Cultural Access Washington (CAWA), a 501(c)(4) nonprofit organization, seeks a visionary Executive Director to create a movement to expand the value that arts, science and heritage bring to our communities and to build a powerful advocacy coalition to effect change at the local, regional, and state levels.
In 2006 a coalition of business, labor, government, non-profit, and educational leaders in the Puget Sound region focused on strategies to help sustain the cultural sector and to increase public access to Puget Sound cultural organizations. In its report published in 2012, the coalition recommended that the State of Washington authorize the local creation of cultural access funds, statewide.
Following passage of State cultural access legislation in July 2015, Cultural Access Washington (CAWA) became incorporated as a 501(c)(4) organization, governed by a 24-member Board of Trustees with a mission to create a cultural access program in King County and support similar efforts in other localities across the state. The King County Council passed an ordinance to create Access for All with a public vote in August 2017. Proposition 1/Access for All fell short of approval by less than one percent in an off-year primary election.
Despite this legislative defeat, Cultural Access Washington remains a unique coalition of 50 cultural, science, and heritage institutions – the first time small and large institutions from these diverse sectors have joined together to advocate for equity, education, funding, access, and expansion of the shared value created in our communities.
Today, CAWA stands at an inflection point. In a complex policy environment and in the context of rapid social change, our mission and vision have remained strong:
To transform communities across Washington State through the inspiration of arts, science, and heritage experiences.
We envision vibrant communities where:
- Our unique and shared histories bring people together, lift them up and empower them to succeed;
- Everyone in our society has the ability to benefit from and be inspired by the cultural experiences available in our state;
- Local communities serve as champions of their own cultural identities and legacies.
- Our arts, science, and heritage organizations, from the smallest grassroots enterprises to the largest institutions, have sustainable resources to create wide and deep human impact through their work.
We seek a new voice to craft new strategies and lead us in building a plan to achieve these ambitious goals.
CAWA’s Executive Director will unite our diverse cultural sector – nonprofit arts, science and heritage organizations large and small, their audiences, allies, and communities – in the cause for cultural access. CAWA seeks a visionary leader who is not only able to coordinate a wide range of activities; direct a team of researchers, consultants, fundraisers, and others; and manage the activities of our coalition; but also energize and inspire our constituents in a state-wide movement towards meaningful political action.
The position calls for a leader who can build consensus, empower advocates, and create and sustain new and existing relationships with cultural leaders, policymakers, and allied community organizations. We especially seek a leader who brings meaningful expertise in addressing issues of equity, diversity, inclusion, and access, and experience working with ‘community based organizations’ (with budgets under $1.25 million).
Salary is commensurate with experience. CAWA pays 100% of the premiums for a generous benefits package.
Qualifications and Qualities
· Demonstrated success at a level of senior leadership
· Demonstrated success in coalition building
· A passionate belief in arts, science and heritage as critical to community development, basic education, and economic vitality
· 5-7 years of experience in nonprofit governance and management (or the equivalent)
· Demonstrated success with innovative forms of fundraising
· Proven ability as a collaborator and partner with a governing board
· 5-7 years’ experience in advocacy and political processes
· Demonstrated success in addressing equity, diversity, inclusion, and access in arts, science and/or heritage
· Evidence of superior communication and interpersonal skills for building a range of relationships
Tasks and Responsibilities
· Execute outreach and coalition-building strategies with multiple constituencies including the cultural sector, the business community, schools and educators, labor, local governments, and other community nonprofits.
· Develop a strategic framework for movement-building and advocacy to guide development of specific legislative objectives, in collaboration with the CAWA Board of Trustees.
· Lead CAWA in developing a plan to bring Access for All back for a second public vote among King County voters.
· Lead the ongoing effort to assess interest in cultural access programs across the state and work with local communities and their county or city authorities to help plan a path to a local vote and assist in executing a local campaign.
· Create and manage a process for selecting and contracting with consultants who provide expertise in research and polling, political campaigns, lobbying, coalition building, grass roots advocacy, social media, crowd funding, PR, communications and media relations.
· Measure progress against goals in each area of concentration and recommend strategic adjustments as necessary.
· Engage the CAWA trustees as active members of a working Board with tasks assigned according to interest and expertise.
· Produce thoughtful, efficient and regular communication with Trustees, and CAWA Member organizations.
· Speak on behalf of CAWA, its value, and benefits at all manner of public gatherings.
· Meet with elected officials in collaboration with CAWA lobbyists as necessary to develop meaningful relationships and facilitate political strategies.
· Partner with trustees to solicit and secure outside funding from various private sector sources.
· Manage CAWA Member relations through regular communication and the collection of dues.
· Manage a small team to support CAWA operations.
· Develop and monitor financial projections.
TO APPLY: Please send a cover letter expressing interest and a resume. Applicant review will begin May 31st.
CULTURAL ACCESS WASHINGTON
Board of Trustees
· Benjamin Moore, Chair - WA State Cultural Leader
· Dwight Gee, Vice Chair - WA State Cultural Leader
· Richard Beckerman, Treasurer - Seattle Art Museum
· Janell Johnson, Secretary - Village Theatre
· Jared Axelrod - Community Leader/Cultural Advocate
· Putter Bert - Kids Quest Museum
· Manual R. Cawaling - Youth Theatre Northwest
· Rosalie Contreras - Seattle Symphony
· Will Daugherty - Pacific Science Center
· Bob Davidson - Seattle Aquarium
· David Fischer - Broadway Center for the Performing Arts
· Ricardo Frazer - Principal & Director, Zaki-Rose Corp
· Alejandro Grajal - Woodland Park Zoo
· Matt Hayes - Museum of Flight
· Joshua Heim - Arts Program Manager, City of Bellevue
· Mari Horita - ArtsFund
· Douglas R. King - Community Leader/Cultural Advocate
· Josh LaBelle - Seattle Theatre Group
· Joe McIalwain - Edmonds Center for the Arts
· Karen Mobley - WA State Cultural Leader
· Dominica Myers - Seattle Opera/Shoreline LFP Arts Council
· Katie Oman - Arts & Culture Consultant
· Steve Sneed - Seattle Center Cultural Programs
· Elizabeth P. Stewart - Renton History Museum
· Ellen Walker - Pacific Northwest Ballet
King County Member Organizations
· 5th Avenue Theatre
· ACT Theatre
· Allied Arts Foundation
· Annex Theatre
· Artist Trust
· ArtsED Washington
· Association of King County Historical Organizations
· Broadway Center for the Performing Arts
· Burke Museum Association
· Book-It Repertory Theatre
· Center for Wooden Boats
· Early Music Guild
· From Within Academy
· Frye Art Museum
· Flying House Productions
· Henry Art Gallery
· Highline Historical Society
· History Link
· Hydroplane and Raceboat Museum
· KidsQuest Museum
· Kirkland Performance Center
· Museum of Flight
· Museum of Glass
· On the Boards
· Pacific Bonsai Museum
· Pacific Music Works
· Pacific Northwest Ballet
· Pacific Science Center
· Richard Hugo House
· Seattle Aquarium
· Seattle Art Museum
· Seattle Chamber Music Society
· Seattle Children’s Museum
· Seattle Children’s Theatre
· Seattle Opera
· Seattle Repertory Theatre
· Seattle Shakespeare Company
· Seattle Symphony
· Seattle Theatre Group
· SHADOW Lake Nature Preserve
· Showtunes Theatre Company
· Tateuchi Center
· Theatre Schmeater
· Town Hall
· Unexpected Productions
· Vashon Center for the Arts
· Village Theatre
· Woodland Park Zoo