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Executive Director | Vermont Arts Council (Montpelier, VT)


In 2015, the Vermont Arts Council entered its second half century as the only designated state arts agency in the U.S. that is also an independent, nonprofit membership organization. In that fiftieth anniversary year, Council staff and trustees embarked on a process of self-reflection and community outreach, with the goal of laying a foundation for the next half century. Within the past year, the Council has used the valuable insights and information gained through this process to develop a new strategic plan to be implemented in 2017. The Council seeks an experienced executive director to build upon this foundation, direct the implementation of the strategic plan, and lead the organization into the next stage of its organizational development.

Strategic Directions

The essence of the Council’s beliefs and values are captured in its new outcome statement: Everyone in Vermont has access to the arts and creativity in their life, education, and community.

The Council’s new strategic goals are:

• arts, culture, creativity, and innovation play a significant role in shaping Vermont’s identity

• arts, culture, creativity, and artistic literacy play a significant role in providing a well-rounded education to Vermont’s youth

• arts, culture, creativity, and innovation play an important role in shaping Vermont’s communities

• the ongoing structural and financial sustainability of the Arts Council is assured and strengthened

Position Summary

The executive director is responsible for the overall management of the Council including budgeting, financial planning and asset management, grant compliance, fund development, fiscal management, and program oversight. The executive director reports to the board of directors and supervises the staff.

Essential Functions

leadership and management

• ensure ongoing service and programmatic excellence, rigorous program evaluation, and consistent quality of finance and administration, development and relationship building, communications, and systems; recommend timelines and resources needed to achieve the Council’s strategic plan goals

• actively engage and energize staff, Trustees, volunteers, partnering organizations, and funders in furthering the work of the Council and its strategic plan

• in collaboration with the Executive and Governance Committees, develop, maintain, and support a strong and engaged Board of Trustees: serve as ex-officio member of assigned committees, seek and build board involvement with strategic plan implementation, relationship-building, and development

• lead, coach, develop, support, and regularly evaluate the Council’s high-performance staff team. Ensure effective systems are in place and in alignment with successful implementation of the Council’s strategic plan

• participate in an annual 360 review of own performance and ensure that the board conducts its own annual self-evaluation

communications, outreach, and relationship building

• establish and maintain partnerships with other organizations throughout the state

• expand relationship-building, grant-writing, and fund development activities to ensure successful implementation of the strategic plan goals

• actively engage with arts communities throughout the state, as a key Council representative

• engage and educate the elected officials, at the state and national levels, as to the importance of funding the arts and the impact of arts and culture on the state, its communities, its identity, its economy, and its people

• serve as the primary voice for the Council’s messaging

• use external presence and relationships to garner new opportunities for furthering the strategic plan

• represent the Council through engagement with national and regional organizations including the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Association of State Arts Agencies (NASAA), and the New England Foundation for the Arts (NEFA)

Candidate Profile


• minimum of five years successful experience as nonprofit Executive Director/CEO, with a track record of producing results by building dynamic staff teams, efficient and effective systems, fund development, and organizational capacity

• visionary thinker who leads with integrity, transparency, and good humor

• unwavering commitment to quality programs and data-driven program evaluation

• solid, hands-on fiscal management skills including budget preparation, analysis, decision making and reporting

• demonstrated successful experience building and maintaining effective working relationships with staff, trustees and other volunteers, funders, elected officials, donors, and partners

• willingness to travel throughout the state

• ability to interface with and engage diverse volunteer and donor groups.

• strong working knowledge of and successful experience working in partnership with boards of trustees to strengthen governance practices and focus on the mission

• participatory style of management; ability to facilitate group effective decision-making processes

• effective communication skills written and verbal; a persuasive and passionate communicator with excellent interpersonal skills

• personal and/or professional connection to the arts

• action-oriented, entrepreneurial, adaptable, and innovative approach to business oversight and planning

• passion, idealism, integrity, positive attitude, mission-driven, and self-directed

• respects and embraces efforts to increase diversity, equity, and inclusion

• Bachelor’s degree


• history of having led organizational growth, facilitating higher levels of mission achievement

• advanced degree

• experience working with Results-Based Accountability models


This is a full-time position, with a flexible work schedule. Compensation package is negotiable and will include a competitive salary and benefits as well as professional development opportunities.

Application Process

Applicants should send their resume and cover letter describing their qualifications and interest in this position, as well as salary history, and five references (include a brief description about your relationship to each of these references), to Please put “ATTN: Search Committee” in the subject line.

The Search Committee will keep all applications confidential. Deadline for applications is June 7, 2017.


The Vermont Arts Council is an equal opportunity employer and is committed to maintaining an environment free from discrimination on the basis of race, religion, color, creed, national origin, age, sex, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, genetic bias, disability, citizenship, veteran status, or other category protected by applicable state or federal law.