Leslie-Lohman Museum of Art
Executive Director, New York, NY
The Leslie-Lohman Museum of Art provides a platform for artistic exploration through multifaceted queer perspectives. We embrace the power of the arts to inspire, explore, and foster understanding of the rich diversity of LGBTQ+ experiences.
With a vision to be a home for queer art, artists, scholars, activists, and allies, and a catalyst for discourse on art and queerness, the Leslie-Lohman Museum of Art is the only dedicated LGBTQ+ art museum in the world with a mission to exhibit and preserve LGBTQ+ art and foster the artists who create it.
The Leslie-Lohman Museum of Art (https://www.leslielohman.org/) has an operating budget of approximately $2.2 million, a $2.1 million endowment, a full- and part-time staff of 16, and is governed by a 15-member Board of Trustees. In recognition of its importance in the collection and preservation of LGBTQ+ history, the organization was accredited as a museum in 2016 by the Board of Regents. In 2017, the Museum reopened to the public under new leadership with an expanded vision and gallery spaces, along with programming and exhibitions that have been increasingly gaining renown. This expanded work includes the growth of an education department and school partnerships, widely lauded programming, and continued press coverage in mainstream and arts media. With a collection of more than 30,000 objects, the Museum typically hosts six major exhibitions annually, offers public programs throughout the year, publishes an arts newsletter, manages a membership program and special events including an annual Spring Benefit and Fall Gala, and maintains a research library of more than 3,000 volumes. Gonzalo Casals, the Museum's highly regarded leader, left the Museum in March when he was appointed as New York City's Commissioner of the Department of Cultural Affairs. During the search for his successor, Laura Raicovich is serving as Interim Executive Director.
Located in New York City's iconic SoHo neighborhood, the Museum examines the juxtaposition between art and social justice in ways that provoke thought and dialogue. The Museum also serves as a safe and nurturing meeting space for LGBTQ+ artists and arts organizations, and a source of professional development through its engagement of guest curators and its Residency and Fellowship programs.
As a result of thoughtful strategic visioning and planning, the Museum has established a $7 million capital campaign for renovations that will include a new community engagement and education center and upgrade the archives and library to better serve the public and researchers. The New York City Council, the Department of Cultural Affairs, and the Manhattan Borough President's office have together pledged $3.4 million to the campaign, marking the first time that the Museum has received capital funding from the city.
While currently closed to the public due to COVID-19, the Museum has unrolled a series of virtual programs including an innovative digital Pride celebration featuring art, performance, music, film, conversations, and spaces for activism and movement-building.
The Museum has a unique history and role amongst museums and queer organizations. Created by founders Charles W. Leslie and Fritz Lohman to preserve LGBTQ+ identity and build community, the Leslie-Lohman Museum of Art acts as a cultural hub for the LGBTQ+ and its allies. In 1969, the founders held an exhibit of gay artists for the first time in their SoHo loft in New York city. Throughout the 1970s, they continued to collect and exhibit gay artists while supporting the SoHo art community. During the AIDS pandemic of the 1980s, the collection continued to grow as they rescued the work of dying artists from families who, often out of shame or ignorance, wanted to destroy it. This led to the formation of the Leslie-Lohman Gay Art Foundation in 1987 and the eventual accreditation of the Museum as we know it today.
The Leslie-Lohman Museum of Art seeks an Executive Director who will eagerly embrace the opportunity to move the Museum to its next level of growth and development. Having already secured $3.4 million toward its capital campaign goal, the Museum is poised to elevate its status locally and nationally. The next Executive Director must be energized by the opportunities for advancement, innovation, and visibility. Likewise, this individual will be a leader with a commitment to intersectionality and an understanding of the interplay of multiple subjectives within race, class, gender identity, politics, and the like with LGBTQ+ identities.
The Board and staff are deeply committed to racial justice and taking active steps to assure a diverse pool of candidates who represent the wide range of experience they want the Museum to reflect, include, and nurture.
The ideal candidate has or is:
- Passionate about the Museum's vision and mission (http://www.leslielohman.org/about-us); committed to building and sustaining a vital and diverse community of artists, curators, arts professionals, donors, media, and the public around the Museum's vision and programs;
- A generosity of spirit coupled with a fierce commitment to the queer community and social justice; attuned to current political, economic, cultural, and social realities, along with an interest in the underlying value of exhibitions, collections, research, education, outreach, and collaboration that reflect both queer history and the current state of the arts, culture, and society; committed to the Museum's vision of centering the LGBTQ+ voice in art and amplifying those voices and experiences to greater visibility and relevance;
- A successful track record of leadership and management experience in an organization where mutual respect, approachability, collegiality, inclusion, equity, diversity, and access are primary; a team player who is fair and credible and who can quickly gain respect and confidence internally and externally; a commitment to strengthening ties among diverse communities through art; experience managing diverse teams and cultivating organizational growth;
- An enthusiastic and energetic fundraiser with a global and local understanding of philanthropy; a proven track record of soliciting and closing gifts in the high six figures and above for programmatic and capital projects at a cultural or like institution;expertise in developingand managinga capital campaign plan or collaborating with a capital campaign consultant on a significant development plan;
- Fiscally prudent; capable of developing and achieving sustainable operational and financial strategies that can support programming and the pursuit of new initiatives;
- Direct oversight experience of a major capital development, expansion, or renovation project; leadership experience in space usage and options for revenue generation;
- The instinct, strategic approach, poise, enthusiasm,and personal polish to work successfully with elected officials, government representatives, and other key decision makers in the historic property and development arenas;
- An ambassador who will represent the Museum and will inspire others to advocate for and support its mission;
- A socially engaged individual who is well connected and respected by the Museum's various stakeholders, constituents, and partners; someone who can collaborate with and inspire new audiences;
- A compelling and effective communicator who canpersuasively position the Museum in internal and external contexts, as well as address and respond to the challenging position of museums in relation to wider issues of art's relationship to social justice;
- Digitally savvy and innovative in use of technology to expand an institution's reach and impact;
- Exceptional interpersonal and leadership skills; entrepreneurial in spirit; a track record of coalescing others around objectives and implementing them successfully;
- Decisive and resourceful, with an ability to focus, plan, prioritize, and follow through; able to think strategically, conceptualize, and analyze projects critically;
- Resilient, with experience leading through a transition, uncertainty, and/or social upheaval, and rising to the occasion with grace and empathy;
- High integrity; enthusiasm combined with tenacity to make things happen; a personal (not just administrative) connection to those who collect and appreciate art.
On an ongoing basis, the Executive Director will:
- Have a commitment to and familiarity with the organization its history, priorities, values, and issues; establish strong working relationships with the Board, staff, funders, partners, government representatives, and the public;
- Embody and promote the Museum's mission and vision; ensure that the organization's integrity and service to the queer community and other stakeholders are optimal;
- Ensure that the Museum deepens and expands its recognition as a major institution in the United States, especially through long-term relationships, working across race, ethnicity, class, gender, and other historical boundaries, and reaching broad and deep to increase opportunities with LGBTQ+ artists, allies, collectors, educators, community members, and other partners; serve as the Museum's primary spokesperson to give emphasis to the importance of the crucial contribution of LGBTQ+ art and arts organizations in sustaining a healthy and diverse society;
- Respect the Museum's history while actively seeking to further diversify staff, programming, and the collection; together with the Chief Curator/Director of Curatorial Programs, develop an acquisitions plan and budget that prioritizes diverse representation, quality, and the Museum's values, vision, and mission;
- Be a fundraiser who is enthusiastic, creative, and strategic; work with the Director of Development, the Director of External Affairs, and the Board to steward existing funding sources and cultivate new ones; significantly increase and diversify private and corporate support for the Museum's activities and operations;
- Oversee the organization's financial operations with the Director of Finance and Operations; develop its budget; ensure that the Board and funders have timely financial data for budgeting decisions and fundraising plans;
- Nurture relationships with the Board to maximize their interest and involvement in the governance of the Museum, as well as its growth and development; cultivate, solicit, and steward new and current Board members; clearly communicate expectations and opportunities and hold members accountable to commitments on the Museum's behalf; identify opportunities to engage the Board as ambassadors to raise awareness of Museum activities and generate financial support;
- Supervise, mentor, inspire, empower, and collaborate with a highly motivated, committed, and knowledgeable staff, delegating appropriate responsibilities and authority, holding individuals accountable for specific and collective performance, maintaining morale, and providing direction;
- Develop and use internal and external resources to promote the staff's professional growth, create succession plans, and enrich institutional knowledge;
- Bring a leading-edge vision and leadership to the organization's direction, growth, and development; sustain, encourage, and support innovation and strategic risk-taking within a rigorous and responsible organizational framework;
- Maximize the resources and impact of the Museum by engaging in cooperative programming and collaborations with other institutions locally, nationally, and abroad; encourage and support programmatic innovation;
- Ensure the Museum's collection is managed in a way that preserves and promotes the value of this important asset;
- Assume a leadership role in the national and international arenas to further the Museum's mission and vision; partner with other organizations as appropriate to expand interest in, visibility of, and support for the Museum.
The Leslie-Lohman Museum of Art is an equal employment opportunity employer. The organization recruits, hires, trains, and promotes persons in all job titles without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, marital status, personal appearance, familial status, family responsibilities, matriculation, political affiliation, source of income, place of business or residence, pregnancy, childbirth, gender or age (except where gender or age is a bona-fide occupational qualification, as defined by law), genetic information, or physical or mental disability (except where the disability prevents the individual from being able to perform the essential functions of the job and cannot be reasonably accommodated in full compliance with the law).
Please send applications or nominations to G. Angela Henry and Becky Klein at LeslieLohman@PhillipsOppenheim.com.