United Arts of Central Florida
President and CEO
United Arts of Central Florida (UA) collaborates with more than 60 arts and cultural organizations, individuals, businesses, local governments, and foundations to enhance the quality and variety of cultural experiences throughout Central Florida. UA is committed to enriching Central Florida’s diverse and energetic community through art, music, science, dance, history, and theater.
The organization has supported the arts, sciences, and history in Lake, Orange, Osceola, and Seminole counties for 30 years. Toward that end, UA has invested more than $155 million in local arts and culture organizations, as well as education, with an annual investment of more than $5 million. In addition to raising and distributing funds, UA provides management, administrative, and advisory services to its partner arts and cultural organizations. Last year, United Arts supported more than 2.9 million experiences, including more than 1.2 million for K-12 students.
UA’s core programs include numerous grants providing operating and project support opportunities for arts and cultural organizations of all sizes and genres; contract for service opportunities that ensure arts, science, and history experiences are available to K-12 students and adults of all means; collaborative fundraising through the annual Collaborative Campaign for the Arts; technical assistance opportunities; research and data on the economic impact of the arts on the region; and arts advocacy.
With its office just outside Orlando in Maitland, UA is a four-county agency with a staff of 12 employees and an annual budget of $8 million. UA recently received $2 million more in ongoing funding from Orange County. Its board of directors is comprised of 43 members, with a 14-member Executive Committee.
The Central Florida region is a welcoming, uniquely livable area offering small-town charm with big-city amenities, including Orlando—one of the fastest-growing major metropolitan cities in the country. With more than 4,000 square miles and a population of more than 2.5 million residents, the Central Florida region provides both high-rise living and distinct neighborhoods. With a median population age of 37, Orlando is younger than other metropolitan cities throughout Florida. It is also home to the nation’s ninth-largest school district and the second-largest university. The region also boasts rolling hills, world-class golf courses, pristine nature preserves, a thousand lakes, miles of trails, and year-round sunshine.
Central Florida is home to the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra, Orlando Ballet, Opera Orlando, Orlando Museum of Art, Mennello Museum of American Art, CityArts, Orange County Regional History Center, Orlando Fringe, Orlando Science Center, Orlando Repertory Theatre, and Orlando Shakes. Many of the major cultural institutions are clustered in the beautiful Loch Haven cultural district just north of downtown. Orlando is also the home of the new Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts, which houses the 2,700-seat Walt Disney Theater and the soon-to-open 1,700-seat Steinmetz Hall, which will be the home to the Orlando Philharmonic, Orlando Ballet, and Opera Orlando.
Arts & Economic Prosperity 5, the economic impact study from Americans for the Arts, showed that Central Florida nonprofit cultural organizations contribute $399 million per year to the region’s economy and employ more than 13,500 people. Its three major theme parks—Disney World, Universal, and SeaWorld—employ more than 9,500 creatives. In 2018 a record 75 million tourists visited Orlando.
Sources: unitedarts.cc; money.com; visitorlando.com; and orlandochamber.org
Serving as a visionary spokesperson for UA and the region’s cultural community as a whole, the President and CEO will offer creative ideas to adapt, strengthen, and diversify the local arts agencies’ programs and partnerships to address the changing needs of the community. The President and CEO will be responsible for overseeing the organization’s strategy, resource development, and administration. This individual will be responsible for ensuring that UA’s strategic and grantmaking goals are achieved by leading and executing on strategic and partnership efforts. The President and CEO will serve as a liaison to the public sector partners in four counties and will build relationships within the highest levels of the business, government, philanthropic, and nonprofit sectors.
Roles and Responsibilities
Leadership, Strategy, and Community Engagement
- Enhance UA’s role and image within cultural and community planning by being active and visible in the community and working closely with other professional, civic, government, and private organizations within the cultural sector and broader community.
- Cultivate and nurture positive working relationships and partnerships with staff, cultural and civic leaders, and local creative individuals; public sector and key local civic partners; corporate sector; and the donor community, ensuring that the general public, funders, arts organizations, business leaders, and elected officials understand UA’s role, value, and impact in the community.
- Serve as the chief liaison to the four representative counties’ public sector and government officials and represent the agency to the media and at local, state, regional, and national meetings and arts community functions.
- Promote transparency and facilitate ongoing communication among stakeholders.
- Support excellence within cultural organizations by serving as a conveyor on best tactics and trends within the field while also facilitating training, coaching, and mentoring to arts organizations.
- Assume leadership for ongoing strategic planning, working in partnership with the board to establish the agency’s vision and strategy.
Advocacy and Resource Cultivation, Allocation, and Stewardship
- Seek opportunities to regularly communicate UA’s vision and activities to a variety of audiences to support effective public advocacy of behalf of the cultural sector.
- Regularly and responsively interact with the media to present an accurate representation of the interests of UA and the cultural sector.
- Serve as the primary catalyst in identifying opportunities, changes, and enhancements for UA and the cultural sector, along with the board, staff, cultural partners, and key community leaders/stakeholders.
- Actively position UA to ensure the organization has the necessary financial, human, technological, and other resources to achieve its mission.
- Lead efforts to raise an additional $500,000 to meet Orange County’s $500,000 Challenge Grant requirement of a 1:1 match.
- Publicly lead the annual fund drive and oversee other campaigns in annual giving as well as special multi-year campaigns, endowment campaigns, and planned giving as appropriate.
- Serve as the face of the organization, representing UA in arts and culture advocacy initiatives at the local, regional, and statewide levels to raise the profile of all arts organizations, regardless of size.
- Speak and make presentations at meetings, conventions, and public forums in the business, philanthropic, and civic sectors to enhance the entire cultural sector.
- Serve as a liaison to the board of directors and trustee-level donors as part of an overall fundraising strategy.
- Identify, cultivate, and solicit prospective donors, in partnership with the development team, and promote a culture of philanthropy in the organization at all levels.
Program and Grant Management
- Seek opportunities to develop strategic partnerships and collaborate with arts organizations to deliver relevant and timely programming to diverse communities across the four counties.
- Oversee all grants, art education, programs and services, development, finance and operations, cultural tourism, public policy, technology, administration, and special projects functions of the agency.
- Develop funding criteria with the board of directors, oversee the grantmaking process, and communicate grantmaking outcomes.
- Embrace other program and grant management responsibilities as needed.
- Hire, mentor, and retain an engaged, competent, and qualified staff, maximizing the use of human resources to achieve the organization’s goals and objectives.
- Ensure that UA has the right diverse balance of skills and talent properly deployed so that organizational goals and objectives are achieved, embracing and encouraging diversity on all levels within UA and the community.
- Encourage learning opportunities and professional development for staff, promoting continuous career development and growth.
- Maintain official records and documents and comply with federal, state, and local regulations.
Board Relations and Governance
- Communicate effectively with the board, provide timely and accurate information, and support all board activities, including meetings and sub-committee meetings as necessary.
- Prepare and present written and oral reports for the board as necessary.
- Partner with the Board Governance Committee to identify, cultivate, recruit, and engage new board members and play an active role in the orientation and education of new and existing members.
- Engage board members to maximize their participation in their contribution toward UA’s success and growth.
- Ensure UA’s fiscal integrity, including submission to the board of a proposed annual budget, monthly financial statements, and an annual audit, which accurately reflect the organization’s financial condition.
- Embrace other board relations and governance responsibilities as needed.
Traits and Characteristics
The President and CEO will be a visionary, forward-thinking leader and passionate advocate for the arts who enjoys connecting with diverse stakeholders at every level. Possessing a working knowledge of arts funding standards and current trends, this individual will be committed to the changing needs of Central Florida. Politically astute, resilient, decisive, and versatile, the President and CEO will understand the issues affecting the arts and cultural sector and enjoy a wide variety of tasks. An excellent communicator and presenter, this individual will build trust and credibility and act as an engaged advocate for the four-county arts and culture ecosystem. The President and CEO will have a highly visible presence in the local community and beyond in support of the UA mission. This individual will inspire the development of a broad vision that embraces and enhances many stakeholders.
Other key competencies include:
- Diplomacy and Interpersonal Skills – The capacity to effectively and tactfully handle difficult or sensitive issues and to constructively embrace different points of view, resolve conflicts, and bring cohesion to a wide array of stakeholders while interacting with them in a positive manner, treating them fairly, and listening carefully to what they have to say.
- Leadership and Flexibility – The ability to organize and motivate others to accomplish goals and the agility to embrace and implement change when needed, serving as an inspiring leader.
- Community Focused and Self-Starting – The aptitude to anticipate community needs, wants, and expectations and to demonstrate initiative and willingness to work with the goal of meeting or exceeding those needs.
A bachelor's degree (master’s degree preferred) and a demonstrated track record of increasingly responsible leadership experience in nonprofit arts and culture organizations, public arts agencies, foundations, other grantmaking organizations, or similar institutions are required. A passion for artists and the arts in its myriad of forms is expected. Demonstrated fundraising and advocacy success is essential. Experience working with elected officials and nonprofit boards, as well as excellent written and verbal skills, are necessary. The successful candidate will be a dynamic leader with a demonstrated record of success in creating, leading, and managing through change.
Compensation and Benefits
UA offers competitive compensation (commensurate with experience) and a benefits package that includes health, life, vision, and dental insurance; short- and long-term disability; vacation, holiday, and sick pay; and an employee retirement plan with employer match.
Applications and Inquiries
Please submit a letter and resume with a summary of demonstrable accomplishments (electronic submissions preferred) to:
Ms. Wyona Lynch-McWhite, Vice President
292 Newbury Street, Suite 315
Boston, MA 02115-2801
Tel (888) 234.4236 Ext. 225
United Arts is a drug-free, smoke-free equal opportunity employer.
People of color, LGBTQ people, women, and people with disabilities are strongly encouraged to apply.
Click here for the downloadable PDF.