Executive Leadership Positions
A Blade of Grass
51-02 21st Street, #4A, Suite 129
Long Island City, NY 11101
The professional board of artists and arts workers of A Blade of Grass is excited to announce the search for its next permanent executive leader(s).
A Blade of Grass (ABOG) seeks Executive Leadership to re-establish the organization into a leading resource and support system for socially engaged artists across the country. We define socially engaged art as the collaborative creative shifting of power in social systems and institutional contexts. The Executive Director, Co-Directors or other leadership models will facilitate a process for setting a long-term vision that is responsive to current needs, conditions, and opportunities within the field of art and civic life. The Executive Leadership will work closely with a paid board of directors composed of artists and art workers to implement artist-centric and alternative models for non-profit sustainability.
Applications from an executive director, co-directors or other models are welcome, as are applications from practicing artists and individuals who are not in the arts sector.
Primary Duties and Responsibilities
ABOG seeks a visionary leader (or leaders) in the field of socially engaged art who thrives in a start-up culture, believes in an artist-centered approach to governance, and practices an ethics of care towards staff and community. The Executive Leadership is responsible for fully articulating the organization’s mission, and collaborating with board, staff, and other stakeholders to clearly and consistently implement the vision of what the organization contributes to the communities it serves. This includes strategic planning; fundraising, sourcing and managing resources, day-to-day management, and representing the organization and mission.
The Executive Leadership will direct and oversee programs, ongoing assessment of program needs, and identification of potential funding streams to enhance program services. Additionally, the Executive Leadership will serve as a liaison with other arts, social justice and community leaders to ensure the integrity and integration of ABOG and its Fellows as drivers of socially engaged work.
The ideal candidate(s) will be adept at evaluating the current moment, reinitiating programs, and proposing new models for moving resources to socially engaged artists. The Executive Leadership is responsible for setting a long-term values-driven plan which includes hiring staff, organizational management, implementation of systems, institutional advancement, and top-line goal setting about the programs and fundraising plan for the organization in consultation with board and staff.
- Articulate ABOG’s mission and vision for implementation
- Ensure the Board of Directors has the information and resources necessary to govern effectively and responsibly
- Engage in regular strategic planning and implement the plan using continuous assessments, course-correcting in real time as needed; work with staff to ensure that programs, development, visual identity and so on are aligned with strategic vision
- Enable good governance by organizing Quarterly Board Meetings, regular working and committee meetings, email votes and assisting Board Chairs in conducting annual assessment with individual board members.
- Procure and manage resources by articulating ABOG’s value proposition and identify potential revenue streams; work with the board to build toward long-term sustainability; build relationships that enact our value proposition(s); cultivate individual, foundation, and government donor base; and collaborate with Staff and Board to set and manage annual operating budget
- Create expansive infrastructures to support socially engaged artists through a Fellowship or another grantmaking opportunity, to facilitate critical discourse around socially engaged art, and to foster community amongst practitioners in the field
External Relations & Communications
- Manage external communications by representing ABOG publicly; building relationships with like-minded organizations and thought leaders in socially engaged art; cultivating speaking engagements; conducting interviews, and writing critical essays that position ABOG within a wider discourse
- Engage in community outreach to secure connections, in-kind donations, and other community resources for Fellows and their projects; and create partnerships that increase the visibility of and deepen the critical discourse around socially engaged artists, conducting interviews, and writing critical essays that position ABOG within a wider discourse
- Manage day-to-day operations including recruiting, onboarding, managing, and evaluating all Staff; provide appropriate support and supervision; developing a nurturing environment that fosters staff satisfaction, mentorship, and retention; collaborate with Staff on setting effective workflow procedures including timeline management; review Staff expenses, work contracts and so on; conduct annual review of employees’ performance; and ensure regular Staff training and development opportunities
- Refine and grow ABOG’s infrastructure, including systems, policies, etc. and ensure ABOG is compliant with 501c(3) and other government regulations.
Compensation & Benefits
We believe in a culture of care that includes health insurance for employees and their families, parental leave, flextime, paid and sick time off, annual stipends for remote working costs, and professional development. We plan to offer additional benefits (coaching, wellness fund, sabbatical after 5 years, etc) once resources become more readily available.
- Salary: $150,000 (pending leadership model)
- Health insurance through TriNet, including dental and vision
- 3% Employer contribution towards 401k retirement plan
- 12 paid holidays and starting with 10 vacation days per year (ABOG’s office is closed between December 25 and January 1)
- Flexible work schedule
Please note we are open to discussing compensation and benefits based on the suggested leadership model
Executive Leadership should demonstrate cultural competency, exhibit a commitment to social justice, and have a keen understanding of socially engaged art. They should have a demonstrated commitment to ABOG’s mission and vision, and value an artist-centered approach to governance. Prospective candidates must be able to manage multiple priorities simultaneously as well as exhibit excellent written and verbal communication, analytic, computer and organizational skills.
The ideal candidate(s) will possess the following skills and experiences:
- Strong leadership, facilitation and managerial skills, including proven recruitment, supervisory, staff development and retention, program management, and budgetary skills
- Creative problem solver(s) with the demonstrable ability to think strategically
- Ability to manage deadlines and stressors productively and professionally
- Comfortable with ambiguity and novelty
- Appetite for experimentation, risk-taking, and implementation of bold ideas
- Ability to understand and enable a number of specialized efforts such as legal issues, fundraising, programs, web maintenance, video production, tax and finance in collaboration with external vendors
- Maintain a strong network of artists, relevant practitioners, and funders
- A minimum of ten years relevant experience in fields connected to social impact and/or the arts
After one year, we expect to have achieved the following together:
- A “thought partner” relationship between the Executive Leadership and the Board that effectively utilizes its collective professional knowledge
- A complete assessment of ABOG’s programming history, archive, management systems, fundraising tools, relationships, and assets
- A thoughtful programs development and implementation schedule informed by ABOG’s rebuild research
- Savvy use of existing funding relationships to ensure continued visibility and sustainability of the organization
- Strategic building of new donor relationships and funding opportunities to ensure support of the organization’s efforts
- A credible three year plan to incrementally rebuild the organization and its programs to an appropriate level of staffing and funding (previously $1.25M)
Please send a cover letter and CV to firstname.lastname@example.org. Applications from co-directors or other alternative models are welcome. Please explain any particular models in the cover letter, demonstrating the viability of the collaboration or co-working model. It is not ABOG’s intention to hire individuals and then pair them.
Resumes will be reviewed as they are received, and initial conversations will be conducted on a rolling basis. After the initial conversation, a Search Advisory Committee made up of A Blade of Grass board members and external advisors will review applications and first round interviews will begin in late January 2023. Interviews will be conducted via Zoom video conference. We anticipate at least two rounds of interviews.
A Blade of Grass is an equal opportunity employer. We strongly encourage and seek applications from women, people of color, and bilingual and bicultural individuals, as well as members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender communities. We will not discriminate against any employee or job applicant on the bases of race, color, gender, national origin, age, religion, creed, disability, veteran’s status, sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression.