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Executive Director | Alternate ROOTS (Atlanta, GA)

Alternate ROOTS is an organization based in the Southern USA* whose mission is to support the creation and presentation of original art, in all its forms, which is rooted in a particular community of place, tradition, or spirit. As a coalition of cultural workers, we strive to be allies in the elimination of all forms of oppression. ROOTS is committed to social and economic justice, and the protection of the natural world, and addresses these concerns through its programs and services.

The primary role of the Alternate ROOTS Executive Director is to implement the strategic goals and objectives of the organization. Additionally, this position requires the ED to work with the Chair to enable the Executive Committee (ExComm) to fulfill its governance function, and give direction and leadership toward the achievement of the organization’s philosophy, mission, strategic plan, and its annual goals and objectives. Finally, this position works as a focal point for the reception and disbursement of information relevant to Alternate ROOTS members, and the field of arts, culture, and social justice.  

The Executive Director is the key strategic leader of Alternate ROOTS. The Executive Director is responsible for overseeing the administration, programs, and strategic plan of the organization. Other key duties include fundraising, marketing, and community outreach. The position reports directly to the Board of Directors.


1) Board Governance: Works with board in order to fulfill the organization’s mission. In practice, ROOTS is a participatory democracy, meaning our members and board engage in collaborative decision-making with staff leadership.

  • Responsible for leading Alternate ROOTS in a manner that supports and guides the organization’s mission as defined by the Board of Directors.
  • Responsible for communicating effectively with the Board and providing, in a timely and accurate manner, all information necessary for the Board to function properly, and to make informed decisions.

2) Financial Performance and Viability: Develops resources sufficient to ensure the financial health of the organization.

  • Responsible for the fiscal integrity of Alternate ROOTS, to include submission to the Board of a proposed annual budget, and monthly financial statements which accurately reflect the financial condition of the organization.
  • Responsible for fiscal management that generally anticipates operating within the approved budget, ensures maximum resource utilization, and maintenance of the organization in a positive financial position.
  • Responsible for fundraising and developing other resources necessary to support Alternate ROOTS’ mission.

3) Organization Mission and Strategy: Works with board and staff to ensure that the mission is fulfilled through programs, strategic planning, and community outreach.

  • Responsible for implementation of Alternate ROOTS’ programs that carry out the organization’s mission.
  • Responsible for strategic planning to ensure that Alternate ROOTS can successfully fulfill its mission into the future.
  • Responsible for the enhancement of Alternate ROOTS’ image by being active and visible in the community, and by working closely with other professional, civic, and private organizations.

4) Organization Operations: Oversees and implements appropriate resources to ensure that the operations of the organization are appropriate.

  • Responsible effective administration of Alternate ROOTS’ operations.
  • Responsible for the hiring and retention of competent, qualified staff.
  • Responsible for signing all notes, agreements, and other instruments made and entered into and on behalf of the organization.

Professional and Personal Characteristics:

  • Deep knowledge of, and connection to, cultural traditions of the U.S. South
  • Proven track record of active participation in movements for progressive social change; racial equity; LGBTQIAA rights; human rights; and/or other movements to dismantle oppression
  • A leader in the field of arts, culture, and social justice, who advocates for equitable funding practices, interrogates “the way things are,” and is capable of drawing connections between policy, practice, and public values
  • Visionary, big-picture thinker who operates with honesty and integrity
  • Excellent communication skills that are used to build connections, nurture partnerships, and develop the leadership and vision of others
  • A confident “ambassador” who can represent Alternate ROOTS in the national arts, culture, and social justice arenas
  • A skilled manager ready to partner fully with Alternate ROOTS’ board, and staff leadership

Professional Qualifications:

  • Transparent and high integrity leadership
  • Solid, hands-on, budget management skills, including budget preparation, analysis, decision-making, and reporting
  • Strong organizational abilities including planning, delegating, program development, and task facilitation
  • Ability to convey a vision of Alternate ROOTS’ strategic future to staff, board, volunteers, and donors
  • Knowledge of fundraising strategies and donor relations unique to nonprofit sector
  • Skills to collaborate with, and motivate board members, and other volunteers
  • Strong written and oral communication skills
  • Ability to interface and engage diverse volunteer and donor groups
  • Demonstrated ability to oversee and collaborate with staff
  • Strong public speaking ability

Actual Job Responsibilities:

  • Planning and operation of annual budget.
  • Establishing employment and administrative policies and procedures for all functions, and for the day-to-day operation of the nonprofit.
  • Serving as Alternate ROOTS’ primary spokesperson to the organization’s constituents, the media, and the general public.
  • Establish and maintain relationships with various organizations throughout the country, and utilize those relationships to strategically enhance Alternate ROOTS’ Mission.
  • Report to, and work closely with, the Board of Directors to seek their involvement in policy decisions, fundraising, and to increase the overall visibility of the Alternate ROOTS throughout the field.
  • Travel up to 40% of the time.
  • Supervise, collaborate with organization’s staff.
  • Strategic planning and implementation.
  • Oversee organization’s board and committee meetings.
  • Oversee marketing and other communications efforts.
  • Review and approve contracts for services.
  • Other duties as assigned by the Board of Directors.