Hook Arts Media

Executive Director


Hook Arts Media (HAM), based in Brooklyn, New York, has a rich history rooted in community engagement and artistic expression. Founded in 1994, the organization initially gained national acclaim for integrating the arts into community development and recovery efforts in Red Hook. Subsequently, the organization has focused on creative learning and community change in historically disinvested communities across New York City, while maintaining its Red Hook headquarters, with a primary focus on offering transformative arts and media learning opportunities for teens and young adults citywide.

HAM centers their programming on young people, primarily Black, Indigenous, and people of color, from historically disinvested communities, such as the residents of NYC Housing Authority. Their flagship education program, Arts Forward, encompasses both school-based and community-based education programs for teens and young adults. In-school multidisciplinary programs primarily serve NYC transfer high schools, enhancing media literacy and preparing young people for college and the workforce. These customizable in-school and after-school arts programs include credit-bearing classes and multi-day workshops on hip-hop poetry, dance, percussion, filmmaking, and West African dance. Community filmmaking programs offer teenagers and young adults opportunities to learn media production skills, from filmmaking to digital storytelling, under the guidance of experienced professionals, they also pay young participants as they create original films, providing valuable professional experience. Their film programs, such as the Fall and Spring After-School Programs, the Summer Digital Boot Camp, and a seven-month film workforce development program Digital Connections, provide intensive training in professional filmmaking, editing, and production techniques, culminating in public screenings of student-produced films. Their programs have significant positive outcomes, including improving student attendance, time management, and career readiness, demonstrating the transformative power of arts education.

Hook Arts Media's impact on the New York City populations it has engaged with has been profound. By providing a space for creative expression and learning, the organization has empowered countless young people to develop their artistic talents and pursue careers in the arts. Alumni of HAM’s film programs have continued on to college, positions in the industry, and graduate programs at Columbia and the University of Southern California. The organization’s belief that the arts are an effective vehicle for social transformation has meant that the organization’s programs often address systemic inequalities, fostering a more engaged and informed community within and beyond its programs. For participants and staff, HAM offers a nurturing and dynamic environment where creativity meets community change, making it an ideal place for anyone passionate about the arts and anti-oppression work.  Their annual Red Hook Fest and other events further exemplify their commitment to celebrating local talent and community collaboration.

HAM has a nine-member board of directors, led by its current President Sam Sills. The administrative staff includes 2 full-time employees, 4 part-time employees, and a roster of 13 teaching artists. For the fiscal year ending in 2022, the total operating revenue was $949,210 with approximately $732,267 from contributions and grants and the remaining $216,943 coming from program service revenue. Expenses were $1,020,148. Fiscal year 2023 annual revenues are projected to be $1,027,185.


Located on the western Brooklyn waterfront, Red Hook is a vibrant and socio-economically diverse community. This neighborhood brings together longtime residents, artists, and newcomers, fostering a socially cohesive environment where collaboration is key to addressing challenges and developing solutions that benefit everyone.

Originally a bustling industrial port in the 19th and early 20th centuries, Red Hook faced decades of redlining and disinvestment. However, recent years have seen renewed investment and revitalization. The 1930s saw the establishment of Brooklyn’s largest public housing project in Red Hook, where 72% of the population now resides.

A network of community organizations is one of Red Hook's greatest strengths. Groups like Hook Arts Media, the Red Hook Houses Resident Associations (East and West), the Red Hook Initiative, and the Red Hook Community Justice Center play pivotal roles in supporting residents, developing vibrant programs, and addressing community needs. The people of Red Hook exemplify resilience, creativity, and an unwavering determination.

Today, the neighborhood's sense of community, stunning waterfront views, cobblestone streets, and historic industrial charm make Red Hook an attractive place to live and work.

Sources: redhookconservancy.org; cityneighborhoods.nyc; likealocaltours.com

Position Summary

HAM’s Executive Director will bring a proactive and strategic approach to leadership. The Executive Director will oversee organizational initiatives, foster stakeholder relationships, and drive growth. Responsibilities include managing budgets, developing partnerships, and ensuring program effectiveness. They must demonstrate expertise in conflict resolution, employee development, and effective communication. The Executive Director will also demonstrate a proven ability to foster and maintain a culture that prioritizes diversity, equity, and inclusion, with a strong commitment to anti-racist and anti-oppressive practices. The Executive Director will be accountable for organizational performance, implementing data-driven decisions, and achieving collective goals. They should possess strong negotiation skills and a collaborative and relationship-oriented personality. The Executive Director will be expected to navigate challenges, build robust networks, and lead the organization with vision and determination.

Roles and Responsibilities

Vision and Strategic Leadership

  • Formulate and execute a comprehensive strategic plan that aligns with HAM’s mission, vision, and values, setting both long-term and short-term organizational goals.
  • Collaborate with the Board of Directors to establish and review organizational policies, prepare for quarterly board meetings, and ensure effective governance and strategic oversight.
  • Establish and manage annual budgets, track financial performance, and ensure the overall financial health of the organization.
  • Ensure all programs and initiatives align with HAM's mission and strategic goals, maintaining high standards of quality and impact.
  • Lead the organization through potential expansions, including establishing community arts media centers in multiple locations and increasing HAM's presence in the community.
  • Embrace additional responsibilities, as necessary.

Stakeholder Engagement and Partnerships

  • Maintain strong relationships with alumni and integrate them into the organization’s future, including board membership and advisory roles.
  • Foster partnerships with local community groups, organizations, funders, and other stakeholders to both increase support and enhance HAM’s reach and impact.
  • Advocate for HAM’s mission and values in various forums, enhancing the organization's visibility through strategic marketing and public relations efforts.
  • Design and implement a comprehensive fundraising plan, building partnerships and expanding the individual donor pool to secure resources for HAM’s vision.
  • Represent HAM at special events, festivals, meetings with community partners, and arts education events, ensuring strong community ties and organizational presence.
  • Embrace additional stakeholder engagement and partnership duties, as necessary.

Operational and Performance Management

  • Hire, train, and supervise core staff, fostering a collaborative and positive work environment, and conducting annual staff reviews to ensure high performance and professional growth.
  • Oversee the day-to-day operations of the organization, ensuring effective and efficient program delivery and operational performance.
  • Work with key staff to develop, implement, and assess educational and cultural programming, ensuring alignment with organizational goals and community needs.
  • Regularly visit programs and meet with departmental directors and teaching staff to ensure program quality and address any issues or concerns promptly.
  • Oversee the production of the annual Red Hook Festival and other events, managing budgets, cultivating sponsorships, and curating artists for successful event execution.
  • Embrace additional operational and performance management duties, as necessary.

Traits and Characteristics

The Executive Director will be a passionate advocate for the arts with a strategic and visionary approach. They will excel in building collaborative relationships with staff, artists, educators, and the community. Demonstrating cultural competency, integrity, and sound judgment, they will handle sensitive matters with care. Committed to artistic education for all, they will be adaptable, creative, and results-oriented, using innovative solutions to drive the organization forward. With a focus on teamwork, leadership, and resilience, they will cultivate a supportive culture and align resources, mission, and strategy with the communities HAM serves.

Other key competencies include the following:

  • Leadership and Personal Accountability – The ability to influence others’ behavior to accomplish an objective while remaining answerable for personal actions.
  • Creativity, Innovation, and Futuristic Thinking – Imagining, envisioning, and creating new approaches, designs, processes, technologies, and/or systems to achieve the desired result.
  • Diplomacy and Conflict Management – Effectively and tactfully handling difficult or sensitive issues to resolve conflict constructively.
  • Resilience and Flexibility – Readily modifying, responding, and adapting to change with minimal resistance and recovering quickly from adversity.


The Executive Director of HAM must have 5+ years of leadership experience in nonprofit cultural arts organizations. This role requires strong public relations, public speaking, marketing, and fundraising expertise. The ideal candidate will have an in-depth understanding of the experiences and challenges faced by historically marginalized racial groups in the U.S., particularly Black, Indigenous, and Latinx communities, with a comprehensive grasp of institutional and structural racism and its effects on underserved populations, in addition to a proven track record of successful collaboration with a board of directors and leading multi-disciplinary teams to execute programs. Knowledge and understanding of the Red Hook communities and NYC’s fundraising environment are desired, but it is essential that the Executive Director be an energetic and engaging public representative with a people-centric approach. Strong financial oversight skills, including budget management and financial reporting, are essential. Experience in media, video, filmmaking, or digital arts and/or an education background is strongly desired. Exceptional communication skills and a bachelor’s degree (or equivalent) are required.

Compensation and Benefits

HAM offers a comprehensive compensation package, including an annual salary in the range of $105,000 to $115,000. Benefits include paid vacation, holidays, sick leave, personal days, and medical insurance.

Applications and Inquiries

To submit a cover letter and resume with a summary of demonstrable accomplishments (electronic submissions preferred), please click here or visit artsconsulting.com/opensearches. For questions or general inquiries about this job opportunity, including the anticipated salary range, please contact:

Dat Ngo
Vice President, Planning and Capacity Building
Arts Consulting Group logo.

1030 15th Street NW, Suite 283
Washington, DC 20005-1500
Tel       (888) 234.4236 Ext. 235
Cell      (571) 380.3776
Email    HookArts@ArtsConsulting.com

HAM is an equal opportunity employer. HAM is an anti-racist organization and seeks an individual committed to ensuring that its diversity, equity, and inclusion values are actively and authentically implemented across all programs, policies, and its workplace.

Click here for the downloadable PDF.

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