Executive Director

Posted by Mid Atlantic Arts ; Posted on 
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Executive Director


Mid Atlantic Arts seeks a new Executive Director to lead our organization. Our next Executive Director will first and foremost have an equity-driven vision for the national arts funding ecosystem and for how the current system can more effectively invest in and support artists and organizations at the local, state, regional, and national levels through direct funding, programs, services, and partnerships.

While serving as the Executive Director, they will reside in the Mid Atlantic region, splitting their time between a weekly presence in the Baltimore office and in-person visits and collaborations throughout the ten states and jurisdictions.

Through their work, they will continue to grow their appreciation of what makes those respective states, commonwealths, and territories distinct, and how their needs are different from one another and may be changing over time. Our Executive Director will also have a clear national and international perspective that will be invaluable to us as we continue supporting actively engaged and diverse arts communities. Whether they have been working in non-profit funding and services organizations their whole career or are newer to the field, they will be motivated by being an active and engaged member of the arts funding community.

Human Expectations and Personal Values

Our Executive Director will be someone who believes deeply in listening first, holding space to talk through challenges, options and ideas in an ongoing manner. They will be both harmonious and decisive; someone who is willing and ready to take actions, and who has the confidence to take clear positions and explain them for the rest of the team. They will not be swayed by adversity or conflict; they will model and lead through conflict resolution with a growth spirit.

Their personal commitment to uplifting transparency with information will be key to building trust with the Staff and the Board. The Executive Director will see their team members as people whose skills and knowledge can flourish at Mid Atlantic Arts, and their management style will emphasize supporting the team rather than spending time ‘in the weeds.’

Our Executive Director will carry a deep commitment to clarity, transparency, and collaboration, and intentionally deepen the daily embeddedness of Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Access principles in their daily work and the larger mission and vision of the organization. They will activate continued learning in how to model EDIA both internally, and externally. They will champion opportunities for Staff to shape and model inclusion within programming, policies, procedures, and strategic growth for Mid Atlantic Arts.

They will activate and champion respect and advocacy for all people impacted by the work of Mid Atlantic Arts.

Where Our Executive Director will be Exceptional

The next Executive Director at Mid Atlantic Arts will be a truly exceptional communicator and strategist, who has a masterful ability to set clear strategic pathways for the organization. They will provide intentional leadership on activating the vision and telling the story of Mid Atlantic Arts’ impact. They will be an expert at creating an intentional culture that brings the ideas, enthusiasm, and participation of the Staff and Board into realizing the organizational vision.

Empowerment, delegation, and taking strategies from draft to reality will be the basis of the Executive Director’s work. With the experienced Staff team, and an engaged and dedicated volunteer Board of Directors, the Executive Director will center their work on a clear understanding of the capacity of every member of the team, as well as their perspectives, experience, and abilities. Then the Executive Director will guide individuals or groups to focus their efforts so that Mid Atlantic Arts works together in a way that moves the organization forward.

They will have a strong background working on strategies in the non-profit sector. For an organization that covers multi-jurisdiction arts programs, a deep knowledge and understanding of organizations like the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies, and the National Endowment for the Arts will be key. The Executive Director will work to learn and understand the current programming processes in place, then assess changes needed and challenge processes if necessary to create more streamlined approaches to how programs are prioritized, structured, and implemented.

What Our Executive Director Will Handle Directly

The Mid Atlantic Arts team brings many capabilities to the table, but there are specific tasks and responsibilities that our Executive Director will handle personally. In these areas, established expertise and the ability to self-motivate will allow our Executive Director to excel without significant support from others.

These include:

  • Internal Communications. Clear, comprehensive, and intentional sharing of information throughout the organization will be a great strength. They will be responsive and appreciate that there are different ways to communicate with different people, and are adept at facilitating dialogue between a variety people simultaneously. They can anticipate concerns or needs in order to communicate proactively. They will be clear with their expectations along with specifics around delegation of specific tasks.
  • Strategy and Vision Setting. Mid Atlantic Arts is ready for a new Strategic Planning process, including setting a clear new vision for the purpose and impact of the organization in the region. The Executive Director will lead and support the creation process, including working with the Staff to have a clear implementation plan to ensure follow-through of decision making and meeting broader goals year to year. This includes imagining new ways to accomplish Mid Atlantic Arts’ purpose and developing and making a clear case for support – Why should people or organizations invest resources in and partner with Mid Atlantic Arts?
  • Capacity and Priority Management. The Executive Director will collaborate with the team to maintain a clear understanding of the balance between capacity (expertise, time, money, people) and the needs of healthy and productive programming mix and infrastructure. This includes effective role-setting and delegation to avoid bottlenecks or wasted efforts. This also includes creating and supporting clear processes for considering and activating new initiatives in ways that are healthy, measurable, and well considered.
  • Centering and Activating Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Access. Mid Atlantic Arts is actively working to uplift and center EDIA within all aspects of the organization. The Executive Director will provide leadership and an engaged, continually growing perspective on how to enhance equity in all decision making and how to create thoughtful, intentional, long-term plans to expand diversity of identity and viewpoints throughout the organization. They will appreciate the importance of how these priorities impact day-to-day decisions and relate to the long-term viability of the organization. They will also have sensitivity to position-based, tenure-based, and identity-based power dynamics and will know how to lead in EDIA areas and how to step back and empower others to adjust in their day-to-day work that deepen an equity-oriented culture.
  • Staff Management. The Executive Director will work to ensure equity is at the center of policies and responsibilities, capacity management, defining roles and responsibilities, bringing people into or out of the organization, and maintaining open and honest dialogue with all team members for continual refinements of focus and operational improvements.
  • Board Engagement. The Mid Atlantic Arts Board is active and engaged but is geographically dispersed. To be effective, they need the Executive Director’s recommendations for clear direction and goals for achievement that link Board member efforts to successes for the organization, and clear communication structures to build trust and relationships while operating remotely in different geographies.

What Our Executive Director Needs to Support and Understand

Working with and alongside the rest of the team, there are important areas where we do not expect our Executive Director to be more knowledgeable and capable than other people in Mid Atlantic Arts, but where we do need them to have enough expertise to collaborate with us effectively. These include: Working with and alongside the rest of the team, there are important areas where we do not expect our Executive Director to be more knowledgeable and capable than other people in Mid Atlantic Arts, but where we do need them to have enough expertise to collaborate with us effectively. These include: Working with and alongside the rest of the team, there are important areas where we do not expect our Executive Director to be more knowledgeable and capable than other people in Mid Atlantic Arts, but where we do need them to have enough expertise to collaborate with us effectively.

These include:

  • Fundraising for a Service Organization. The Executive Director needs to understand how to make a specific case for support to both individual and institutional funders for a service organization. Working with a networked Staff team, they need to be able to thoughtfully support the development of funding, donor, and Board relationships throughout the team to maximize connection, stability, and enthusiasm for Mid Atlantic Arts’ work. In addition, they need to know when to manage a key relationship themselves and to confidently make appropriate major asks that can only come from the Executive Director.
  • Evolving Hybrid and Remote Work Models. Mid Atlantic Arts traditionally operated with a 9 to 5 in person office culture, but since the pandemic this is shifting to a hybrid/remote work model instead with Staff living in various geographic locations. This transition is still underway, and the new Executive Director will support the Operations and Human Resources teams in setting the policies, expectations, and structures for a healthy and engaged remote work environment, given changing cultural and generational shifts in workplace expectations that uplift the needs and realities of individuals.
  • Partner Relationship Development. Mid Atlantic Arts functions within a variety of systems and collectives, including those of the served states, commonwealths, territories, State Arts Agencies (SAAs) and the Regional Arts Organization (RAO) network. The Executive Director’s role includes building relationships and support for partners outside the organization so that those networks can continue to be healthy and dynamic over time. The objectives of Mid Atlantic Arts extend beyond the organization’s direct programming and funding to include accomplishments that serve the region overall with the partner network’s collective capacity.
  • Navigating Complex Rules and Obligations. Due to the network of government funding that Mid Atlantic Arts engages with throughout the region, there are state and federal rules regarding use of funds, language, communications, and legal obligations which can be complicated, and can create hurdles to accomplishing Mid Atlantic Arts’ goals or representing the organization’s values. The Executive Director needs to have or quickly gain an understanding of these complexities and bring a detailed, positive, and creative approach to how programs are implemented in that environment.

How We Will Support Our New Executive Director

The arrival of a new leader at Mid Atlantic Arts means everyone, including the new Executive Director, the Staff, and the Board, will need to adapt to new ways of working and a different collaborative partnership. As we discover that new dynamic together, it is important that our new Executive Director feels supported and engaged from all sides of the company.

To that end, Mid Atlantic Arts commits to providing:

  • Annual salary beginning between $215,000 and $235,000.
  • Benefits including:
    • Medical, dental, and vision insurance provided by Carefirst. Employees can choose between three different plans, including HMO and PPO options, and Mid Atlantic Arts covers the deductible and 85% of the employee’s personal premium.
    • Retirement 403B plan, including an employer 6% contribution after the employee has worked 1,000 hours or 6 months.
    • Short- and long-term disability insurance.
    • Up to 12 weeks of parental leave for the birth or adoption of a child. Full time employees are eligible for this leave after working for one year.
    • Life and accidental death policy covering up to two times the employee’s salary up to a maximum of $400,000.

An onboarding and transition plan, developed by the team and ready to adapt to the needs of the Executive Director.

Mentorship or Advisory support during the first year with Creative Evolutions and three industry peers (see the Search Process that follows).

Visit https://www.midatlanticarts.org/wp-content/uploads/MidAtlantic-Opportunity-Statement-FINAL-6.19.23-1.pdf for more information.

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