Current Opportunities

Executive Director

POSITION: Executive Director
STATUS: Regular, Full-time, Exempt
REPORTS TO: Board of Trustees

Poised to begin an exciting new chapter, Museum of Contemporary Art Santa Barbara (MCASB) seeks an Executive Director to lead the institution through significant growth and transformation into an internationally recognized contemporary arts museum.

MCASB, a non-collecting contemporary art museum, was founded in 1976 as the Santa Barbara Contemporary Arts Forum (CAF), an alternative art space. CAF presented contemporary work from living artists, including Craig Kauffman, John Baldessari, Llyn Foulkes, Ed and Nancy Kienholz, Peter Shelton, Ann Hamilton, and Wayne Thiebaud. To reflect a broadened mission of presenting the most compelling contemporary art of our time, and providing a dialogue with the Santa Barbara community and the larger regional and arts community, CAF became the Museum of Contemporary Art Santa Barbara, and in 2016 was accredited by the American Alliance of Museums (AAM).

MCASB has hosted exhibitions of award winning artists including Sanford Biggers, Tam Van Tran, Dasha Shishkin, Assume Vivid Astro Focus, Petra Cortright, Hayal Pozanti, and most recently over seventy-five Guatemalan artists shown in Guatemala from 33,000 km: Contemporary Art, 1960 - Present, as part of the Getty PST: LA/LA initiative. A current exhibition presents the work of Cecily Brown in Cecily Brown: Rehearsal. Institutions such as the J. Paul Getty Foundation, the James Irvine Foundation, the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, and the Hutton Parker Foundation have supported MCASB. Most recently, MCASB has been awarded a grant by the Walton Family Foundation and the Ford Foundation to develop an Emerging Leaders in the Arts program, an initiative for young individuals who identify as people of color, which will provide a pathway towards curatorial and museum leadership for underrepresented sectors of our society.

MCASB has outgrown its primary location atop the Paseo Nuevo retail area. Recently, MCASB acquired property in Santa Barbara’s dynamic Funk Zone, which is targeted to become its new home. Our new Executive Director will be expected to build the programmatic vision for the new museum space, develop the support of the City officials, as well as engage the community and the arts world, regionally and globally.

Museum of Contemporary Art Santa Barbara seeks a strategic and visionary Executive Director with a proven track record of managing ambitious and complex projects that require community, financial, operational, and architectural acumen. The position presents an exceptional opportunity for an individual with demonstrated experience in museum leadership to lead a growing arts institution.

The Executive Director is responsible for the leadership, administration, and oversight of all programming and operations. This includes responsibilities in three key areas: shaping a strategic vision for the museum’s exhibitions and programs; management of museum operations, budget, and staff; and fundraising and donor development.

In the near term, the new Executive Director will (i) lead and supervise the planning and completion of the new facility project and the related capital campaign; (ii) develop and implement a new vision for the museum’s programs; (iii) develop compelling ways to promote the museum’s vision and programs to a broad constituency; (iv) advance and broaden the museum’s outreach to the community, most particularly the underserved members of the region; (v) continue to encourage technological advances and innovative strategies to reach new audiences; and (vi) work with the Board to develop a sustainable operating vision.

The Executive Director will be MCASB’s chief advocate by networking and cultivating new partnerships and relationships to enhance the Museum’s profile and visibility throughout the art world. The Executive Director will serve as a thought-leader and advocate for the arts in Santa Barbara, nationally, and internationally.

Reporting directly to the MCASB Board of Trustees, the Executive Director will be both a trusted partner with the Board and a leader for the staff. The Executive Director will be an inspiring leader and able administrator who will forge a strong relationship with current and potential board members; engage board members to maximize their effectiveness; and provide relevant timely information and financial documentation to the Board so it can fulfill its policy and fiduciary decision-making responsibilities.

A successful candidate for the position will:
Possess highly developed communication and listening skills to ensure successful relationship building, fundraising, arts advocacy, and team building with the Board, staff, and all stakeholders;
Appreciate fiscal and operational guidelines in order to partner with the Board and present a compelling case for allocating resources in the context of competing priorities;
Be an innovative and resilient leader with the knowledge, integrity, and ability to motivate a skilled and enthusiastic staff;
Have a minimum of 5 years of relevant senior management experience in an arts or other cultural organization;
Have a master’s degree in art history, arts administration, business, or other relevant fields and a strong commitment to scholarship and education;
Have experience leading or shaping a capital campaign;
Have experience leading or shaping a facilities project or organizational change;
Have professional skills, experience, and/or willingness to engage in activities that would enhance the museum’s diversity and equity efforts.

Museum of Contemporary Art Santa Barbara (MCASB) is a non-profit, non-collecting art museum that advances creativity and inspires critical thinking through meaning engagement with the art of our time. MCASB is the premier venue for contemporary art between Los Angeles and the Bay Area.

MCASB is committed to providing superior quality and unparalleled customer service in all aspects of our work. We believe each employee contributes to the success and growth of our organization. MCASB is proud of the professional qualifications of the members of its staff. The ambitious goals and many accomplishments of MCASB are due in large extent to the commitments, talents, devotion to high standards, and effective work of its staff. MCASB takes great pride in its cooperative culture and embraces it as one of our fundamental strengths. MCASB constantly seeks to maintain an atmosphere of open dialogue that promotes interaction and the exchange of ideas among employees. Effective teamwork is one of MCASB's core values. In addition, MCASB embraces individual thinking and creativity.

To apply, please submit a CV, reference list, and cover letter describing your fit with this position description to Georgene Vairo, Vice President, MCASB Board of Trustees at  Application deadline: April 1, 2018.

MCASB provides equal employment opportunities (EEO) to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national origin, age, disability, genetic information, marital status, amnesty, or status as a covered veteran in accordance with applicable federal, state, and local laws. MCASB complies with applicable state and local laws governing nondiscrimination in employment in every location in which the company has facilities. This policy applies to all terms and conditions of employment, including, but not limited to, hiring, placement, promotion, termination, layoff, recall, transfer, leaves of absence, compensation, and training.

About This Job

  • Museum of Contemporary Art Santa Barbara
  • Santa Barbara, CA
  • Category: Professional
  • Posted: February 12, 2018