Center for Maine Contemporary Art
APPLICATION DEADLINE: July 20, 2020
Opportunity to envision and present contemporary art exhibitions
and lead the next phase of advancement of the Center
The Center for Maine Contemporary Art (CMCA) seeks an Executive Director to lead the next chapter of the Center’s growth and development following the retirement of Suzette McAvoy, who directed the Center for 10 years and will retire at the end of the year. In 2016 the CMCA relocated to Rockland Maine and built a new facility designed by world-renowned architect Toshiko Mori. The 12,000 sq. ft. building includes 5,500 sq. ft. of exhibition space dedicated to changing exhibitions of contemporary art by artists connected to Maine. There is a staff of 8 plus 6 seasonal part-time and an annual budget of $700,000. The mission of the CMCA is to advance contemporary art in Maine through direct engagement with artists and the public, creating exceptional exhibitions, education and other programs that tell the ongoing story of contemporary art in Maine and present the transformative power of the art of our time. CMCA has a national reputation and has been featured in art coverage in Architectural Digest, The New York Times, The Boston Globe, USA Today, Forbes, Hyperallergic, The New Yorker, Smithsonian, The Huffington Post, The Wall Street Journal, and The Guardian.
The CMCA was founded in 1952 in Rockport, Maine as Maine Coast Artists, an artist-run cooperative that initially used various venues for exhibitions until it established a permanent location in an old firehouse and livery stables in Rockport where it remained until the relocation to Rockland in 2016. Hundreds of artists have shown at CMCA over the decades including Lois Dodd, David Driskell, Alan Magee, John Walker, Neil Welliver, Robert Indiana, Jamie Wyeth, Alex Katz, Louise Nevelson, Fairfield Porter, and William Zorach, to name just a few.
Described as having “the architecture of a museum and the spirit of an artist’s studio,” the CMCA holds as its highest value engaging the community through exhibitions and artistic experiences. Through exhibitions, in-house and on-line education programs, social media presence, internships and outreach the CMCA connects the community to contemporary art. As a non-collecting art center, the CMCA strives to present fresh, relevant, challenging and thought-provoking exhibitions across a broad array of media and presentation formats by the highest caliber artists. The exceptional number of living artists with Maine ties offers significant opportunities to present contemporary art to a community and region eager to experience and learn.
It is within this context that the Board of Trustees of the CMCA seeks an Executive Director with deep knowledge in contemporary art, museum or art center best practices, exhibition programming, curation, community engagement, and fundraising. The energized and engaged Board of 14 Trustees seeks a visionary leader, creative risk-taker and networker who possesses solid management and fundraising skills. The next Executive Director will be a hands-on leader, engage with the artists of Maine and play an active role in supporting the artists’ community. Opportunities include advancing the exhibition, education and outreach programs of the CMCA, building on the significant national reputation of the Center, and establishing lasting bridges between the artists of Maine and the contemporary art world. Increasing support for CMCA is, therefore, a highest priority in order to achieve goals, move beyond the success of opening the new facility, and to ensure a strong and sustainable future for the most important contemporary art organization in the State. Increasing the donor base, establishing a legacy giving program, expanding membership and the visitor base are all connected to securing a sustainable future that includes increasing earned revenue, strengthening reserves, and creating an endowment.
This is a unique opportunity as the CMCA emerges from Covid-19 and regroups, reshapes and grows programs across the spectrum of the Center from exhibitions and education, to fundraising and community collaborations. The Center reopens July 1, 2020.
Overview of Job Responsibilities
The Executive Director is responsible for the management and operation of the CMCA including budgeting, staff, fundraising and oversight of the development, curation and presentation of exhibitions and related programs. Special emphasis will be placed on fundraising, growing support, building audiences and membership, and special seasonal events that generate engagement and revenue. Ensuring the exhibitions and related programs adhere to the highest standards of excellence is essential to the mission of CMCA. This is a hands-on position working with a small but dedicated staff.
Exhibitions and Related Programs
• Lead, collaborate and curate with the CMCA team to develop near- and long-term direction for exhibitions and programs that meet the strategic goals of the Center and are aligned to the core mission of CMCA.
• Strategically develop exhibitions that mine the Maine artists’ connection, acknowledge the national and international reach of Maine artists, and strengthen relationships with Maine artists.
• Utilize art-world connections to advance CMCA’s mission.
• Develop strong and respectful relationships with the artists of Maine and build connections to artists with Maine ties wherever they live and work.
• Build on and continue the educational program for the local community.
• Develop strategies and resulting programs (both in-house and on-line) that build new audiences, educate visitors about contemporary art and strengthen interest in artists with ties to Maine.
• Assess the effectiveness of exhibition and program experiences and visitor engagement, ensuring highest quality standards and accessibility for a diverse, general audience.
• Develop annual and long-range development strategies and plans.
• Actively lead all fundraising efforts and work to identify, cultivate and solicit donors.
• Work with the Director of Development and the Board to secure and expand all fundraising activities including individual giving, foundations, grants, government support and sponsorships.
• Cultivate existing and new donor relations to grow support and promote legacy and planned-giving to ensure long-term financial stability.
• Work to achieve major long-range objectives that include growing operating reserves and establishing an endowment.
Management and Administration
• Effectively lead all aspects of the Center’s operation, programs, and community outreach.
• Develop and manage budgets and staff ensuring responsible use of limited resources.
• Lead with a collaborative style, supportive of staff, board and artists while adhering to high standards of excellence and performance.
• Evaluate, train and mentor staff, encouraging professional development and personal growth.
• Where appropriate, work collaboratively with other Rockland cultural institutions to build alliances that create operating and program cost efficiencies.
• Promote Board relations including active participation by Board members, effective Board development and committee engagement.
• Ensure effective communication channels, meetings, and training.
Community Relations and Marketing
• Promote a welcoming, diverse and inclusive environment for all visitors.
• Serve as the principal spokesperson for the CMCA ensuring community engagement in and appreciation for the programs of CMCA.
• Play an active role in the community and region building relationships, creating networks and establishing partnerships and cooperation to help promote the CMCA
• Work positively and productively to ensure effective public relations, marketing and media coverage.
• Establish ties with the Maine art community to ensure fulfillment of the mission of CMCA
• Promote CMCA to a broader art audience beyond Maine
• Encourage appropriate partnerships with organizations and community agencies that further the mission of the Center.
Qualifications, Knowledge, and Skills
• Minimum 5 years of experience working in a senior leadership role in an art museum or art center.
• Bachelor’s degree in relevant field, Master’s degree preferred, or equivalent experience.
• Proven fundraising ability with evidence of successful donor relations, grant writing and funded projects.
• Evidence of building effective relationships with staff, donors, artists and the community.
• Deep understanding of contemporary art to effectively lead and collaborate.
• Curatorial experience developing and presenting exhibitions.
• Demonstrated commitment to education, and to on-line platforms and social media.
• Collaborator, able to delegate and participate, to lead and support.
• Excellent written and oral communication skills; able to translate ideas into actions.
Rockland and the Region
Rockland is a seaside community of about 8,000 permanent residents that attracts prominent summer people from New York City, Boston and beyond, and thousands of seasonal tourists from around the country and internationally. It is situated along the spectacular Maine coast and is the commercial center of the Mid-Coast Maine region. Rockland has a rich history dating to the early 18th century and early shipbuilding, fishing, mining and quarrying. In recent times tourism has become the dominant industry and resulted in significant development of the central district with its many historic inns, the Farnsworth Art Museum and Wyeth Center, the venerable Strand Theatre, other cultural attractions, galleries and festivals. The unparalleled beauty and ruggedness of the Maine coastal region and its moderate summer climate have attracted artists from around the world. Rockland and other nearby towns and villages offer comparatively affordable costs of living and housing.
Portland, ME is 1 hour 30 minutes south along the coast and Boston is 3 hours away. Four-season recreation includes virtually unlimited hiking, and cross-country and downhill skiing at several world-class locations. The coastal waters of Maine offer hundreds of miles of spectacular seaside experiences, including boating and fishing. Maine has been less severely impacted by COVID-19 than other states, and cultural institutions are reopening.
The CMCA offers a competitive salary commensurate with experience, plus benefits. Applicants must be eligible to work in the United States.
Diversity & Inclusion
The CMCA is an equal opportunity employer. The Center actively encourages candidates with diverse backgrounds to apply. It does not discriminate against any candidate or employee on the basis of race, national origin, sex, marital status, sexual orientation, age, disability, religion or veteran status.
Nominations and applications are welcome. This is an exciting opportunity to lead a highly regarded contemporary art center in a thriving and scenic region.
How to Apply
Apply in confidence: Email cover letter, résumé (Word documents preferred), salary requirement, and names of 3 references and your professional relationship, with contact information by July 20, 2020 to: Dan Keegan, Senior Search Consultant, Museum Search & Reference, SearchandRef@museum-search.com. References will not be contacted without prior permission of the applicant. For details, visit: www.museum-search.com/open-searches