President and Executive Director
“We value artists with brave and innovative ideas. We also value their right to have thriving creative practices in diverse communities across the nation and to maintain their freedoms of expression."
Creative Capital supports innovative and risk-taking artists across the country through funding, counsel, gatherings, and career development services. In the 11 grantmaking cycles between 2000 and 2016, Creative Capital awarded an average of 45 percent of its funding to BIPOC artists, which increased to 77 percent in the 2019 and 2020 cycles. Approximately 50 percent of awardees across all cohorts have identified as female.
Based in New York City with broad national visibility and presence, its pioneering venture philanthropy approach helps artists working in all creative disciplines realize their bold visions and build sustainable careers. The organization began as an experiment to see how artists could benefit from the kind of opportunities afforded to entrepreneurs in other sectors. Creative Capital’s system of supporting artists is inspired by the venture capital principles of building a long-term relationship with a project, providing funding at strategic moments, and surrounding the project with critical resources and advisory services.
Creative Capital was founded in 1999, with the support of the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, in response to the termination of most National Endowment for the Arts grant programs for individual artists. Fiercely committed to freedom of expression, its mission is to champion artists of all disciplines and provide early support for unusual and ambitious projects. Creative Capital helps artists gain access to the tools and strategies needed for long-term sustainability and has become the leading national organization in supporting individual artists.
Through an open application process, Creative Capital identifies and selects artists from all disciplines to receive the Creative Capital Award, providing each project with up to $50,000 in direct funding and career development and advisory services valued at an additional $50,000. Since 1999, Creative Capital has provided more than $48 million in project funding and advisory support to 596 projects representing 741 artists. It has also served more than 20,000 other artists by providing professional development resources originally created for awardees in more than 800 communities across the country. This spirit of community building and resource sharing inspired Creative Capital to create a full suite of workshops accessible to artists everywhere. Creative Capital awardees and their projects appear regularly at the world’s most influential film festivals, contemporary art museums, and performance venues, as well as in prize-winning publications.
Creative Capital encourages a spirit of mutual generosity among artists and partners and seeks to foster exchange. The Creative Capital Artist Retreat brings awardees together with more than 300 artists, arts professionals, and supporters for the exchange of ideas and expertise. Anchored by a spirit of community, this exciting multi-day occasion includes project presentations by awardees, workshops, and one-on-one meetings with consultants. The retreat offers awardees important networking and collaboration building opportunities, as well as connections to presenters and producers who can help bring their works to the public.
Creative Capital is governed by a 17-member board of trustees that is 47 percent BIPOC with 59 percent identifying as female. It has 18 full-time staff members comprised of 44 percent BIPOC, 61 percent female, and 33 percent LGBTQI. Creative Capital has a National Advisory Board consisting of 29 percent BIPOC individuals, of which 36 percent are female. Its 10-member search committee for the President and Executive Director position is 70 percent BIPOC, including four BIPOC Creative Capital artist awardees, with 50 percent identifying as female.
FY21 budgeted revenues are approximately $5 million with 73 percent from foundations, 17 percent from board and individual donors, 6 percent from investment and miscellaneous income, and 4 percent from corporate and government support. Creative Capital also has cash reserves and an endowment, flourishing relationships with institutional funders, and substantial support from private donors.
The President and Executive Director will lead a national organization at the forefront of artistic innovation in service of a wide array of artists, funders, and people who are committed to pushing the boundaries of artistic exploration and creative impact. As the chief spokesperson, this individual will embrace the concept of social venture capital in the multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary creative industries and develop and implement institutional strategies where programmatic innovation is at the forefront of social impact.
Reporting to the board, the President and Executive Director will serve as an ex-officio member of the board of directors in financial resourcing while advancing best practices in governance, policy making, and national ambassadorship for and with artists. They will communicate and amplify complex concepts and futuristic ideas into understandable language that emphasizes artistic creativity as a catalyst for change. This individual will clearly articulate an organizational identity, leverage new opportunities, and deliver results that resonate in creative vibrancy and institutional resiliency. They will also develop and engage in authentic relationships with diverse constituencies of funders, board members, staff, artists, and communities nationwide while leveraging numerous networks and relationships.
Roles and Responsibilities
Strategic Leadership and Artistic Vision
- Build upon the organization’s history, commit to its mission, and create a shared vision that propels Creative Capital forward as a national organization.
- Contemplate innovative ideas, assess complex issues, and prioritize strategic concepts that result in specific and measurable actions.
- Develop and maintain authentic relationships with artists who are the principal source of creative innovations, community impacts, and cross-cultural collaborations.
- Assess current grantmaking programs and services, encourage and support innovation, and energize strategic risk-taking within a rigorous and responsible programmatic framework.
- Reach deeply into grass-roots organizations to increase opportunities for active engagement for and with artists regardless of location.
- Understand and respect the juxtaposition of the fractures, textures, gradations, vulnerability, and fragility that exists in the arts world.
- Advance equity, diversity, inclusion, and access initiatives in strategic leadership and artistic innovation.
Revenue Diversification, Governance, and External Advocacy
- Evaluate institutional and individual fundraising efforts, develop a comprehensive plan, and lead a contributed revenue strategy that expands sources of support.
- Expand interest in, visibility of, and financial support for Creative Capital with both traditional and off-platform approaches to invigorating social venture philanthropy.
- Identify, propose, and implement appropriate earned income strategies and leverage opportunities that support the organization and the artists it serves.
- Serve as a national leader and spokesperson who advances artistic initiatives and partners with other visionary organizations within and beyond the creative communities.
- Nurture relationships with existing board and National Advisory Council members and identify new members to maximize their interest and involvement in Creative Capital’s growth and forward momentum.
- Advance equity, diversity, inclusion, and access initiatives in revenue diversification, governance, and external advocacy.
Organizational Resiliency and Team Empowerment
- Embolden people at all levels of the organization to have an inclusionary voice in its future, celebrating creativity, innovation, and respect.
- Steer the organization from its initial entrepreneurial growth and expansion stages to levels of maturity and stability.
- Lead, mentor, inspire, and empower a diverse team of program and administrative staff members to ensure that artists, strategic partners, and communities have an experience consistent with Creative Capital’s mission, vision, and values.
- Foster organizational structures, staffing, systems, and digital platforms to ensure that the breadth and depth of services is in alignment with current and anticipated team workloads.
- Provide the board of directors and funders with timely financial data that advances policy decisions and highlights program impacts.
- Advance equity, diversity, inclusion, and access initiatives in organizational resiliency and team empowerment.
“As an organization, diversity, equity, and inclusion are core values. We are advocates against oppressive practices and barriers that limit artists and we actively work to eliminate structural inequities.”
Traits and Characteristics
The President and Executive Director will embody a generosity of spirit and altruism that is coupled with a fierce and passionate commitment to artists. This individual will have a deep interest in the underlying values that affect the current status and societal impact of artists. The President and Executive Director will be a fair and credible team player who can quickly gain the respect and confidence of numerous stakeholders. This individual will be committed to strengthening ties among diverse communities through the creative process of multi-disciplinary artmaking and innovative art production. They will have strong interpersonal and leadership skills, including the ability to inspire, collaborate, tactfully negotiate, compromise, and take initiative. A self-starter undaunted by a fastmoving and lean institution, this individual will be entrepreneurial in spirit, coalescing others around specific objectives and their successful implementation. Decisive and resourceful, the President and Executive Director will have the ability to think strategically, conceptualize creatively, and analyze projects critically. This individual will have the highest level of integrity, enthusiasm, and tenacity to make things happen combined with an authentic connection to artists and the artistic community
Other key competencies include:
- Leadership and Flexibility – The capacity to develop, set, and pursue strategic initiatives while adapting to societal changes and embracing a diverse range of opportunities
- Conceptual and Futuristic Thinking – The ability to be receptive to new ideas, analyze hypothetical situations, consider abstract artistic and societal concepts, formulate connections and new insights, and imagine, envision, and create what has not previously been actualized.
- Professional and Personal Accountability – The agility to build diverse and meaningful relationships, listen carefully, and respond conscientiously to an active array of internal and external stakeholders.
- Time and Priority Management – The ingenuity to collaboratively establish strategic goals while assessing risks, organizing activities, and operationalizing priorities.
At least 10 years of progressive senior management experience in several multi- or inter-disciplinary art forms and organizations known for innovation and creativity is required. Deep involvement with the creative industries and a network to the contemporary artist community is needed. Exemplary speaking, writing, and public presentation skills are required, as is demonstrable experience growing philanthropic and earned revenues in a rapidly advancing technological world. Qualified candidates must also have the ability to sustain a robust post-pandemic travel schedule. Multiple language capabilities and nonprofit governance expertise are greatly appreciated.
Compensation and Benefits
Creative Capital provides an equitable and competitive compensation package with benefits that include a comprehensive Exclusive Provider Organization (EPO) health insurance plan with dental and vision coverage and a 401(k) plan with 7 percent employer match. Additional benefits include professional development support and generous paid time off including at least nine days off at the end of December, standard holidays, sick leave, bereavement, and others. Access to a flexible spending account, transit discounts, dependent daycare savings plan, and supplementary insurance programs are also available.
Applications and Inquiries
To submit a cover letter and resume with a summary of demonstrable accomplishments, please click here or visit artsconsulting.com/employment. For questions or general inquiries about this job opportunity, including the anticipated compensation parameters, please contact:
Dr. Bruce D. Thibodeau, President
292 Newbury Street, Suite 315
Boston, MA 02115-2801
Tel (888) 234.4236 Ext. 201
Creative Capital is committed to inclusion and diversity and invites applications
without regard to race, ethnicity, gender, physical disability, or sexual orientation.
Click here for the downloadable PDF.