In 1985, a passionate group of local residents began raising money for a nonprofit community arts center in the beautiful mountain town of Crested Butte, Colorado. Two years later, they had raised $425,000 and the old county road maintenance garage was renovated into a 6,000 square-foot Center for the Arts facility.
Since those beginnings, the local population has doubled, and there has been tremendous growth in the number of events presented, the size of audiences, and the number and variety of educational programs provided by the Center for the Arts and its partner organizations. Fewer than 8,000 people attended Center events in 1985, and 30 years later, more than 40,000 people attended over 650 events, positively impacting the local economy by more than $3 million.
After recognizing the need to create a larger and lasting home for the Center, the Board embarked on an ambitious $20 million capital campaign to build a new, state-of-the-art facility. In December 2019, the new building was opened, featuring 28,000 square feet of multi-use space, including a 350-seat theater, two art studios, four performance studios, a visual arts gallery, and a demonstration kitchen and bar.
Truly unrivaled in Colorado as a captivating and welcoming place, The Center for the Arts brings people together to share, inspire, nurture, educate, and enjoy arts and culture.
Now that the bulk of the capital campaign has been completed and the new building opened, the Center for the Arts Board of Directors is seeking its next Executive Director, to lead the organization and the community into a new chapter, maturing the organization and maximizing the promise of the new facility.
The next Executive Director will need to close out the first phase of the capital campaign, bring the organization to a place of financial stability, and lead the staff and stakeholders in building the long-term vision and plan for our programs to be sustainably funded and effectively run to demonstrate clear impact in our community.
The Ideal Profile
This is not a typical nonprofit or arts center Executive Director position, and we are looking for the right person to jump into this challenge with excitement and energy. The ideal candidate for this role has these qualities and expertise:
A depth of experience in leading a similarly-sized organization or business into a new chapter – this is someone who knows how to analyze the financial statements, and asks the right questions to assess operations and diagnose challenges. This person has the backbone to make hard decisions, and excels with building buy-in for changes that lead to a stronger organization.
Success in generating revenue by selling a vision – someone who can clearly communicate the impact and potential, and identify strategies for creating sustainable programs. This person has demonstrated results in 1-on-1 major gifts fundraising, business development, or consultative sales, understanding the value (and higher ROI) of long-term relationship-building and stewardship.
Skilled connector and convener – someone with a high degree of political acumen, who brings seemingly competing groups together, finds common ground, and motivates them to act together toward a compelling vision. This is someone who has experience facilitating sometimes contentious conversations – asking great questions, listening to responses, and making connections to the bigger picture; a skilled diplomat who can create, inspire, and nurture teamwork in the community, and within their own team. He or she brings out people’s strengths, and honors those contributions and perspectives.
Leads through influence rather than authority – this person has led in complex environments, is highly effective in navigating politics and relationships – by helping everyone keep their eyes on the goal, and setting clear boundaries and expectations for participation. This person has deep experience working with boards, committees, and similar groups. As an organizational leader, she or he has sought out ideas from staff at all levels, and used that input to build a strong, stable culture.
A balance of fearlessness and empathy – this person has a great deal of confidence managing expectations and negotiating with donors, staff, and the community. And, he or she leads with exceptional listening skills and empathy, and can extract the true concerns and help people move forward together.
Has a heart for small towns and their dynamics – as a bonus, the ideal candidate has some understanding about what is unique about our community and its institutions, or has lived and worked in comparable areas, and knows how to navigate the close-knit relationships and webs of connection.
Connection to the arts – while not essential, the ideal candidate has a passion for the arts, whether as a leader, attendee, or participant, and understands the value the arts bring to a community.