Crested Butte Center for the Arts Executive Director – Candidate Profile
In 1985, a passionate group of local residents began raising money for a nonprofit community arts center in the beautiful mountain town of Crested Butte, Colorado. Two years later, they had raised $425,000 and the old county road maintenance garage was renovated into a 6,000 square-foot Center for the Arts facility.
Since those beginnings, the local population has doubled, and there has been tremendous growth in the number of events presented, the size of audiences, and the number and variety of educational programs provided by the Center for the Arts and its partner organizations. After recognizing the need to create a larger and lasting home for the Center, the Board embarked on an ambitious $20 million capital campaign to build a new, state-of-the-art facility. In December 2019, the new building was opened, featuring 28,000 square feet of multi-use space, including a 350-seat theater, two art studios, four performance studios, a visual arts gallery, and two stunning lobby and bar spaces.
With the global pandemic hitting shortly after the opening, the Center’s programming suddenly ground to a halt. Thanks to the leadership of the Executive Director and core staff, the Center has become a community hub, the finances have been stabilized, and the strategic direction strengthened. With Covid restrictions expected to loosen as spring turns to summer, the Center’s programming is set to grow exponentially.
The Center for the Arts Board of Directors is seeking an Executive Director to lead the organization and the community into the next chapter, coming back to life in new ways after the pandemic.
The next Executive Director will need to close out this phase of the capital campaign, maintain financial stability as we move to a new normal, and lead the staff and stakeholders in building the long-term strategic vision and plan for our programs to be sustainably funded and effectively run to demonstrate clear impact in our community.
Responsibilities & Expectations
The Executive Director reports to the Center for the Arts Board of Directors and is responsible for high-level administration of its programs and strategic initiatives, meeting revenue and expense goals, oversight of about 8 full-time and 20 part-time staff, and representing the Center in the community.
The Executive Director will continue the Center’s transition in organizational growth, from a fast-changing ‘start-up’ that has been through an intense capital campaign and expansion, and then a global pandemic that significantly impacted the entire industry - to an institution that is increasingly streamlined and mature in its operations and focus. Key areas of responsibility include:
Fundraising and Revenue Generation
- Quickly conclude fundraising for this phase of the capital campaign, by strengthening the compelling case and vision, building relationships with long-time donors and potential supporters, and closing gifts.
- Work with the Development Director to support fundraising strategies that will consistently support annual operations of the Center.
- Develop diverse revenue models to sustain and stabilize the operations and programs of the organization.
- Collaborate with the Development Director on fundraising efforts and processes, including careful stewardship of major donors.
Strategic Organizational Development
- Ensure the Center has long- and short-term strategies to achieve its mission sustainably, including the upcoming strategic planning process and fiscal year budgeting and planning.
- Provide leadership in assessing and envisioning programs, as well as organizational and financial plans, in partnership with the Board of Directors and staff.
- Execute operational plans; ensure the team meets deadlines and benchmarks.
- Convene community stakeholders to develop consensus-driven solutions.
- Understand the town, county, state, political, and business climates.
- Build strong working relationships and cooperative arrangements with town leadership and council, as well as community organizations.
- Represent the Center’s interests in the community.
Overall Leadership and Management
- Strengthen and maintain a collaborative culture that attracts, motivates, and retains a high-quality staff.
- Maintain overall responsibility for financial performance of the Center, and fiscal accountability of all programs and projects. Develop and maintain sound financial practices and annual budgets.
- Lead, support, and manage the Center’s staff.
Other Key Details
Location and Travel: This position is based in the mountain town of Crested Butte, Colorado (elevation 9,000 feet), and requires occasional domestic travel to meet with donors.
The Ideal Profile
We are looking for the right person to jump into this opportunity with excitement and energy. The ideal candidate for this role has these qualities and expertise:
- Passion and a depth of experience in leading a similarly-sized arts organization into a new chapter. This is someone who has a passion for the arts and understands their value to a community – and knows how to analyze the balance sheet, asking the right questions to assess operations and diagnose challenges. This person has the backbone to make hard decisions, and excels with building buy-in for changes that lead to a stronger organization.
- Success in generating revenue by selling a vision – someone who can clearly communicate the impact and potential, and identify strategies for creating sustainable programs. This person has demonstrated results in 1-on-1 major gifts fundraising, understanding the value (and higher ROI) of long-term relationship-building and stewardship.
- Skilled connector and convener – someone with a high degree of political acumen, who brings seemingly competing groups together, finds common ground, and motivates them to take action toward a compelling vision. This is someone who has experience facilitating sometimes contentious conversations – asking great questions, listening to responses, and making connections to the bigger picture; a skilled diplomat who can create, inspire, and nurture teamwork in the community, and within their own team. He or she brings out people’s strengths, and honors those contributions and perspectives.
- Leads through influence rather than authority – this person has led in complex environments, is highly effective in navigating politics and relationships – by helping everyone keep their eyes on the goal, and setting clear boundaries and expectations for participation. This is someone with deep experience working with boards, committees, and similar groups. As an organizational leader, this person has sought out ideas from staff at all levels, brings out the best in the team by empowering them, and is collaborative in building a strong and stable culture.
- A balance of fearlessness and empathy – this person has a great deal of confidence managing expectations and negotiating with donors, staff, and the community. And, this is someone who leads with exceptional listening and empathy skills, who can extract the true concerns and help people move forward together.
- A heart for small towns and their dynamics – as a bonus, the ideal candidate has some understanding about what is unique about our community and its institutions, or has lived and worked in comparable areas, and knows how to navigate the close-knit relationships and webs of connection.
Compensation & Benefits: This is a full time, exempt position with a comprehensive benefits package. It also offers the opportunity to live and work in a unique mountain town, which offers incredible skiing and snowboarding, hiking and mountain biking - as well as an excellent community school. The salary range is $98,000 - $120,000, depending on level of experience.
If this profile speaks to you, please submit a tailored, authentic cover letter that explains your interest in the Center for the Arts, and why this particular role is an ideal fit for you, along with your resume, to our executive search partners at Gemm Consulting: email@example.com.