The Greater Hartford Arts Council seeks a collaborative and creative Chief Executive Officer committed to serving the community to address the needs and goals of artists and arts organizations across the region.
The Greater Hartford Arts Council (Arts Council) exists to be a catalyst for the arts and promotes an equitable arts ecosystem. The Arts Council’s vision is that the Greater Hartford region will be a thriving multi-cultural destination anchored by a diverse and innovative arts sector.
For 50 years the Arts Council has supported the vibrant arts and cultural community of Connecticut’s Capital Region (34 towns, population of one million) through a range of grant programs and services designed to utilize the power of the arts to improve the lives of all people, celebrate the unique cultural diversity of the region, provide critical educational opportunities for our young people, and create an exciting place to live, work and visit.
At this inflection point in the organization, sector and community’s collective history, the Arts Council is poised to be the leading organization to convene artists, arts leaders and organizations to facilitate their important work in the region. In addition, the organization is a resource for individuals and corporations looking to make impactful investments in the arts in our communities.
In preparation for the introduction of a new leader, the Arts Council recently engaged in a strategic planning and visioning process to assess the current state of the organization, explore questions regarding the revenue and service models within the organization, and co-create a plan for the organization’s future strategy. Key strengths of the Arts Council that emerged from this work include:
- Access: The Arts Council provides access to arts and artists through a variety of programs and events
- Support: Critical support to arts organizations is made available through funding and other services
- Promotion: The organization actively promotes programs, events and exhibits, and helps raise audience and visibility
- Advocacy: The Arts Council champions the arts, artists and arts organizations in the region
Located in Hartford, CT with an annual operating budget of approximately $2.5M, the Arts Council is led by a dedicated and talented team of seven and is governed by a 21-member board comprised of corporate, nonprofit and community leaders committed to promoting the arts.
The Chief Executive Officer will have the unique opportunity to lead an organization dedicated to supporting the arts and the arts infrastructure of a vibrant and diverse cultural community. Continued community engagement, strengthening the focus on artists, and alignment of organizational structures and programs will be needed at this critical time for the arts community and when the arts are needed more than ever. Moving forward, the Arts Council will seek to engage the community in new ways and ensure economic sustainability of the organization to carry out the mission and vision, primarily through the following key opportunities:
- Increase Diversity, Equity and Inclusion: Ensure the staff and board reflect the communities served. Create greater outreach to communities beyond downtown Hartford, provide more opportunities for individual artists and small arts organizations, increase opportunities for artists and arts organizations to work together and collaborate and improve representation of BIPOC and older artists
- Advocacy: Be a voice for ALL arts and culture organizations and artists by bringing the community to the center of the work and repositioning the Arts Council as a resource to the community, securing more state and federal arts funding, and increasing community presence to drive funding and strengthening the Arts and Culture sector
- Communication and Promotion: Expand marketing and communications, increasing awareness of arts programs in the community, and becoming the regional hub for arts and culture information
- Organizational Structure: Refine structures for human resources, professional development, marketing, and promotions, and build out staff to support these functions
Role of the CEO
The next Chief Executive Officer (CEO) will work to support a robust arts and cultural ecosystem of theaters, museums, community art centers, arts focused organizations, and artists in the Greater Hartford region. With the former CEO’s departure in September 2020, an interim CEO was appointed to lead the organization and help set the organization up for future success. Key priorities for the next CEO are:
Serve as a Leader to the Arts Community
Solidify the Arts Council’s position as a convener and connector of arts organizations and artists, provide collective learning and collaboration opportunities, and create an environment for the arts community to thrive
Establish a Beneficiary Engagement Action Plan
Rethink how the Arts Council engages with current and next generation beneficiaries; increase the focus on, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and assess current resources available to promote advocacy, diversity and accessibility; support emerging local arts organizations and build community inclusion in decision-making
Diversify Funding Sources
Grow corporate and individual donors, validate current revenue streams and trends, identify and pursue grant opportunities and proposals; re-engage existing donors; develop staff capacity and resources; increase board involvement in fundraising; with the board and staff, refine the story of the Arts Council and guide the narrative
- Nonprofit management experience (five years+), including nonprofit budgeting and financial acumen
- Proven track record of successful and creative fundraising, clear understanding of diverse and equitable fundraising principles and practices; a passion and ability to re-envision funding sources for the Arts Council
- Experience with, and connection to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion initiatives
- Staff and team management; demonstrated ability to recruit, retain, and develop staff
- Ability to execute against and implement a strategic plan
- Board management; experience developing and diversifying a board
- Experience in Greater Hartford and local knowledge of surrounding communities, or similar, preferred
- Knowledge of the arts, with demonstrated professional/personal advocacy for the arts, is ideal
- Experience managing an organization through change and/or organizational transition challenges
- Excellent communication and listening skills, internally and externally, with the ability to serve as a visible and active community member
- Relationship building and collaboration with a wide range of stakeholders and groups; eager to engage with individuals, artists, corporate stakeholders, foundations, and community leaders
This executive search is being conducted by TSNE and consultants Jodi Dowling and Mimi Brunelle. Interested candidates should submit materials via the link in this posting. Electronic submissions sent through this link are preferred. All submissions will be acknowledged and are confidential within the search committee and TSNE.
Candidates should include a resume and a cover letter that describes how their qualifications and experience match the needs and mission of the Greater Hartford Arts Council along with salary expectations and how they learned of the position. The position will remain open and applications accepted until the right candidate is identified.
The Chief Executive Officer role is full time (40 hours per week), with a hybrid work environment (in-office and remote work required), benefits, and access to professional development opportunities. A regional presence to the Arts Council’s office location in Hartford, CT is required. Salary is commensurate with relevant experience, within the framework of the organization’s annual operating budget, and in the approximate range of $140-160,000.
The Greater Hartford Arts Council requires proof of COVID-19 vaccination for all employees unless a reasonable medical or religious accommodation is requested and approved.
Greater Hartford Arts Council is an Equal Opportunity employer with a strong commitment to the values of community, leadership, equity, creativity, advocacy and accessibility.