Executive Director, Art-Reach

Posted by Art Reach on November 3, 2014

With a mission of enriching lives by connecting underserved audiences with cultural experiences so that they may enjoy and benefit from the transformative power of the arts, Art-Reach programs are created to ensure that the arts become and remain a part of the lives of our most vulnerable citizens. Founded in 1986, Art-Reach programs have empowered human-service organizations to enrich the lives of their constituents by providing them with high quality artistic activities and creative outlets for over 27 years. Through organizational partnerships, people with physical and developmental disabilities, low-income individuals, at-risk youth, and the elderly in need are all able to deeply engage with the arts, improving their quality of life and providing experiences of joy, beauty and inspiration that otherwise may be unattainable.

Art-Reach serves over 150 human-service agency partners in Greater Philadelphia and collaborates with over 175 arts institutions and teaching artists. In 2013, Art-Reach served 17,931 individuals and over 265,000 throughout its history. Art-Reach advocates for arts access throughout the region as a growing body of research (both local and industry-wide) demonstrates the health and educational benefits associated with arts participation at all ages, as well as the rising cost of cultural outings. Art-Reach’s core programs include:

• Ticketing: Art-Reach offers its members deeply discounted or free admission to over 175 local cultural venues. In the past year, over 13,000 individuals have visited museums, gardens, zoos, historic sites and live performances in the greater Philadelphia region.

• In-Facility: to meet specific needs and provide a dynamic way to interact with new art forms, Art-Reach roster artists combine live performances or demonstrations with interactive hands-on art making activities, on-site at member agencies. In 2013, the In-Facility Program brought art and music directly to 3,631 individuals.

• ACCESS Admission: Art-Reach’s newest program works with area museums to provide $2 admission to EBT/ACCESS Cardholders: individuals and families receiving government medical, food or cash assistance. The program launched September 1, 2014 with seventeen museum partners ranging from the Pennsylvania Museum of Art and the Barnes Foundation to Eastern State Penitentiary and Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens.

• Improving Accessibility: Art-Reach supports and partners with local cultural venues to increase their accessibility by offering trainings in disability etiquette and program adaptation. Art-Reach also supports these venues by publicizing programming that is accessible to audiences with disabilities.

As the key spokesperson for Art-Reach, the Executive Director is responsible for: (1) ensuring the highest quality of service in each of the programs outlined above, (2) providing a vision and direction for the organization’s growth and development, including fundraising and growing revenue sources and (3) assuring the organization’s financial viability. Serving as the chief administrative officer, s/he has responsibility for the development, implementation and management of all programs and procedures necessary to carry out Art-Reach’s mission and board policies. Reporting to a volunteer board of directors, the Executive Director oversees a five full-time staff and numerous volunteers (along with outside consultants as needed) and administers a budget of approximately $650,000. The Executive Director must promote the mission of the organization with energy and conviction and have the skills, experience and passion to lead the organization into the future while expanding its services both programmatically and geographically within the greater Philadelphia area (tri-state).


Reports to: Volunteer Board of Directors

Directly Supervises: Associate Director, Development and Communications Manager

  • Key Relationships: Arts and cultural leaders
  • Leaders from the human service and disability communities
  • Foundation, corporate and individual funders
  • City and State government
  • Community leaders
  • Art-Reach Board/Donors

In cooperation with the Board of Directors, responsible for the Strategic Planning and continually evaluating the long-term vision of the organization.

Oversees all current program initiatives: Ticketing Program, In-Facility Program, ACCESS Admission and Improving Accessibility, working with the Associate Director and Program Staff to assure effective and responsive services.

Seeks out and explores ways to expand programming and the number of people served in ways that achieve strategic goals without jeopardizing organizational stability.

Responsible for fundraising strategy planning, including individuals, foundations, public charities, corporations, government and through special events, working with the Development and Communications Manager; maintain relationships with current funders and cultivate relationships with prospective funders.

Serves as primary liaison to Board of Directors as it relates to policy and governance, strategic planning, managing committees, coordinating board meetings, helping board members create and achieve their annual work plans, and identifying and cultivating potential board members.

Ensures overall sound financial management of Art-Reach. Work with the Treasurer and the Executive Committee of the board to assure fiscal stability and proper policies and controls; produces budgets and financial reports for board review; and coordinates annual audit with outside accountant.

Builds collaboration/partnerships with key stakeholders around issues of mutual concern such as attendance, accessibility and cost.

Serves as primary spokesperson for the organization to all key strategic constituencies: cultural and human-service communities, the philanthropic community, elected officials, and community leaders.

As the point person for day-to-day activities, oversees all organizational operations including budgets, financial planning, program development and implementation, marketing and public relations, human resources and technology.

Preferred skills and experience

  • Strong hands-on progressively responsible management experience demonstrated by the successful functioning of an organization or department.
  • Experience working with a volunteer board of directors.
  • Demonstrated ability to coordinate complex projects that involve multiple and diverse stakeholders using a collaborative work and leadership style.
  • Experienced in business management with financial oversight.
  • Excellent public relations and oral and written communications skills and instincts.
  • Familiarity with and sensitivity to Philadelphia arts and culture environment.
  • Successful fundraising track record. Creative approach to engaging individuals and organizations to support the mission with financial resources. Familiarity with the funding community in Philadelphia.
  • Minimum five years program and staff management experience.
  • Bachelor’s degree required; Master’s degree preferred.

Personal Characteristics:

  • Strong interest and belief in the Art-Reach mission and the skills to advocate that belief effectively to interest groups throughout Philadelphia.
  • Strategic and decisive problem solver. Ability to think creatively, opportunistically, and analytically; well organized.
  • Goal-oriented.
  • A relationship builder and influencer with the ability to relate and appeal to diverse groups of people.
  • Strong communication skills both with groups and one-on-one.

Competitive salary and benefits package.

Very occasional overnight travel.

Contact Information
If you wish to explore this position, please submit resume and cover letter to EDSearch@Art-Reach.org.

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