Center for Maine Contemporary Art (CMCA) catalyzes new developments in contemporary art by curating innovative exhibitions and education programs. Realizing its mission through direct engagement with artists and the public, CMCA opens new channels for interaction and discussion, expanding access to art, artists, and the creative process.
CMCA has been supporting, exhibiting, and sustaining arts and artists with ties to Maine since its founding in 1952. In that time, CMCA has evolved from a newcomer presenting shows in barns and backrooms to establish itself as the state’s preeminent contemporary arts organization. CMCA has hosted an array of exhibitions featuring internationally known artists and provided support to a myriad of emerging talents, elevating them to a broader platform. Originally established as an artists’ cooperative known as Maine Coast Artists, the museum was founded as a collaborative endeavor driven by excitement not only for Maine’s rich artistic history but also as a means to showcase the work of painters, sculptors, and photographers working contemporaneously. For its first fifteen years, CMCA operated without a dedicated facility, relying on a succession of volunteer curators for its exhibition curation. Early exhibitions were held at the town office, in a barn, and in a potato barrel storage loft and featured prominent future luminaries, including Alex Katz, Louise Nevelson, and Fairfield Porter, to name a few.
In 2016, CMCA relocated to a striking contemporary facility designed by Toshiko Mori, an internationally known, New York-based architect who has a home on the nearby island of North Haven. The new building, located in the central district of Rockland, emphasizes Maine’s legendary light and the design is unlike anything else in the state. Accessible and inviting, the central courtyard is a fully glass-enclosed open space, seamlessly linking the art and creativity inside to the community like an open embrace. The 11,500-square-foot building includes three exhibition galleries, one of which doubles as a lecture hall/performance space, an ArtLab classroom, and a gift shop. Perfectly situated in the town’s Arts District, CMCA continues its mission as a current and future driving force for carrying forward Maine’s exceptional legacy in American art on a whole new scale. Annual visitation has grown rapidly from 9,000 in its previous location in a former firehouse to more than 40,000 in the new facility.
For more than sixty years, CMCA has supported, sustained, and showcased the art and artists connected to Maine – offering year-round programming and exhibitions and bringing art to the community through outreach, education, and ArtLabs. CMCA’s strategic plan is focused on continued growth and increasing diversity in its programming. From community engagement and work with local children to exhibitions and events, CMCA fosters artists at every stage of their careers and serves as a venue for observing and appreciating the ongoing evolution of Maine’s influence on the trajectory of contemporary art. CMCA’s annual Artful Living Tour spotlights exceptional homes and collections in the Midcoast region, and its Distinguished Lectures showcase the leading artists and cultural thinkers of today. The annual Art Party and Art You Love online auction support CMCA’s educational programming and exhibitions. Recent and upcoming exhibitions at CMCA include Shinique Smith – Continuous Poem, Jeane Cohen – This Watching Land, Alison Hildreth – Darkness Visible, Gamaliel Rodriguez – (In)Hospitable, Carla Weeks – On This Island, Sam Finkelstein & Duncan Hewitt – Good Morning Midnight, and Wilder Alison, Sachiko Akiyama, Leon Benn, Jordan Carey, Diana Cherbuliez, Carol Eisenberg, and Hong Hong – Let the World In.
CMCA has a 12-member Board of Trustees led by Chair Pamela Wise and a full-time staff of eight. Total operating revenues in fiscal 2024 are budgeted to be $850,000, including $494,000 in contributions, $206,000 from program services, and $150,000 in other revenue.
Rockland, Maine, lauded for its natural beauty, is situated on the magnificent shoreline of Penobscot Bay and the Gulf of Maine. Rockland is the gateway of the Midcoast region and the Knox County seat. Recently designated a micropolitan area, this coastal community of more than 7,000 permanent residents attracts summer residents from New York City, Boston, and beyond, including over 2,000,000 national and international visitors annually.
The commercial center of the Midcoast region, Rockland has a rich history of shipbuilding, fishing, mining, and quarrying dating back to the early eighteenth century. Tourism has become the dominant industry, resulting in significant development of the central district with many historic inns, fine dining establishments, and cultural offerings. Known as the Lobster Capital of the World, Rockland is the center of the state’s lobster fishing industry and hosts the annual Maine Lobster Festival. Other culinary delicacies spring from a wide array of local organic farms, mills, orchards, wineries, and microbreweies. Small but mighty, Rockland's Main Street features numerous unique businesses, including bookstores, gift shops, an art supply store, restaurants, organic markets, clothing stores, and art galleries, showcasing both fine art and Maine’s renowned hand-made crafts. The area offers a vibrant selection of arts and culture experiences, including the Bay Chamber Concerts series, the North Atlantic Blues Festival, Farnsworth Art Museum, and the historic Strand Theatre.
With four distinct seasons, the Rockland region offers year-round recreation and leisure activities, including some of the best hiking trails in the State of Maine. The iconic Rockland Breakwater, a mile-long 700,000-ton granite path completed in 1889 leading to the historic Rockland Breakwater Lighthouse, Rockland Harbor Trail, Beech Hill Preserve, Windjammer’s Wharf Path, Camden Hills State Park, and George’s Highland Path offer breathtaking panoramic views. The Camden Snow Bowl and Camden Hills State Park are ideal settings for cross-country and downhill skiing, snowshoeing, snowboarding, tobogganing, and snowmobiling. The region’s coastal waters offer hundreds of miles of spectacular seaside experiences, including boating and fishing. Penobscot Bay is known internationally as one of the best recreational sailing grounds in the world and day trips provide access to the Bay and many nearby islands.
Sources: history.uscg; census.gov; rocklandmaine.gov; visitmaine.net; rocklandmainevacation.com,mainesmidcoast.com
The Executive Director (ED) will provide strategy and leadership in developing and implementing exhibitions, public programs, resource development, community engagement, and the daily operations of CMCA. As the primary spokesperson, they will elevate the institution as a cultural and educational resource for Maine, while promoting it as a destination for visitors. The ED will be an engaged member of the local and national/ international artistic community and will maximize partnerships to create opportunities for community impact and earned and contributed revenue enhancement. The ED will possess a strong understanding and practice of diversity, equity, inclusion, and access (DEIA) and will activate these values within the institution. They will report to the Board of Trustees and work with them to cultivate relationships and enhance financial resources. The ED will support the staff and build a culture of teamwork, open communication, and contemporary thinking in support of the museum’s mission and vision.
Roles and Responsibilities
Organizational Leadership and Strategic Planning
- Develop and foster an internal culture that achieves the highest standards, creating a welcoming, diverse, and inclusive environment promoting excellence, especially in the areas of visitor experience and operations.
- Embrace the principles of DEIA to ensure an artistic and organizational culture that respects different perspectives and nurtures an environment of goodwill, inclusion, and empowerment.
- Provide day-to-day management and supervision of staff and contractors, set clear performance goals and objectives, champion creative and professional development of staff, and create and support a workplace environment that centers employee engagement, satisfaction, and performance.
- Ensure the necessary organizational structure, policies, systems controls, and procedures are in place and regularly reviewed to maintain CMCA’s operational and fiscal integrity.
- Build a collaborative team that works cooperatively to ensure the achievement of strategic goals and operational metrics.
- Drive strategic planning and implementation, including the management of the organization’s human, capital, financial resources and assets.
- Maintain effective and appropriate communication with and between Board members, staff, and volunteers.
- Embrace other organizational leadership and strategic planning responsibilities, as needed.
Fundraising and Fiscal Management
- Serve as the chief fundraiser for the institution, working collaboratively with the Board and staff to achieve financial results including increased operational and strategic revenue goals.
- Collaborate with the development staff and Board committees to develop fundraising plans, implement key activities, and activate effective donor stewardship and cultivation strategies to ensure organizational stability.
- Oversee grant application calendar and work with museum staff to prepare and submit grant applications, monitoring compliance and reporting within grant parameters.
- Monitor the budget throughout the year, present monthly or periodic reports to the finance committee, and establish the appropriate internal controls for all financial matters of the institution.
- Prepare and monitor monthly reporting of the annual budget, expense policies, and cash management; manage cash flow; and regularly present appropriate balance sheets, income statements, and other financial oversight tools for Board review.
- Embrace other fundraising and fiscal management responsibilities, as needed.
- Develop initiatives that broaden CMCA’s reach, actively engaging existing and potential partners to support the community.
- Actively engage in community activities to develop collaborative partnerships that increase access, inclusion, and participation in its programs and events.
- Enhance CMCA’s brand recognition and relationships locally and regionally in support of CMCA’s mission, vision, and strategic goals.
- Embrace other community engagement responsibilities, as needed.
Exhibition and Program Planning
- Have the opportunity to curate exhibitions and/or work closely with staff and guest curators to organize and present exhibitions that are aligned with CMCA’s mission.
- Direct the activities of the curatorial and education departments to ensure an exciting and relevant combination of exhibitions, educational programs, and special events that acknowledge and uplift the national and international reach of Maine artists and artists’ communities while enhancing CMCA’s reputation.
- Seek opportunities to develop and strengthen exhibitions and programs through partnerships with other arts and culture organizations, collectors, and educational institutions.
- Embrace other exhibition and program planning responsibilities, as needed.
Governance and Board Relations
- Utilize the Board’s talents and resources and develop a strategy that effectively mobilizes board members in support of CMCA’s vision and its programs.
- Partner with the Board in prospect identification, cultivation, recruitment, and orientation of new Board members.
- Assist Board committees in developing and implementing action plans to achieve goals for the museum.
- Embrace other governance and Board relations responsibilities, as needed.
Traits and Characteristics
The ED will be an engaged and innovative leader who values teamwork and collaboration with others. They will lead by example and apply practical thinking and judgment to all aspects of the organization’s operations and initiatives. The ED will be people-oriented and will appreciate others’ skills, experience, and input in formulating plans and achieving successful outcomes. Intentional and driven by new ideas and methods, this individual will be an intellectually curious and open communicator. They will bring professional expertise, credibility, and interpersonal skills to the role and will possess a strong capacity for self-management and the highest levels of personal accountability and integrity.
Other key competencies include:
- Leadership and Teamwork – The capacity to articulate a vision and create a sense of purpose and direction for internal and external stakeholders, build trust by demonstrating respect and integrity, and create an environment where team members are appreciated and supported.
- Time and Priority Management –The ability to prioritize and complete tasks to deliver desired outcomes within allotted time frames.
- Project Management, Planning and Organizing – The aptitude to identify and oversee all resources, tasks, and people to obtain results, set and prioritize relevant, realistic, and attainable goals and objectives to anticipate effects, outcomes, and risks, and to manage resources according to set priorities.
- Understanding Others – The capacity to recognize the feelings, concerns, and motivations of others while supporting their unique skills to create an inclusive and equitable working environment.
Executive leadership experience and proven success in arts administration, nonprofit management, business, or a related field are required. Proven fundraising ability and experience with donor relations are essential. The successful candidate will possess a deep understanding of contemporary art and the curatorial process. Expert financial and operational acumen is required. Demonstrated success in advancing DEIA strategies within an institution is necessary. Qualified candidates will have strong experience in and a passion for working with artists, as well as developing and presenting exhibitions. Credentials in museum management or a related field are strongly preferred. Experience as a spokesperson who has represented an organization to a range of stakeholders including business and civic leaders, artists, and the media is desired. The successful candidate will have experience managing and motivating a strong, unified team through a visionary, collaborative, and forward-thinking leadership style. Excellent written and communication skills are expected.
Compensation and Benefits
CMCA offers a competitive and equitable compensation package, with an anticipated annual salary range of $90,000 to $100,000. Employee benefits include medical and dental insurance, paid vacation, Maine Earned Paid Leave, personal days, and holidays.
Applications and Inquiries
To submit a cover letter and resume highlighting relevant and demonstrable accomplishments (electronic submissions preferred), please click here or visit artsconsulting.com/opensearches. For questions or general inquiries about this job opportunity, please contact:
201 West Lake Street, Suite 133
Chicago, IL 60606-1803
Tel (888) 234.4236 Ext. 227
CMCA is an EA/EO employer and is committed to a diverse and inclusive workspace. CMCA does not discriminate against any candidate or employee based on race, national origin, gender, marital status, sexual orientation, age, disability, religion, or veteran status.
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