Society of Arts + Crafts - Executive Director
- May 20, 2018
Incorporated in 1897, the Society of Arts and Crafts (SA+C) has been at the forefront of the American craft movement, fostering the development, sales, recognition, and education of crafts for over 100 years. SA+C’s dual mission is to encourage the creation, collection, and promotion of the work of contemporary craft artists and to advance the public appreciation of fine craft.
To fulfill its mission, SA+C presents exceptional group and solo exhibitions, the Artist Awards Programs, the John D. Mineck Furniture Fellowship, and ongoing educational programming. SA+C’s exhibitions have highlighted masters such as William Daley and Lino Tagliapietra, shown ground-breaking work, including Wendy Maruyama’s Executive Order 9066 and I.M.A.G.I.N.E. PEACE NOW, and provided venues for young artists and cutting-edge work. Additionally, every year SA+C manages two retail events: CraftBoston Spring and CraftBoston Holiday. CraftBoston is considered one of the top craft shows in the country and was the first to provide a mentoring program for emerging artists. In all, SA+C promotes the work of more than 400 craft artists in their exhibition and retail galleries on an ongoing basis.
In 2016 SA+C moved to the rapidly developing Seaport District after more than 40 years on Boston’s historic Newbury Street. The new location, designed by the award-winning design firm Sasaki, includes 9,000 square feet of retail, exhibition, and program space, enabling SA+C to broaden its scope to include residencies, panel discussions, and symposia.
SA+C is governed by a 22-member board of trustees, led by President Jennifer Rayburn Billings, and is supported by a six-person advisory council and 12-member resource council. There is an administrative staff of five full-time and five part-time individuals. SA+C’s operating budget for the year ending January 2018 is approximately $1 million, with roughly 72 percent from earned revenue, 18 percent from fundraising activities, and 10 percent from grants. Its ongoing financial health is bolstered by a $1.1 million endowment that includes board-designated and restricted funds.
As New England’s largest city, Boston has long been the region’s economic and cultural hub, with strong professional sectors in education, technology, and healthcare. Boston proper has an estimated population of 667,000 residents and the Greater Boston area has nearly 4.7 million residents. This thriving region offers rich history, diverse neighborhoods, and world-renowned arts and culture offerings attended by more than 18 million people each year.
Playing a key part of the United States’ early history, Boston developed into a global entity and is now placed among the top 30 most economically powerful cities in the world. It is a world leader in innovation and entrepreneurship, cemented by the growing presence of venture capital, finance, and tech companies. There are more than 50 institutions of higher education, including superlative programs in law, medicine, music, theater, art, engineering, and business. These have a significant impact on the regional economy, drawing more than 350,000 students from around the world as well as attracting major employers to the area.
Sources: americaninno.com, craftcouncil.org, bostonherald.com, bostonchamber.com, artsboston.org
Roles and Responsibilities
- Represent SA+C externally to potential donors and funding sources, articulating the mission and vision of the organization and its impact.
- Supervise all aspects of the exhibition program and retail operations (including CraftBoston) to ensure programmatic and revenue goals are met.
- Cultivate existing and identify new funding opportunities. Develop and execute strategies to maximize the visibility, brand, and earned and contributed revenues of SA+C.
- Provide leadership to the board and staff in fundraising activities, maintain strong relationships with the funding community, and develop effective donor stewardship and cultivation methods.
- Adopt a hands-on leadership role in growing all potential sources of contributed income, including major gift cultivation, corporate sponsorship, grant writing, and special project fundraising.
Operational Planning, Administration, and Project Management
- Direct and assume overall responsibility for all SA+C operations, facilities, programs, and personnel.
- Provide leadership and coordination in the development of the annual budget and regularly monitor and report on the performance of the budget and all financial matters.
- Monitor and report on organizational performance; review all areas of resource management for innovative solutions to maximize operational efficiency; and assure that the necessary policies, system controls, and procedures are in place, being followed, and regularly reviewed.
- Provide effective project oversight and crisis management in a fast-paced environment to ensure that all SA+C activities and projects are delivered on time, scope, and budget.
Team Management and Development
- Direct administrative personnel relations so that the organization is effectively structured and staffed with competent employees.
- Hire and supervise administrative staff in accordance with SA+C’s policies and all applicable laws; plan and oversee work; and appraise performance.
- Act as the communication conduit between the board and staff.
- Create and promote a positive work environment, facilitate staff participation in decision-making, and encourage staff ownership of the organization’s success.
- Encourage achievement and professional development of administrative staff, serve as staff advocate, and provide ongoing feedback, coaching, mentoring, and training as appropriate.
- Resolve issues promptly and collaboratively, making a genuine effort to get to know, understand, and support people in appropriate ways.
Leadership and Strategic Planning
- Develop an entrepreneurial and forward-thinking organizational culture.
- Ensure effective communication and work coordination with the board and its board committees, including the distribution of timely and accurate information.
- Oversee long-term strategic planning and implementation processes and collaborate with the board and internal stakeholders to refine strategic objectives.
- Follow external trends and developments; identify and explore the viability of new business initiatives; and actively seek new partnership opportunities to support SA+C’s mission and objectives.
- Create a cohesive and collaborative vision that inspires and motivates the entire organization.
Traits and Characteristics
The next Executive Director will be a resilient leader and visionary who is motivated by a demanding environment and embraces the values of teamwork and collaboration. This individual will be versatile and able to rapidly adapt to changing priorities. A proven track record of success in working with boards, staff, communities, and major donors to achieve goals is a must. An innovative, approachable, and hands-on manager, the Executive Director will be a forward-looking and entrepreneurial self-starter with keen business acumen and strong people management skills to deliver results.
Other key competencies include the following:
- Leadership – Inspires and stimulates others to accomplish goals while creating a sense of order, direction, and active participation among a variety of stakeholders.
- Planning and Organizing – Utilizes logical and systematic procedures to meet objectives. Prioritizes tasks for optimum productivity and anticipates probable effects, outcomes, and risks. Develops procedures and systems for order, accuracy, efficiency, and productivity.
- Personal Accountability – Prioritizes and completes tasks that are necessary to meet the mutually agreed upon expectations of the role while being accountable for personal and professional actions.
- Project Management – Identifies and oversees all resources, tasks, systems, and people to obtain results. Focuses on goals and priorities, delegates appropriate responsibilities, and ensures adequate resources are available to achieve objectives.
- Time and Priority Management – Balances timelines and desired outcomes. Effectively manages difficulties and delays, takes initiative, and prioritizes tasks to stay on schedule.
A bachelor’s degree plus a minimum of five to seven years of progressively responsible senior management experience are required. Nonprofit background and/or experience in an arts organization is advantageous. Candidates should possess a command of running a nonprofit organization, including grant writing, financial management, governance and staff development, strategic planning, project management, and operations. A proven track record of success working with boards, staff, communities, and major donors to achieve goals is necessary. Excellent oral and written communication skills and broad knowledge and appreciation of contemporary craft are preferred.
Compensation and Benefits
SA+C provides a competitive salary commensurate with experience, health care coverage, and vacation time.
Applications and Inquiries
Please submit a cover letter and resume with a summary of demonstrable accomplishments (electronic submissions preferred) to:
Ms. Wyona Lynch-McWhite, Vice President
Arts Consulting Group
292 Newbury Street, Suite 315
Boston, MA 02115-2801
Tel (888) 234.4236 Ext. 225
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Wyona Lynch-McWhite292 Newbury St, Ste 315
Boston MA 02115