Check out our 2018 mobile schedule
The Blind Spots
Wassa Pan Africa Dance Ensemble
Road Man
Big Mean I-Town Revue
Ithaca Ballet
Empire Kings
The Sim Redmond Band
Photo by Ed Dittenhoefer
Circus Culture
Photo by Ed Dittenhoefer


Save the Ithaca Festival!

To achieve these goals, we are turning to the community. If you enjoy this early celebration of summertime, participate in or look forward to the annual Festival Parade, and believe that supporting local artists of all genres and ages is important, then we encourage you to help us sustain our Festival. Whether you can afford $5 or $25 or $100 or some amount even more generous, your donation will ensure the future of the Ithaca Festival and Parade. Our goal is to raise $30,000 by the end of the year.

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Ithaca Festival seeks a new Executive Director

By McKenzie Jones Rounds, November 14, 2017

The Ithaca Festival would like to send a HUGE thank you to Ben Greenberg, as he moves on to other endeavors. Ben has done an amazing job in his two seasons as the Executive Director for the Ithaca Festival. Ben focused on expanding our community reach to an even more diverse and inclusive audience, he energized our focus on showcasing emerging talent and helped integrate the activities of the GIAC Festival with the Ithaca Festival. Ben was committed to bringing financial stability to the Festival, and made tough, but incredibly successful decisions regarding streamlining the footprint and capping the experience to 3 days, all while maintaining the fun, excitement, quirkiness and unique flair that make the Ithaca Festival so beloved by so many.

We wish him well, and thank him for the amazing service and incredible vision he provided during his tenure. Please help us in not only spreading the word about our search to hire the next Ithaca Festival Executive Director, but in thanking Ben for his JOB WELL DONE.

Ithaca Festival – Ithaca, NY:

The Ithaca Festival is a three, at times four, day music and arts celebration, the premier event of its kind

in Tompkins County. Over 1,000 talented local musicians, painters, dancers, clowns, community groups,

and ensembles perform throughout the Ithaca Festival weekend. We provide multiple stages of

entertainment, some special kid’s activities, a craft show, a parade, a local film festival, an arts for social

justice area, and delicious festival food at various locations.

Our Mission:

Celebrating the artist in everyone and supporting arts in the community.


The Ithaca Festival began in 1977 as an arts festival called “Celebration Ithaca.” Over the years, the

Ithaca Festival has taken many creative forms under a long tradition of excellent leadership by festival

directors. Through it all, we have always remained true to our roots and to our mission to celebrate the

artist in everyone. We provide a concentrated outlet for the artistic output of our greater community,

from our favorite kazoo band to the nationally touring performer. The Ithaca Festival kicks off the

summer with a fun, diverse, delicious, whimsical experience that we look forward to creating for many

years to come. Recently, the festival has made significant strides to increase the breadth of the festival

to represent the many varied cultures that exist in Ithaca.

A volunteer Board of Directors establishes festival policy. A full-time Executive Director plans the festival

with several seasonal part-time staff members and oversees various programs and projects. During

festival weekend, the majority of work support is provided by more than 100 volunteers.

The Ithaca Festival is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and a self-sustaining festival. The City of Ithaca

does not provide financial support but they donate many in-kind services such as police and fire

department power. The revenue from this year’s festival will ensure that the festival will return next

year. The majority of our funding comes from the sale of t-shirts and buttons with sponsorships and the

sale of vending real estate filling out the rest of our budget.

Position Summary:

The Executive Director reports to the Board of Directors and manages all aspects of the operation of the

Ithaca Festival and any additional events or programs that are planned throughout the year. The

responsibilities are not limited to, but include general administrative and financial management,

programming, booking, marketing, event management, facilities management, community relations and

fundraising. The Executive Director will work closely with the Board, and in accordance with the Bylaws

of the Ithaca Festival Charter. The Executive Director will be expected to adhere to the duties and

responsibilities outlined in this job description, the Ithaca Festival Charter and Bylaws, the

timeline/deadlines for Ithaca Festival, as well as written and verbally communicated expectations expressed by the

Ithaca Festival Board of Directors. The Executive Director will be encouraged to add

new elements to the festival that reflect personal interests and strengths, all while maintaining the

mission of Ithaca Festival.

Hours, Staffing and Accountability:

  • Full time position, year round
  • Flexible hours sometimes requiring evenings and weekends
  • Extended hours leading up to and during Ithaca Festival
  • Recruitment and management of contract staff and volunteers will be the Executive Director's responsibility
  • Executive Director will provide regular budget, timeline, fundraising and operations updates to the Ithaca Festival Board of Directors, monthly and as requested

Programming, Booking, Marketing, Supervision of Staff/Volunteers, Event Management:

Responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

  • Working with city officials and external agencies to obtain permits, proper insurance and developing a risk management plan to ensure safety
  • Meeting deadlines/timelines crucial to steps in permitting, marketing, promoting the Ithaca Festival
  • Arranging technical needs of performers, artists and vendors
  • Determining the festival footprint, layout and map
  • Selecting and scheduling performers and artists
  • Negotiating fees and contracts
  • Developing and maintaining professional relationships with artists and vendors
  • Planning and executing a marketing strategy using the full-range of available media outlets
  • Developing audience and performance diversity
  • Determining an annual theme for Ithaca Festival with Board approval
  • Implementing a search for an Ithaca Festival Artist prior to Ithaca Festival
  • Arranging for the creation, ordering and selection of Ithaca Festival merchandise and marketing materials
  • Ensuring that Ithaca Festival has a functional web and social media presence for publicity and recruitment purposes
  • Managing the production of additional events as approved by the Ithaca Festival Board of Directors
  • Representing Ithaca Festival through a broad array of media outlets and forms, including tv/radio/newspaper stories up to, during and after the Ithaca Festival
  • Providing direction, leadership, and training for other contract staff and volunteers
  • Recruiting and training volunteers
  • Scheduling regularly held meetings with Ithaca Festival contract staff

Finance and Fundraising:

With the Board of Directors, the Executive Director is responsible for the financial sustainability of the organization. Responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

  • Developing and overseeing a budget
  • Managing cash flow
  • Identifying, writing and implementing grants
  • Managing and overseeing merchandise sales before, during and after Ithaca Festival
  • Overseeing the efforts to provide revenue via the Button Brigade activities throughout the entire Ithaca Festival
  • Identifying, soliciting and stewarding Ithaca Festival Sponsors and donors, for monetary and in-kind donations, as well as raffle item donations

Experience and Qualifications:

Interested candidates with experience in some of, but not limited to, the following areas should apply;

  • Artistic or programming director
  • Marketing and public relations
  • Successful fundraising
  • Financial/budgetary responsibilities
  • Staff/volunteer supervision
  • Management/leadership in a cultural arts organization
  • Work in a non-profit organization
  • Work in music education programming
  • Developing audience and performance diversity
  • Working with diverse populations

Desired Skills:

  • Action oriented, a planner, an implementer, a team leader
  • Mentor, leader, trainer and supervisor for staff and volunteers
  • Broad, as well as diverse, art and music knowledge
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills
  • Committed to the vital role of the arts within a community
  • Creative thinker
  • Computer literate; knowledge of MS Office Suite preferred

How to Apply:

Candidates are invited to submit a letter of intent, resume, and three references. Send to the Ithaca Festival Board, at Confidentiality is assured. The search will remain open until the position is filled. All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply. For consideration, applications must be received by November 22. A background check will be required for the selected candidate. The Ithaca Festival is an equal opportunity employer.