Otsfm logo
Updated May 9, 2022: Masks are strongly recommended on campus and vaccination or negative covid test is required for entry. Please view our Health & Safety page for specific policy details for in-person classes and concerts. »

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

  • 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.

    Instructor Hourly Pay Rates: Private Lessons - $33/hour, Group Classes - $37/hour

    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.

  • Accordion Instructors (PT)

    The Old Town School of Folk Music seeks part-time accordion teachers for private lessons and
    group classes in Lincoln Square.

    Skills/Qualifications:

  • Bachelor's Degree in Music Performance or Music Education 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 teens through adults
  • Candidate with a knowledge of diverse accordion repertoire preferred
  • Ability to teach in person and online (OTS will provide a Zoom account where
    appropriate)
  • Multi-instrumentalist a plus
  • Weekend and/or evening availability preferred

    Instructor Hourly Pay Rates: Private Lessons - $33/hour, Group Classes - $37/hour

    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

    Instructor Hourly Pay Rates: Private Lessons - $33/hour, Group Classes - $37/hour

    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.

  • Site Managers (Temporary PT)

    The Old Town School of Folk Music is seeking Site Managers to oversee activities and ensure safe operations in OTS buildings and other locations as appropriate. They will serve as an ambassador and advocate for the School.

    Locations: Lincoln Square and Lincoln Park

    Qualifications:

  • Experience managing events preferred.
  • Experience with customer service and setting boundaries with participants required.
  • Experience working with children preferred.
  • An understanding of COVID-19 safety protocols is preferred.
  • A willingness to set up and break down classrooms and other areas in the building is required.
  • Strong interpersonal skills are needed.
  • Ability to think on one's feet and adapt to changing situations is required.
  • Ability to carry out emergency protocol in event of fire, inclement weather or other crises is required.
  • Access to a personal smartphone during shift is required.

    Summary of Duties:

  • Ensure compliance with OTS protocols (i.e. safety, operations and education). Address concerns directly as they arise. Report issues to operations and education department managers.
  • Manage program operations for the assigned shift.
  • Serve as a resource for teachers.
  • Ensure set up and break down of assigned location(s) as needed in accordance with OTS protocols including signage.
  • Manage the check-in process where appropriate and direct participants to their locations.
  • Track attendance and monitor the number of participants and caregivers where appropriate.
  • Coordinate with program management, customer service, and maintenance staff as needed.
  • Oversee volunteer staff where appropriate.
  • Ensure rooms are cleaned where needed.
  • Secure property and open/close building as needed.
  • Do a sweep of classrooms at the end of each evening.
  • Complete assigned checklist.

    Physical requirements:
    The position requires the ability to see, hear, sit, stand, walk, reach, push and pull. Must be able to lift up to 15 pounds at times.

    If interested and qualified, please send 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.

  • Sales Associate (PT)

    The Old Town School Music Store is seeking an outgoing and enthusiastic part-time sales associate. We are looking for a gear-head with excellent customer service skills who has experience selling instruments, accessories, books, and other music-related items.

    This person must be proficient at playing guitar and one other instrument, be able to restring guitars, answer technical customer questions and have excellent customer service skills. Must have a minimum of one year related retail/customer service experience, preferably at a music store.

    Experience with RAIN retail P.O.S. software is a plus, as are bilingual skills and back room experience restocking packing and shipping. Ability to work a flexible schedule, including Saturdays and Sundays and two weekdays, is required.

    Discounts at the school and some voluntary benefits are available for part-time employees. If interested and qualified please email your resume to hiring@oldtownschool.org. Qualified applicants will be invited to interview and to demonstrate their guitar skills.

    Bartender/Barback (PT)

    The Old Town School is seeking an experienced and reliable part-time
    Bartender/Barback for its operations in Lincoln Square during evening concerts.

    Job Summary
    The Bartender/Barback provides an excellent guest experience. They prepare for and serve beer, wine, and cocktails. The Bartender/Barback will keep the bar stocked and maintain a clean work area throughout their shift. Shifts typically include weekday and weekend evenings during concerts.

    Key Duties
    Provides a pleasant experience to customers with exemplary customer service.

  • Serves drinks, snacks and coffee while maintaining a neat, clean, and sanitary bar area.
  • Follows recipes to create beverages where needed.
  • Ensures smooth set up and operation of bar services.
  • Keeps the bar stocked with beer, wine, liquor, cups, napkins, and all other necessary items before and during service hours.
  • Prepares garnishes, refills ice wells, and restocks beverage coolers.
  • Advises manager of ordering needs.
  • Cleans up spills, removes cups and organizes the counter.
  • Completes cleaning according to daily and weekly schedules, including dishwashing and removing garbage as needed.
  • Performs transactions using POS system. Completes end of shift paperwork and reports any discrepancies to manager.
  • Diplomatically resolves issues where needed.
  • Adheres to proper alcohol handling, sanitation, and safety procedures.
  • Other duties as assigned.

    Qualifications
    One year of related bartending/barback experience required in a fast-paced environment. Health and food safety certification required. B.A.S.S.E.T. (Beverage Alcohol Sellers and Servers Education Training) certification required. Must be at least 21 years old.

    Must be able to communicate effectively in verbal and written form, be self-motivated and able to multitask. Familiarity with Square POS platform is a plus. Comfortable using a computer and navigating the Google suite. Bilingual Spanish ability is helpful. Must be able to work evenings and weekends.

    Physical Requirements
    This work requires the following physical activities: reaching, bending, stooping, lifting up to 50 lbs., standing, walking, finger dexterity, grasping, feeling, repetitive motions, talking, hearing and visual acuity. The work is performed primarily indoors in a bar/cafe environment.

    If interested and qualified, please send 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.