Executive Director

The application deadline has now passed, and we are carefully reviewing all applicants. Thank you for your interest!

The Nightlight is a nonprofit organization (Akron Creative Inc.) whose mission is: “To advance cinema and community in tandem.” It opened on July 1, 2014, thanks to key grants from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and GAR Foundation. It’s the only theater in the greater Akron, Ohio, area fully dedicated to independent, international, arthouse, and specialty film. The Nightlight is a 46-seat cinema with a single screen that shows 60+ first-run movies every year, the large majority of which would not have otherwise received a public screening in the region. The Nightlight brings 15,000+ ticket holders through its doors each year.

Executive Director Position Overview

The Nightlight is seeking an Executive Director to oversee all aspects of the cinema and to ensure its success and stability. The position will report to the Board of Trustees.

Role / Responsibilities (including but not limited to)

  • Develop short and long term strategies with the institution's future and national stature in mind
    • Work with the Board of Trustees on marketing, fundraising and general management
    • Maintain relationships with local organizations such as ArtsNow and Downtown Akron Partnership, and take part in local arts advocacy and governance initiatives
    • Be part of the community of arthouse cinemas nationwide
  • Raise The Nightlight’s profile and increase audience engagement
    • Develop marketing strategy and tactics
    • Be The Nightlight’s spokesperson to the media
    • Write news releases
    • Other public speaking
    • Work with staff to maintain the cinema as a space that is accessible to and inclusive of all patrons
  • Manage finances and develop funding sources
    • Maintain relationships with foundations, write grant proposals and follow-up reports
    • Plan and execute donation and crowdfunding campaigns
    • Cultivate membership and oversee planning of regular member events
    • Oversee finances, bookkeeping and payroll
    • Cultivate individual donors
  • Supervise the Artistic Director and Show Leaders
    • Ensure normal cinema operations are maintained and designate staff to them
    • Develop an effective and engaged staff
    • Recruit, hire and train new employees as needed
    • Gauge staff as well as audience satisfaction, engagement and growth

Qualifications / Skills

  • Management experience required
  • Care for film as an intellectual pursuit and, in particular, the experience of going out to the cinema
  • Care for the Akron community’s well-being and equitable development, connecting the cinema experience to youth and underserved communities
  • Creativity in response to the impact and opportunity of new technologies for reaching audiences
  • Resourceful, entrepreneurial, analytical and effective at communication
  • Able to respond off-hours if an urgent situation arises
  • Nonprofit, arts and/or cinema experience preferred

Additional Information

  • Reports to Board of Trustees, Akron Creative, Inc dba The Nightlight
  • Position Type: Salaried, full time + health insurance. Total compensation including benefits up to $100,000. This salary is funded in part by a generous three-year gift from John S. Knight and James L. Knight Foundation, from 2021 to 2023, but is intended to continue based on successful audience and fundraising development.
  • Relocation to Akron area required
  • Akron Creative Inc. is an Equal Opportunity Employer and is committed to a diverse audience, staff, and Board of Trustees

Applicants should send a cover letter and resume to Jim Crutchfield (, Board of Trustees Chair of The Nightlight Cinema, by Monday, February 22nd, 2021.

Learn more about Akron by visiting Downtown Akron Partnership and ArtsNow.