Position Announcement: Executive Director

The Colonial Theatre
Executive Director
Bethlehem, New Hampshire

About The Colonial Theatre

The Colonial Theatre is the home of arts, film, music, and culture in New Hampshire’s North Country. Located in the heart of The White Mountains in Bethlehem, the historic Colonial Theatre is one of the oldest continuously operated movie theaters in the country. When The Colonial opened its doors in 1915, the era of the Grand Hotels was in full swing and Bethlehem was a premier destination resort. Because of its sophisticated clientele, The Colonial quickly became a venue for studios to test market their films. With its rich history, The Colonial remains one of the enduring links to the era of the Grand Hotels as well as a significant chapter in the history of the film industry.

Now, after a series of renovations and improvements, the 300-seat Colonial offers state-of-the-art digital projection and surround sound for independent and world cinema, hosts Grammy award-winning performing artists, family entertainment, and community events from May through October—all without losing the intimate charm of a vintage summer theater.

The Colonial Theatre is on the New Hampshire Registry of Historic Places and was named “Best Vintage Movie Theatre” by Yankee Magazine.

Our Vision
A vibrant, engaged, and enriched community through arts and culture

Our Mission
Inspire and invite participation in the cultural conversation

Our Values
We believe…
• relevant arts and cultural programming make a positive difference in creating a sense of belonging, fellowship, and community that enriches all;
• access to different perspectives gives us deeper understanding of the world in which we live and helps us see more clearly what unites us as well as what makes us each unique;
• responsible stewardship and partnerships enable us to leave a lasting legacy of cultural enrichment.

Our Strategic goals
• Grow community engagement.
• Achieve a balanced revenue portfolio designed to ensure long-term financial stability.
• Preserve the integrity and historical nature of the building and ensure the safety and comfort of the patrons and artists.

The Opportunity

The Colonial Theatre is seeking a vibrant, innovative, and forward-thinking executive, preferably with demonstrated success in leading a nonprofit arts and culture organization. The Executive Director will balance internal responsibilities (e.g., ensuring a strong operational infrastructure, team, and culture) with external demands (e.g., engaging with our community, our members, funders, and supporters). Our priority is to find an experienced leader of people and teams who brings high emotional intelligence and a collaborative style. They will have earned a reputation for building strong, trusted relationships with diverse stakeholders. They will come with a creative, flexible, strategic, and solution-oriented mindset, and be an exceptional listener and culturally sensitive communicator.

Our ideal candidate will have experience in and a strong commitment to building community, the arts, and furthering the cultural conversation. Previous experience engaging with a Board of Directors, developing and implementing a strategic plan, building relationships, and developing funding partnerships are all essential ingredients of our ideal candidate. Finally, the top Executive Director candidate must demonstrate an authentic commitment to cultivating a diverse, equitable, just, and inclusive organizational culture in which every staff member and volunteer is respected and valued.

Key Responsibilities

  • Vision and strategy: Lead The Colonial Theatre’s strategic plan implementation; collaborate with staff and Board to set and achieve articulated goals, aligned with our values, vision, and mission
  • Team leadership and culture: Provide leadership and professional development opportunities for staff and volunteers across the organization; continue to develop a collaborative and inclusive culture
  • Operations and financial management: Oversee the successful execution of The Colonial Theatre’s day-to-day operations, including strong systems and policies to maximize organizational effectiveness and sound financial management, stewardship of the historic building, reporting, and compliance
  • Relationship building: Build strong, trusted relationships with key stakeholders including staff, Board, donors, members, community partners, and funders
  • Resource development: Working with the Institutional Advancement Committee, ensure The Colonial Theatre achieves its annual fundraising goals through a successful multi-source funding strategy
  • External Communications: With the Marketing Committee, build and implement a robust communications strategy and serve as a passionate, persuasive advocate, representing the organization through a variety of media and other platforms
  • Board – Executive Partnership: In collaboration with the Executive and Governance Committees, develop, maintain, and support a strong and engaged Board of Directors; serve as ex-officio member of assigned committees; seek and build Board involvement with strategic plan implementation, relationship-building, and development; contribute to the creation of policy consistent with the organization’s values, vision, mission, and strategic goals, and ensure policy implementation.
  • Programming: In partnership with the Director of Programming, ensure that The Colonial Theatre’s programs, films, and live performances are aligned with our values, vision, mission, and strategic goals, and are responsive to trends and changes in the arts and culture world.


  • Minimum of five years experience as nonprofit Executive Director/CEO, with a track record of producing results by building dynamic staff and Board teams, efficient and effective systems, fund development, donor relations, and organizational capacity; or previous experience in a senior leadership role, including management of an organization or department’s talent, operations, and finances
  • Solid, hands-on fiscal management skills including budget preparation, analysis, decision-making, and reporting
  • Demonstrated success in building and maintaining effective working relationships with staff, Board members, other volunteers, funders, elected officials, donors, and partner organizations
  • Commitment to racial justice, racial equity, and anti-racism, with working knowledge of ways to deepen understanding of these areas with diverse stakeholders
  • Effective written and verbal communication skills; a persuasive and passionate communicator with excellent interpersonal skills
  • Ability to build strong partnerships with Boards of Directors to strengthen governance practices and focus on the mission
  • Unwavering commitment to quality programs and data-driven program evaluation
  • Participatory style of management; ability to facilitate effective group decision-making
  • Action-oriented, entrepreneurial, adaptable, and innovative approach to business oversight and planning
  • A passionate, idealistic, mission-driven, self-directed visionary thinker with a positive attitude
  • High emotional intelligence, humility, and a commitment to personal and professional growth
  • Ability to navigate complex and changing relationships and dynamics
  • Leads with integrity, transparency, and good humor
  • Bachelor’s degree required, advanced degree a plus

About Our Community

Bethlehem, New Hampshire is a small village in the Northern White Mountains. In the late 1800’s trains brought city dwellers suffering from hay fever and summer heat to Bethlehem. Visitors enjoyed an entire season in the “highest town in New Hampshire”. Today Bethlehem is a diverse cultural community of activity where residents and visitors enjoy arts, theatre, local shops, festivals, unique eateries, a local brewery (one of four in the area), and beautiful inns.

There are plenty of outdoor activities year round including skiing, hiking, and cycling in the Bethlehem area, which is one of only three newly-certified Bike Friendly Communities nationwide.

Nearby communities include Littleton, Franconia, Lancaster, and Sugar Hill.

Compensation and Benefits

This is a full-time mostly on-site position, with a flexible work schedule given the programs and services offered, including evenings and weekends during our programming season (May through October). The hiring salary range is $60,000 to $65,000 with possibility for annual merit-based bonus. Our benefits package includes flextime, sick and vacation time, health insurance stipend, retirement benefit, and professional development.

Application Process

Applicants should send their resume and cover letter describing their qualifications and interest in this position, as well as salary history, and five references (include a brief description about your relationship to each of these references), to: careers@bethlehemcolonial.org

Please put “ATTN: Search Committee” in the subject line. Deadline for applications is May 15th. The Search Committee will keep all applications confidential.

The Colonial Theatre welcomes, values, and celebrates diversity. The Colonial Theatre is strongly committed to promoting race, gender, ability, and class equity throughout the organization. We do not discriminate based on race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, protected veteran status, ability, or any other legally protected status. The Colonial Theatre encourages applications and inquiries from people of all races, genders, abilities, and classes.

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