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Senior Director of Artist Programs | Joan Mitchell Foundation (New York, NY)

GRADE/STATUS: Full time, Exempt

REPORTS TO: Chief Executive Officer


The Joan Mitchell Foundation seeks a dynamic, passionate big thinker and team builder for the role of Senior Director of Artist Programs. As a member of the Senior Management Team, the person in this role will oversee all of the Foundation’s artist-centered programs, including grantmaking, educational initiatives, comprehensive career-spanning work with artists, and our residency program in New Orleans, the Joan Mitchell Center. The ideal candidate will have at least seven years of experience running a program or nonprofit, be solidly grounded in social justice work, and have the talent and skill to inspire and oversee an extraordinary team at the intersection of visual arts and service.

We are an organization established by an artist for artists. Heading into our 25th anniversary year, we are examining and integrating our programs for artists, with intentionality and ambition, to ensure that we have a unified set of priorities and approaches to making impact. The Senior Director of Artist Programs will therefore have the opportunity to shape an era of the Foundation’s work with visual artists and culture bearers, particularly as it relates to questions of inequity and access in the arts. As a key catalyst in fulfilling the vision of the Foundation through its programs, the Senior Director of Artist Programs is expected to have deep management skills and the ability to work with transparency and integrity, while building trust across the organization and throughout our communities. Working across two locations, the Senior Director of Artist Programs will be based at the Foundation’s main office in New York, and should expect to spend at least 3-5 days a month in New Orleans at the Joan Mitchell Center, as well as travel nationally to meet recipients and network in the field.

Since our first grants were given in 1994, the Foundation has intentionally worked with a diverse and intergenerational group of artists across the nation. It is essential that our staff reflects the diversity and range of perspectives we see within our artists. Our work is grounded in the stories of more than 1,000 supported artists whose lives demonstrate what it means to maintain a lifetime of creativity. We are committed to our role as advocates for the vital contributions artists make to society. To learn more about us visit

Leadership responsibilities include:

• Strategic planning / program visioning:
o Oversee an inclusive board and staff planning process that outlines the future of the Foundation’s artist-centered programs, considering program integration, strategies, and goals.
o Initiate and support program efforts and conversations that place special emphasis on access, equity, and diverse representation in the visual arts.

• Evaluation and research development:
o Lead the design and implementation of research, policy, and practices that amplify voices and celebrate visual artists as empowered thought leaders in the field.
o With the program team, co-create unified evaluation tools and priorities, to be used across all artist programs, that identify trends, patterns, and knowledge gaps within the Foundation, as well as the field at large.
o Develop systems that promote a deep and ongoing dialogue with our recipients and ensure that their impact stories and information are tracked and utilized for shaping future work and advocacy.

• Advocating and community building with artists:
o Continue to build an authentic, empowered, artist-centered voice for the Foundation as a thought-leader and advocate in the field of support for visual artists.
o Regularly interface with current and new field leaders. Initiate and support convenings that bring together artists and leaders from different areas and fields on an array of issues that impact the well-being of visual artists and their value in communities.

• Team development and strengthening:
o Cultivate, mentor, and lead an amazing artist program team based both in NYC and New Orleans; serve as a resource for program development, and as a thought partner in the field.
o Cultivate a working environment for the team that is artist-centered and incorporates feedback and reflection to inform and support all program areas.
o Establish workflows and meeting structures that ensure collaboration between program team, communications team, and other key staff members.

• Administrative Oversight / Infrastructure development:
o Oversee efforts to improve knowledge management systems, processes, and practices for all artist program areas.
o Through an annual budgeting and review process, realistically and mindfully ensure the sustainability of programs and initiatives with consideration for relevance, finance, staff capacity, and Joan Mitchell’s wishes.
o Co-chair the Foundation Board’s Program Committee and ensure a clear understanding for both staff and board of program stance and priorities.

Leadership skills, tools, and experience needed:

• A direct understanding of artist’s lives and practice and a facility for networking with artists;
• Minimum seven years working within a nonprofit organization that works with artists or is community-based;
• Management experience and knowledge in team-building and leading through change;
• Experience implementing program assessments, evaluation tools, and methods for tracking impact;
• Comfort with databases, and an understanding of the potential ways data can be a tool for advocacy;
• Experience in strategic planning, with the capacity and passion for implementation of that plan;
• Comfort with developing and communicating strategic priorities to share with staff, board, and community;
• Commitment to the Joan Mitchell Foundation’s mission, vision, purpose, and core values, with the ability to look at our work consistently through the lens of equity;
• Centered in the wider art world, not the art market;
• Demonstrated commitment to social justice work and grounding in anti-oppression training;
• Excellent communication skills, written and oral, for a broad range of constituents;
• A commitment to a team approach to work—a person who values we over the me;
• Experience overseeing multiple budgets and advising staff on management of their own budgets;
• Familiarity with the nonprofit arts ecosystem, grantmaking organizations and artist support organizations;
• An understanding of application and program development processes for grants and residencies;
• A sense of humor and healthy sense of work/life balance; we value candidates with a current or past artistic or curatorial practice.

To apply, please submit your resume, cover letter, and salary requirements to with the Subject Line: JMF – Senior Director, Artist Programs.