The Arts Council of Fayetteville/Cumberland County (Arts Council) seeks a dynamic, visionary leader to serve as its next President & CEO succeeding its long time director of 18 years, Deborah Martin Mintz, who retires January 31, 2019. Founded in 1973, the Arts Council has a proven track record of supporting individual creativity, cultural preservation, economic development, and lifelong learning through the arts.
The Fayetteville/Cumberland County Community
The city of Fayetteville is North
Carolina’s 6th largest city (population 205,000 with approximately
380,000 in the larger metropolitan area) and is located in the south-central
part of North Carolina, about 60 miles south of the state capital of Raleigh. As
the unofficial home of the U.S. Army, there are few communities in the world
who can compete with the military history and tradition of Fayetteville/
Cumberland County. Fort Bragg comprises one of the world’s largest
military installations – and is the world’s largest airborne facility with more
than 56,000 military personnel and contributes $4.5 billion a year into the
As a result, Arts Council stakeholders
describe Fayetteville as a city with dual personalities – a population that is
part small town, home-grown, southern charm residents and part international,
widely diverse, transient military personnel and families.
The military base attracts a large and growing defense industry and was ranked in the Top 5 Defense Industry Development areas in the United States. Eight of the ten top American defense contractors have offices in the area, including Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Northrop Grumman, and General Dynamics.
Cultural Priorities for the community
- Continued development of a new downtown Arts and Entertainment District
- Developing a robust public art program in downtown Fayetteville and at gateways of the city
- Developing the proposed $60 million Civil War History Center (initial seed funding of $5 million was awarded by the N.C. Legislature in 2017)
- Continuing discussion about a proposed downtown Performing Arts Center
- Constructing a
baseball stadium serving as home to the Houston Astros minor league farm
team scheduled to open in April 2019
In 2019, The Arts Council of Fayetteville/Cumberland County will celebrate its 45th anniversary. Since its inception, the organization has served as the vital link between artists, arts and cultural organizations, and the community. As the primary steward of public and private funding for arts, cultural, and history activities in the Cape Fear Region, the Arts Council and the agencies it supports are known for core values of excellence, accountability, transparency, collaboration, and innovation.
The Arts Council:
- Provides leadership, vision, and community development through the creative arts
- Administers six distinct grant allocation programs offering funding and physical space to nonprofit organizations, schools, local governments, and creative professionals
- Produces two major festivals, 4–6 Arts Center gallery exhibitions, and two exhibitions at City Hall
- Funds and facilitates an annual temporary public art exhibition and purchase program
- Delivers ongoing advocacy with elected officials at the local, state, and federal levels
- Coordinates Artists in Schools to encourage the next
generation of budding artists
Created by legislative mandate in 2001, the annual application of a portion of occupancy tax revenues generated by hotel guests who visit Cumberland County provides an unusually stable and sustainable means of support for the development of arts infrastructure without taxing local residents. In 2018, the Arts Council realized $1.5 million from this annual alternative revenue stream. Its careful stewardship of these funds, broad re-granting of revenues to a diverse range of cultural organizations (now reaching well beyond the arts), and ongoing review and assessment of how these funds are spent has helped generate a collaborative community spirit and foster distinctive programming that has added to the vitality, quality of life, and economic development of the region. In fact, in Cumberland County, the nonprofit arts and culture sector is a $60M industry, supporting nearly 2,000 FTEs and generating $6M in local and state revenue.
Presently, a volunteer 23-member Board of Directors governs the Arts Council, with its day-to-day business operations managed by a team of 14 staff. The organization’s annual operating budget is about $2.5 million. For more information on the Arts Council, visit www.theartscouncil.com.
Strategic Objectives and Near Term Priorities
A new strategic plan adopted in 2017 outlines the
- Revisit the mission, vision, and core values of The Arts Council of Fayetteville/Cumberland County
- Focus the board in the next 36 months on the way forward with new leadership
- Bring clarity and insight about the contributions, vitality, and future initiatives of The Arts Council
- Conduct a national search for a new President & CEO
Near term new initiatives:
CAMO – Creative Arts and Military Opportunities: With leadership, encouragement, and funding from the North Carolina Arts Council, the Arts Council will staff and develop this program to build bridges between military populations and the creative arts industry.
CMAC – Cumberland Makers and Creatives: Recent assessment determined gaps in resources available to the makers and creatives of the Fayetteville community: physical workspace, professional development workshops and seminars, and collaborative space in which to connect and exchange ideas with other artists. The Arts Council will utilize the research findings to develop a new networking association of makers and creatives built on a mission to create a physical and philosophical space for artists, makers, and other creative industry professionals to gather, collaborate, and engage in professional development.
Creative Gateways: In partnership with the City of Fayetteville, the Arts Council has received a $35,000 NEA grant to develop a public art master plan for the City’s gateways and initiate the commission of up to two site-specific works.
The Leadership Opportunity
The Arts Council is on solid footing as an organization and is poised for a new generation of executive leadership. It seeks a chief executive who will sustain the organization’s operations and strengthen the vision and strategy developed by the long-time director, staff, and board.
A new leader will work in this larger context to carry out the Arts Council’s new strategic plan and priorities, outline new partners and collaborators, ensure financial sustainability, and coordinate the efforts of staff and board to execute its vision and strategy.
There is broad consensus within the organization that the Arts Council is in an ideal position to grow its impact and expand its leadership in the sector. This has been built through a thoughtful succession and strategic planning process completed over the last two years, including both board and staff, in partnership with consulting firms specializing in these areas.
The President & CEO leads all business administrative functions and oversees the programs and operations. Additionally s/he is the principal relationship manager for all stakeholders. As the Arts Council’s chief “pied piper,” s/he will serve as the face of the organization to all constituents (donors, community leaders, partners, etc.) and the key relationship builder, securing diversified and increased financial resources, articulating the institution’s mission, and building awareness.
This individual is entering the life of the Arts Council at a time of significant transition (with the long-time director stepping down) and great opportunity. The successful candidate will exhibit a strategic and visionary mindset and drive, outstanding communication skills, enthusiasm, perseverance, and diplomacy.
Reporting to the board of directors, the President
& CEO’s priorities for the next 12–18 months include (not necessarily in
- Quickly comprehend the current business model and approach of the Arts Council, learning the structure of the organization including an understanding of programs, vital partners, and the landscape particular to the Arts Council.
- Gain an in-depth understanding of the organization’s financial structure and complexities, and develop projections, metrics, and reporting to monitor and ensure financial stability.
- Ensure a cohesive, high functioning team, giving attention to and investing continued resources in team building, staff training, and leader development.
- Establish strong working relationships with the Board of Directors, staff, funders, partners, and volunteers.
- Gain an understanding of the political landscape and context surrounding the occupancy tax and build relationships with key legislative influencers to sustain this vital revenue stream.
- Leverage the Board’s influence and connections to build relationships and cultivate critical resources.
- Engage the Board of Directors and its committees in the stewardship of financial, operational, and resource generation initiatives.
- Review and execute on the Arts Council’s new strategic plan.
& CEO is the internal driver and external face of the organization,
providing leadership of the Arts Council and overseeing its day-to-day affairs.
Specific responsibilities include:
- Provide visionary and strategic leadership and translate that vision into measurable strategies and concrete actions that advance the mission.
- Sustain the Arts Council’s strong and respected presence and become the face of the organization to the local community and to key audiences at the state and national levels.
- Oversee the business operations of the organization and the leadership team responsible for the day-to-day operations.
- Ensure that appropriate programs and services are provided that are consistent with priority needs and organization mission.
- Oversee the finances and ensure fiscal responsibility and security.
- Work with the Board of Directors, staff, and volunteers to ensure that the Arts Council sets and achieves its revenue goals.
- Lead organization fundraising activities including annual and major gift development, grant writing, and special events.
- Develop, augment, and expand key relationships with stakeholders, supporters (current and prospective), key referral sources, and partner organizations.
- Promote competency, quality, and the highest ethical standards throughout the organization.
- Provide motivation and support to the Board of Directors and its committees, as well as report to the Board of Directors on the progress of the organization.
- Ensure that proper policies and infrastructure are in place to promote best practices for the mission, constituents, and volunteers.
- Direct human resources activities to accomplish organization goals and objectives through effective recruiting, hiring, evaluation, training, development, and retention strategies. Ensure that employee performance is in accordance with organization policies and procedures.
- Participate in professional activities in community, state, and national associations.
Experience and Attributes
Ideal candidates for this position will share the Arts Council’s core beliefs as well as a commitment to and passion for arts and culture. Qualified candidates must possess an undergraduate degree (graduate degree preferred), demonstrate a commitment to continued learning for both self and team, and bring a variety of experiences and attributes to the organization, including:
- At least 7 years of progressively increasing senior organization leadership experience in the nonprofit sector, preferably in arts and culture.
- A strong financial understanding and management or oversight of a comparably sized budget and staff.
- A natural propensity toward strategically developing and growing an organization (versus sustaining), with a demonstrated track record of growth.
- Effectively leading and managing change, presenting the ability to set direction, gain alignment, and secure commitment of staff, board, and key stakeholders.
- Evident political savvy navigating complex public and private sector relationships and dynamics to achieve results.
- Relationship developer and sustainer – one who is able to quickly build rapport and trust, and maximizes relationships to continue and grow the leadership and influence for which the organization is known.
- A team-building, empowering leadership style with a track record of building and maintaining strong working relationships with internal (staff and Board) and external stakeholders, donors, and community leaders.
- Demonstrated experience in and proven track record generating contributed revenue – including individual, foundation, and corporate giving, as well as special events.
- Creative and innovative problem solving skills.
- High self-initiative with an ability to exercise prudent, independent decision-making and produce results.
- An understanding of image building, marketing, and external relations.
- Exceptional written and oral communication skills.
- An ability to recognize industry trends and keep the organization flexible and responsive to new ideas and opportunities.
- A consummate professional who is approachable and possesses a spirit of warmth, humility, and sincerity.
- An appreciation for and cultural fit with a vibrant North Carolina community.
Salary is competitive and commensurate with qualifications and experience. To apply, send an email with a cover letter detailing qualifications, vitae/resume, and salary requirements to ArtsCouncil@raffa.com (email applications are required). For questions, contact Jeanie Duncan, lead consultant, at email@example.com. Communications will be treated with confidence and resumes will be accepted until position is filled; however, the active application period is now through October 12, 2018. Resume reviews begin immediately.
The Arts Council of Fayetteville/Cumberland County is an affirmative action employer.