Executive Director, Erie Museum of Art (Erie, PA)

Overview of Job Responsibilities

The Executive Director is responsible for the management and operation of the EAM, including budgeting; staffing; fundraising; oversight of the development, curation and presentation of exhibitions and related programs; care and development of the collections; and care of the facilities. Special emphasis will be placed on capacity-building, including building and maintaining a professional staff; strengthening finances; broadening audiences and membership; and producing events that generate engagement and revenue. This is a hands-on position working with a small but dedicated staff.

Job Description

The Erie Art Museum is looking for an ambitious and multi-talented Executive Director to build on this regional museum’s profile at the center of a multimillion-dollar downtown reinvestment initiative. Located in downtown Erie, Pennsylvania (population 100,000) in a recently renovated, LEED-certified facility, the museum is beloved in the community and a regional draw, known for its distinguished and eclectic programming. Its diverse collection of approximately 8,000 items pays significant homage to regional artists.

There is opportunity to further develop collaborations with four area colleges and universities and to connect with the artistic and cultural hubs of the tri-city area around Erie that includes Cleveland, Ohio, Pittsburg, Pennsylvania and Buffalo, New York, all under two hours away. Pre-COVID-19, the museum had an annual attendance of over 15,000 visitors and an annual budget of nearly $1M. It recently established solid financial footing and a small endowment, and growing the museum’s long-term financial security remains a priority for the Board of Directors.

The Executive Director should be an innovative museum professional with strong curatorial and collections management knowledge and excellent managerial and communication skills. The successful candidate will be a visible leader, open and inclusive, who can lead the Board, staff, and stakeholders through a multi-year capacity-building and fundraising process, while also developing and implementing dynamic programming for broad audiences. There is opportunity to leverage the museum’s numerous assets and its current momentum to build larger audiences, strengthen operations, and financially anchor the museum for the future.

Qualifications, Desired Skillsets and Experience

  • B.A. degree (required) in art history, studio art, museum education, museum studies, or a field related to the mission; with an advanced degree preferred.
  • Minimum of four years’ experience as the successful director of a museum or related arts or cultural organization. If at a large institution, the experience could be as a deputy director or department head with substantial management and some fundraising responsibilities.
  • Experience managing professional staff, including hiring, developing, and retaining talent.
  • Ability to multi-task, delegate, and foster a team environment.
  • Ability to develop and execute an ambitious programmatic vision backed by disciplined financial and operational planning.
  • Leadership skills and experience achieving consensus and buy-in for new directions.
  • Strategic thinker, able to put challenges in perspective and make sound recommendations for advancing the museum. Positive, tenacious person.
  • Proven fundraising ability with evidence of successful donor relations, grant writing and funded projects. Enthusiasm for fundraising for operations, programs, and capital projects.
  • Experience working with a board to set strategic priorities and align outcomes with resources. Experience working with a nominating committee and cultivating new board members is a plus.
  • Effective interpersonal skills: a good relationship-builder who is professional, ethical, down-to-earth, diplomatic, and engaging.
  • Excellent written, verbal and listening skills. A public-facing person with strong communication skills. An engaging public speaker.

How to Apply

Qualified candidates should email their cover letter, résumé́ (Word documents preferred), salary requirement, and names of 3 references with contact information by October 26, 2020 to retained search firm: Connie Rosemont, Museum Search & Reference, at SearchandRef@museum-search.com.

Apply in confidence. References will not be contacted without prior permission of the applicant. 

For more information view the full job page listing here.