Friday, November 21, 2008

Job in the Arts: at the WPA in DC

Position Title: Executive Director- Washington Project for the Arts (WPA)

Reports to: WPA Board of Trustees via Board Chair

Qualifications: Master of Arts degree in Arts Administration, a Master of Business Administration degree or commensurate experience (at least five to seven years) to meet the qualifications outlined below:

• Leadership experience in management of a professional staff (5-10 full or part-time employees and consultants)
• Experience in developing and managing outreach and public programs
• Experience in creating and managing complex budgets of at least $500,000
• Ideally, the three aforementioned “experiences” should have been with an “Arts Organization”
• Being a self-starter with initiative and excellent organizational skills
• Grant writing experience
• Experience with fundraising and corporate development
• Excellent communication skills including speaking, writing and conceptualization and being comfortable dealing with the public and public speaking
• Nimbleness, flexibility, and being able to respond quickly to change
• A team player with strong motivational skills
• Public affairs and media experience
• Experience with organizing publications and internet marketing a plus

Position Summary: The WPA is an independent, 501 c (3) entity that supports, develops and promotes regional artists and art programs. The organization works to achieve that goal via programming that includes, but is not limited to: exhibitions; lecture series; performances; publications; design, arts administration, and arts internships; educational outreach and general arts related initiatives. In addition, the organization creates and maintains Art File Online, a digital art file, and print materials, for regional, national, and international access to artist members.

The Executive Director oversees, manages, and directs the organization’s programming, internet-based materials, writes fundraising proposals and identifies development prospects and is tasked with developing strategies to maintain and increase membership, both artistic and general, and to generally and strategically position the organization as the major leader in contemporary art for the Washington, D.C. region and beyond. The Executive Director also works with the WPA Board of Trustees and related committees, which include, but are not limited to: Governance; Development/Membership; Finance; Programming; Publications and Auction Committees. The Executive Director works with arts leaders at various D.C. arts organizations and through city-wide events, to support and maintain a healthy visual arts community which requires advocating for funding and space for individual artists and the organizations which support their efforts.

S/he oversees the WPA’s annual operating budget, reserves, and “special projects” budgets; actively manages the staff, consultants and interns responsible for programming, membership, finance, and development. S/he oversees all printed and online materials which include the organization’s website, Art File Online, exhibition catalogues, auction catalogues, the bi-annual Artist Directory, the WPA Annual Report and other materials as needed. In addition, s/he works closely with the development team to identify new revenue sources from private philanthropy, foundations, public funds and other sources to maintain and enhance the WPA’s programs, products, and regional visibility

Duties and Responsibilities:
 Serves as Executive Directors of the WPA in all endeavors including programs, educational workshops, exhibitions and community outreach initiatives aimed at building a broader audience base and local constituency.

 Works with local arts leaders to support programs, exhibitions, arts spaces, and events that focus on regional artists.

 Work with the Board of Trustees and others to identify and secure off-site locations for programming and membership initiatives.

 Works directly with Board and board committees to carry out projects and programs that fulfill the goals and initiatives set through the mission.

 Supervises a Program Director, Membership Director, Development Director, Bookkeeper, and other staff, interns, and consultants.

 Develops new strategies and objectives aimed at growing the WPA’s membership.

 In conjunction with the Director of Development develops fundraising proposals and and identifies development and fundraising prospects outlined above.

 Oversees the organization, execution, maintenance and production of all WPA materials and artist resources, including but not limited to Art File Online, biannual Artist Directory, and other critical community service and fundraising efforts.

 Oversees annual operating budget and project budgets.

 Serves as a liaison with area artists, regional arts organizations, local governments and philanthropic entities, staff, general public, donors, and volunteers.

Washington Project for the Arts provides essential resources to support the creative spirit and success of regional artists. The WPA presents contemporary art through imaginative and provocative programs, and connects artists with the community in both traditional and unexpected ways.

Please send cover letter/ resume to: Kim Ward until December 12, 2008.

WPA Executive Director Kim Ward Resigns‏

From the WPA:

Dear Artists and WPA Friends,

In the next few months I will be transitioning from my role as Executive Director of the Washington Project for the Arts and join the WPA Board of Trustees. The decision to leave as Executive Director is solely precipitated by my desire to spend more time with my immediate and extended family. In the next few years my children will begin leaving home and starting college and I would like to be more present in their lives and see them as much as possible.

Working in various capacities at the WPA over the last six years has been richly rewarding and unequivocally, one of my best life experiences. The organization has given me far more than I have contributed. I am honored to have been a part of this incredible arts group that has served the greater DC community for almost 35 years. Whether you have created contemporary art, attended WPA events, purchased artwork, or written checks to support and sustain all connected with such, you have helped move us to the healthiest position the organization has held in over 20 years. While leaving the WPA staff is difficult for me, it is easier knowing that all of our hard work has placed the organization in a solid position to continue serving artists and the contemporary visual arts community in the years to come. In recent years, the WPA has:

- Created the digital ArtFile Online, a benefit and resource for all artist members, and the arts community

- Achieved complete independence at the end of 2007, separating from the Corcoran Gallery of Art

- Grown from 300 to 1200 artist members

- Maintained five continuous years of profitability and budget growth

- Featured over 1000 artists in exhibitions in the last five years

In the next few weeks I will begin working part-time, and remain on the staff to ensure a smooth transition of responsibilities to the new Executive Director. I would like to encourage members and friends of the WPA to send any qualified candidates my way. The position description will be posted on our website and a variety of arts job banks.

Again, it is a pleasure to pause and thank all of you for your generous support, direction and guidance over the years. There are too many people to thank who gave me a “leg up,” going out of their way to help me in all possible ways. I am looking forward to staying involved and rooted in the local arts community, while continuing to support the WPA through my new role in the organization. Please stay in touch, keep me on your lists, and finally, I want to wish all of you and your families a happy and healthy holiday season.


Kim Ward

Primera Nieve

I was surprised to look out my backyard window this morning and see this:

1st snow of the year by f. lennox campello

Get your book signed this Sunday

Some of my favorite photographers in all the world will be signing their books at Fraser Gallery in Bethesda this Sunday as part of Fotoweek DC; here's the schedule:

Sunday November 23, from 12PM - 5PM

Noon - Joyce Tenneson "A Life in Photography: 1968 - 2008"

1PM - Frank Van Riper and Judith Goodman "Serenissima"

2PM - Maxwell MacKenzie "Markings," "Abandonings" and "American Ruins"

3PM - Karen Keating "Cuba: Watching and Waiting"

4PM - Danny Conant "Vanishing Tibet"