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Employment Opportunities

Email to: hiring@oldtownschool.org
Please, no phone calls.

Senior Director of Education

The Old Town School of Folk Music is seeking a strategic and innovative leader for its Education Programs.

The Role:

The Senior Director of Education is responsible for ensuring the growth and smooth operation of high-quality programs across the portfolio, deepening Old Town School's engagement with our current audiences and broadening the School's reach to new audiences in neighborhoods across Chicago. Reporting to the CEO, the Senior Director of Education will lead a talented, dedicated group of seven program administrators and more than 200 faculty members.

The Old Town School of Folk Music's Education department encompasses in-person and online classes, private lessons and workshops offered by the school. It also includes Community Ventures which is a portfolio of fee-for-service and grant-based programs that operate in partnership with Chicago Public Schools and community partners primarily located in Chicago's south and west side neighborhoods.

This senior leadership position is responsible for conceiving, developing, and producing a variety of projects, and coordinating innovation across the Education departments. The leader produces an extensive calendar of programs, classes, private lessons, workshops, residencies with visiting artists, special events, and ambitious extended thematic engagement programs.

The Senior Director of Education fulfills several related roles:

  • A collaborative leader who partners with colleagues, program managers and faculty to quickly capitalize on new opportunities and solve problems.
  • A strategic planner who uses data-informed approaches and seeks out relationships to develop creative solutions to ongoing issues and new directions for innovative project development, and looks for new opportunities to grow programs, partnerships, and funding.
  • A business-minded professional who oversees fiscally sound, sustainable programs with appropriate input from within the School and the community.
  • A facilitator who brings together and catalyzes the work of ad-hoc working groups and internal partners necessary for success.
  • A visionary who conceives new ideas for building and engaging audiences, and adapts best practices from across the arts instruction field.
  • A partner/colleague who is an enthusiastic and inspirational change leader.
  • A champion of teaching and learning in the folk tradition.

    Qualifications:

  • Bachelor's degree in related area or equivalent work experience required. Advanced degree a plus.
  • A minimum of five years of management and supervisory experience in an arts education organization required.
  • Experience managing a departmental budget (P&L responsibility) - tracking revenues and expenses, ensuring accurate and timely reporting of changes to projections is required.
  • Highly creative thinker with a solid track record of accomplishment in program development and execution.
  • Experience teaching music or dance in person and online required. Experience developing e-learning programs is a plus.
  • Leadership experience taking complex projects from conception through development, funding, coalition building, production and assessment.
  • Ability to build relationships (both within OTSFM and with community partners, funders, teaching artists, and program participants).
  • Articulate and persuasive in oral and written communications; comfortable as a public speaker.
  • Committed and dedicated to justice, addressing inequality, amplifying the voices of marginalized communities and using music, dance, and the arts to heal and grow.
  • Direct experience working with the arts and/or education communities on the south and west sides of Chicago ideal.
  • Adept with current web and social media platforms as well as MS Office and Google Suite.
  • Ability to work a flexible schedule including nights and weekends as needed.
  • Ability to travel to program locations as needed.
  • Bilingual Spanish/English a plus.
  • Experience leading in a union environment is a plus.

    If interested and qualified, please submit a resume and cover letter to hiring@oldtownschool.org.

    About Old Town School of Folk Music

    Chicago's Old Town School of Folk Music (“OTSFM”) is the largest community school of the arts in the U.S. and a non-profit organization committed to celebrating American music and global cultures. Founded in 1957, Old Town School provides a wide range of music, dance, and arts courses to people of all ages, abilities, and backgrounds. Whatever one's interest, Old Town School provides broad access to more than 700 weekly class offerings, a broad array of private lessons, and over 400 concerts and community events per year.

    Old Town School of Folk Music opened its Lincoln Square facility in 1998 and expanded in 2012. The Old Town School operates two campuses located in Chicago's Lincoln Square and Lincoln Park neighborhoods that include world-class concert halls, classrooms, an award-winning music store, and a music resource center. Online classes were introduced in 2020 and students from nearly every state and a dozen countries participated over the course of the pandemic. Children's classes are also held at several suburban satellite locations. More information is available at oldtownschool.org

  • Director of Community Projects & Events

    The Old Town School of Folk Music is seeking a dynamic leader for Community Projects and Events.

    The Role:
    The Director of Community Projects and Events is a leader at the Old Town School who is responsible for the curation, booking and oversight of approximately 75-100 events per year, including our World Music Wednesday series, related artist workshops, select ticketed world music concerts, Square Roots Festival and special events throughout Chicago. The Director creates and maintains partnerships with culturally diverse communities and acts as a liaison to community cultural organizations.

    Duties:

  • Curates, schedules and produces Old Town School's World Music Wednesday concert series and select ticketed world music concerts in our 418 and 170 seat theaters.
  • Negotiates contractual fees and terms and accompanying requirements for events.
  • Oversees the overall artist experience leading up to and including day of show needs.
  • Leads and advises as necessary on production details and hospitality and travel requirements for all performances booked.
  • Secures and manages additional offsite programming of OTSFM cultural events throughout Chicago.
  • Establishes and maintains communication with agents, artists, community partners and other performing arts organizations.
  • Represents Old Town School in the local and national performing arts community.
  • Builds and sustains interest, enthusiasm and support among diverse audience communities.
  • Secures financial and media sponsors for events and series.
  • Seeks out grant opportunities and assists the school's Development team in writing grant applications, project management and grant reporting.
  • Contributes to marketing efforts for events booked, including suggestions for direct promotion to community organizations. Proofs ads, brochures and other marketing materials for accuracy.
  • Manages international artist residency programs.
  • Other duties as assigned

    Qualifications:

  • Bachelor's degree or equivalent experience required. 7+ years of experience programming and overseeing concerts and events, from the talent buying and scheduling process through to production and settlement. Must have extensive relationships with agents and artists in the touring music community. Ability to successfully negotiate contractual terms with agents, manage budgets and keep a close eye on event P&Ls. Strong research and data analysis skills are necessary for maintaining profitable and successful events.
  • Deep knowledge of and passion for world music is required, along with knowledge of the state of world music in Chicago, nationally and internationally. Understands the integral role of education and community engagement in the work of the organization. Must have experience with writing grants and grant reporting. Must be able to work independently, having the ability to manage multiple projects and meet deadlines. Excellent organizational, proof-reading and communication skills are required. Bilingual in Spanish preferred. Evening and weekend hours are required: must be available to attend all shows booked.

    If interested and qualified, please submit a resume and cover letter to hiring@oldtownschool.org.

    About Old Town School of Folk Music
    Chicago's Old Town School of Folk Music (“OTSFM”) is the largest community school of the arts in the U.S. and a non-profit organization committed to celebrating American music and global cultures. Founded in 1957, Old Town School provides a wide range of music, dance, and arts courses to people of all ages, abilities, and backgrounds. Whatever one's interest, Old Town School provides broad access to more than 700 weekly class offerings, a broad array of private lessons, and over 400 concerts and community events per year.

    Old Town School of Folk Music opened its Lincoln Square facility in 1998 and expanded in 2012. The Old Town School operates two campuses located in Chicago's Lincoln Square and Lincoln Park neighborhoods that include world-class concert halls, classrooms, an award-winning music store, and a music resource center. Online classes were introduced in 2020 and students from nearly every state and a dozen countries participated over the course of the pandemic. Children's classes are also held at several suburban satellite locations. More information is available at oldtownschool.org

  • Adult and Children's Dance Instructor (PT)

    The Old Town School of Folk Music seeks an experienced and enthusiastic part-time instructor for adult and children's dance programs.

    Skills/Qualifications:

  • Bachelor's degree in Dance or related area preferred.
  • Two years of experience teaching beginning through advanced multidisciplinary dance forms to adults and children is preferred.
  • Training in or willingness to learn Social Emotional Learning based pedagogy and up to date teaching practices required.
  • Candidates should have experience with choreography, technique as well as ensuring safe movements during classes.
  • Training in dance forms such as musical theatre, modern, ballet, jazz, tap and/or hip hop is a plus.
  • Prior experience as a performer is helpful.
  • Must be able to clearly communicate with students and parents.
  • Certifications like YPAD, RWID or another movement discipline are a plus.
  • Ability to teach at Lincoln Park and Lincoln Square locations strongly preferred.
  • Evening and weekend (daytime) availability is required.

    Discounts at the School and some voluntary benefits are available for part-time employees.

    If interested and qualified, please send a resume to hiring@oldtownschool.org.

  • Wiggleworms® Instructor (PT)

    The Old Town School of Folk Music seeks a part-time teacher available on weekend and weekday mornings for its acclaimed early childhood music program, Wiggleworms®! Classes are for children newborn to 5 years old accompanied by an adult and are taught by one teacher who accompanies themselves on guitar.

    Qualifications:

  • Bachelor's Degree in Music Performance or Music Education preferred.
  • Minimum of two years of teaching experience with young children in a classroom setting preferred.
  • Must play guitar and be a strong singer.
  • Must be creative, passionate about music, and be able to enthusiastically lead grownups with their babies, toddlers, and preschoolers in musical learning.
  • Experience working with infants, babies, and toddlers preferred.
  • Proficiency on another instrument preferred.
  • Fluency in Spanish a plus.
  • Ability to teach online (OTS will provide a Zoom account) and in person.

    Discounts at the School and some voluntary benefits are available for part-time employees.

    Qualified candidates will be invited to audition. If interested and qualified, please email resume to hiring@oldtownschool.org.

  • Ukulele Instructors (PT)

    The Old Town School of Folk Music seeks part-time ukulele teachers for private lessons and group classes in Lincoln Park and in the South Loop.

    Skills/Qualifications:

  • Bachelor's Degree in Music Education or Performance preferred
  • Minimum two years of teaching experience preferred
  • High level of musicianship and personal responsibility
  • Ability to teach beginning through advanced levels required
  • Ability to teach young children through adults
  • Candidate with a knowledge of diverse ukulele repertoire preferred
  • Multi-instrumentalist a plus
  • Ability to teach in person and online (OTS will provide a Zoom account where appropriate)

    Discounts at the School and some voluntary benefits are available for part-time employees.

    If interested and qualified, please send resume to hiring@oldtownschool.org.

  • Fiddle/Violin Instructors (PT)

    The Old Town School of Folk Music seeks part-time fiddle/violin teachers to teach group
    classes and private lessons at its Lincoln Park and Lincoln Square locations.

    Skills/Qualifications:

  • Minimum of Bachelor's Degree (Music Education or Performance preferred)
  • Minimum two years of teaching experience preferred
  • Experience teaching private fiddle/violin lessons preferred
  • High level of musicianship and personal responsibility
  • Ability to teach beginning through advanced levels required
  • Afternoon, evening, and weekend availability is required
  • Ability to teach young children through adults
  • Candidate with a knowledge of diverse fiddle/violin repertoire preferred
  • Multi-instrumentalist and ability to teach online a plus
  • Discounts at the School and some voluntary benefits are available for part-time employees.

    If interested and qualified, please send a resume to hiring@oldtownschool.org.

    Piano Instructors (PT)

    The Old Town School of Folk Music seeks part-time piano teachers to teach private lessons and/or group classes at its Lincoln Square and Lincoln Park locations.

    Skills/Qualifications:

  • Bachelor's Degree in Music Education or Performance preferred
  • Minimum two years of teaching experience preferred
  • Experience teaching private piano lessons and/or group classes preferred
  • High level of musicianship and personal responsibility
  • Ability to teach beginning through advanced levels required
  • Ability to teach young children through adults.
  • Candidate with a knowledge of diverse piano repertoire preferred
  • Multi-instrumentalist and ability to teach online a plus
  • Ability to teach in person and online (OTS will provide a Zoom account where appropriate)
  • Must be able to work weekends

    Discounts at the School and some voluntary benefits are available for part-time employees.

    If interested and qualified, please send resume to hiring@oldtownschool.org.

  • Music Moves Instructor (PT)

    The Old Town School of Folk Music is seeking part-time teaching artists for its summer and fall Music Moves programs.

    Schedule:

  • Typically 2-3 days per week at various Music Moves community partner sites

    Summary:
    The Music Moves Instructor develops and delivers music and/or dance programming to elementary and high school students, and occasionally adults, primarily at community partner sites.

    We are currently looking for instructors specializing in:

  • African Dance
  • African Drumming
  • Brazilian Dance
  • Caribbean Dance
  • Hip Hop Dance
  • Hip Hop Production / Beat Making
  • General Music

    Duties:
    Designs and implements a sequenced and developmentally appropriate curriculum to meet the goals and desired outcomes of the program in coordination with the Music Moves Manager.

    Builds relationships with students and community partner staff and administrators.

    Works with the Music Moves Program Manager to communicate the vision and impact of the program for funding purposes.

    Maintains a collaborative relationship with Music Moves community partner organizations.

    Prepares students for end-of-session performance.

    Qualifications:

  • Bachelor's degree or equivalent work experience
  • Successful candidates must be motivated, collaborative, and committed to youth and intergenerational exchanges
  • Background and in playing and teaching on a specific instrument/dance form
  • At least one year of experience teaching in a large classroom setting
  • Can easily work in history and social context into instrument/dance instruction
  • Working knowledge of Spanish/English preferred
  • Experience with administrative/organizational tasks including scheduling, tracking activities and reporting is helpful as well as familiarity with Google Suite.

    To be considered for this role, please send a resume to hiring@oldtownschool.org.

  • Maintenance Worker/Custodian (PT)

    The Old Town School of Folk Music seeks reliable part-time and full-time maintenance workers/custodians to maintain our buildings and facilities.

    Key Duties:

  • Cleaning and sanitizing classrooms, common areas, restrooms and other areas in accordance with OTS protocols.
  • Mopping, dusting and sweeping.
  • Emptying trash and moving to outside dumpsters.
  • Returning equipment, supplies, and furniture to appropriate locations prior to the start of the business day.
  • Adhering to all cleaning, sanitizing and safety protocols.
  • Providing assistance and customer service to community members where appropriate.
  • May provide maintenance support for concerts or special events.
  • May work on outside maintenance, shoveling snow, spreading salt, etc.
  • May perform minor repairs to facilities and equipment.
  • Other duties as assigned.

    Qualifications: Must be capable of basic physical labor such as mopping, sweeping, and hauling trash. Ability to work unsupervised and complete set tasks in the time allowed. One year of experience in a similar role preferred. Understanding of basic cleaning, sanitizing and safety protocols required. Ability to work in multiple locations and on weekends required. Basic mechanical and repair skills preferred.

    Physical Requirements: Reaching, bending, stooping, kneeling, crawling, lifting objects up to 50 pounds, standing, walking, climbing, grasping, feeling, and visual acuity. This work may include exposure to strong smells such as paint and thinners and exposure to hot and cold temperatures.

    Discounts at the School and some voluntary benefits are available for part-time employees. Regular benefits and paid time off are available for full-time employees.

    To be considered for this role, please send your resume to hiring@oldtownschool.org.

  • Customer Service Associate (PT)

    The Old Town School of Folk Music is seeking friendly and detailed part-time Customer Service
    Associates for Lincoln Square and Armitage locations. Must be available to work evening and weekend hours.

    Responsibilities include registering students, selling tickets to shows, answering phone calls, and providing information to visitors. Customer Service Associates are frequently the first point of contact with whom students, guests and visitors interact.

    Applicants must be responsive, articulate, and willing to pitch in where needed. Three years of customer service experience and proficient computer skills are required. Bilingual Spanish skills are highly desired. The ability to play at least one instrument at an intermediate level is strongly preferred. The capacity to communicate effectively with diplomacy and tact is essential. Problem solving skills and sound judgment are critical as well as well. Must be able to work independently and be accurate when performing transactions (i.e. cash handling, registrations, etc.). An interest in art, dance, theatre, and education is helpful.

    Discounts at the school and some voluntary benefits are available for part-time employees.

    If interested and qualified, please submit a resume to hiring@oldtownschool.org.

    Artist in Residence (PT)

    The Old Town School of Folk Music is seeking part-time Artists in Residence for its School Partnerships programs.

    Schedule:
    Typically 2-3 days per week at various CPS Schools

    Summary:
    The School Partnerships Teaching Artist develops and delivers music and/or dance programming to K-2 / 3-8th grade students primarily in CPS classrooms.

    We are currently looking for instructors specializing in:

  • Latin Percussion
  • General Music / singing for grades K-2

    Duties:

  • Designs and implements a sequenced and developmentally appropriate curriculum to meet the goals and desired outcomes of the program in coordination with the School Partnerships Manager.
  • Builds relationships with students, classroom teachers, and school administration
  • Works with the School Partnerships Program Manager to communicate the vision and impact of the program for funding purposes.
  • Maintains a collaborative relationship with CPS school and curriculum coordinators.
  • Prepares students for end-of-session performance.

    Qualifications:

  • Bachelor's degree or equivalent work experience
  • Successful candidates must be motivated, collaborative and committed to youth
  • Background and in playing and teaching on a specific instrument
  • At least one year of experience teaching in a large classroom setting
  • Can easily work in history and social context into instrument instruction
  • Working knowledge of Spanish/English required. Fluency in Spanish highly preferred.
  • Experience with administrative/organizational tasks including scheduling, tracking activities and reporting is helpful.

    To be considered for this role, please send a resume to hiring@oldtownschool.org.

  • Equal Employment Opportunity

    Old Town School is committed to providing an environment of mutual respect where equal employment opportunities are available to all applicants and employees. Old Town School strives to be an inclusive and equitable organization that is reflective of the diversity of the city of Chicago. We seek to recruit, develop and retain the most talented people from a diverse candidate pool. This is critical to our success as a community focused organization.