Participate in Back Office!

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Pentacle’s unique management support program provides direct administrative and managerial support to organizations and project-based artists.

Who is BACK OFFICE for?
Back Office is open to all dance companies and organizations, and independent choreographers who need direct administrative and managerial staffing.

What exactly is BACK OFFICE?
Back Office addresses head on the critical lack of direct administrative and executive staffing in small and mid-sized dance organizations, and for project-based choreographers. Planning, sustainability and growth can only go so far when there is not time or personnel to do the work. Often, even if you have the funds, you cannot find a suitable person to staff your needs. Back Office supplies direct affordable support from supervised, dedicated individuals on an on-going basis.
Whether in need of one person to help an Artistic Director with management and administration (e.g., an “Executive Director”), a person to write grants, or a tour manager, Pentacle senior staff works with participants to identify and articulate their needs, and then provides appropriate staffing on a long term basis. Back Office is not a temp agency. Pentacle helps to oversee administrative staffing and organizes the support so that small and mid-sized companies, and even individual artists, can work with responsible, creative thinkers who undertake the tasks at hand in an efficient manner. Pentacle handles scheduling and coordination of the program participants and staff, and works with participants to create a schedule that works with their time needs, takes in account projects, seasons, etc. Back Office is sensitive to confidentiality issues that may arise during this relationship, and keeps utmost confidentiality of participants.

What do you get from participating in BACK OFFICE?

  • Not having to worry about HR matters and training staff.
  • Continuity of services (e.g., not having to replace the part time person who then leaves after six months to go on tour).
  • Oversight by and a relationship with Pentacle staff, thus relieving the burden often placed on the Artistic Director or Executive Director.
  • Reliable, creative, professional administrative staffing for an affordable fee.
  • Membership in a national community of dance makers interested in creative models for sustainability and growth.
  • The goal of this relationship is to work towards a stable, workable and affordable administrative system.

What does BACK OFFICE Cost?
Fees are determined based on staffing needs, scope of work, assessment of time needed to undertake the work successfully and the dance organization’s budget. Base fees begin at $4000 for 12 months covering approximately 13%-17% of a full time work week – that comes to about $76 a week!

Interested in participating? Submit the following information in writing:

  • A description or listing of the tasks and administrative/managerial help you seek
  • A description of the goals for the relationship with a staff person (ie. tour manager, general administrator, etc.)
  • A copy of your most recent 990, audited financial statement, CDP annual report or organizational/project budget.
  • Pentacle accepts participants into Back Office based on availability and clarity of expectations and goals to be obtained from the partnership. Your proposal should be sent via e-mail or snail mail, to:

Sara Zalek
Help Desk®/Back Office Program Coordinator, Chicago
The Space Movement Project
1474 N Milwaukee Ave 3rd Floor
Chicago, IL, 60622
P: 503-317-4501
helpdeskchicago@pentacle.org

[The following are testimonials from current and past Back Office Participants and Managing Director:]

“Back Office has enabled me to go beyond putting out the many immediate “fires” and research longer range projects and topics that are important to the growth of my company. I am able to not only hand off the smaller but constant administrative tasks that take up so much time, but also to rely on Back Office to suggest and look into areas the company might benefit from. This gives me the feeling that I am moving forward beyond the immediate tasks at hand to a larger perspective.” -Donna Sternberg, Artistic Director of Donna Sternberg & Dancers

“Back Office and Raélle Dorfan have been an invaluable asset to our company. We have an unusual company structure (long distance collaborators) and Back Office has enabled us to organize, plan, stay current and actually gain some ground in what sometimes feels like an endless treadmill of administrative duties of small non-profit organizations! Thanks to Pentacle and Felicia Rosenfeld for the foresight to implement this much needed program in LA, San Francisco and Chicago!” -Licia Perea, Co-Artistic Director of Latina Dance Theater Project

“Pentacle has offered me an unparalleled chance for professional development through their Back Office program. The supportive environment they provide, has allowed me to work and grow as a Managing Director. This program not only benefits the participating companies and strengthens the LA dance community, but also fosters assertive arts professionals.” -Emily Rumack, Back Office Managing Director since 2013

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