SPACES Executive Director
Due May 1 2020

SPACES Executive Director

The Organization

SPACES is a leading national alternative arts institution that is a resource and public forum for artists who explore and experiment. Located in a new, 9,500 sf facility in the rapidly growing area of Hingetown, just west of downtown Cleveland, SPACES has presented over 12,000 artists and annually presents 12-15 public projects by artists while hosting approximately 24 different public events.

Founded in 1978, SPACES is a 501(c) 3 nonprofit organization with an annual operating budget of approximately $1 million. The staff includes five full-time employees, one part-time employee, and numerous fellows, interns and volunteers who provide ongoing support throughout the year. An eighteen-member Board of Directors is active and engaged, reflecting a diverse range of expertise and perspectives.

SPACES is highly respected by regional and national funders, project collaborators, and artists as a dynamic organization strengthened by sound fiscal management and a solid history of successful and impactful mission-oriented partnerships. With its use of highly regarded exhibitions, installations, artist grant distributions, and residency programs, SPACES has been recognized for decades as a leader in promoting arts explorations.

The Opportunity

The next Executive Director will have the opportunity to implement a vision based on the mission of SPACES as the resource and public forum for artists who explore, experiment, and challenge the status quo.

The strategic plan is built upon the pillars of Programming, Structure, and Communication. This is an opportunity for a strong administrative leader and creative communicator with experience in implementation of artistic productions to achieve the vision of SPACES to be “a thought leader among alternative art spaces.”

The Position

SPACES’ Executive Director is a champion for its mission and artists. The Executive Director

oversees all aspects of SPACES’ operations, develops and guides its programs, and provides

imaginative leadership. The Executive Director reports to the Board of Directors, and works

strategically with the Board and committees to fulfill the organization’s mission

Key Duties and Responsibilities

The Executive Director is responsible for the administration and operation of all the functional areas of the organization including:

Overseeing the creative direction of SPACES—providing room for artists, staff, and board to experiment, while offering guidance and feedback along the way.

Curatorial oversight in developing programs, managing the internationally-regarded residency program, and developing projects in all media and presentation formats, either directly or by delegating to other staff, guest curators, and artists.

Collaborating with the staff, Board of Directors, and Programming Committee Chair to preserve and support the artistic excellence, inventiveness, and integrity of programs; to evaluate the impact, efficacy, and sustainability of current programs; and to establish priorities, processes, and resources for new, evolving program development.

Collaborating with board leadership on effective, progressive implementation of the strategic plan.

Working with the Fundraising Committee Chair to raise the necessary funds from private, corporate, foundation, and government sources. This includes building and maintaining donor relations, working with the Deputy Director to execute timely grant applications, and conceiving, leading and overseeing SPACES successful fundraising events.

Providing prudent financial management—working with accountants, auditors, and the Board Treasurer on monthly and annual financials, developing annual budgets in consultation with the staff and board, monitoring budget-to-actual reports on a monthly basis, and coordinating the annual audit and 990 filing.

Enhancing and expanding meaningful community engagement, connections, and strategic partnerships, and alliances to advance SPACES’ vision, impact, and resources.

Managing the day-to-day operations of SPACES, including separate ownership of the first floor of the Van Rooy Building and collaboration with the other two owners.

Hiring and managing staff - developing, mentoring, and retaining highly qualified, diverse and committed staff and volunteers. Fostering staff opportunities for professional growth, shared commitment, and meaningful engagement.


Desired Leadership Profile and Background:

SPACES’ Executive Director is an accomplished and highly regarded leader with experience in nonprofit management and a deep appreciation for and understanding of artists, contemporary art, and the role of innovation in communities.

The ideal candidate is a focused and dedicated leader who is committed to artists and community and who values experimentation, risk-taking, and collaboration in all aspects of the organization.

Important traits and qualities include confidence, integrity, passion, curiosity, and graciousness.

While ambition and productivity are highly valued, an ideal candidate will possess a leadership style that encourages a balance between life and work.

Education and Knowledge:

Bachelor’s Degree, Advanced Degree preferred or equivalent experience.

Key knowledge of trends/topics in national and international contemporary and emerging art.


Demonstrated success in a high-level managerial role at an arts organization (5+ years).

Demonstrated ability to develop and achieve fundraising goals.

Demonstrated ability to work with Boards of Directors and committees.

Demonstrated experience in initiation and implementation of artistic productions.

Skills and Competencies:

Organization and planning skills with the ability to manage and prioritize multiple projects and a capacity to communicate those priorities to stakeholders.

Strong time management skills.

Strong oral and written presentation skills with the ability to serve as an articulate, passionate, and effective spokesperson for the organization and its goals.

Strong leadership in demonstrating core values of experimentation, excellence, and responsiveness.

Enthusiastic and open approach to envisioning the future of SPACES and consider multiple potentials in the next phases in the organization’s lifecycle.

Ability to cultivate and steward strategic and meaningful partnerships.

Ability to develop people, coaching people in their current roles.

SPACES is an equal opportunity employer. Our employment policies are administered without

regard to race, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, disability, age, genetic

information, veteran status, ancestry, national or ethnic origin, or any other legally protected status except as permitted by law.

For additional information, please visit:

Selection Process

Dise & Company will review all résumés and other documents submitted to it. Appropriate candidates will be contacted by a member of the recruiting team for telephone screening.Any candidate selected for a face-to-face interview will be asked to prepare a Letter of Interest.

Please apply via this job posting in complete confidence.

Susan Paley Zak, Senior Vice President, Executive Recruiting

216.752.1700 x 105

szak [​at​]

Phyllis Webb, Senior Research and Recruiting Associate

216.752.1700 x 101

pwebb [​at​]