Watershed Center for the Ceramic Arts seeks a new full-time Executive Director to serve as an inspiring, nurturing, and facilitative leader for the exciting next phase in the life of the organization. Please see below for position details and how to apply.
Watershed’s next visionary director will bring a fresh perspective and enthusiasm to this leadership role during a pivotal time in the organization’s development. With a new state-of-the-art studio, the stage is set to expand Watershed’s signature residency program and explore the next chapter of innovative and inclusive programming. Watershed seeks candidates with demonstrated fundraising and financial management experience, proven success managing a motivated team, an appreciation for the power of art and artmaking, and an understanding of artist residencies.
Working closely with the Board of Trustees and the Arts and Program Council, the Executive Director will manage a new strategic planning process that aligns with Watershed’s mission and goals; develop financial plans and fundraising strategies focused on sustainability and capital campaign success; provide operational oversight of Watershed’s annual budget, programming, and facilities; and manage a small and dedicated staff. The Executive Director will also develop and steward meaningful relationships with Watershed’s local, national, and international stakeholders.
Founded in 1986 on the site of a former brick factory, Watershed Center for the Ceramic Arts’ mission is to provide artists with time and space to explore ideas with clay. The organization’s founding artists shared a common vision: to offer a supportive and enriching environment where artists working in clay could fully engage in creative practice. This model meets a critical need in the clay community and remains at the heart of Watershed’s programs.
The organization’s internationally-recognized residencies prioritize the development of a creative community; artists work alongside one another in an open-concept studio, collaborate on kiln firings, share meals, and forge lasting personal and professional connections. In addition to the residency program, Watershed’s extensive atmospheric wood and gas kilns draw artists from the region, and guest artist workshops offer hands-on learning experiences led by nationally-known ceramists. Watershed’s K-12 education program provides popular professional development workshops for Maine art educators and connects teaching artists with regional schools.
Situated on 54 bucolic acres in coastal Maine, Watershed’s campus offers a tranquil atmosphere for creative practice. Facilities include a new year-round ceramics studio; a multi-purpose building for maintenance, woodworking, and special projects; residential cabins for up to 24 artists and staff; a seasonal dining hall and kitchen; and administrative offices and a gallery. Plans are underway for a new Campus Commons building to provide a year-round kitchen, dining and lounge areas, and additional housing.
The Mid-coast Maine region is home to a large population of artists. Watershed’s central location allows for easy access to cultural activities, with an abundance of nearby galleries, museums, and performance venues.
- In close collaboration with the Board President, serve as the principal spokesperson and ambassador for the organization.
- Facilitate development and implementation of Watershed’s next five-year strategic plan to further the organization’s mission, develop equitable and inclusive programming, and ensure long-term financial sustainability.
- Work with the Director of Outreach and Communications to identify and engage groups or individuals to establish new partnerships and programs.
- Support Board effectiveness by ensuring that Board and committee work are informed by and further the goals of Watershed’s strategic plan and that Board members have appropriate data and support materials to facilitate sound oversight and action.
- Establish long-range financial goals that support organizational growth, sustainability, and financial well-being; direct organizational efforts in support of these goals.
- Lead major donor work, capital campaign efforts, and fundraising activities in collaboration with the development team.
- Work closely with Watershed’s Finance and Investment Committee and Finance Manager on all finance, budget, and investment initiatives.
- Provide leadership to and work closely with Watershed’s Board and development staff to cultivate, steward, and maintain Watershed’s major individual and institutional donors, business sponsors, alumni supporters, and foundations.
- Ensure that Watershed’s programs reflect and are aligned with the organization’s mission, strategic goals, and objectives.
- Develop new programming that is responsive and relevant to the needs of artists.
- Lead and inspire Watershed’s staff, board, and major stakeholders.
- Support a high performing team by maintaining an inclusive, creative, safe, and positive environment.
- Ensure that staff have the resources and tools needed to accomplish tasks and responsibilities aligned with strategic and program goals.
- Recruit, review, and develop all personnel (year-round staff, seasonal staff, and volunteers) in accordance with Watershed’s employment policies, and state and federal laws and regulations.
Communications & Outreach
- Review and approve annual marketing and communications plans that align with Watershed’s strategic plan and budget.
- Ensure that Watershed is appropriately represented at local, state, and national conferences, meetings, and other events.
- Ensure Watershed’s campus is a safe, and healthy environment for all staff, resident artists, and visitors.
- Develop and oversee ongoing campus accessibility improvements.
- In partnership with the Studio and Finance Managers, monitor status of the physical plant and plans for maintenance, repairs, and upgrades.
- Oversee and coordinate ongoing capital campaign construction projects in collaboration with the Board.
- Minimum ten years of progressive experience in nonprofit leadership roles. Experience with artist-centered programming and management of a physical place is desirable.
- Enthusiasm for and understanding of Watershed’s mission; knowledge of art, contemporary ceramics, and/or residency programs is a plus.
- Demonstrated fundraising success with an excellent track record of cultivating relationships with individual and institutional donors; capital campaign management experience is desirable.
- Experience conceptualizing, planning, and implementing complex programs and projects.
- Collaborative leadership style that promotes a culture of accessibility.
- Aptitude for managing diverse individuals and teams.
- Comfort with donor database systems, online financial tracking systems, file sharing, Mac computers, and videoconferencing.
- Commitment to life-long learning and curiosity, with an openness to new ideas.
- Expert organizational and problem-solving skills.
- Exceptional oral and written communication skills.
- Strong commitment to ethics, transparency, diversity, equity, and inclusion.
It is unlikely that any applicant meets 100% of the qualifications and characteristics listed above. Watershed welcomes and encourages applicants with diverse experiences to apply. Relevant and appropriate combinations of education and/or lived experiences will be considered.
Watershed is committed to fostering a culture of diversity, equity, accessibility, and inclusion. We do not discriminate against any individual on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, gender, sexual orientation, disability, religion, or economic status.
Compensation & Benefits
- Annual salary of $75,000 – $80,000
- Flexible paid time off including vacation, personal days, holidays, and sick leave
- Health insurance
- Retirement plan
- Studio space, including reasonable materials and kiln usage
- Meals during summer residency sessions
How to Apply
Candidates should send a resume and cover letter to Paul Stark at email@example.com. Review of applications will begin on August 15, 2022 with the goal of having the new executive director in place by early 2023.