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CEO | Lawrence Arts Center (Lawrence, KS)

With a mission to create excellent and meaningful arts experiences with and for the community through education, exhibitions and performances, the Lawrence Arts Center is the region’s premier arts center. We are dedicated to producing, exhibiting, and supporting new work by visual and performing artists and to sequential visual and performing arts education from preschool through senior adults.

Established in 1975, The Lawrence Arts Center moved in 2002 into a 40,000-square-foot facility housing three exhibition galleries, two theaters, a preschool wing, a dance wing, and seven visual arts studios.

The Lawrence Arts Center has received prestigious national grants for education, community projects, performance, and exhibitions.

The CEO is the primary spokesperson and leader of the Lawrence Arts Center. S/he reports to the Board of Directors with specific oversight by the Board Chairman. In partnership with the Board and staff, it is the CEO’s responsibility to further the mission of the organization. The CEO’s specific areas of responsibility include:

Leadership & Communication
• Leads the Arts Center in the development of long-range strategic plans and resolves immediate priorities and issues in support of the mission and goals of the LAC
• Manages and oversees the leadership team and their programs.
• Ensures the development of systems for data tracking and reporting to evaluate effectiveness, showing successes toward goals defined in the current Strategic Plan.
• Leads the integration of the LAC’s program areas – exhibitions, education, performance, and artist residencies.
• Represents LAC with local/state government; elected officials, staff and commissions; funders; community groups and schools; and the media.
• Represents LAC as a subject-matter expert/arts leader with outside organizations and in the media.
• Collaborates with the Board of Directors to achieve good governance objectives,
including recruiting and orientation of new Board members.

Fundraising & Development
The CEO works closely with the development team to ensure that
the following responsibilities are met:
• Generates charitable support to accomplish LAC’s Strategic Plan and program goals by identifying new funding and revenue opportunities, pursuing partnerships, foundation and other grant resources, corporate sponsorships, events, and individual contributions. Leads strategies to ensure balance and growth in these areas.
• Works with the Board of Directors and its Development Committee to create a fundraising plan annually
that will meet both the present and future financial needs of the organization.
• Maintains strong, connected relationships with existing and prospective donors and partners, and deepening engagement with these stakeholders.

Finances and Revenue
• Works closely with the COO to develop the annual budget in collaboration with Program Directors and the Finance Committee to be approved by the Board, and actively monitors revenues and expenses during the Fiscal Year.
• Maintains a system of active and transparent financial management through regular Finance Committee meetings, clear reporting to the Board, and meetings with the development team and COO.

Human Resources and Facilities
• Leads the staffing of the organization at the optimal operational level by developing appropriate positions, recruiting and hiring appropriate candidates, and leading the annual evaluation process of employees.
• Maximizes efficiency of current staff through effective communication and proactive management.
• Maintains professional and safe working environment for visitors, resident artists, and staff.
• Work with the Facility Maintenance Manager and COO on building and grounds maintenance and upgrades.

Desired Skills, Qualities, and Experience
The position of CEO is an exciting and challenging position that demands a diverse set of skills and personal qualities. The Board is seeking a highly qualified candidate who is capable of leading the organization with vision, skill, and creativity. Ideally, our new CEO will possess the following:

• Talent for managing people effectively and collaboratively to motivate performance—including staff, board, and artists.
• Effective communications skills with the ability to adapt to a wide variety of situations and audiences.
• General understanding of and ability to evaluate technology and information systems.
• Solid general business acumen, including a working understanding of contract negotiation, marketing, human resources, budgeting, and finance.
• Strong understanding of the fundraising process as it applies to both the public and private sector, with individuals, corporations, and grant-making institutions.

• Passion for contemporary visual and performing arts that includes a passion for artists, and strong advocacy for the arts.
• A creative, problem-solving demeanor that is marked by determination and resourcefulness, as well as a sense of fun and good humor, and a collaborative spirit.
• Dedication to 100% access for all children and families regardless of ability to pay.
• A belief in big ideas, coupled with a bias for action and the delivery of outcomes, that results in strong accountability and impeccable trustworthiness.
• A capacity for organized, focused work, and an ability to manage multiple projects under tight deadlines, while maintaining an openness to changing situations and opportunities.

Preferred Experience
• Proven track record of successful fundraising, including experience with a capital campaign.
• Experience in a visual or performing arts organization at a managerial level; e.g., Executive Director, deputy director, assistant director, development director, curator, or program manager.
• Experience in managing an overall budget.
• Experience in managing staff and working with volunteers and Board members, particularly in a creative setting.
• Experience collaborating with local government and community organizations, especially in matters of policy and budget, and including experience with public-private partnerships and community partnerships.
• Experience developing and implementing a marketing strategy.

Full Time - Experienced

Executive Director/CEO

Masters or other advanced degree

Board of Directors

Chief Operations Officer
Chief Program Officer
Chief Communications Officer
Artistic Director of Performance
Director of Exhibitions
Compensation commensurate with experience. Must be willing to relocate to Lawrence, Kansas

TO APPLY: Open until filled; however, applications received prior to March 19 will receive priority consideration. Complete applications will be acknowledged by return e-mail within one week of submission.

Apply via email to: Please include in Word and PDF format:
• Letter of application addressing your interest in this position and how your experience and background match the desired qualifications
• Resume
• Five professional references we may contact

Questions may be directed to: Laura McCray, Partner/Search Consultant,; 913-558-1713.