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Executive Director

Search for Morrison-Shearer Foundation

The Executive Service Corps has been contracted to coordinate the selection process for this position.

Title: Executive Director

Shift: Part-time

Supervised by: Chair Board of Trustees

Updated: 02/23/2021

The Morrison-Shearer Foundation’s mission is to perpetuate the legacy of dancer-choreographer Sybil Shearer and photographer Helen Balfour Morrison as an inspiration for new creativity in the arts. The Executive Director is responsible for managing the general operation of the organization in support of its mission and will have the opportunity to help envision future activities and strategic plans during a period of transition. 



The Executive Director is responsible for the day-to-day business management of the Foundation and overseeing its properties. This position will be responsible for planning and implementing projects such as book inventory/distribution, grant/fellowship program administration, special events coordination, and project management.


Responsibilities for this position are as follows:

  • Become knowledgeable of and conversant in the lives of Helen Morrison and Sybil Shearer;

  • Become knowledgeable of and conversant in the Foundation’s mission, history, facilities, office systems, finances, and resources;

  • Oversee administrative and financial matters under the guidance of the Board Treasurer including collaborating on the development of the Foundation’s budget;

  • Contribute to the short and long-term planning for the Foundation;

  • Ensure, in coordination with Foundation Bookkeeper, that payables are made in accordance with the annual budget;

  • Coordinate with financial professionals and Board Treasurer in filing tax returns and governmental reports, and maintaining insurance policies;

  • Maintain all office systems and organization of materials on-site including archival material, records, mailing lists, and publications;

  • Handles permission requests for copyright use and licensing;

  • In coordination with the Foundation’s webmaster, manage the MSF website and its social media platforms;

  • Provide general oversight of MSF buildings and grounds including maintenance, security, and safety;

  • Oversee the work of the part-time, independent caretaking contractor;

  • Supervise the approved tradespeople ensuring quality, effectiveness, and accountability of work performed;

  • Attend all Board Meetings and, as necessary, Committee Meetings.

  • Assist Board members in establishing and maintaining relationships in the arts community;

  • Other duties as assigned.


Qualifications are as follows:

  • B.A. degree in a related field or equivalent work experience;

  • Minimum two years of related operational experience;

  • Interest and/or work experience in the arts required.

  • Experience in the not-for-profit field is desirable;

  • Experience with a volunteer board of directors is desirable;

  • Experience in project management is required;

  • Must be willing and able to be on-site in Northbrook at least one day per week;

  • Must be legally authorized to work in the US for this opening without the need for current or future work visas.


Skills and Personal Qualities Desired are as follows:

  • Excellent oral, written, and interpersonal communication skills;

  • Organized and detail-oriented;

  • Fluency in Microsoft Office, the Internet, social media platforms are required; working knowledge of Quick Books is desirable;

  • Self-motivated, ability to work independently and collaboratively;

  • Integrity, credibility, curiosity, and strong work ethic.


Performance Review

The Board of Trustees will provide a performance review after the first 30 days and periodically thereafter. 


About the Morrison-Shearer Foundation

Founded in 1991 by Sybil Shearer, MSF has earned a respected place in the Chicago arts community, especially in dance. Since Shearer’s death in 2005, the Board of Trustees (currently ten) has focused on (1) placing the Morrison and Shearer archives in established institutions for conservation and study, notably the Newberry Library and the Chicago Film Archives; (2) publishing Sybil Shearer’s three-volume autobiography, Without Wings the Way Is Steep; 

(3) making information about the Foundation and the legacies of its founders accessible through an in-depth website; (4) offering public programs and dance re-creations in Chicago and elsewhere; (5) building a new contemplative Sybil Shearer Studio at the Ragdale Foundation in Lake Forest, Illinois, to open in fall 2021. This will be a living legacy, encouraging new creativity for years to come. With these goals completed, MSF will be envisioning an exciting next chapter.



The Morrison-Shearer Foundation is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Employment decisions are made without regard to race, color, religion, national or ethnic origin, gender (including pregnancy), sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, disability, veteran status, or any other characteristics protected by law.


Our organization is committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion and strongly encourages women, people of color, individuals with disabilities, LGBTQ+ individuals, and veterans to apply. Accommodations for accessibility are available.


Interested candidates should send a resume and cover letter to:

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