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Executive Director | Touchstone Center for Crafts (Farmington, PA)

Touchstone Center for Crafts, Pennsylvania's only residential art and craft school, is seeking a visionary executive leader with a passion for art and craft education to become its next Executive Director as it begins its 46th year.

History and Mission

Touchstone Center for Crafts (Touchstone), situated in the Laurel Highlands region of Western Pennsylvania about 70 miles from Pittsburgh, is the region’s leading residential art and craft school. Touchstone draws students from many states and nations, of all ages and levels of expertise, who participate in multi-day workshops and symposia taught by well known regional and national master instructors. In 2017, Touchstone celebrated 45 years of providing high quality instruction in traditional and contemporary techniques in a range of visual arts media and traditional craft forms including ceramics, blacksmithing and metal work, glass, sculpture, painting, fiber, and photography.

For more information, visit

Current Positioning and Goals

After many years of operating with a full-time year-round staff of only two individuals (Executive Director and Operations Director), Touchstone recently received funding for two new full-time staff positions (Marketing Manager and Programs Manager). Heading into 2018 with a full-time staff of four, and an endowment exceeding $1M, the next Executive Director has the opportunity to focus on long term organizational objectives, with the ultimate goal of becoming a peer to other nationally-renowned craft schools such as Arrowmont, Haystack, Penland, and John C. Campbell.


Touchstone’s Board of Directors seeks to fill the position of Executive Director with an executive professional who possesses many of the following characteristics:

  • A director well versed in the arts and with a passion for art and craft education
  • An educator who understands the intrinsic value of art and hands-on making for individuals and communities
  • A natural, fearless, and visionary leader with a clear voice
  • An active and motivated learner, listener, and communicator
  • An adept navigator of the fundraising and corporate giving communities, with a proven record of recruiting individual benefactors
  • A connector who can build an audience, cultivate an art and craft community, and attract a wide and diverse student body of learners and makers
  • An outside-of-the-box thinker who thrives in a challenging environment
  • A financially literate and astute executive administrator who knows how to manage a small non profit arts organization with extreme resourcefulness, creativity, and logic


The Executive Director reports to the President of the Board of Directors, and has the overall responsibility of managing the day-to-day activities of the organization. Duties and responsibilities of the Executive Director include but are not limited to the following:

  • Build, promote, and sell Touchstone’s main product and primary source of operational funding -- the art and craft educational experience -- as exemplified by its workshops and symposia.
  • Work with key staff (specifically the Marketing Manager and Programs Manager) to develop, maintain, market, and assess satisfaction of educational programming to reach enrollment targets consistently and sustainably.
  • Perform sound fiscal management, develop and operate within the budget, and provide the Board of Directors, funders, and the membership with timely and accurate financial information.
  • Strengthen Touchstone’s financial position through fundraising, development efforts, and programmatic earned income.
  • Coordinate and implement all grant writing and fundraising programs, including individual, corporate/business, foundation, and government sources.
  • Supervise capital campaigns, special event fundraising, and campus exhibits.
  • Oversee staff and perform human resources administration, including hiring of all full-time, part-time, seasonal, and contract personnel.
  • Achieve a good working relationship with the Board of Directors, and enlist its support and partnership in matters of strategic planning, policy implementation, fundraising, and execution of the organization’s mission.
  • Build external relationships through community outreach, public speaking, business collaborations, and partnerships with other educational institutions.
  • Develop and steward a robust member and donor relations program, including the use of database technologies for tracking and communication efforts, while also utilizing personal one-on-one connectivity to foster long-term good will and engagement with donors.
  • Oversee day-to-day operation and maintenance of the 150-acre campus and facilities (with support of the Director of Operations, and the seasonal Campus Facilities Manager)
  • Serve as the primary liaison between the Board of Directors and the staff.



A four-year college degree is required, and a master’s degree in arts management, nonprofit administration, or other relevant field, is preferred. A strong candidate will have demonstrated success in nonprofit, arts, government, and/or corporate sectors of a similar size and scope to Touchstone.

To Apply

Qualified individuals may apply confidentially by submitting the following as Word or PDF attachments:

  • resume
  • cover letter
  • writing sample (see guidelines below)
  • compensation requirements

The writing sample shall consist of a sample press release on the topic of Touchstone’s Tenth Annual Jim Campbell Hammer-In, to be held in 2018. Please send materials to Helen Perilloux, Search Committee Chair, Board of Directors, Reference the following in the subject line: Executive Director - Touchstone Center for Crafts.

Applications will be considered as they are received. The deadline for submission of materials is January 21, 2018, or until the position is filled.

Touchstone Center for Crafts is an Equal Opportunity Employer.