Executive Director

The Mission

Music Center of the Northwest is a non-profit community music school located in North Seattle. We believe in the transformative power of music in the lives of people and our community. With a commitment to music education and live performance, Music Center provides access to exceptional musical experiences for people of all ages and abilities.

The Organization

Each year, Music Center of the Northwest connects over 4,000 people to one another, and to the joy of music through our broad range of programs and performances. The unifying principle that guides all Music Center programs is the fundamental belief that music is a tool that can be used to elevate human potential and create strong communities. Founded in 1989, Music Center of the Northwest is Seattle's oldest community music school and is a member of the National Guild for Community Arts Education and an Associate Member of the Washington Music Educators Association. A not-for-profit organization, Music Center programs are designed to create and support a community where musicians of all ability levels, from infants through senior citizens, come together to make and enjoy music. Music Center has never turned away a student based on ability to pay, and as one of only two nonprofit community music schools in the Seattle area, we fundraise to ensure that anyone can participate regardless of financial resources.

The Opportunity

Music Center’s new Executive Director will join an organization poised to be a cornerstone of not only the Aurora Licton-Springs neighborhood, but also the greater Seattle metro area. With the challenges of Seattle’s income inequality, the need for accessible, high quality arts experiences is greater than ever. The new Executive Director, in partnership with the Board and staff, will lead Music Center into its next phase of growth and innovation.

Music Center is governed by a committed Board of Directors who have launched a $2 million capital campaign to purchase and improve the current facility. The campaign has already seen a broad base of community support under the direction of a dedicated Steering Committee and professional fundraising consultants. The new Executive Director will join a campaign with the foundation for success already in place.

Reporting to the Board of Directors, the Executive Director will collaborate in setting the vision and lead Music Center in its mission of cultivating exceptional and transformative musical experiences. S/he oversees Music Center’s 30+ teaching artists and an administrative staff of 3 FTE. The Executive Director has the primary responsibility for development, implementation and execution of programs, fundraising, and strategic partnerships.

Key Priorities

Organizational Leadership & Strategy

  • Lead implementation and execution of the organization’s Strategic Priorities.
    • Increase capacity to support program and facility growth and ensure long-term financial sustainability
    • More people finding joy and community through music
    • Create spaces that reach and inspire our community
  • Provide the sound fiscal and administrative oversight necessary to enable continued growth and sustainability.
  • Expand and enhance Music Center’s programmatic activities as deemed necessary to achieve the mission.
  • Retain and grow the talented team of Music Center professionals and maintain an environment where teaching artists are supported in their work towards achieving the organization’s mission.

Fund Development

  • In collaboration with the Board and Steering Committee, lead  Music Center’s $2 million campaign to purchase its current building and execute capital improvements.
  • Develop and direct the implementation of an annual development plan, including individual giving, institutional giving, grant submissions, and special events.
  • Expand and maintain donor relationships through cultivation and recognition activities.

External Engagement

  • Identify and cultivate institutional partnerships and community organization relationships to broaden Music Center of the Northwest’s brand and impact throughout the region.
  • Serve as spokesperson and representative of Music Center of the Northwest.
  • Participate in community, state, and national associations and professional activities related to community music.

The Ideal Candidate

The ideal candidate will bring a passion for community music combined with the strong executive leadership skills necessary for managing and growing a multi-faceted organization. He or she will be a strong collaborator with staff and faculty and possess excellent two-way communication skills along with a high degree of interpersonal sophistication. He or she will seek to develop leaders and provide clear roles and expectations. As the public face of Music Center, the Executive Director will be capable of inspiring all stakeholders around the mission of transforming lives through music.

Candidates must have a proven history of successful fundraising and demonstrate the confidence and initiative to lead Music Center’s $2 million capital campaign in addition to annual fundraising initiatives and potential future campaigns. He or she will have extensive experience in donor stewardship and be able to interact with donors in an honest, respectful and supportive manner.  

A love of music is a must for Music Center’s new executive, and the ideal candidate will have a background in both performance and education. He or she will value the breadth of programming and the existing talents at Music Center and appreciate the reward that comes from seeing individuals achieve their personal goals as they expand their musical experiences.


  • 5+ years’ experience in nonprofit leadership
  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent experience required
  • Fundraising experience required
  • Graduate degree in relevant field preferred

To Apply

To apply, please send a cover letter and résumé to search@musiccenternw.org.



Music Director, Around the Sound Community Band

Duties include: 
Music selection, directing one rehearsal per week (Thursdays), conduction three formal concerts per year, plus varous community performances during the summer. Salary negotiable. Position closes when filled, but we hope to have someone in place by September 2018.

About Around the Sound:
Around the Sound has approximately 65 adult members and is a non-auditioned band. We are based at Music Center of the Northwest in North Seattle. More informaion on the band and a link to the Around the Sound YouTube channel can be found on our website, www.aroundthesound.org.

To Apply:
Send Cover Letter and résumé to atscommband@gmail.com.