Laumeier Sculpture Park seeks a dynamic and experienced Executive Director to drive its mission of engaging diverse audiences in the critically important dialogue between art and nature. The Executive Director must advance the Park’s position as a leading cultural institution within the St. Louis region and its reputation nationally among outdoor sculpture parks. This will include vision building for the organization’s art collection, exhibitions, educational programs and collaborative partnerships. The Executive Director will be the lead fundraiser responsible for cultivating donor relationships, securing financial grants and seeking other revenue streams to strengthen its financial position for future investments and long-term sustainability.
Founded in 1977, Laumeier Sculpture Park (LSP) sits in the heart of St. Louis County and is one of the first and largest sculpture parks in the country. Free and open to the public, LSP is a 105-acre open-air museum that utilizes its natural landscape and collection of monumental contemporary sculpture to inspire creativity and understanding of diverse artistic perspectives through educational programs, special events and exhibitions. LSP serves 300,000 annual visitors of all ages and backgrounds. Over the past 40 years, LSP has presented 650 artists through exhibitions, commissions, and residencies. Each year, the Park offers over 300 classes, workshops, and summer art camps as well as school and group tours. Many St. Louisans forge a beloved relationship with LSP that begins during their childhood and continues as adults. In addition, LSP produces a series of initiatives for lifelong learners including films, lectures, art fairs and musical events. At the core of all LSP activities is the unique opportunity for audiences to contemplate art and nature through the installation of the large-scale sculptures presented on the Park’s remarkable campus. In addition to the 69 outdoor sculptures currently on view, the LSP collection includes another two dozen objects and more than 500 works on paper.
LSP’s revenue and support are derived primarily from state and federal sources, corporate and foundation support and individual contributions. In 2015, the Park completed its first major capital campaign, Sculpting the Future, raising $4.5 million for the renovation of the 1917 Laumeier Estate House into the Kranzberg Education Lab as well as the construction of the new Adam Aronson Fine Arts Center. The LSP’s operating budget is $1.3 million with 50% of the funding coming from earned income and 50% coming from contributed income. Over the past decade, St. Louis County Parks has provided approximately $550,000 per year of in-kind maintenance for a total budget of $1.8 million. LSP has an endowment of $1.6 million with 7% of the funds available for the preservation and purchase of sculpture. The organization operates with a staff of 8 full time and 5 part-time permanent employees as well as a large number of seasonal faculty. St. Louis County provides 6 full time and 2 part-time employees as well as additional seasonal part-time staff, all of whom work in collaboration with non-profit LSP staff. The organization is governed by a 24-member Board of Directors who represent a mix of longtime supporters, new corporate and business professionals and community volunteers all dedicated to LSP’s future.
LSP is accredited by the American Alliance of Museums and operates in partnership with St. Louis County Parks through a unique, and successful, private / public model.
The Executive Director (ED) is the leader and primary representative of LSP, directing all activities required to fulfill its mission of collecting and conserving outdoor works of art and engaging the community in art and nature. The ED is responsible for overseeing LSP’s cultural mission of collecting, exhibiting and preserving outdoor works of art and engaging audiences through educational activities and programs; stewarding LSP’s facilities, sculpture grounds, and other resources to maintain a strong and healthy organization; and building strong partnerships to advance programs and foster a vibrant and inspiring place to visit and learn. In addition, the ED will help forge a new vision of how LSP can play a significant role locally and nationally in advancing public debate and providing meaningful learning experiences and encounters in the complex and crucial area of the human culture-nature relationship. The ED will undertake as a primary task strengthening LSP’s financial position, which includes serving as the primary fundraiser for the organization; forging key regional partnerships; and working closely with the Board to build an expanding network of supporters.
Opportunities and Challenges
As the LSP celebrates its 40th anniversary and the recent completion of its first capital campaign and new and renovated public spaces, the ED must develop a long-term vision and plan to advance the Park’s future and sustainability. A priority will be to build collaborative partnerships with the local nature and plant sciences organizations to improve the experience and quality of the LSP campus. The ED must devise a thoughtful and inspirational path ahead for LSP to capitalize on increasing awareness of and interest in the linkage between contemporary art and the environment.
Essential Duties and Responsibilities
I. Leadership and Strategy
• Strong communicator who can articulate a shared future for LSP that fulfills its mission and provides clear institutional goals and who can speak with passion and work to grow visibility, enthusiasm and support for the organization.
• Be an energetic, engaged and visible leader locally, regionally and nationally to connect the mission of LSP to other organizations, building effective and collaborative partnerships.
• Work with the Board to ensure strong governance; establish clear, active, and goal-oriented lines of communication; support generative, informed discussion and organizational transparency; provide well-defined opportunities for committee engagement; assist the Board in the strategic recruitment, selection and evaluation of its members.
• Be a strong manager who can empower, lead, and collaborate with staff to achieve mission and organizational goals.
• Engage stakeholders, local educators, students, artists and both the immediate and the broader residential, business and cultural communities to enhance and develop the vibrancy of LSP and build support for the mission.
• Continue to build open and inclusive relationships that honor and enhance LSP’s commitment to serving diverse, multi-cultural neighborhoods.
II. Fundraising and Advocacy
• Be the chief fundraiser and advocate for LSP; represent the organization effectively increasing its visibility; grow support for its operations and capital needs, as well as its collection, conservation, and exhibition programs.
• Actively expand the level of philanthropic support through major individual and corporate donors; develop and maintain key foundation relationships and critical contacts in city and regional government; and foster opportunities to engage the business community around corporate sponsorships and partnerships.
• Work in collaboration with the Director of Development to ensure goals are met and donor relationships are maximized.
• Manage the marketing effort and staff to establish successful communications that enhance LSP’s visibility and reputation.
• Oversee LSP’s operations and programs ensuring progress toward overarching strategic goals and drawing upon staff strengths to enrich decision-making and foster open communications.
• Recruit, nurture and challenge a highly-qualified and motivated professional staff; delegate specific responsibilities; establish accountability.
• Lead ongoing development and improvement of organizational policies and practices—including assessment of the use of technology in order to effectively plan and manage registration and budgeting, as well as tracking and measuring demographics and outcomes.
• Work with the Controller to present financial plans and annual budgets to the Board for approval; regularly monitor and report financial status to the Board; engage their collective knowledge and resources in achieving financial sustainability.
A successful Executive Director candidate will likely have:
• Background in contemporary art, with a deep appreciation for sculpture and public art as well as for the relationship between art and nature.
• Experience in effectively leading an organization of similar size and complexity, ideally an arts or education nonprofit.
• Past success in growing support, particularly with major individual donors.
• Experience in arts management and change management, including building commitment internally and externally for key initiatives.
• Experience fostering strong Board relationships and supporting Board development.
• Demonstrated leadership and management skills; experience in team building and professional development with the ability and appetite to mentor staff and the discipline to delegate and honor team contributions.
• A record of strong collaboration; someone who actively seeks strategic partnerships and develops effective relationships.
• Experience as the face of an organization; well-developed interpersonal skills; superb oral and written communication skills; ability to present ideas clearly and persuasively.
• Strong financial, organizational and project management skills; a track record of managing complex projects; engaging in shared decision-making based on data and realistic expectations.
• A visionary leader with success in aligning operations to mission and deepening engagement across the organization and its constituents.
• A team builder with strong management skills; one who can motivate and inspire diverse partners.
PROCEDURE FOR APPLICATION:
Applicants should submit a resume, a one-page narrative describing interest and experience, and the names of three references. Applications will be reviewed by Management Consultants for the Arts, an executive search firm working with the Museum. Candidate recommendations are welcome.
Send resume and accompanying materials to:
Linda Sweet and Bill Appleton
The Laumeier Sculpture Park is an Equal Opportunity Employer.