Executive Director, Vermont Arts Council

Vermont Arts Council
Addison County, VT
Full Time
3 weeks ago

Position Summary

The Executive Director will serve as a dynamic and collaborative leader for the Vermont Arts Council and for the state’s creative sector to ensure everyone has access to the arts and creativity in their lives and communities. This individual will develop an inclusive strategic vision to strengthen the resiliency and sustainability of arts, cultural, and creative sector organizations and individuals across the state. The Executive Director will collaborate with the Board of Directors, community, and civic partners in the active pursuit of resources to support the organization’s goals and strategic direction. A visible leader, they will energize the state’s creative economy and advocate for the creative sector. This individual will establish and nurture authentic and transparent relationships with elected officials, local and state agencies, cultural partners, artists, institutional funders, and individual donors. The Executive Director will be responsible for ensuring the success of the organization’s fundraising, financial, operations, marketing, administration, and programmatic strategies.

Roles and Responsibilities

Strategic Vision and Leadership

  • Provide a vision and strategy for Vermont Arts Council that balances the needs of the state’s creative economy with a realistic understanding of local, state, and federal policy and the political and environmental factors impacting the region and the cultural sector.
  • Demonstrate a commitment to inclusion, diversity, equity, and access throughout the organization with policies and practices that foster transformative change.
  • Foster a culture of innovation throughout the Council to realize new ideas, concepts, and strategies that amplify the cultural vitality of communities across the state.
  • Partner with the Board of Directors and staff to develop and ensure the implementation of a strategic plan, aligning goals with the organization’s core mission and allocating financial and human resources to achieve the goals.
  • Cultivate and nurture authentic and positive relationships and partnerships with organizations, grant recipients, artists, and other key stakeholders, ensuring open communication and an honest assessment of programmatic and performance milestones.
  • Keep abreast of the latest cultural sector issues and trends through active participation in regional and national cultural service organizations.
  • Embrace other strategic vision and leadership duties as needed.

Resource Development and External Relations

  • Identify, establish, and maintain cooperative and collaborative partnerships with state agencies, municipal governments, local and national funders, and regional and national organizations, such as the New England Foundation for the Arts, National Assembly of State Arts Agencies, and National Endowment for the Arts.
  • Serve as a primary fundraiser for the organization, setting strategy, identifying, and stewarding philanthropic relationships, and working with donors across all divisions of the organization.
  • Partner with the Board Chair to engage board members and leverage their networks to secure resources that will advance the organization’s mission.
  • Direct the development and implementation of comprehensive marketing, branding, and development strategies that maximize revenue opportunities from individual donors, foundations, and corporations.
  • Embrace other resource development and external relations duties as needed.

Community Engagement

  • Serve as the principal spokesperson and chief storyteller, seeking opportunities to communicate with donors, the media, and the community to share VAC’s impact on the vitality of the state’s arts.
  • Strengthen VAC’s image through effective community activities, including frequent visits and communication with cultural leaders and artists, conducting site visits to partner and grantee organizations to promote the organization’s work, and enhancing the entire cultural sector.
  • Maintain and strengthen positive relationships with elected officials and policymakers at the local, state, and national levels while advocating for the importance of funding the arts and the impact of the arts and culture sector.
  • Embrace other community engagement duties as necessary.

Governance and Operations

  • Establish strong communication channels with the board, present timely and accurate briefs and reports to support their policy and decision-making, and attend meetings and sub-committee meetings as necessary.
  • Partner with the Board Executive and Nominating Committees to identify, cultivate, recruit, and engage diverse board members whose skills, interests, and commitment will further VAC’s mission.
  • Serve as ex officio and member of assigned committees, seek and build board involvement, build relationships, and further development.
  • Recruit, hire, develop, and support a diverse staff team; regularly evaluating both individual and team performance.
  • Ensure ongoing service and programmatic excellence through rigorous program evaluation.
  • Implement consistent operational policies, processes, and procedures that increase efficiency, establish high standards of customer service, promote open and transparent communication, strengthen internal controls, and ensure a safe and healthy workplace for the staff.
  • Collaborate with the Finance Director and Board Treasurer in the oversight of the organization’s financial health, establish short- and long-range financial goals, develop and monitor the annual budget, and ensure adherence to strong financial controls.
  • Embrace other governance and operations duties as necessary.

Traits and Characteristics

A strategic and authentic advocate for the arts, the Executive Director will be a collaborative leader with excellent communication skills and the ability to interact with and energize a diverse group of citizens and partners across the state. This individual will be an altruistic leader who is driven to support the cultural sector and creative economy without the need for individual recognition. Receptive to new methods and ideas, the Executive Director will be willing to undertake non-traditional opportunities that expand the reach and impact of the sector. They will use their passion for the arts to inspire and build relationships that strengthen the support systems for Vermont’s cultural sector.

Other key competencies include:

  • Diplomacy and Interpersonal Skills – The capacity to recognize multiple perspectives, demonstrate sincere interest in divergent voices and opinions and tactfully address complex or challenging issues with respect and sensitivity.
  • Personal Accountability and Resiliency – The capability to evaluate personal actions, accept responsibility for mistakes, and overcome setbacks to reach a positive outcome.
  • Teamwork and Appreciating Others – The ability to identify with and care about others, leading a team toward consensus, recognizing and appreciating member contributions, and providing constructive feedback to enhance the cohesiveness and effectiveness of the team.
  • Problem Solving – The facility to define, analyze, and diagnose key components of a problem to formulate a solution.


A strong background in and passion for the arts is essential, as well as a demonstrated understanding of the value of creativity for the social and economic wellbeing of people and communities. A proven record of leadership and experience with advanced communication strategies as well as a background in coalescing diverse interests and managing complex collaborative partnerships is required. Progressive senior management experience in a government agency, nonprofit organization, university, or creative industry setting is necessary. Qualified candidates will be knowledgeable in cultural policy development and implementation at the local, state, or federal level, possessing a keen understanding of public policy and legislative priorities. The ideal candidate will be a strategic thinker with a wealth of experience in public administration, particularly with programs involving public funds. Knowledge of the Vermont arts and culture environment, as well as the political landscape, are helpful attributes. The Executive Director is required to live in Vermont. Qualified applicants will be committed to embracing and advancing the principles of equity, diversity, inclusion, and access. Qualified candidates will have demonstrated experience in staff management and program development and will have exceptional written and verbal communication skills.

Compensation and Benefits

VAC provides a competitive compensation package with a salary range between $110,000 and $125,000 and a benefits package that includes health, life, vision, and dental insurance; short- and long-term disability; vacation, holiday, and sick pay; and an employee retirement plan.

Applications and Inquiries

To submit a cover letter and resume with a summary of demonstrable accomplishments, please click here or visit artsconsulting.com/employment. For questions or general inquiries about this job opportunity, including the anticipated compensation parameters, please contact:

Jenna Deja, Vice President
Wyona Lynch-McWhite, Senior Vice President
Arts Consulting Group
292 Newbury Street, Suite 315
Boston, MA 02115-2801
Tel        (888) 234.4236 Ext. 227 (Ms. Deja) or Ext 225 (Ms. Lynch-McWhite)
Email    VermontArtsCouncil@ArtsConsulting.com

136 State Street
Montpelier, VT 05633