Work at BE

Announcing an opportunity to join the Black Ensemble Theater Family

Grants Manager

Position Description


Black Ensemble (BE) was founded in 1976 by producer and playwright Jackie Taylor.  The mission of the Black Ensemble Theater is to eradicate racism and its devastating effects upon our society through the utilization of theater arts. BE is the only theater in the nation whose mission is to eradicate racism. BE achieves its mission through productions and programs that work to help individuals understand, respect and accept our sameness and greatness as human beings.

Position Summary: Responsible for all grant related activities that create and cultivate support for Black Ensemble Theater and its programs, the Grant Manager will report directly to the Vice President of Institutional Advancement, and work in concert with the development staff, and the Founder/CEO to meet fundraising goals from foundation, corporate, and government supporters. Working closely with program staff, the Grant Manager will research, develop and write compelling grant proposals to existing foundation and government funders, manage the grants calendar, complete all reporting requirements, and provide the VP of Institutional Advancement and CEO, briefing documents in preparation for prospect and donor visits.  The Grant Manager will also be responsible for identifying new sources of grant revenue.

Responsibilities: Specific responsibilities for the Grant Manager include but are not limited to:

  • Manage Black Ensemble’s grant development program from inception to completion
  • Conceptualize, plan, write, edit, steward and report on grant proposals to achieve budget goals
  • Research and identify new foundation, corporate, and government sources of funding compatible with Black Ensemble’s programs
  • Ensure on-going awareness and understanding of local and national arts/theater grant opportunities and other funding opportunities that align with BE’s educational outreach programs
  • Manage grants and reporting calendar
  • Stay closely attuned to the Chicago philanthropic community in order to identify and capitalize on all funding opportunities that might support new and existing programs
  • Other duties as assigned


Ideal candidates will offer:


  • Bachelor’s degree
  • Belief in the Black Ensemble Theater Mission
  • 2+ years experience writing grants/reports for a non-profit organization (preferably a theater or arts organization)
  • Superior written and oral communication skills
  • Attention to detail, with a commitment to maintaining BE’s unique voice while improving the quality, content and format of grants and reports
  • Familiarity with the Chicago philanthropic community (foundations and government agencies)
  • Excellent time management skills, ability to manage multiple projects and identify priorities
  • Ability to manage work flow and plan/coordinate the work of others to meet deadlines
  • Professional demeanor with the ability to work independently and as a team player
  • Proficient knowledge of Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint
  • Ability to communicate successfully with stakeholders, patrons, performers, and employees
  • Strong focus on results with an entrepreneurial approach to fundraising and problem solving
  • Strong sense of personal and professional accountability
  • Desire to work in a dynamic, fast paced and ever changing environment


The Grant Manager position is a full time, salaried position including health benefits. Salary and benefits are competitive and offered commensurate with experience. Inquiries should be forwarded to Jackie Taylor at Black Ensemble is an equal opportunity employer.

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