News / Press Releases

Artist Trust Seeks Executive Director

For Immediate Release:

Click here for a .pdf of the Job Announcement

Artist Trust is a not-for-profit organization whose mission is to support and encourage individual artists working in all disciplines in order to enrich cultural life throughout Washington State. Artist Trust is recognized as a national model for direct funding and professional development of working artists and has invested over $10 million in individual artists throughout the state since its inception in 1987.

To accomplish its mission Artist Trust raises funds from an array of sources to: 1) give financial grants, through a peer-review process, to individual artists working in the visual, performing, media, literary, and interdisciplinary arts; 2) serve as a professional information resource for artists and encourage artists to support each other; and 3) provide recognition and support for the contributions artists make to the lives of the people of Washington State and for the merit and integrity of artists’ work.

The Position: The Executive Director reports to the Board of Directors and will have overall strategic and operational responsibility for Artist Trust’s staff, programs, grants, campaigns and general fulfillment of its mission for the artists of Washington State.


Leadership and Management: Artist Trust is searching for a leader who understands and is passionate about the role of the individual artist in making our state an extraordinary place to live, work and create. The Executive Director will be responsible for interpreting and communicating Artist Trust’s mission within and beyond the organization. The ideal candidate will have excellent leadership qualities that will motivate staff and engage artists, donors, members, partners and legislators around our goal of ensuring that Washington State values and supports the creative potential of its citizens.

The Executive Director will:
    • Lead, develop, support and retain effective staff.
    • Ensure quality of administration, communications and operational systems to facilitate a productive and efficient work environment.
    • Ensure financial sustainability of the organization by being responsible for budget development and oversight.
    • Actively engage stakeholders, the Board of Directors and partnering organizations locally and nationally.
    • Develop, maintain, engage and support a strong Board of Directors; serve in an ex-officio capacity on the board and on committees.
    • Create alignment of stakeholders through inspired implementation of the strategic plan.

Program Services: Artist Trust currently provides two primary areas of service to artists: grants and career training. The Executive Director will provide oversight to program managers for planning and implementation of these programs, increase collaboration between departments to enhance services to artists, and forge and maintain relationships with partnership organizations throughout the state to enhance the quality, effectiveness and reach of our programs.

The Executive Director will:
    • Oversee the planning and implementation of programs in alignment with the strategic plan.
    • Encourage and foster best practices for grant-making and career training.
    • Ensure excellence through the delivery of highly-valued, effective programs and services.
    • Support and provide guidance for program staff.
    • Support initiatives to diversify the communities we serve through career support programs and grants.
    • Adopt measures to gauge the needs of artists in our community and adapt programming to meet those needs.
    • Ensure effective evaluative methodologies to track progress against goals.

Outreach and Communications: As a statewide organization, Artist Trust is committed to serving the interests of artists of all disciplines in every county in Washington State. Our ability to spread our message and provide opportunities to the state’s diverse populations is crucial to our ongoing success and growth. The Executive Director must be familiar with traditional as well as new media and demonstrate ease in their use. The best candidate will be able to speak engagingly and persuasively about Artist Trust’s mission to stakeholders from a variety of backgrounds.

The Executive Director will:
    • Deepen and refine current communications activities to create a stronger presence throughout Washington State.
    • Use external presence and relationships to garner new opportunities.
    • Build partnerships in new and underserved communities, establishing authentic relationships with artists and community leaders.
    • Be a local and national presence who speaks publicly about Artist Trust’s mission and programs.

Stewardship: Artist Trust raises funds to serve the artists of Washington State by providing grants, services and professional development opportunities. Our first priority is to ensure that all contributed income directly supports the artists we serve. The Executive Director will work closely with the Board of Directors, the Director of Development and the development team to raise funds, develop a strong statewide and national fundraising program, and expand fundraising capacity in annual campaigns, legacy and major gifts, and special initiative campaigns.

The Executive Director will:
    • Oversee the Director of Development’s planning and execution of all development goals.
    • Work closely with the Director of Development to build a positive fundraising culture among the Board of Directors and staff.
    • Nurture strong, loyal relationships with supporters and cultivate potential donors.
    • Diversify ways of giving.
    • Develop earned income opportunities through sponsorship, content, programming, and/or workshop fees.
    • Serve as staff lead with the Director of Development on our Campaign for a Creative Future to develop campaign strategies and augment existing resources.

Public Relations and Arts Advocacy: Our Executive Director will represent the interests of artists of Washington State locally and nationally to key constituents including donors, the media, community organizations, professional associations and partnering allies. The best candidate will effectively communicate the importance of the role of the individual artist in Washington State.

The Executive Director will:
    • Pursue local, regional and national partnerships with other organizations when such partnerships help to better achieve Artist Trust’s objectives.
    • Represent the organization and Washington State artists regionally and nationally at public meetings, committees, panels, associations, conferences, etc.
    • Serve as at-large board member of the Washington State Arts Alliance.
    • Serve as main spokesperson to the media and press about Artist Trust.
    • Oversee all external communications of the organization, including marketing, publicity and public relations.
    • Further awareness of Artist Trust through speaking opportunities, written pieces and media profiles.
    • Direct staff and the Board of Directors to fulfill advocacy goals.

Desired Attributes

    • Excellent strategic communication skills, including a readiness to share information and solicit and incorporate advice.
    • Emotional intelligence and cultural competence.
    • Decisiveness and resourcefulness with the ability to adapt to rapid change, to anticipate and act quickly on opportunities.
    • An entrepreneurial mindset, adaptability, and innovativeness.
    • Proven team leadership with humor and an ability to inspire staff and create a compelling vision for the future.

Required Skills and Experience

    • Demonstrated experience in creating and implementing major fundraising campaigns.
    • Experience leading small, enthusiastic teams through significant steps in organizational growth.
    • Experience working with cultural and philanthropic leaders, corporate partners, and up-and-coming donors as well as traditional arts donors.
    • Strong executive management and strategic planning experience.
    • Ten years proven success in a leadership role at a not-for-profit organization.

Artist Trust offers a competitive compensation package. Salary range is $85-$95,000 plus benefits, depending on experience. Anticipated start date is September 29, 2014.

Please submit your résumé and cover letter to no later than July 3, 2014.

Artist Trust is an equal opportunity employer and complies with all EOE and ADA requirements. Background checks will be required.

About Artist Trust
Artist Trust is a nonprofit organization whose sole mission is to support and encourage individual artists working in all disciplines in order to enrich community life throughout Washington State. Since its founding in 1986, Artist Trust has invested over $10 million in individual artists through grant programs, and provides a comprehensive suite of professional development training and resources to help artists achieve their career goals. Learn more at