Executive Director- Greater Roxbury Arts and Cultural Center
Arts Consulting Group
Boston, MA 02119
The Greater Roxbury Arts and Cultural Center (GRACC) will be a new 501©(3) organization within the 365,000 square foot Nubian Square Ascends (NSA) development—a State of Massachusetts designated cultural district. This enormous asset to the Roxbury Cultural District will help revitalize Nubian Square (formerly Dudley Square) as a thriving cultural and mercantile center. This mixed-use project is being developed and led by a fully BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) team, offering a 2.45-acre expanse for the opportunity to leverage local businesses and the GRACC Cultural Hall. NSA will offer retail, entertainment, artist housing, commercial uses, and a 300-space parking facility. The NSA development is planned to include a seven-story office building two floors of Life-Science Lab training space, medical facilities, and a culinary marketplace.
Nubian Square Ascends partners are building GRACC, a 40,000+ square foot Cultural Hall facility, which is projected to open its doors in Fall 2024. Comprised of a theater with approximately 300 seats, movement arts hall, education studios, rehearsal space, and a dedicated lobby, GRACC’s mission is to empower, inspire, and celebrate the rich diversity of Roxbury, transforming the neighborhood into a cultural, academic, entertainment, and artistic mecca. The design of the GRACC building is mindful of the historical and social context of the neighborhood by embracing Nubian architectural elements including triangular geometry that is symbolic of the Pyramids and other representative architecture of modern-day Sudan, Eritrea, and Egypt. A symbolic triangular canopy will float above the GRACC, announcing the civic importance of this building to Nubian Square and the city of Boston.
GRACC will provide a vibrant program for a welcoming day and night destination for all Bostonians. The multi-purpose cultural hall and theater will be part of a larger project that will offer affordable housing, commercial space, and a marketplace that will support the Square’s transformation as a new iconic space for the region. The proposed development will promote job creation which will bring purchasing power to support neighborhood businesses. The marketplace will feature local artisans, makers, and a culinary marketplace that showcases chefs from an on-site culinary arts program.
The GRACC facility is envisioned to bring 18-hour activity and provide a new home for local arts and cultural offerings. With flexible and accessible performance and arts space, it will be a place for celebration that supports local artists and catalyzes Roxbury’s creative economy. The development will boast 15 units of artist live-work housing designed for the burgeoning artist community and 5,500 square feet of artist lab space. The housing is positioned to create wealth through homeownership with ten affordable units and five market rate units.
The estimated annual operating budget of GRACC is $1.2 million. Alongside raising funds for a $35 million capital campaign, the Executive Director will work collaboratively with NSA partners to develop and complete the hiring plan to ensure a successful opening and support of ongoing operations.
Roxbury is a neighborhood within the city of Boston and has been coined as the “heart of Black culture in Boston.” The region was originally inhabited by the indigenous Massachusett. Post-European colonization, Roxbury was founded in 1630 and annexed to Boston in 1868. In recent years, this historic community has the city’s largest Black resident population but has suffered from decades of economic disinvestment.
In May of 2017, the Massachusetts Cultural Council approved the designation of the Roxbury Cultural District, which is inclusive of the Nubian Square. The Roxbury Cultural District’s mission is to “identify, recognize, and amplify Roxbury’s cultural assets and establish the tools, strategies and resources that elevate the community of Roxbury as a living repository of arts and cultural expression – past, present, and future.”
Today, Roxbury is home to almost 60,000 residents who are racially and ethnically diverse, inclusive of Black/African American (57 percent), Hispanic/LatinX (28 percent), and Asian and mixed race (5.5 percent) residents; one quarter of Roxbury residents identify as immigrants. A comprehensive wealth-creation plan is part of the Nubian Square Ascends holistic approach in elevating the marginalized communities of Roxbury, which includes approximately 900 permanent jobs and contract opportunities for BIPOC and women-owned business enterprises throughout each phase of the project.
Sources: roxburyculturaldistrict.com; census.gov
The inaugural Executive Director will be the face of GRACC and amplify the nonprofit organization alongside Nubian Square Ascends in Boston’s Roxbury Cultural District. Reporting to a developing board of directors, inclusive of an advisory board and NSA ownership, the Executive Director will play a lead role in the successful campaign strategy to raise $35 million in funds that began in Spring 2022. Additionally, they will lead the development of the operating plan, hire key staff, and ensure the successful proposed opening of the GRACC in Fall 2024.
Through a collaborative approach, the Executive Director will build a new programming framework for the organization and cultivate authentic relationships through tactical outreach and engagement. As they support the vision of the developing board of directors, the Executive Director will be responsible for the financial oversight and administrative responsibilities of the organization. When the GRACC opens, they will be responsible for the day-to-day operations of the highly activated cultural facility. The Executive Director will lead through a lens of empowerment through the creative arts and drive equitable, inclusive, and accessible opportunities aligned with the vision of Nubian Square.
Roles and Responsibilities
Community Engagement, Revenue Enhancement, and Capital Campaign Support
Partner with the GRACC board to execute a transformational capital campaign to support the GRACC beginning in the Fall of 2022 to the realization of the proposed timeline of the new facility opening in Fall of 2024.
Serve as the chief fundraiser until a Director of Development is hired for the organization, working collaboratively with the board, and staff to achieve operational and strategic revenue goals.
Develop a multi-tiered fundraising approach through sponsorships, patrons, grants, and foundations, alongside development staff, consultants, and board members.
Establish meaningful collaborations with Roxbury artistic talent, political figures, and collaborative community partners that increase organizational visibility within both the Roxbury Cultural District and the neighborhood of Roxbury, while supporting the mission of GRACC.
Act as a public representative for GRACC with the media and community, working in partnership with the Nubian Square Ascends ownership and board of directors.
Engage and cultivate appropriate strategic partnerships throughout the community to enhance GRACC’s reputation, brand, and relevancy in support of its vision and strategic goals, while uplifting the vision and business model.
Strategic Collaboration and Grassroots Operations
Actively engage in community activities to represent the institute to civic and public leaders, educational and community organizations, and nonprofit partners.
Assume primary responsibility for the preparation of the annual financial budget and operating plans and collaborating with the treasurer and the finance committee for submission to the full board.
Build a high-performing team to be joined by development and programming staff and commission the GRACC Cultural Hall.
Provide day-to-day management and supervision of the GRACC staff and volunteers, set performance and program goals and objectives, encourage staff’s creative and professional development, and create and support a workplace environment that fosters employee engagement, cultivation of artists, and oversight of a highly activated GRACC.
Governance and Board Relations
Utilize the board’s talents and NSA’s resources and work closely with board members and advisory members to develop a strategy that effectively mobilizes and utilizes staff and volunteers in support of GRACC’s vision and programs.
Identify, cultivate, recruit, and orient prospects with the board and oversee the orientation of new board members.
Maintain clear communication with the Board Chair and NSA ownership.
Provide board members with information to help them reach decisions that advance the mission and goals of GRACC and Nubian Square within the Roxbury Cultural District.
Traits and Characteristics
This is an exciting opportunity for a candidate who possesses entrepreneurial, self-directed, creative, and strategic traits to lead the GRACC as its inaugural Executive Director. The ideal candidate will be a strategic, diplomatic, and people-oriented leader who is passionate about uplifting marginalized communities through their deep commitment to the performing arts. The Executive Director must possess an energizing spirit to enhance community connections and fundraising goals. Leading a dynamic and accessible organization committed to the arts requires resilience, versatility, resourcefulness, and a keen sense of awareness in developing strategies to successfully achieve milestones.
Other key competencies include the following:
Project Management, Planning and Organizing – The utility to identify and oversee all resources, tasks, systems, and people to establish courses of action to ensure that work is completed effectively.
Diplomacy – The ability to handle difficult or sensitive issues effectively and tactfully.
Leadership – The affinity to organize and influence people to believe in a vision while creating a sense of purpose and direction.
Customer-Focused – The flexibility to anticipate, meet, and/or exceed customer needs, wants, and expectations. The customers for GRACC will be multi-faceted, inclusive of the artists, space-usage partners, and attendees of the Cultural Hall.
Goal orientation – The capability to set, pursue, and attain goals, regardless of obstacles or circumstances.
Teamwork – The amity to cooperate with others to meet objectives.
A bachelor’s degree or equivalent experience is required. Seven to 10 years of related experience within a highly activated and/or multi-layered cultural institution, performance hall, or start-up arts non-profit, including at least three years at a senior leadership level with supervision responsibilities, are necessary. Candidates must possess a passion for community arts and outreach, empowering marginalized communities, as well as knowledge of nonprofit management, best practices, and standards. Candidates must have a proven track record of successful fundraising and possess a high degree of financial acumen. Experience with capital campaigns is desired .
Compensation and Benefits
The anticipated hiring salary range is to be no less than $185,000. The benefits package includes health insurance, paid time off, paid holidays, and professional development opportunities.