Our mission is to create a fertile and nurturing environment for artists and arts groups, enlivening public spaces with free programs in the visual, performing, and new media arts, and to provide leadership in cultural planning and advocacy.
The Lower Manhattan Cultural Council (LMCC), which is the Manhattan Arts Council, was founded in 1973 on the premise that artists were pillars of resilience and inspiration and therefore vital to New York City. For almost five decades, LMCC has advanced its vision to invest in and be in service to artists as catalysts for community development and sustainability. LMCC is artist-centric, the work is all about cultivation, experimentation, and creativity, and programs are free and open to all.
Governed by a 23-member board of directors, LMCC has a year-round staff of 20 that increase to approximately 50 periodically with programming. The FY22 operating budget is $6 million, with approximately 40 percent from government sources, 25 percent from foundations, and 35 percent from other private donors. Last year, LMCC awarded over $1.4 million in grants to over 200 Manhattan-based artists and arts organizations. LMCC is currently in negotiations for a 40-plus-year lease of the Governors Island building. For more information, please visit https://lmcc.net/
LMCC’s work generally falls into two main categories:
Artists and Artist Services, including:
Artists and their Audiences, including:
Programs are often incubators, with the audience engaged in the artmaking with the artist. LMCC’s support of grassroots local arts programming created by recipients of Manhattan Arts Grants and self-produced public programs, bring performances and artistic experiences to hundreds of thousands of audience members annually.
River to River: This annual festival of programs takes place in public spaces throughout Lower Manhattan. LMCC presented a socially distanced River to River Festival that explored the power of community and solidarity through four unique artist voices. A curated festival was presented in June 2021 when city COVID-19 restrictions lifted.
Open Studios: These year-long artist residency events take place throughout Lower Manhattan, bringing public audiences closer to the creative process, inspiring and connecting them to artists, new ideas and perspectives, and other art lovers. The programs cultivate in the public a deeper appreciation for the process of creativity and an understanding of the role artists play in their communities.
The Art Center at Governors Island – Artist residencies and exhibitions, and public programs: Opened in 2019, this newly renovated and expanded 40,000-square-foot arts space fully connects to LMCC’s vision of making space for and serving artists and communities, while offering much needed programs – free and open to all. In 2020, LMCC created an initiative with the Trust for Governors Island and numerous island-based organizations in response to the COVID-19 crisis and its devastating impacts across the New York City cultural landscape. Under the Governors Island Residency Initiative, for example, participating organizations repositioned indoor spaces historically used for exhibitions and public programming as residencies or workspaces for artists and other members of the city’s cultural community. The center reopened to the public in June 2021.
As LMCC approaches its 50th anniversary in 2023, the organization remains committed to serving artists, audiences, and communities throughout Manhattan as well as visitors to the borough. LMCC projects address and respond to changing forces in urban life and the art world, and continues to contribute to a thriving and culturally enriched New York City. LMCC is driven by its mission to collectively build a more just, equitable, and inclusive society that supports and strengthens all people through the power of art and creativity.
The Lower Manhattan Cultural Council seeks a dynamic visionary who is passionate about arts, culture, community, and New York City and who will build upon the organization’s strong reputation and broad impact. LMCC is at an exciting point in its 49-year history, ready to undertake a strategic planning process and determine its place and potential in a city experiencing tremendous social, economic, and political change. Overseeing the day-to-day operations of this multifaceted institution in one of the most important cultural hubs in the world, the President will be responsible for implementing an evolving and forward-thinking business model in order to position LMCC for the future.
Leadership – The President will serve as the organization’s primary advocate and ambassador continuing to raise LMCC’s profile by articulating its vision and cultivating and stewarding relationships with patrons, peer institutions, community and government stakeholders, programmatic partners, and public audiences.
Fostering a culture of innovation, inclusion, and collaboration, the President will ensure an internal organizational structure and the resource allocation to support LMCC’s mission and also ensure that its strategic and programmatic objectives are fully articulated and effectively pursued. The President has overall responsibility for strengthening LMCC’s brand while overseeing the cultural programs and grants and services departments; curating and forming a compelling vision for LMCC’s public programs, artist residency programs, regranting fund activities and delivering professional development services to artists; and developing and curating new program, partnerships, and services. They will advance and ground diversity, equity, and inclusion across LMCC’s staff, programs, audience, collaborations, and Board. Additionally, the President will oversee the finance and operations department and the implementation of all activities involving finance, general administration, human resources, and information technologies.
Fundraising and Resource Development – The President serves as the lead fundraiser and primary public spokesperson to garner private and public support. Working in partnership with the advancement team and the Board, the President will manage the development of a plan for the second phase of the capital campaign and a plan for long-term income strategies that will ensure diverse and robust funding streams. Planning the 50th anniversary in 2023 is an immediate priority for the President and it will play a major fundraising role.
The successful candidate will have experience building and diversifying an organization’s funding base, including through new pathways for earned income. Further, they will demonstrate an ability to engage both current and prospective funders locally, nationally, and even globally. Also desirable is expertise in developing and managing a capital campaign plan or collaborating with a capital campaign consultant on a significant development plan. Direct oversight experience of a major capital development, expansion, or renovation project would be a plus, as would leadership experience in space usage and options for revenue generation.
People and Culture – The President will attract, build, lead, and retain a deeply committed, competent, and responsible team with cultural sensitivity and dedication to collaboration, compassion, equity, and diversity. The President will understand each staff member’s strengths and contributions and support and promote their work; assess and clarify roles, responsibilities, and scope of authority as necessary to ensure the right structural model and talents are in place to sustain LMCC’s vision and direction; allow staff’s skills and abilities to come forward; nurture and reward talent; and sustain open channels of communication at all levels and continue to provide professional development opportunities. The President will lead, manage, and collaborate with an understanding of the effects of in-person/virtual/hybrid work scenarios; and will promote employee satisfaction and a culture of openness and trust.
Governance – The President will build a productive working relationship with the LMCC Board, with a focus on formulating the strategic vision and direction for the organization’s near future, and on growing and diversifying its base of private support. Additionally, they will play an active role in suggesting and recruiting new directors to the Board and in assuring the integrity of Board governance. The President also will foster Board-staff relations, building mutual trust and understanding.
In terms of the performance and personal competencies required for the position, the following are highlighted:
Credibility in the Field and Passion for the Mission – The ideal candidate will exhibit a thorough knowledge of, passion for, and commitment to the arts, culture, and New York City. They will possess the intellectual curiosity and rigor to interact effectively with a wide range of artists, patrons, peers and peer institutions, community and government stakeholders, programmatic partners, and public audiences. They will have the ability to promote understanding across diverse communities with sensitivity to artists and audiences in underrepresented groups. Ideally, this individual has demonstrated an ability to build productive and significant relationships with emerging and established artists across multiple disciplines.
Strategic Vision and Leadership – The successful candidate will have a track record as an entrepreneurial and creative thinker with the ability to develop and implement a creative and strategic vision. This person will demonstrate an expansive knowledge of the key cultural trends influencing LMCC’s mission as well as the top thought leaders and organizations with whom LMCC may want to collaborate, and will bring a mindset of what leadership means in 2022 and beyond.
Communicating, Influencing, and Building Relationships – The successful candidate will exhibit a consensus-seeking and decisive approach to problem solving that enables them to effectively build support for LMCC’s initiatives. This individual will be a truly skilled communicator with an ability to engage effectively internally with staff and Board, and externally with a diverse range of partners and audiences. They must be politically astute, socially agile, approachable, and grounded.
Personal Attributes – The successful candidate will lead and manage with empathy, compassion, and humility, and will recognize and amplify the staff’s competency, expertise, and resourcefulness. They will be curious, have a genuine interest in what artists are doing, and have a generosity of spirit along with the ability to put personal taste and aesthetics aside. They will have the ability to be graceful and diplomatic in cultivating and stewarding relationships.
The salary range for this position is estimated from $200,000 to $225,000, and benefits are competitive. LMCC is committed to an inclusive, diverse, equitable, and accessible work environment, and further recognizes that diversity in our workforce fosters excellence in our mission to create a fertile and nurturing environment for artists and arts groups, enlivening public spaces with free programs in the visual, performing, and new media arts, and to provide leadership in cultural planning and advocacy.
Please send applications or nominations to G. Angela Henry and Adelaide K. Jones at LMCC@PhillipsOppenheim.com.
Please send applications or nominations to G. Angela Henry and Adelaide K. Jones at LMCC@PhillipsOppenheim.com.