Montclair Art Museum
Director, Montclair, NJ
The Montclair Art Museum ("MAM" or "the Museum") seeks a transformative, innovative leader, passionate about art and art education, with deep enthusiasm for fundraising/networking and outstanding fiscal management and communication skills.
Where Suburb Meets City: Montclair, New Jersey, is located 12 miles west of New York City with approximately 39,500 residents. It is not a typical suburban bedroom town but instead a vibrant, active, broadly diverse community with respected public and private schools, a major state university, significant mass transportation, and numerous charitable organizations. In addition to the Museum, Montclair has extensive cultural and civic offerings including organizations promoting film, jazz, theater and other performing arts, a 2,100-seat concert venue, public libraries, and gardens. Montclair is also home to more than 100 restaurants, bars, shops, and lodging facilities. The township anchors the greater Montclair area, encompassing the 20 surrounding municipalities comprising over one million economically and demographically diverse residents.
MAM's Mission: To inspire, educate, and engage people of all ages in their experience with art, including the rich intercultural and global connections throughout American history and the continuing relevance of art to contemporary life.
Distinguished Past, Illustrious Present: Founded in 1914, the Montclair Art Museum is a renowned New Jersey art institution that collects and exhibits American and Native American art, with a growing, nationally-significant collection of over 12,000 works including paintings, sculpture, works on paper, ceramics, and artifacts. The Museum features a vigorous education program, a studio art school, and extensive, broad-based community activities, representing the rich diversity of the town. All told, the Museum serves over 70,000 visitors annually. From a financial and governance standpoint, the Museum is well established, with an annual operating budget of $4.5 million and an endowment of more than $12.1 million. MAM employs 34 full-time and 17 part-time members of the staff as well as 34 art instructors, and features a dedicated corps of over 300 volunteers. The Museum has an engaged and active Board of Trustees consisting of 43 members.
Focus on Education: The Vance Wall Art Education Center encompasses all of MAM's enriching educational and community programs, from tours and lectures to classes and workshops offered through MAM's Yard School of Art. MAM offers 280 art-making courses, camps, and workshops to approximately 2,600 students of all ages each year, crossing a broad range of the artistic spectrum including drawing, painting, collage, pastel, printmaking, and illustration, as well as the Geyer Art Studio, a ceramics studio, and the Digital Media Lab. MAM hosts school tours for 7,000 students yearly as well as art-related lectures and activities. MAM's summer and holiday camp programs thrive due to collaboration with cultural, educational, and community partners. The Museum's central gathering space, Leir Hall, is a popular venue for educational and social gatherings as a living room of art, creativity, and ideas. The MAM Art Truck delivers mobile art programs to 4,000 off-site participants in 20 towns each year.
Commitment to Diversity: Through its exhibitions, speakers' series, education programs, and outreach efforts, MAM seeks novel ways to inspire and inform a growing and diverse audience. For example, among the Museum's most active affinity groups is the African American Cultural Committee a group of dedicated artists, community leaders, and volunteers committed to strengthening the legacy of artists of the African diaspora and serving as a bridge between the Museum and various communities. MAM has an ongoing endowed effort to add to its esteemed art collection more works by minorities, women, and other underrepresented artists.
A Bright Future: The Museum recently received a lead gift for a capital project that will transform it both physically and in its public persona. MAM plans to renovate its grounds with an inviting outdoor plaza and water wall, a reflecting pond, and sculpture gardens.
Balancing Artistic Vision with Management, Fundraising, and Business Acumen: Against this background of a stable institution seeking to broaden its horizons, MAM seeks an innovative and collaborative leader with artistic vision and a deep passion for art and arts education. The new Director will drive excellence in curatorial, educational, and programming endeavors while ensuring an alignment of financial resources and operational priorities, both near- and long-term. Most importantly, the Director will be masterful in fundraising, generating revenue, and growing MAM's endowment, and will act imaginatively and substantively to expand the Museum's critical role as an anchor institution in the greater Montclair community, reaching its multicultural population. The "Priorities/Key Responsibilities" and "Qualifications" sections below set forth more specifically what the position will require.
- Provide Vision, Leadership, and Collaboration with Board and Staff:
- Galvanize Board, staff, and other stakeholders by setting creative and ambitious goals (including an update of the Museum's strategic plan);
- Motivate, inspire, and communicate effectively with the staff, harnessing their ideas and encouraging professional growth while ensuring and promoting accountability;
- Foster a strong working relationship with the Board of Trustees, tapping into their strengths, providing excellent communication, ensuring that Trustee committees are appropriately staffed and supported in their work, and helping to recruit new Board members.
- Drive the Museum's Fundraising and Fiscal Goals:
- Serve as the primary spokesperson and fundraiser for the Museum;
- Broaden the donor base by identifying and cultivating new funders to ensure long-term sustainability;
- Substantially build the endowment;
- Identify and expand earned revenue opportunities.
- Broaden the Artistic and Educational Vision:
- Expand the number and enhance the focus of MAM's exhibitions by invigorating the American and Native American curatorial vision;
- Increase events and new programs to attract new and larger audiences;
- Leverage the Museum's collections to create new partnerships with artists, collectors, and other museums and cultural and academic institutions in the visual arts sphere;
- Expand educational programs incorporating STEAM concepts, serving those with disabilities and promoting healing;
- Develop after-school, weekend, and/or summer educational programs to supplement existing school programs and replace discontinued school programs;
- Ensure the integration and balance of exhibition and educational objectives.
- Expand MAM's Membership, Diversity, and Influence:
- Promote MAM's activities to its existing member base and work to substantially increase new membership;
- Continue to build upon the Museum's commitment to diversity and equity in all aspects of Museum matters;
- Develop strategies to position the Museum as a must-see destination for visitors from surrounding communities, including high-profile exhibitions, activities, and programs;
- Leverage the unique geographic proximity for the Museum to the New York art scene.
- Proven Leader with Relevant Experience:
- Senior-level experience in a museum, arts organization, or associated institution known for its quality and excellence;
- Proven track record as a dynamic and accomplished leader and manager with the ability to create a cohesive, high-achieving, team-oriented environment and a record bringing about change in exciting and creative ways;
- Ability to motivate and challenge staff to go above and beyond, with the goal of making MAM more relevant and meaningful within a highly competitive local arts, education, and entertainment market;
- Demonstrated expertise to grow organizations in size, impact, and visibility while aligning ambitions with organizational capacity and fiscal resources;
- Knowledge of the art world, with access to a network of key players.
- Accomplished Fundraiser with Superior Business Acumen:
- Confident fundraiser with successful results in securing major donations from individuals, foundation grants, government support, and corporate sponsorships, as well as in generating creative sources of earned revenue;
- Financial acumen including strong competency in budgeting as well as interpreting and articulating financial statements and financial performance;
- Demonstrable project-management skills;
- Dedicated problem solver with strong management ability.
- Innovative Approaches to Arts Education and Technology:
- Committed to educational outreach, networking and informative, thought-provoking programming that attracts and engages broader audiences;
- Conversant in technology and digital media to promote institutions, reach audiences, and create unique exhibitions and programs.
- Academic Background:
- Advanced degree in art history or another appropriate discipline is preferred.
- Dynamic, Charismatic, Can-Do Personality:
- Outgoing "people-person" who can motivate and direct others, delegate, and prioritize multiple activities and responsibilities with confidence, integrity, and a sense of humor;
- A leader who exudes a sense of urgency with a can-do attitude and skill in measuring and managing results;
- Superior communication and presentation skills to reach a wide range of audiences including volunteers, staff, business and community leaders, the media, and the general public;
- Hands-on leader and consensus builder with a collaborative working style, who will quickly gain the respect of key constituencies across a diverse spectrum and is comfortable being the public face and advocate for the Museum;
- In recognition of the importance of the Director's "public face" in the community, it is preferred that the Director reside in the greater Montclair area.
For more information on the Museum and its programs, please visit www.MontclairArtMuseum.org.
Please submit applications and nominations to the attention of Mark Tarnacki and Paul Spivey at Montclair@PhillipsOppenheim.com.