Executive Director Position Available

Title: Executive Director
Art Encounter
The Noyes Cultural Arts Center
927 Noyes Street, Studio 222
Evanston, IL 60201

Supervised by: Art Encounter Board of Directors
Supervises: Director of Development, Director of Outreach and Community Programs, Operations and Development Coordinator, and Independent Contractors providing IT, accounting, audit and a client relationship management data base.
Status: Full-time, salaried, exempt. Officed at the headquarters location in the Noyes Cultural Arts Center in Evanston.

Today’s Date: April 8, 2019
To Start: August/September 2019

The Organization

Art Encounter is an arts education non-profit 501(c)(3) organization, founded in 1978, with a mission to educate, empower, and connect people of all ages and backgrounds through interactive encounters with visual art. Art Encounter brings art to people and people to art through domestic and international travel tours of galleries, private collections, museums and artist studios. Our community service programs include robust community mural arts, in-school art education programs for public school low- income, minority children and youth, and seniors living in institutional settings.

This position is an exciting opportunity for the ED to continue to strengthen the organization’s infrastructure, financial support, and community relationships, ensuring that our established, successful programs continue to grow and thrive well into the future.

Our History
Art Encounter was founded by three artists who believe that “there are many ways to see”, and that meaningful and collaborative encounters with art can lead to a greater understanding of the creative process, heightened self-knowledge, and improved social and cultural sensitivity. Over the course of our 41-year history, we have developed a broad menu of interpretive and hands-on programs that proudly serve people of all ages and backgrounds– from public school children to nursing home residents, from Englewood to Evanston, from young adults to retirees seeking lifelong learning. The cohesive thread between all our programs is the “art encounter”: an engaging, inclusive approach to learning, rooted in the power of bringing people together through art. In the last four years we have grown substantially, both in staff and in new programming. The current annual budget is just over $500,000. Looking to create long-term sustainability for the organization, in 2016 we underwent a strategic plan which resulted in a decision to hire our first ever Executive Director. An experienced Interim Executive Director has been working with the organization since October 2018 and will step down upon the hiring of the new Executive Director.

The Position

The Executive Director leads the organization in successfully implementing its strategic plan and developing and implementing annual plans in concert with staff and board leadership. S/he is responsible for executive, strategic, operational/administrative, and staff leadership. The Executive Director enables the Board to meet its governance, financial, and legal responsibilities and supports the Board’s oversight role. The Executive Director works in a highly collaborative environment with the Artistic Director/Founder and leads the staff team. The Executive Director must be committed to the goals of the organization and creatively support its mission.

Essential Responsibilities

Strategic Planning and Leadership
● Lead the Board of Directors and staff to implement strategic plans
● Provide guidance to and oversee the implementation of adopted plans, policies, and programs
● Establish metrics to measure success. Analyze data and information to assess strengths and to identify areas for improvement –with the goal of increasing impact and improving AE’s brand and reputation
● Monitor the cost effectiveness and operational efficiencies of all programs. Implement needed modifications in community programs and earned income programs
● Provide effective leadership of the organization by being actively involved in programs and services
● Identify external and internal opportunities with special emphasis on leveraging relationships with community and funding leaders

● Supervise the Director of Development. Participate in the cultivation and solicitation of donors in close concert with the Director of Development and board members
● Support and participate in the creation of the annual Development Plan, which results in the growth of all funding sources, especially major gifts from individuals and family foundations
● Work with the staff and the board to identify, cultivate, and solicit corporate, foundation and individual donors and local and state government funders
● Engage the board in supporting fundraising efforts and creating an organizational culture of private philanthropy led by the board
● Ensure that all funding commitments are fulfilled and that relationships with donors are successfully maintained

Operations, Finance, HR and IT

● Work with the Treasurer and staff to develop the annual operating budget, manage and control expenses and provide accurate quarterly reporting of financial position to management and the board. Maintain financial controls
● Ensure compliance with all applicable IRS, state, and federal laws, rules and regulations
● Supervise and evaluate independent contractors
● Provide a positive and supportive work environment for staff, interns, and contractors
● Ensure that the updated FY 19 Personnel Policies are implemented, and that staff are appropriately educated on policies and procedures
● Participate, as needed, in discipline proceedings and ensure that Personnel Policies are followed

● Lead, coach, and develop staff, emphasizing close collaboration and a cooperative spirit. Engage the team to perform at high levels, with a focus on performance and capacity
● Provide annual performance evaluations and implement budgeted compensation packages. Be responsible for disciplinary and other personnel actions in accord with Personnel Policies
● Supervise the IT consultant and ensure that all necessary hardware, software and internet access fully support the work of the organization
Board Relations
● Partner with the Board president to ensure that the board is effectively organized, following the revised Bylaws, to be approved by the board May 20, 2019
● Form a positive working relationship with each board member and support the board in new member development
● Develop and cultivate board members, identifying high-performing individuals who can assume new committee and leadership roles; work with the board to build a strong leadership succession culture
● Continually inform the board of key issues and challenges
● Monitor, measure, and communicate to the Board the effectiveness of AE’s performance.
● Provide support and guidance through staffing of all board standing and ad-hoc committees and the executive committee
● Ensure stewardship and maintenance of official documents and records
● Lead the Communications task force to execute the strategic plan’s communication plan, to be launched in the fall of 2019.
● Oversee the work of the Communications & Marketing Consultants

Work Environment
● Occasional work on evenings and weekends as needed
● This role routinely uses standard office equipment such as computers, phones, and scanners. Employee is regularly required to talk, hear, see, and communicate effectively via computer.
● Smoke- and drug-free environment
● Art Encounter is an equal opportunity employer and seeks to employ qualified individuals based on individual merit. Art Encounter does not discriminate against any individual with respect to the terms and conditions of employment based on that individual’s race, sex, age,
religion, color, national origin, disability, genetic information, marital status, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, housing status, or any other non-merit factor protected under state, local or federal laws. Equal Employment Opportunity applies to all
personnel actions such as recruiting, hiring, compensation, benefits, promotions, training, transfer, termination, and opportunities for training. Art Encounter is committed to a fair and equitable workplace where everyone is a respected and valued member of the team.


Education requirement:
● Bachelor’s degree, Master’s preferred

Job experience requirements:
● 10 years of experience, including at least 5 years of proven management/supervisory experience with evidence of inspired leadership.
● Has experience working with voluntary boards
● Successful track record of raising money and knows how to identify and cultivate donors
● Experienced in working with arts and/or arts education organizations

Specific skill sets:
● Skilled at working with founder-led organizations
● High collaboration and oral/written communication skills
● Successful management of internal relationships that fosters cooperation and respect
● Effective spokesperson and advocate for the arts and Art Encounter

A competitive compensation package will be provided the successful applicant. Art Encounter is committed to hiring and retaining highly qualified staff.

How to Apply

Please submit a current resume, a cover letter, and your compensation requirements. If you are a consultant, submit a list of clients that you have previously served. Submit materials to Harry Wells, Interim Executive Director, Art Encounter at harry@artencounter.org. No phone calls, please.