Organization: Organized in 1958, the Arts & Science Council (ASC) is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to ensure access to an excellent, relevant, and sustainable cultural community for the Charlotte-Mecklenburg region, with a vision of a vibrant cultural life for all. ASC serves as the de facto “Office of Cultural Resources” for the City of Charlotte, Mecklenburg County, and six suburban towns by providing advocacy, cultural education programs, cultural planning, fundraising, grant making, public art, workshops, and training. ASC achieves its mission by engaging local corporations, being present in local schools, connecting neighborhoods with artists, and supporting educators.
Combining financial resources from local and state governments and the private sector, ASC maximizes impact by engaging diverse communities, building bridges, and increasing dialogue and understanding around arts and culture. In fiscal year 2018, ASC raised $10 million in private and public funding to meet the needs of the cultural community. These funds—coupled with significant growth in direct contributions to individual organizations, artists and projects—reflect an overall expansion of financial support of the cultural sector.
ASC is a dynamic (rather than static) organization. It embraces the energy and creativity of its staff, volunteer leadership, government, and corporate stakeholders to constantly examine, refine, and, in some cases, reinvent its strategies and tactics. ASC seeks a President that is poised to design and implement these types of innovations to deliver on its core mission—ensuring culture for all, rather than some, in the community. To that end, ASC is currently examining alternative funding models to secure the future stability of the cultural sector. ASC advocates for the sector and provides organizational support while also providing a wide range of programs for creative individuals, cultural organizations, and the entire community. ASC’s flagship program is the Culture Blocks partnership. Dedicated to building stronger relationships with specific geographic areas, Culture Blocks helps vibrant programming meet people exactly where they are: at the recreation center, the library, and beyond. ASC is a dedicated steward of resources and is committed to making Charlotte-Mecklenburg come alive through meaningful encounters with art, science, and history/heritage.
Other impactful programs include the Public Art Commission, which manages public art programs for the city and county. The Cultural Leadership Training Program identifies emerging leaders and helps them develop into productive volunteers and board candidates for cultural organizations across our community. The Community Supported Art program is an exciting model of art support and distribution that establishes lasting relationships between collectors and patrons. Studio 345 is a free, out-of-school, creative youth development program for high school students at risk of not graduating.
ASC is governed by a 28-member Board of Directors led by Chair Paula R. Vincent. In addition, there are five Advisory Councils (North/West, Central, South/East, Private Sector, and Cultural Sector) chaired by ASC board members. The fiscal year 2019 operating budget is $16.2 million, consisting of approximately 94 percent in direct investments and resource hub expenses supporting cultural partners and approximately 6 percent in fundraising and general and administrative expenses. The ASC staff consists of 37 committed and energetic professionals who embrace the organization’s values and strive to fulfill its mission and vision.
Community: Charlotte, North Carolina, is a melting pot offering a vibrant blend of culture and commerce. With cosmopolitan living and small-town hospitality, the Charlotte metropolitan area is on the rise. The area’s culture, culinary sophistication, and unique feel make it an enticing place for people from all over the world. While Charlotte’s population is estimated at just under 860,000 residents, the metropolitan area has a population of 2.4 million people—making it one of the fastest-growing metropolitan areas in the country. Moreover, Charlotte-Mecklenburg is a very diverse community. The majority of citizens are racial minorities and over 14 percent are foreign born. With a cost of living just below national average, the “Queen City” is consistently ranked as one of the county’s most affordable large cities. It also has the highest rate of millennial growth in the country.
While there are plenty of housing options in the downtown area (referred to as Uptown) and the newly booming South End, there are many eclectic neighborhoods surrounding the metropolitan area’s center as well. In the last decade, the Dilworth, North Davidson (NoDa), and Plaza-Midwood communities have been revitalized with nationally recognized restaurants, breweries, and public art. The business sector has also grown substantially.
Charlotte is home to Bank of America’s corporate headquarters and the east coast operations of Wells Fargo, making Charlotte the second-largest banking center in the United States. Other major industry leaders in the area include Hearst Corporation, Duke Energy, Lowe’s, and Albemarle. The technology sector is strong and growing, with Charlotte claiming the top spot in a 2018 ranking of the best places for tech professionals. It is also an entrepreneurial home to exciting startups like Cloud Castle Group and Boxman Studios as well as a number of universities and colleges, including University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Johnson & Wales University, Queens University of Charlotte, and Johnson C. Smith University, a 150-year-old, historically black liberal arts university.
The arts and culture scene is a point of pride in Charlotte, bustling with restaurants, nightlife, arts, and entertainment. The nonprofit arts and culture industry in the Greater Charlotte-Mecklenburg region generates $359 million in annual economic activity—supporting 11,186 full-time equivalent jobs and generating $31.5 million in local and state government revenues. The Blumenthal Performing Arts Center, Charlotte Ballet, Mint Museum, Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture, Discovery Place, and Levine Museum of the New South offer world class exhibits and entertainment. Charlotte is home to numerous live music venues as well as a thriving craft brewery scene. The NFL Carolina Panthers, NBA Charlotte Hornets, IL Charlotte Knights, and WBCBL Charlotte Invasion are among the city’s many popular attractions. The NASCAR Hall of Fame and Charlotte Motor Speedway have secured motorsports as another major part of the city’s economy and culture.
Though the city technically experiences all four seasons, the winters are fairly mild, making it a great area to enjoy the outdoors year-round. The region is increasingly linked by greenway, providing the perfect opportunity for biking, rollerblading, or running. It is an easy two-hour drive to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and equally close to the coast—both ideal for day trips or weekend getaways. The U.S. National Whitewater Center reportedly has the best single-track mountain biking in the region and the world’s largest man-made whitewater river.
Transportation options are ever-expanding. Charlotte Douglas International Airport was ranked the sixth-busiest airport in the world by passenger traffic. It serves as a major hub for American Airlines, which offers flights to dozens of domestic and international destinations daily. In fact, more than 53 percent of the United States population is within a two-hour flight of Charlotte. The metropolitan area also offers a bus rapid transit line, light rail line (the LYNX Blue Line), and a streetcar line.
Sources: visitnc.com; bizjournals.com; charlotteobserver.com
Position Summary: Serving as the public face of ASC and the region’s cultural community as a whole, the President will oversee strategy, resource development, and administration of the organization. A collaborator and passionate advocate for the arts, this individual will be a dynamic leader with a demonstrated record of success in creating, leading, and managing through change. The President will be responsible for ensuring that the organization’s fiscal and strategic goals and long-term objectives are achieved by devising and executing strategy and leading efforts to secure public and private financial resources. The President will set the tone for an organizational culture that ensures operational and community success in furtherance of ASC’s citizen-centric mission. In addition to serving as chief strategic and executive officer for the organization, the President will be responsible for ASC’s overall community impact and will build relationships within the highest levels of the business, government, philanthropic, and nonprofit sectors.
Roles and Responsibilities:
Leadership, Advocacy, and Strategy
- Enhance ASC’s role within cultural and community planning by being active and visible in the community and working closely with other professional, civic, government, and private organizations within the cultural sector and broader community.
- Support excellence within cultural organizations by serving as a conveyor of best tactics and trends within the field while also facilitating training, coaching, and mentoring to arts organizations.
- Cultivate and nurture superb working relationships and partnerships with staff, cultural and civic leaders, and local creative individuals; the public sector and key local civic partners; the corporate sector; and the donor community, ensuring that the general public, funders, arts organizations, business leaders, and elected officials understand ASC’s role, value, and impact in the community.
- Seek opportunities to regularly communicate ASC’s vision and activities to a variety of audiences to support effective public advocacy of behalf of the cultural sector. Regularly and responsively interact with the media to present an accurate representation of the interests of ASC and the cultural sector.
- Along with the board, staff, cultural partners, and key community leaders/stakeholders, actively serve as the primary catalyst in identifying opportunities, changes, and enhancements for ASC and the cultural sector.
- Assume leadership for ongoing strategic planning to ensure that board and staff have a three- to five-year working plan at all times and that organizational planning and operations are aligned with strategic goals.
- Proactively create, lead, and manage change as appropriate to ensure ASC is optimizing its effectiveness as a community leadership organization.
Resource Cultivation, Allocation, and Stewardship
- Actively position ASC to ensure the organization has the necessary financial, human, technological, and other resources to achieve its mission.
- Hold ethical, financial, and administrative responsibility for the organization’s overall stewardship.
- Publicly lead the annual fund drive and oversee other campaigns in annual giving as well as special multi-year campaigns, endowment campaigns, and planned giving as appropriate.
- Serve as the face of the organization, representing ASC in arts and culture advocacy initiatives at the local, regional, and statewide level to raise the profile of all arts organizations, regardless of size.
- Speak and make presentations at meetings, conventions, and public forums in the business, philanthropic, and civic sectors to enhance the entire culture sector.
- Develop and implement an effective fundraising strategy and program to identify, cultivate, and solicit prospective donors and to promote a culture of fundraising in the organization, at both the staff and board levels.
- Hire, mentor, and retain an engaged, competent, and qualified staff, maximizing the use of human resources to achieve the organization’s goals and objectives.
- Ensure ASC has the right diverse balance of skills and talent properly deployed so that organizational goals and objectives are achieved, embracing and encouraging diversity on all levels within ASC and the community
- Encourage learning opportunities and professional development for staff, promoting continuous career development and growth.
- Foster the daily cultivation of a positive organizational environment that enriches the careers of ASC staff and supports and contributes to the successful completion of goals and objectives.
- Maintain official records and documents and comply with federal, state, and local regulations.
Board Development and Engagement
- Identify, cultivate, and assist in the recruitment of able and committed board and committee members who represent the broader community and whose skills, experience, interest, diversity, and capacity are a match for ASC.
- Partner with board leadership to ensure that the board sets an example for the community through its financial support of the organization.
- Promote the ongoing education and involvement of board members to maximize participation in their contribution toward ASC’s success and growth.
- Communicate effectively with the board, provide timely and accurate information, and support all board activities, including meetings and sub-committee meetings as necessary.
- Prepare and present written and oral reports as necessary, including a mix of hard data, economic impact, defined metrics, and anecdotal examples.
Traits and Characteristics: The President will be a persuasive, collaborative leader who enjoys connecting with diverse stakeholders at every level. Possessing a working knowledge of industry standards and current trends, this individual will be committed to citizen engagement and customer satisfaction. Politically astute, resilient, decisive, and versatile, the President will understand the issues affecting the arts and culture sector and enjoy a wide variety of tasks. An excellent communicator and presenter, this individual will build trust and credibility and act as an engaged, passionate advocate for the Charlotte and Mecklenburg County arts and culture ecosystem. The President will have a highly visible presence in the local community and beyond in support of the ASC’s mission. This individual will inspire the development of a broad vision with achievable goals and a strategy that embraces many stakeholders.
Other key competencies include the following:
- Personal Accountability – The dexterity to accept personal responsibility for outcomes and utilize feedback to self-evaluate.
- Leadership and Flexibility – The ability to organize and motivate others to accomplish goals and the agility and adaptability to embrace and implement change when needed; an inspiring leader.
- Resiliency – The capacity to quickly recover from adversity, setbacks, or conflicts and move past obstacles without unnecessary delay.
- Diplomacy and Interpersonal Skills – The resiliency to constructively embrace different points of view, resolve conflicts, and bring cohesion to a wide array of stakeholders while interacting with them in a positive manner, treating them fairly, and listening carefully to what they have to say.
Qualifications: A bachelor’s degree (graduate degree preferred) and demonstrated expertise in one or more of the following fields are required: business administration, public administration, nonprofit management, organizational development, or a related field. A successful career path that includes significant management and advocacy responsibilities (nonprofit or for-profit sector) in organizations large and complex enough to predict success for ASC, preferably in an executive capacity, is necessary. Candidates who have worked solely in the for-profit sector must also demonstrate meaningful volunteer experience with and passion for mission-driven nonprofits. The successful candidate will possess a broad knowledge of issues and trends facing local, national, and international cultural communities. Significant experience interacting with the federal, state, and local public sector leaders, as well as C-Suite business executives, preferably in the contexts of fundraising and/or advocacy; demonstrated understanding of and commitment to diversity, inclusion, and equity; and excellent written, verbal, and presentation skills are necessary.
Compensation and Benefits: ASC offers competitive compensation, commensurate with experience, and a benefits package that includes health, life, vision, and dental insurance; short and long-term disability; vacation, holiday, and sick pay; and employee retirement plan.
Applications and Inquiries: Please submit a letter and resume with a summary of demonstrable accomplishments (electronic submissions preferred) to:
Ms. Wyona Lynch-McWhite, Vice President
Arts Consulting Group
292 Newbury Street, Suite 315
Boston, MA 02115-2801
Tel: 888-234-4236 Ext. 225
ASC is an equal opportunity employer. People of color, LGBTQ people, women, and people who are differently–abled are strongly encouraged to apply.