Business Manager | Eighth Blackbird

The Business Manager has overall responsibility for the day-to-day business administration of Eighth Blackbird Performing Arts Association, including bookkeeping, payroll, budgeting, and financial management. The Business Manager will attend all regular finance, board, and staff meetings. Duties include:



  • Manage the finances of the organization, including but not limited to accounts payable/receivable; bank & credit card reconciliation; relevant balance sheet account reconciliation.
  • Manage online expense reporting system.
  • Schedule 8BB Finance Committee meetings, draft agenda, and compile all necessary reports and documents.
  • Lead annual budgeting process in coordination with 8BB Finance Committee and COO.
  • Monitor independent contractor agreements and make payments accordingly.
  • Monitor cash flow and cash reserve use/policy.
  • Act as primary contact for bank, credit card, and money market accounts.
  • Manage company credit card program and oversee expenditure policy and approvals within online portal Abacus.


  • Run biweekly and bimonthly payrolls with appropriate deductions; ensure timely payroll tax payments.
  • Provide accurate W2s, 1099s, and 1042-Ss for all paid staff, guest artists and contractors to both the individuals and agencies in a timely manner.

Reporting & Filing

  • Responsible for timely filing of:
    • Federal 941 quarterly
    • State 941 quarterly
    • IL UI-3/40 quarterly
    • Illinois sales tax quarterly
    • Annual W2s to employees and IRS
    • Annual 1099s to contractors and 1096 to IRS
    • Annual 1042-S’s to foreign contractors and 1096 to IRS
    • Annual report to IL Secretary of State
    • Annual 990 and ILAG990 through auditor
  • Communicate with relevant project leaders including Blackbird Creative Lab staff and ensure regular updates of project budgets and projections
  • Reconcile contributed income within Salesforce and Quickbooks Online on a regular basis.
  • Create templates for budgets and final reports for 8BB Grants Manager as requested.


  • Lead annual audit through independent auditor and steward its timely completion.
  • Compile necessary documentation requested including grant agreements, bank statements, outstanding payables/receivables, insurance policies, and board minutes.



  • Draft Contractor, Guest Artist, Staff, and Commissioning contracts as necessary; manage approval and signatory process.
  • Review and execute on the COO’s behalf Presenter, Booking Agent, Residency, etc. contracts as needed.
  • Proof and approve all 8BB contracts before execution.

Human Resources

  • Assist the COO with administration and filing of annual staff performance reports and job descriptions.
  • Assist COO in annual review and revision of Employee Handbook.
  • Draft and file employee agreements with COO.
  • Manage all employee benefits, currently health insurance and flexible spending accounts, including open enrollment, renewal, new employee enrollment, and termination.
  • Assist COO in onboarding new staff and interns.
  • Track staff vacation time.
  • Manage liability insurance policy and renewal with 8BB finance committee.


  • Manage digital archiving of official records, contracts and letters of agreement.
  • Liaise with ASCAP and BMI for quarterly reporting as needed.



Eighth Blackbird is “one of the smartest, most dynamic contemporary classical ensembles on the planet” (Chicago Tribune). Launched by six entrepreneurial Oberlin Conservatory undergraduates in 1996, this Chicago-based super-group has earned its status as “a brand-name…defined by adventure, vibrancy and quality….known for performing from memory, employing choreography and collaborations with theater artists, lighting designers and even puppetry artists” (Detroit Free Press).

Eighth Blackbird first gained wide recognition in 1998 as winners of the Concert Artists Guild Competition. Over the course of two decades, the group has commissioned and premiered hundreds of works by composers such as David Lang, Steven Mackey, Missy Mazzoli, and Steve Reich, whose Double Sextet went on to win the 2009 Pulitzer Prize. A long-term relationship with Chicago’s Cedille Records has produced eight acclaimed recordings and four Grammy Awards for Best Small Ensemble/Chamber Music Performance, most recently in 2016 for Filament. They were named Music America’s 2017 Ensemble of the Year, and in 2016 were the inaugural recipients of Chamber Music America’s Visionary Award and the prestigious MacArthur Award for Creative and Effective Institutions.

Eighth Blackbird’s mission—moving music forward through innovative performance, advocating for new music by living composers, and creating a legacy of guiding an emerging generation of musicians —extends beyond recording and touring to curation and education. The ensemble served as Music Director of the 2009 Ojai Music Festival, has held residencies at the Curtis Institute of Music and at the University of Chicago, and holds an ongoing Ensemble-in-Residence position at the University of Richmond. The 2015-16 season featured a pioneering residency at Chicago’s Museum of Contemporary Art: a living installation with open rehearsals, performances, guest artists, and public talks. In 2017, Eighth Blackbird launched its boldest initiative yet with the creation of Blackbird Creative Laboratory, a tuition-free, two-week summer workshop and performance festival for performers and composers in Ojai, CA. Eighth Blackbird celebrates its 25th Anniversary in 2021.

Eighth Blackbird’s members hail from the Great Lakes, Keystone, Golden, Empire and Bay states. The name “Eighth Blackbird” derives from the eighth stanza of Wallace Stevens’s evocative, imagistic poem, Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird: “I know noble accents / And lucid, inescapable rhythms; / But I know, too, / That the blackbird is involved / In what I know.”

Skills & Qualifications: 

Eighth Blackbird is seeking a seasoned professional who wants a permanent part-time position. The ideal candidate is organized, self-motivated, tech-savvy, flexible, a team-player with a passion for nonprofits and the arts.

  • At least 3 years accounting/bookkeeping experience; nonprofit accounting preferred.
  • Experience working directly with independent auditors.
  • Experience administering payroll, employee benefits, and enrollment.
  • Ability to self-direct and problem solve.
  • Experience with current systems a plus: Quickbooks Online, Abacus, Salesforce
To Apply: 

The Business Manager will work 24 hours per week, days and hours to be determined mutually. Salary: $25 per hour, paid out in bi-weekly installments. Some flexibility in days and hours may be possible.
Reports to Chief Operating Officer.
Start date: December 17, 2018.


To Apply: Please send cover letter and resume to: If invited for an interview, three references will be required.

Contact Information
Business Manager | Eighth Blackbird | Chicago Artists Resource


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