Executive Director, VIA Art Fund
VIA ART FUND
VIA Art Fund stands apart in the landscape of contemporary arts funding as a collective initiative that connects art patrons with the most compelling cultural producers in the visual arts. Founded in 2013, the nonprofit organization has garnered global recognition for its bold yet rigorous grantmaking, as well as its unique philanthropic model centered upon a highly participatory donor engagement program. VIA Art Fund supports artists, curators, cultural institutions, and biennials primarily in the United States yet increasingly worldwide, through direct engagement with each grantee. Dedicated to promoting diverse voices and reaching broad audiences, VIA Art Fund champions artist projects that address today’s pressing social, cultural, and artistic questions and that challenge notions of traditional exhibition circumstances. As a fast-growing grantmaker with expanding programs, VIA Art Fund offers a powerful platform for galvanizing arts philanthropy. In 2020, VIA Art Fund proudly awarded $1.5 million in grants and continued its distinctive tradition of gifting a number of VIA-supported works of art to public collections. For more information about VIA Art Fund, please visit http://viaartfund.org/.
VIA Art Fund seeks a dynamic, experienced, strategic, and entrepreneurial visual arts leader to become the inaugural VIA Executive Director, succeeding the founder/president who will transition to the role of executive chairman. Reporting to the president/executive chairman and the Board of Directors, the Executive Director will articulate a vision to continue to build upon the success of VIA and its impact in the field. This position is an excellent opportunity for a creative and inspirational, yet pragmatic, leader who can generate ideas, foster donor and foundation relationships, mentor and motivate staff, represent the organization in the field, and manage an efficient and fiscally sound organization.
- Embrace the founding principles and distinctive organizational culture of VIA’s unique philanthropic model.
- Provide strategic vision and initiate long-term growth opportunities.
- Drive the organization to success drawing upon proven leadership skills.
- Ensure operations are executed according to the highest standards of best practices.
- Work closely with the founder/president to ensure a seamless transition of day-to day leadership and management responsibilities.
- Oversee execution of multiple grant programs emphasizing VIA’s mission and three core values: Artistic Production, Thought Leadership, and Public Engagement.
- Manage a robust donor education program that is central to VIA’s mission which emphasizes a vibrant exchange of ideas between grantees and patrons. Ensure a balance of educational opportunities to foster understanding and create enduring relationships for collectors, artists, and the arts community.
- Continually expand and innovate, design and steward VIA’s dual grantmaking and education programs by responding creatively and strategically, yet thoughtfully, to evolving opportunities and priorities.
- Strengthen and develop relationships with all constituencies, internal and external, including individual patron/partners, foundations, artists, curators, arts institutions, museums, and industry peers.
- Initiate and implement fundraising strategies, identifying, diversifying, cultivating and soliciting new and existing individual and foundation partners.
- Demonstrate knowledge of and credibility within the contemporary visual art field.
- Develop marketing strategies to promote a wider recognition of VIA’s distinctive programming. Deepen ties with the art and philanthropic communities by participating in industry events, including speaking engagements and press and media opportunities.
- Develop and maintain best financial management practices to secure Board and partner confidence, strong fiscal health, organizational governance, and long-term sustainability.
- Exhibit expertise and confidence in allocation of expenditures and resources, systems management, compliance, operational efficiencies, and oversight processes.
- Maintain responsibility for VIA’s annual operating budget and manage preparation of annual audited financial statements.
- Oversee and nurture the development of a small, driven curatorial and administrative staff by cultivating solution-driven collaboration and promoting a culture of cohesive inclusiveness.
- Manage payroll and employee benefit program, continually enhance the organization’s HR systems by planning, implementing, and evaluating staffing policies, programs, and practices.
- Foster a strong working relationship with the executive chairman and the Board, understanding their strengths and capabilities. Facilitate alignment around strategic planning, revisions to organizational structure, and long-range programmatic and financial goals.
IDEAL EXPERIENCE AND CHARACTERISTICS
The VIA Executive Director will be:
- One who believes, passionately, that art is fundamental to society and can serve as a powerful platform and agent of change.
- A leader who is both bold and humble, and who will readily gain the trust and respect of the founder, grantees, and donors.
- An individual whose knowledge of and networks in the contemporary art field will provide exciting new opportunities for connection and collaboration.
- A natural communicator who will articulate and amplify the organization’s mission to a larger audience.
- An experienced and organized business manager who can prioritize workflow and efficiently steward the operational and fiscal health of the organization.
- Skill and/or good judgment in assessing and underwriting grant opportunities, with experience a distinct plus.
- A design-thinking strategist.
- A decisive and capable presence with a sense of urgency and a proactive, results-oriented approach.
- A relationship builder who communicates well with diverse constituencies in individual and in group settings.
- A skillful writer and editor practiced in leading large group presentations and discussions.
- A collaborator who values the perspective of a variety of voices.
- An individual who upholds the highest standards of ethics, integrity, and inclusiveness.
A competitive compensation and benefits package, including travel budget, will be provided with salary commensurate with experience. Opportunities for remote work may be explored in the interview process.
VIA is an equal opportunity employer and committed to diversity in hiring. Equity is central to our culture, mission, and who we are as a grantmaking organization.
Applications and nominations should be sent to the attention of Sarah James and Becky Klein at VIA@PhillipsOppenheim.com.