Executive Director / Employment

September 1, 2020

Organization Name: Fire Island Artist Residency (FIAR)

Organization Location: Fire Island, NY

Type: Employment

Fee: Free


Application Deadline: September 1, 2020
The Fire Island Artist Residency (FIAR), the only LGBTQ+ international artist residency in the U.S., seeks a visionary, passionate, and inspiring leader to carry on the remarkable spirit and success created during its first decade of operation.

Institutional and Position Overview
The Fire Island Artist Residency was founded by Chris Bogia, Evan Garza and Rod Sayegh in 2011. Each summer, hundreds of artists from all over the world apply for one of five visual arts residencies and three poetry residencies offered simultaneously during a four week stretch of summer on Fire Island, one of the world’s oldest existing LGBTQ communities. While in residence, artists and poets are visited by leaders in their field who offer one-on-one feedback, as well as lectures open to the public at the landmark Cherry Grove Community Theater.

Moving into its second decade, FIAR is searching for its succeeding Executive Director to grow the organization, its financials, and its impact as a leader in the field. The Executive Director will oversee all aspects of the annual residency on Fire Island. The position is currently structured as a partial-year directorship, with intense periods of seasonal work, surrounding the admissions process (February- May) and when the program is in operation (July-August).The Executive Director will work remotely during the off-season. The position requires anywhere between 35 and 60 hours per week during the jury review process, the residency set-up on Fire Island, and the residency period and break down. However, at other times of the year, the position requires approximately 10-15 hours per week. In its current configuration, this position is ideal for someone who is committed to expanding the capacity of the program in its second decade but who might have supplemental employment.

The Executive Director will work with FIAR’s engaged Board of Directors to continue, strengthen, and advance its mission and purpose. The position is charged by the directors to provide leadership, strategic direction, and vision for the Fire Island Artist Residency. The Executive Director reports to the Board and is responsible for all operations of FIAR and the implementation of the Board’s policies and strategies; the Board is responsible for monitoring the performance of the Executive Director as measured by attainable, defined annual goals.

As an organization dedicated to supporting LGBTQ+ artists and writers, FIAR considers its foremost mission and commitment to fostering a diverse, equitable, inclusive, accessible, and respectful creative environment. As the leader of the organization, the Executive Director will foster a culture of trust, confidence, and engagement in program participants, directors, alumnx, staff, donors, and other related constituencies, including and not exclusive to the organization’s host community of Cherry Grove. Furthermore, the Executive Director will possess and promote sensitivity toward the local community on Fire Island, including the community’s shared commitment to historic preservation and good environmental practices. Ideally, The Executive Director will be involved in their own creative practice, and be able to integrate organizational skills in order to support the residents in their creative process, while engaging with the contemporary art world. The Executive Director will manage day-to-day operations in line with strategic goals and to implement decisions to this end while valuing inclusion of FIAR’s stakeholders.


The Executive Director is responsible for living and working on Fire Island during the program’s operations to oversee, support, and amplify the residency experience for the artists and poets in the program. The Executive Director acts as the host for visiting artists, as liaison for the overall Fire Island community, and facilitates weekly public lectures by program participants. In consultation with the proper health and safety professionals, the Executive Director is responsible for overseeing the safety, health, and well-being of all of the program participants. The program employs one additional full-time Studio Manager, who reports directly to the Executive Director, and helps facilitate residents’ needs. Additionally, the Executive Director oversees the outreach efforts to attract qualified candidates and qualified, diverse jurors to evaluate applications.

The Executive Director is expected to lead by example, supporting the efforts of part time seasonal staff, and resolving harmoniously the needs of admissions, development, communications, finance, facilities, and the overall program. As chief operating officer and spokesperson, the Executive Director understands and portrays the purpose and spirit of the Fire Island Artist Residency. The Executive Director recruits staff and supports the Board, working with all constituents to achieve the highest standards.

The Executive Director, together with the Board’s Development Committee, leads the development plan for all FIAR’s fundraising activities and is familiar with major donor solicitations, relations, and stewardship, and with identifying prospective major donors. They support the Board Committee, executing the plan, including grants and capital campaigns. They will be responsible for securing, promoting handling, and shipping FIAR’s ongoing yearly benefit editions. In this pivotal moment for the organization, the Board recognizes the opportunity for growth in fundraising and therefore in the Executive Director’s increased capacity to build their role and the organization’s future. They will be expected to devote significant time to cultivating donors regionally and nationally.

With the transition from FIAR’s Founding Director, the Board of Directors is committed to supporting the organization’s second Executive Director through a process of strategic planning and visioning for the future of the program.

The Executive Director ensures that the management of the institution’s resources and finances is compliant with current laws and regulations. The Executive Director also oversees the development and sound implementation of the annual budget and setting priorities in accordance with Board policies. Duties include ensuring that all Fund Accounting principles are properly adhered to, and accurately informing the Board of FIAR’s financial position in a timely manner. Including overseeing FIAR Books and Records for financial transactions, complying with bank and financial organizations’ terms, ensuring compliance with PCI and other website related duties.

External Relations:
The Executive Director is FIAR’s chief spokesperson, inspiring all FIAR constituencies including past residents and the new residents it serves each summer. They will represent FIAR’s ideals to the public, giving special attention to Cherry Grove, Fire Island and New York City. In addition, they will build relations with other national and international audiences along with peer organizations, stewarding those already existing.

FIAR rents properties to host the program each summer. The Executive Director is responsible for securing, maintaining, and caring for adequate space and working with landlords, as well as overseeing all aspects of FIAR’s physical assets in Cherry Grove, storage units, or elsewhere.

Personnel Management / Resident Management:
The Executive Director maintains sensitivity to all personnel matters and ensures that all policies and procedures employed by FIAR are compliant with current laws and regulations. They will establish and implement policies and guidelines to promote the physical and mental health, safety, and relational standards for all Board members, staff, visiting artists and residents. They will establish a clear protocol for reporting and addressing issues of health & safety. The Executive Director will also regularly review personnel policies and inform the Board, staff and program participants.

Board and Committees:
The Executive Director provides administrative support for, and is a non-voting member of, the Board and the Executive Committee, and may also serve as ex-officio, non-voting member of any of the designated Board committees.

Minimum Qualifications:
● A demonstrated record of leadership characterized by integrity and vision, both programmatic and administrative, which supports and conveys the mission, spirit, and core values of FIAR.
● Three to five years’ experience in progressively senior positions, ideally in not-for-profit cultural or educational institutions with a similar sized operating budget. Experience with an artist residential program will be valued.
● Excellent communication skills, both written and oral, and the ability to effectively present the values, purpose, and program of FIAR.
● Experience as a fundraiser, with donor relations and/or grant writing experience.
● A proven record of responsible budget and fiscal management. Experience with financial management software such as QuickBooks a plus.
● A working knowledge of technology and social media and its capabilities to advance FIAR’s programs and attract wider audiences.

To Apply:
Complete the following form https://forms.gle/S5JrRmNnvtHZKc758 and include a current CV/resume, cover letter, three references (including contact information) and salary expectations (considering the current seasonal nature of this position as laid out above). All submissions shall be kept in confidence. Queer individuals of color are encouraged to apply. Applications shall be accepted until the position is filled.

Fire Island Artist Residency is an equal opportunity employer and encourages candidates of all backgrounds to apply. FIAR selects candidates solely on the basis of ability without regard to race, color, sex, national origin, class, disability, marital status, sexual orientation or gender identity.


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