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Executive Director | The Regional Arts & Culture Council (RACC) (Portland, OR)

The Regional Arts & Culture Council (RACC) is seeking an Executive Director to work with the Board, staff and community to build and achieve an exciting new vision for the Arts in a modern, progressive region.

About RACC

RACC oversees arts activity throughout the Portland, Oregon metropolitan area. It was established as an independent 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization in 1995, replacing a bureau that had been shared by the City of Portland and Multnomah County – the Metropolitan Arts Commission. Today, RACC serves the tri-county region of Multnomah, Clackamas, and Washington counties.

RACC's mission is to enrich these communities through arts and culture. It receives funding from a variety of public and private partners to serve artists, arts organizations, schools and residents throughout all counties. RACC provides grants for artists, nonprofit organizations and schools; manages an internationally acclaimed public art program; raises money and awareness for the arts through workplace giving; convenes forums, networking events and other community gatherings; provides workshops and other forms of technical assistance for artists; and oversees a program to integrate arts and culture into the standard curriculum in public schools throughout the region through “The Right Brain Initiative.”  More information about RACC can be found here.

The Opportunity

The new Executive Director of RACC will serve as a key leader in the Portland region and nationally as an influencer and change agent in the Arts and areas of diversity, equity, inclusion, and access. In positioning RACC for future success as an active and important advocate in these areas, the Executive Director will have a powerful voice in shaping the strategic direction of RACC, its support for grantee organizations and artists, its community partnerships, and its development and fundraising strategy. In addition, the Executive Director will lead RACC’s partnerships with the City of Portland and surrounding counties, regularly interfacing with City and County leaders, including the Mayor’s office and other elected officials.

The Executive Director will endeavor to fund and actively create meaningful arts and cultural programming, including pioneering strategies and initiatives around education, civic art, and revitalization projects, and advocating for policy reform when appropriate. The Executive Director will deepen RACC’s existing partnerships and pioneer new enterprises, collaborating with community groups, nonprofits, schools, private industry, foundations and cultural organizations across the region and nationally. The Executive Director will be charged with substantively increasing access to and improving arts programming and education, proactively striving to create opportunities for the region.

Position Summary

In serving as RACC’s chief advocate, strategist and visionary, the Executive Director will be a leading figure in the arts and cultural community in Portland, the tri-county area, and nationally. As the chief executive of the Portland area’s largest public arts funding council, the Executive Director plays a central role in creating an ecosystem where arts and culture thrive and advance social justice. Working closely with an experienced and passionate staff, with civic leaders, arts organizations and other stakeholders, the Executive Director contributes their vision to the dynamic role played by arts and culture in the region.

This leader will have a keen understanding of how RACC’s programming, grant making and advocacy directly affect the greater community’s arts and cultural organizations, artists, art lovers, and the historically underserved communities of color, immigrants and refugees, LGBTQIA and people with disabilities. The issues of equity and inclusion in the Arts have become a major focus for RACC, alongside rising awareness of Oregon’s history of systemic racism and inequity regarding resource allocation. The Executive Director will provide thoughtful, committed and experienced leadership for RACC’s strategies for promoting equity, inclusion and access.

The Executive Director will be a visionary and highly experienced executive who will oversee the organization’s overall operational and administrative functions, including personnel, human resources, and RACC’s $11M annual operating budget, which includes FY18 allocations of:

  • Grant making of $5.0M to approximately 130 organizations and 136 individual artists.
  • $1.3M for Advocacy and Community Services.
  • Arts Education of $1.3M, funding art teachers and arts integration across 11 school districts.
  • Public Art of $2.5M including murals, public installations, and purchase/maintenance of Portland’s art collection.

Core Competencies

The Executive Director will be a passionate and accomplished executive with knowledge of the role of the arts in public and community life. Ideal candidates will have experience in arts administration, and relevant knowledge and expertise regarding the Arts in the Pacific Northwest and Portland, including a fluency with the region’s governance and politics, knowledge of major cultural institutions and arts organizations, and the ability to build meaningful relationships with arts and community leaders.

This leader will demonstrate visionary, executive-level leadership and management abilities, demonstrated expertise in change management, a passion for and commitment to the Arts, and fluency with work around equity, diversity, inclusion and access. The Executive Director will possess a high degree of emotional intelligence and a natural ability to connect with people at all levels. A model for managing stress and navigating challenging circumstance, the Executive Director will be a grounding force at RACC, able to build consensus, create buy-in, and provide focus for the organization’s programming.

Highly competitive candidates will demonstrate the following core competencies:

  • Equity, Diversity and Inclusion
  • Executive Leadership / Management
  • Change Management
  • Art and Culture Commitment

The ideal candidate will also demonstrate the following core competencies:

  • Exceptional and Persuasive Communication
  • Advocacy
  • Fundraising and Development
  • Grantmaking and Program Management

Contact

The Regional Arts and Culture Council (RACC) has engaged Koya Leadership Partners to help in this hire. This search is being led by Michelle Bonoan and Sheila Hennessey. Please submit a compelling cover letter and resume here, or email Michelle and Sheila at the following: 

Michelle R.S. Bonoan                                                      Sheila Hennessey
Managing Director                                                                        Principal
mbonoan@koyapartners.com                                    shennessey@koyapartners.com