the charitable company to run well and efficiently; to in turn produce the work at the maximum level and support the company to achieve the high quality results it strives for.
We use our values of trust, generosity, bravery and hospitality to help make decisions about projects and company development. The artistic programme generally consists of two types of work– shows initiated from an idea of Bill’s and work that we have been invited to develop. Although our work is often many years in the making and programming five years ahead is not unheard of, we try not to restrict possibilities for future WildWorks shows. Projects come along all the time and if instinctively it feels like a suitable match (artistically satisfying, good for the company and rewarding for the individuals involved) – we will be flexible across schedules, scale and locations in order to make an exciting project happen.
WildWorks have a light organisational footprint to ensure the highest proportion of budgets finds their way to the art. The administration of the company is delivered from home working or from hot-desking at Hall for Cornwall (as an Associate Company). During production periods, the General Manager travels with the company to bridge the gap between company administration and project delivery.
WildWorks is an Arts Council England National Portfolio Organisation, core funded until March 2015. The next six months are crucial in articulating the company’s value and securing future investment for core activity and the wider artistic programme. We are committed to delivering 3 major events in 2014 with conversations and plans for 2015-18 already evolving. A lot of work is in place but there is a lot of work still to be developed. 2
2 Executive Director: Job Description
An exciting opportunity to join the company at senior management level has become available, with WildWorks looking to recruit a new Executive Director. The successful candidate will be a natural strategic thinker, with strong business experience – who is enthusiastic about enabling WildWorks to develop and deliver a high quality programme of work and fulfil its considerable potential in future years.
As the founding creator, the Artistic Director leads the company as Chief Executive. The Executive Director will be responsible for the business leadership of WildWorks; ensuring sound financial management and security, statutory compliance, holding stakeholder relationships, leading on strategic development, and company planning and executive producing. The post reports to AD and the board of trustees.
Company development and strategy
Work with the Artistic Director, board and company to agree and articulate a high-level strategy of ambition for the company’s development
Develop and deliver a credible and robust rolling three year business plan in order to achieve the strategic aims
Review the financial model in response to changing circumstances
Keep board informed of company developments, through regular correspondence with the chair and reporting at quarterly board meetings
Lead on the National Portfolio Organisation application 2015-18 and Arts Council relationship
Represent the company at external meetings and events
Maintain and develop key relationships and existing partnerships – e.g. producers, funders and artists
Support AD to follow up potential partnerships and scope viability of project proposals/ general enquiries
Steer the development direction of the company – identifying potential sources of income and leading on applications to various funding bodies
Maintain positive on-going working relationships with the wider company and associates.
Act as Executive Producer for the company, securing the artistic programme and ensuring the projects support WildWorks vision and values
Ensure the viability and suitability of all contracts, licences and agreements – liaising with production partners regarding financial, legal and operational decisions
Play an active part in production and project planning and keep an overview of production delivery, through regular contact with AD and GM.
Support the maintaining of professional standards of employment practice with regard to payroll, freelance terms and conditions, company expenses and subsistence
Work with Artistic Director and General Manager to ensure all strands of company activity are efficient, effective, legal and form a good basis for the company’s development
Oversee company administration through line management of General Manager
Work alongside GM (and AD as appropriate) to review and develop areas of the company on an on-going basis e.g. budget management, policies, marketing strategy, fundraising activity.
3 Executive Director: Person Specification
The role requires a high calibre leader, committed to achieving outstanding results. The successful applicant will have strong financial, strategic and communication skills; as well as be able to demonstrate a general business ability.
Skills, Experience and Knowledge
Relevant degree, qualifications or equivalent experience in arts management
At least two years’ experience in arts management
Demonstrable business experience and financial acumen
Experience in leading business planning, strategy and organisational development; with a proven track record of maximising resources
Instinct for and experience of the principles and practice of partnership working
Inspiring leadership style and significant management experience
Understanding of the funding landscape in the UK, experience of reporting to arts funders such as Arts Council England & leading fundraising campaigns
Experience of writing funding applications and proven success at securing funds
Considerable skill at articulating information in writing – in a clear, engaging and persuasive style that chimes with the WildWorks philosophy and practice
Experience of setting up good governance structures; familiarity with statutory compliance, company law and working with Charitable Boards in order to maximise their contribution
Work in a flexible, self-motivated and positive way, in order to successfully manage a complex workload
Empathy and enthusiasm with the WildWorks ethos and a general passion for work that is created outside of traditional theatre spaces
Understanding and experience of the south west, particularly Cornwall – having lived/ worked in the region
Experience of leading a National Portfolio Organisation bid to Arts Council England
Have a network of contacts in the arts e.g. potential coproduction partners
Knowledge of sustainability and environmental issues, particularly from an arts perspective; with experience of developing and implementing an environmental plan
An international frame of reference for radical theatre practice
Production experience in outdoor and non-theatre environment
4 Terms and Conditions
The Executive Director position is offered up to full-time basis (depending on availability of ideal candidate)
The salary is offered at £43,000 – £48,000 (based on experience)
Initially, the role is offered as a fixed-term contract until 31
st March 2015 (in line with current NPO funding) – subject to successful completion of a three month probationary period
It is likely that the role would be made permanent, subject to outcome of next NPO round
The role is a board appointment and will report to the board and the Artistic Director as CEO
28 days holiday including public holidays
There is a preference for the appointee to be based in Cornwall
The role is currently based at home, with additional access to office space at Hall for Cornwall; this will be reviewed at appointment.
The role will involve regular travel for work and working unsocial hours from time to time
Expenses incurred as a result of undertaking the role itinerantly will be covered in line with WildWorks expenses policy 5 To apply, please provide the following:
A letter addressed to Bill Mitchell stating why you are interested in the post and how you meet the experience and skills criteria outlined in the person specification
An up to date CV completed core information and equal opportunities monitoring form
Applications should be emailed to Charlie Bunker, General Manager firstname.lastname@example.org by
10am on Monday 30th September 2013 – clearly stating in the email subject
‘Your name – application for WildWorks Executive Director Position’
If you would like to speak to someone in advance of making an application, you can call Bill 07971 282634 (before Thursday 12thSeptember as he will then be travelling internationally). You could also make contact with Angela McSherry, member of the WildWorks board, on 07968 295167
Shortlisting will take place during week commencing 30
th September. Invitations for interview will be made as soon as possible – by Friday 4th October at the latest.
Interviews are planned for Friday 11th October 2013 in Cornwall with Bill Mitchell – Artistic Director, Chair and Vice Chair of the Board David Micklem and Stella Hall.