The Art Center – Highland Park (TAC) is seeking a dynamic and passionate Executive Director who will lead TAC into the next chapter of growth and impact. TAC is considered a premier visual arts institution located on the North Shore of Chicago. TAC has been an important leader in the cultural arts community for more than 50 years.TAC is a non-profit arts organization dedicated to education in the contemporary visual arts through classes, outreach programs, gallery exhibitions and events. TAC is a community- based organization whose goal is to ensure access to the arts for all ages and cultural interests. The Art Center Highland Park is an Illinois 501(c)3 not for profit organization.
The Executive Director is responsible for the administration of The Art Center-Highland Park, including the school that offers over 400 classes and workshops annually in a wide range of mediums and skill levels as well as the galleries that host over 20 exhibitions per year. The Executive Director reports to the Board of Directors, and is responsible for the organization’s achievement of its mission, programs and financial objectives, as well as its adherence to its core principles.
This is a full time 40 hour per week position with paid vacations. Salary is competitive and does not include health benefits or a pension program.
All candidates should have proven leadership and relationship management experience. Concrete demonstrable experience and other qualifications include:
- Track record leading a performance and outcomes based Non For Profit organization and staff.
- Ability to point to specific examples of having developed strategies that have taken an organization to the next stage of growth.
- Unwavering commitment to quality programs and data-driven program evaluations.
- Excellence in organizational management with the ability to coach staff, manage and develop high- performance teams, set and achieve strategic objectives, and manage and operate within a budget.
- Past success working with a Board of Directors with the ability to build and cultivate existing board member relationships.
- Successful track record in development and fundraising and leading individual and major gift campaigns. With the capability to engage a wide range of community member/donors.
- Strong written and verbal communication skills; a persuasive and passionate communicator with excellent interpersonal and multidisciplinary project skills.
- Action-oriented, adaptable, and innovative approach to business planning.
- Ability to work effectively in collaboration with diverse groups of people and community entities.
- Passion, idealism, integrity, positive attitude, mission-driven, and self-directed.
Experience and Education Requirements:
1. A Bachelor’s degree from an accredited four-year college or university with an emphasis in the area of not-for-profit management, museum administration, the arts, design or other related field. A Master’s Degree in Not-for-Profit Management preferred, but not required.
2. Ten years full time, successful, paid work experience in NFP management and fundraising, arts education and community engagement.
3. Demonstrated ability to work successfully with colleagues, volunteers, faculty, Board of Directors and community entities at all levels.
Position Duties and Responsibilities:
In administration, the Executive Director will:
- Develop, maintain, and support a strong Board of Directors and seek and build Board involvement with strategic direction for ongoing operations.
- Serve as an ex-officio member of standing Board committees, including Executive, Events, Finance, Governance, Nominating and Exhibition committees.
- Jointly with the Board, assure that the organization has a long-range strategy that achieves its mission, and towards which it makes consistent and timely progress.
- Assure that the TAC has a short-term business plan that promotes the operation of the organization in relation to the current external and internal environments of the organization.
- Provide leadership in development of policies and programs, organizational and financial plans with the Board and/or staff, and carry out plans and policies authorized by the Board.
- Maintain official records and documents, and ensure compliance with federal, state and local regulations as well as all requirements of grants.
- Maintain a working knowledge of significant developments and trends in the field of not-for-profit leadership, management and fund development.
In education programs, the Executive Director will:
1. Be responsible for the overall profitability of the school. The Director oversees and is responsible for developing curriculum, reviewing and editing class proposals, and pricing all classes, as well as development of incentives to drive expanded student attendance at the school. TAC seeks the highest level of artistic education consistent with school profitability.
2. ED is responsible for locating, hiring and maintaining high level talented art faculty.
3. Direct activities associated with catalog creation and dissemination. Responsibilities include interacting with faculty to gather input for semester curriculum, catalog creation and direct mail management.
In program development, the Executive Director will:
- Work to promote and create innovative, high quality programming and practices that fulfill the organization’s mission.
- Seek opportunities to serve additional constituents in the community.
- Maintain a working knowledge of significant developments and trends in the fields of the visual arts, arts education, Chicago Art Museums and multi-disciplinary community arts programs.
In communications, the Executive Director will:
- Publicize and raise community awareness of the activities of the organization, its programs, goals, mission and the needs of its users.
- Establish sound working relationships and cooperative arrangements with community groups and organizations.
- Serve as an ambassador and advocate by representing the organization and its perspective to agencies, organizations, The City of Highland Park, The IL Arts Council and the general public.
In relations with staff, the Executive Director will:
- Be responsible for the recruitment, employment, and release of all personnel, including paid staff, part-time staff and volunteers.
- Assure that job descriptions are developed; that orientation, training and on-going performance evaluations are completed; that improvement plans and goals are developed as needed; and that human resource practices are in place and followed.
- Maintain a climate that attracts, motivates and keeps a diverse staff of energetic, enthusiastic and top quality staff members.
In budget and finance, the Executive Director will:
- Assure that the TAC establishes and maintains sound financial practices through budget management and general oversight of financial/fiscal functions.
- Work with the bookkeeper, treasurer, and the Board in preparing a budget; see that the organization operates within budgetary guidelines.
- Work with the Board to ensure that adequate funds are available to permit the organization to carry out its work, through donor identification and cultivation, fund-raising events, grant writing, and other opportunities.
- Conduct official correspondence of the organization and execute legal documents as authorized by the Board.
Licenses/Other Requirements the Executive Director will have:
- The ability to work flexible hours to fulfill responsibilities of position including evenings and weekends.
- A valid driver’s license and updated proof of insurance.
- A clear criminal background screening.
Interested in the Executive Director position? Please email your resume to The Art Center – Highland Park’s Board of Directors at tac.boardofdirectors@