Executive Director - Minnesota Fringe

Minnesota Fringe connects adventurous artists with adventurous audiences by creating open, supportive forums for free and diverse expression. Through our summer festival and dynamic programs, Fringe is an artistic disruptor for local and touring artists to take bold risks, develop new ideas, and hoist themselves to the next rung of their artistic ladder. Our flagship Festival has distributed $2.5 million+ to artists over the last decade, creates a $1.9 million economic impact on our state and was recently awarded City Pages’ Best Festival.

Fringe seeks a creative, dynamic leader to join us in the role of Executive Director. As the chief executive officer of the organization, this person is responsible for the management and execution of the annual performing arts festival and development of the organization’s year-round work to strengthen and build relationships within Minnesota’s vibrant arts community. Their primary purpose is to produce a successful Minnesota Fringe Festival that serves artists, entertains audiences, and has a positive impact on the citizens of our state. This person will lead the management of all staff, finances, development, resource allocation and external relations such that the organization remains sustainable and reputable.

All are welcome to apply. Minnesota Fringe is committed to fostering a diverse and inclusive workforce and environment for all members of our staff and board, and for all our artists, volunteers, subcontractors, vendors, and patrons. We strongly encourage people of color and BIPOC individuals, LGBTQIA+ individuals, people with disabilities, and veterans to apply. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment and will be notified of their application status within a reasonable time frame.

Minnesota Fringe does not and shall not discriminate based on race, color, religion (creed), gender, gender expression, age, national origin (ancestry), disability, marital status, sexual orientation, or military status, in any of its activities or operations. These activities include, but are not limited to, hiring, and firing of staff, selection of volunteers and vendors, and provision of services.


Tasks may include but are not limited to:

  • Corporate legal and financial oversight
  • Liaison to the Board of Directors and its Committees
  • Strategic planning and program development
  • Staff management
  • Development oversight
  • Production oversight
  • Artist, venue, and sponsor relations
  • Marketing and public relations oversight


The Executive Director reports to the Board of Directors and supervises year-round staff directly including: Artist Liaison & Office Manager, Audience & Volunteer Services Director, Development & Communications Director, Technical Director, and Website Contractor as well as other positions as needed. The Executive Director is expected to work with all board committees, artists, venues, media, advertisers, vendors, granters, sponsors, donors, and patrons. The Executive Director is reviewed annually and evaluated on performance related to organizational management, strategic thinking, and organizational values.


The successful candidate will have an assortment of the following (or equivalent) skills:

  • Enthusiasm for the mission of Minnesota Fringe and the communities served;
  • Agility & flexibility to meet ever-changing demands in a fast-paced organization;
  • Ability to self-motivate and work on projects independently;
  • Strong leadership and collaborative skills;
  • Enthusiasm to learn new systems, contribute ideas, and problem solve;
  • Knowledge and/or interest in theatre, the arts, or event management;
  • Results-oriented strategic thinking and ability to identify and complete detail-oriented activities to move a Big Idea forward.

Candidates will be more likely to succeed in this role of they have:

  • Business and/or arts administration degree (Bachelors or Masters) and/or a total of 5+ years of experience in nonprofit  senior leadership that includes festival or theater production, budget management, office administration, staff management, development, promotion, and media relations;
  • Transparent and high integrity leadership skills with a commitment to quality programs and data-driven evaluation;
  • Willingness to oversee and collaborate with staff in an egalitarian, non-hierarchical culture;
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills;
  • Demonstrated ability to secure grants, build relationships with individual donors, and success in improving financial results;
  • High level strategic thinking, planning, and execution with the ability to envision and convey the organization’s strategic future to the staff, board, volunteers, and donors;
  • Excellence in organizational management with acumen in financial management, budget preparation, analysis, decision making, general accounting, and reporting
  • Familiarity with systems and software such as QuickBooks, PayPal, MailChimp, Square, Salesforce, Business Catalyst or Treepl, etc.;
  • Past success working with a Board of Directors with the ability to cultivate existing and new board member relationships;
  • Desire to uphold the organization's commitment to equality, diversity, and inclusion in all programming, fundraising, and communications activities.

Time Commitment/Compensation

  • This is a full-time (~40 hrs/wk) year-round position (ideally beginning no later than July 15, 2021) with a flexible schedule and a seasonal cycle that requires staff to be present throughout most of the summer and on call during the height of festival season (July 1 - August 15) each year.
  • Minnesota Fringe staff work ~11 total months per year on salary with a mandatory vacation after the festival season ends (late August), an annual office shutdown in December, plus an additional 5 paid holidays per year.
  • Salary for this position is $50,000 - $55,000 DOQ.
  • Medical / dental benefits (BlueCross/BlueShield) are provided.
  • Employer matched (up to 3%) retirement plan (Fidelity) is provided.

To apply for this position, submit your resume and a cover letter Attn: Search Committee, by May 15 to [email protected] or by mail to Minnesota Fringe, 79 - 13th Ave NE, Ste #112, Minneapolis, MN 55413. 

Contact information

Minnesota Fringe
Dawn Bentley
Web site

Respond by
Saturday, May 15
Posted May 3