Duluth Art Institute Executive & Artistic Director sought

The Duluth Art Institute is searching for a dynamic (yet cool-headed), professional (yet fun-loving) Executive and Artistic Director to lead Northeast Minnesota’s premiere community art center into its 13th decade and beyond.

Through fundraising, visioning and leadership skills, the Executive & Artistic Director will achieve the DAI’s mission of enriching daily life with innovative visual arts programming that upholds excellence and promotes active community participation. The director will be assisted by a talented staff of arts administrators, dedicated volunteers and an engaged and committed board.

Excellent staff and fiscal management skills required, as are a bachelor’s degree, five years of arts management experience and a comfortability in serving as the public face of the DAI and leader in the region’s broader arts community.

The DAI is a non-collecting arts and cultural institution that specializes in local and regional contemporary art. It operates two facilities, at the Historic Union Depot in Downtown Duluth and studio and classroom space in the emerging Lincoln Park Craft District, two vibrant parts of a region known for breathtaking natural beauty that serves to inspire creative expression.

 Cover letters and resumes should be sent by July 14 to Mary Mathews, DAI Board Chair, mmathews49@charter.net

(Full job description follows)

Duluth Art Institute Executive and Artistic Director

Job Description


Lead the Duluth Art Institute as a progressive force in the community, promoting its mission to enrich daily life with dynamic, innovative visual arts programming that upholds excellence and promotes active community participation.

Reporting directly to the Board of Directors, the Executive Director leads this anchor arts organization with its over 100 year history of serving the community with visual arts programming. A significant amount of the Executive Director’s time is devoted to fundraising. S/he drives strategic planning and acts as the primary interface and support to the Board of Directors. The Executive Director will model the principles and use of the vision, mission and strategic plan for the community, and lead a talented staff of arts administrators and volunteers.

Key areas of responsibility include:

Organization Mission and Strategy:

Responsible for working with the Board in strategic planning to ensure that DAI can successfully fulfill its mission into the future.

With the Board, annually develop a shared vision for the artistic direction of the organization.   

Responsible for implementation of DAI’s programs that carry out the organization’s mission in accordance with the policies and objectives established by the Board.

Exercising leadership skills and qualities; the Executive Director works with Board, staff, and volunteers to ensure that the mission is fulfilled through programs, strategic planning and community outreach.

Responsible for the enhancement of DAI’s image by being active and visible in the community and by working closely with other professional, civic and private organizations.

Develop metrics, dashboards, and reports that communicate on progress toward the DAI’s strategic goals.

Fundraising, Financial Performance and Viability:

Responsible for the development and execution of a fundraising plan to include multiple funding resources necessary to support DAI’s mission.

Responsible for the fiscal integrity of DAI to include submission to the Board of a proposed annual budget and monthly financial statements, which accurately reflect the financial condition of the organization.  

Responsible for fiscal management that generally anticipates operating within the approved budget, ensures maximum resource utilization, and provides for maintenance of the organization in a positive financial position.

Board Governance:

With the President of the Board, enable the Board of Directors to fulfill its governance functions.

With the Board president, develop agendas for meetings so that the Board can fulfill its responsibilities effectively.  

See that the Board President and the Board are kept fully informed on the condition of the organization on all important factors affecting it.

Responsible for communicating effectively with the Board and providing, in a timely and accurate manner, all information necessary for the Board to function properly and to make informed decisions.

Implement all policies and plans determined by the Board.

Membership Organization:

Ensure that the value of DAI membership continues to grow.

Work with the Board and staff to ensure that the organization is infused with a culture of volunteerism and engaged membership.

Maximize the use of members, volunteers, committees, and volunteer groups to support DAI’s mission and to build future leaders.  

Organization Operations:

Oversees and implements the provision of sufficient resources to ensure that the operations of the organization are adequately and appropriately provided for.

Responsible effective administration of DAI operations.

Responsible for the hiring and retention of competent, qualified staff.

Maintain a climate that attracts, keeps, and motivates top quality people—both professional and volunteer.

Work with the Board Treasurer and staff in planning the annual budget, presenting a preliminary budget with assumptions to the Board at least one meeting prior to the meeting where the final proposed budget is presented for approval.

Establish administrative procedures for all functions and for the day-to-day operation of the DAI.

Ensure that the employee manual is reviewed annually by a professional and updated with current policies. Ensure that each employee’s personnel file contains evidence that s/he has a current copy of the manual.

Ensure that all contractual agreement of the DAI follow polices established by the Board.

Ensure annual review of DAI insurance coverage and provide report to the board. 

Asset Management:

Along with annual budget, present annual property management budget and capital improvements plan to the board.

Provide financial oversight.

Oversee repairs and maintenance.

Ensure physical and financial viability.

Oversee property management. 

Additional Job Responsibilities:

Serve as the Duluth Art Institute’s primary spokesperson to the organization’s constituents, the media and the general public.

Establish and maintain relationships with various organizations and utilize those relationships to strategically enhance Duluth Art Institute’s Mission.

Report to and work closely with the Board of Directors to implement their policy decisions, and seek their involvement in fundraising and to increase the overall visibility of the Duluth Art Institute.

Supervise, collaborate, and motivate organization staff. Responsible for hiring, on-boarding, and retention of competent, qualified staff. Maintain employee personnel files and ensure confidentiality.  

Ensure a workforce that is diverse in age, gender, and ethnicity, reflecting its membership and the community in which it resides.

Interface and engage diverse volunteer and donor groups

Responsible for signing all notes, agreements, and other instruments made and entered into and on behalf of the organization.

Operationalize the organization’s strategic plan and report performance to the Board at each on measurable progress toward plan goals.

Other duties as assigned by the Board of Directors

Professional Qualifications:

A bachelor’s degree

Five or more years’ business or organization arts management experience with demonstrated skill and experience operating in the public environment

Transparent and high integrity leadership

Solid, hands-on, budget management skills, including budget preparation, analysis, decision-making and reporting

Strong organizational abilities including planning, delegating, program development and task facilitation

Strong written and oral communication skills

Demonstrated ability to oversee and collaborate with staff

Strong public speaking ability

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