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Executive Director | The Country Dance and Song Society (Easthampton, MA)

The Opportunity and Organization

Headquartered in picturesque Easthampton, Massachusetts, The Country Dance and Song Society (CDSS) is seeking an executive director to lead this national education and arts service nonprofit organization that engages recreational and professional dancers, singers, musicians, teachers, callers and dance historians in the enjoyment of traditional English and American country dance, music and song. 

CDSS is poised to use its wide-spread connections of people and communities to build an increasingly nimble organization to serve its dance, music and song constituents around North America and beyond.  The Governing Board and staff of CDSS are excited to discover new ways to connect people both locally and across the continent – individual dancers, singers and musicians, groups, other nonprofit partners and volunteers – enabling the organization’s communities to grow and thrive. 

Special opportunities and responsibilities:

  • To develop the capacity of all individuals in this organization to move it forward.
  • To lead the organization’s planning for programs/activities funded by a transformative $1 million multi-year gift.
  • To identify new outreach opportunities to meet evolving needs and interests of  the next generation of dancers, singers, musicians, leaders and organizers.
  • To build a sustainable business model and significantly expand the capacity of CDSS to raise funds and earn income for its programs.
  • To translate the vision and mission of CDSS to align, motivate and organize staff and board to accomplish the organization’s valued work.
  • To expand and enhance the relationship CDSS has with its group affiliates, ensuring efficacy, appropriate organizational structure and legal compliance.
  • To bring the organization’s voice to the national conversation advocating for community-based arts organizations.

Throughout the United States and Canada, CDSS has approximately 300 affiliated groups, one third of which are covered by its federal group tax exemption status, and 3,000 individual and family members. With an annual budget of $1.4 million, CDSS has 10 dedicated full- and part-time staff (total eight FTE), many having worked for CDSS for more than 20 years, and approximately 80 part-time camp staff.  The active governing board is comprised of 23 individuals from around North America, most of whom are practicing dancers, singers and musicians as a vocation or avocation.                                                                                                      

The Ideal Candidate

The successful candidate must be a creative leader with strong communication, consensus- building, financial management, fundraising and interpersonal skills. Specifically, CDSS is looking for a candidate who has a breadth of experience and confidence to lead a national organization and who possesses the following experience, skills and attributes:

  • Strength in strategic thinking and ability to execute plans effectively;
  • Ability to organize and capitalize on creative talent that exists within organization;
  • Experience developing staff and volunteers;
  •   Communication skills including listening, speaking and writing;
  • Ability to build culture of valuing leaders and leadership – staff, board and community;
  • Collaborative leadership skills, focused on promoting positive group dynamics, sharing success and engaging staff, volunteers, community and partners;
  • Experience in applied nonprofit management;
  • Achievements in fundraising and fundraising program development;
  • Well-developed emotional intelligence
  • Broad understanding of technology and social media
  • Interest in becoming part of organization’s extended community; knowledge of and personal experience with English and American country dance, music and song, or parallels, is valuable but not required;
  • Ability and willingness to travel periodically.

Application Process

This search is being conducted by Third Sector New England's Executive Transitions Program with Transition Consultant Marie Dalton Meyer.  All submissions are confidential. 

For complete position profile and submission guidelines please visit

Country Dance and Song Society is an equal opportunity employer. People from diverse backgrounds are strongly encouraged to apply.