• Full Time
  • Ypsilanti, MI
  • County: Washtenaw
  • Salary Type: Annual
  • Employer Type: Nonprofit
  • Experience Level: 6-10 years
  • Education Level: Bachelor's degree

Website Riverside Arts Center

The Riverside Arts Center offers, promotes, and nurtures dynamic arts and cultural programs through arts education, performing arts, visual and fine arts activities that serve and engage the community in Ypsilanti, Washtenaw County, and the surrounding area.

The Riverside Arts Center seeks an  Executive Director to lead our organization into the next chapter of its long history. The Arts center recently purchased the building it has been operating out of for the last 25 years and wants to expand its operations, facilities, and impact on the community. The executive director’s role is pivotal in leading the organization’s mission to provide the arts and cultural programs through education, performing arts, and visual and fine arts activities that serve and engage the community in Ypsilanti and surrounding areas.

The Executive Director shall lead the day-to-day operations and supervise and manage the small staff, including the Manager of Operations and the Administrative & Marketing Assistant. The Director shall collaborate with the Board, volunteer committees, and staff in implementing the arts center’s vision and strategies. The arts center’s passionate Board of Directors is  a volunteer board mixed with governance and oversight, and collaboration is the key to success in this role. The Executive Director is a thoughtful leader who can guide the organization through continuous change and growth to new heights.

Key Responsibilities

Strategy and Execution:

  • Provides leadership by developing strategic plans and a vision for the art center’s future.
  • Help advise and plan the third-floor expansion designed to provide new education and community offerings not currently offered.
  • Ensure successful execution of programming and operations of the Center’s day-to-day operations while improving the future capacity of the Center’s impact on the community.
  • Maintains a working knowledge of significant developments and trends in the arts.
  • Adopt creative and innovative approaches and practices for running an organization through change.


Resource Development/Fundraising and Community Partnerships:

  • Work closely with the Advancement Committee and the Board of Directors on stewardship efforts while cultivating relationships with partners and key community partners.
  • Maintains active membership and participation in the community
  • Maintains and enhances fundraising success in partnership with the staff and the Board
  • Actively engages with a prioritized  portfolio of potential funders, with monthly goals/progress for all fundraising activities.
  • Strategically diversifies the funding base and revenue streams to maintain and enhance organizational sustainability.
  • Maintains an annual calendar of grant application deadlines
    Identify and write grants to increase the programming and funding resources of the arts center.


Team Relations/Supervision:

  • Leads an impactful, passionate team; responsible for all team members’ recruitment, mentoring, and performance management.
  • Maintains a climate that attracts, retains, and motivates a diverse staff of peak-performing professionals.
  • Establishes trust and rapport with the team through authentic relationships and empowers the staff to excel at their roles.
  • Instills recognition systems for staff and adopts regular venues for listening and responding to staff ideas and needs.
  • Encourages an active volunteer committee to aid staff and facilitates community involvement


Internal and External Communications:

  • Represents the organization in various community forums and funding agencies to advocate for Riverside’s mission and vision.
  • Communicates regularly with the Board on all activities and matters of importance.
  • Reports metrics against goals that will be developed with input from Board members and committees.
  • Oversees the dissemination of information regarding Riverside’s activities to increase community awareness of the progress made toward our goals.
  • Establishes sound working relationships with community partners and the community.
  • Writes or approves all relevant collateral and communication (Annual Report, website, social media)


Finance and Business Plans:

  • Oversees sound financial practices, including close coordination with the Board Treasurer on our planning and performance towards annual financial and fundraising goals.
  • Partners with staff and Board in preparing a budget; ensures that the organization operates within budget guidelines and follows accurate accounting practices.
  • Ensures that program and operational expenditures are accurately balanced with fundraising/revenue.
  • Partners with staff and Board in preparing budgets for educational and cultural activities.

Programming Oversight:

  • Directs the development and maintenance of existing and new programming, including summer camps, artist residency programs, exhibition series, classes, and community events.
  • Works closely with the volunteer committees to craft relevant, educational programming for the community.
  • Partners with other community organizations to provide new and original arts and culture programming for the art center.


Education and Experience

  • Baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university
  • At least five years of experience in a leadership/supervisory role with a proven track record in establishing relationships with staff, Board, and volunteersExperience working in a nonprofit, economic development, governmental, or public sector setting with proven expertise in responding to the needs of various team members.
  • Experience raising funds, including success in the grant lifecycle, fundraising event planning, donor solicitation and stewardship, and corporate and civic engagement


Competencies and Attributes

  • Ability to exercise a high degree of judgment and tact as well as maintain the highest integrity and ethics.
  • A drive towards collaboration, innovation, and pursuit of new opportunities, along with change management.
  • Strong social skills with the philanthropic community and major donors
  • Solid, persuasive verbal and written communications skills, including the ability to deliver inspiring and succinct presentations and conduct productive meetings
  • Demonstrated ability to work independently, as well as a consistent track record of working collaboratively.
  • Demonstrated ability to build and lead a team with varied strengths and effectively manage, motivate, and mentor staff.
  • Demonstrated ability to think strategically and develop organizational strategic plans.

A strong passion for the arts and education
A connection and/or familiarity with the Ypsilanti community

This position offers a competitive salary and benefits package, including simple IRA match, paid vacation, and sick leave. This role is a full-time and on-site job based in Ypsilanti, Michigan and reports to the Board of Directors.

To apply, candidates should submit their cover letter (including salary history and current requirements) and resume by using the following form:

Executive Director Job Application:

Riverside Arts Center is an equal opportunity employer committed to diversity and inclusion in the workplace. We prohibit discrimination and harassment of any kind based on race, color, sex, religion, sexual orientation, national origin, disability, genetic information, pregnancy, or any other protected characteristic as outlined by federal, state, or local laws.

We will ensure that individuals with disabilities are provided reasonable accommodation to participate in the job application or interview process, to perform essential job functions, and to receive other benefits and privileges of employment. Don’t hesitate to get in touch with us to request an accommodation.

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