Vermont Studio Center

Executive Director

The Vermont Studio Center (VSC), the largest international artists' and writers' residency in the U.S., is seeking a visionary, passionate, and inspiring leader to carry on the remarkable spirit and success created over the Center's first 35 years.

The Executive Director will work with VSC's engaged trustees and the Center's experienced and dedicated staff to continue, strengthen, and advance the community's founding Mission and Core Values (See Addenda). The position is charged by the Board of Trustees to provide leadership, strategic direction, and vision for the Vermont Studio Center; the Executive Director reports to the Board and is responsible for all operations of VSC and the implementation of the Board's policies and strategies; the Board is responsible for monitoring the performance of the Executive Director.

Vermont Studio Center is an equal opportunity employer and encourages candidates of all racial, ethnic, and religious backgrounds to apply. Staff are selected on the basis of ability without regard to race, color, sex, national origin, disability, marital status, sexual orientation or gender identity.


Leadership:

The Executive Director is expected to lead by example, facilitating the efforts of the 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 Vermont Studio Center. This leader recruits staff and supports the Board, working with all constituents to achieve the highest standards.

Fundraising:

The Executive Director, together with the Director of External Engagement, and the Board’s Development Committee, leads the development plan for all VSC's fundraising activity and is familiar with major donor solicitations, relations, and stewardship, and with identifying prospective major donors. They oversee a staff team and support the Board Committee, executing the plan, including grants and capital campaigns. They will be expected to devote significant time to meeting with donors regionally and nationally.

External Relations:

The Executive Director is the Studio Center's chief spokesperson, inspiring all VSC constituencies including the approximately 700 residents the organization serves each year, its 42-member full and part-time staff, 21-member Board, supporters and friends, and 14,000 alumnx around the world. They will represent the Center's ideals to the public, giving special attention to the state of Vermont and the Town of Johnson. In addition, they will build relations with other national and international audiences along with peer organizations, stewarding those already existing.

Program:

The Executive Director oversees and supports staff in developing, implementing, and evaluating all aspects of the experience participants have as residents in accord with the policies adopted by the Board, and as advised by the Program Committee.

Facilities:

The Executive Director, together with staff and the Board’s Plant Operations Committee, oversees all aspects of the Physical Plant, including its maintenance and ongoing development, and the implementation of the Campus Master Plan.

Finances:

The Executive Director ensures that the management of the institution's resources and finances is compliant with current laws and regulations and that the endowment is managed in accord with the guidelines approved by the Board. The Executive Director also oversees the development of the annual budget, setting priorities in accord with the Board policies advised by the Finance Committee. Duties include ensuring that all Fund Accounting principles are properly adhered to, and accurately informing the Board of VSC's financial position in a timely manner.

Personnel Management:

The Executive Director maintains sensitivity to all personnel matters and ensures that all policies and procedures employed by the Human Resources Office are compliant with current laws and regulations. They regularly review personnel policies and inform staff and residents.

Board and Committees:

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

Qualifications:

  • A demonstrated record of leadership characterized by integrity and vision, both programmatic and administrative, that supports and conveys the mission, spirit, and core values of VSC.
  • At least seven years’ experience in progressively senior positions, ideally in a not-for-profit cultural or educational institution with a sizable operating budget. Experience with a residential program, including international participants, will be valued.
  • A successful record as a strategic planner and fundraiser, including experience in soliciting major donors and managing multi-year campaigns.
  • A proven record of responsible budget development and fiscal management.
  • An understanding of the creative process, ideally through personal practice and experience, and a good general knowledge of the contemporary art and literary worlds.
  • Ability to foster a diverse, equitable, inclusive, accessible, and respectful workplace culture.
  • The ability to manage day-to-day operations in line with strategic goals and to implement decisions effectively while valuing inclusion of VSC’s stakeholders.
  • A successful record of engendering trust, confidence, and engagement in program participants, trustees, alumnx, staff, donors, and other related constituencies.
  • Excellent communication skills, both written and oral, and the ability to effectively present the values, purpose, and program of VSC.
  • Sensitivity to the Center’s responsibility toward the local community, historic preservation, and good environmental practices.
  • A working knowledge of technology and its capabilities to advance VSC’s programs and attract wider audiences.


Work Location & Travel:

The Executive Director’s primary work location will be at the Vermont Studio Center in Johnson; however, they will be expected to travel regionally and nationally on a regular basis to represent VSC in meetings with board members, donors, alumnx, and partners and to attend conferences or give presentations.
 

Three Addenda: Mission, Core Values & Institutional Profile:

1. Mission

To support dedicated artists and writers by providing studio residencies in a non-competitive, international community honoring creative work as the communication of spirit through form.

2. Core Values

  • A conviction that a range and variety of residents is crucial both to an artistic community and to the art produced.
  • A respect for the ideal of equality in practice, whether the practitioner be focused on the visual or verbal arts.
  • A belief that interdisciplinarity is welcome, as is the exchange of ideas.
  • A non-competitive community for artists and writers to pursue their creative work.
  • A vision that art is an expression of spirit through form, and that the arts and their creation are sacred, timeless trusts.
  • An organization that embodies universal values of humanitarianism, compassion, respect, simplicity, and harmony.
  • A campus in accord with environmental standards, reflecting respect for nature, comfort in simplicity, privacy, beauty, and an unhurried way of life.
  • An ethical, sustainable business model, in which sources of financial support are considered with an appreciation of Vermont Studio Center values.
  • A commitment to offer financial assistance to qualified applicants who would not be able to participate without it.
  • An international focus that promotes global healing and harmony, and that expands the Center's philosophy across the world.

3. Institutional Profile:

Founded by artists Jonathan Gregg, Louise von Weise, and Fred Osborne in 1984, the Vermont Studio Center hosts approximately 55 visual artists and writers each month, year-round, from across the country and around the world. Each resident is provided with individual housing and a studio; healthy meals are communal. Each group of residents forms a community, which is enriched by recognized, professional visiting artists and writers who are available to serve as mentors or critics by request. Residents enjoy attending readings, lectures, Open Studio evenings, and presenting their work to each other.

The founding director, Jonathan Gregg, served from 1984 to 2011. He was succeeded by George Pearlman, 2011–2014, and by Gary Clark, 2014–2019, both of whom had worked with the founder. The Interim Executive Director since July, 2019, is Ellen McCulloch-Lovell.

The Center is housed on a campus of 25 buildings along the Gihon River in the village of Johnson, Vermont, in the heart of the northern Green Mountains.

VSC is a 501(c)3 organization with an annual budget of $3.4 million and endowment of over $8 million. It operates with a staff of 42 full- and part-time employees, many of whom are active artists or writers; the Center's Board of Trustees has 21 members and is composed of artists and writers, and business, nonprofit, and community leaders.

In addition to its residency program, VSC offers a visual arts MFA residency in cooperation with a degree program through Northern Vermont University in Johnson. As a community service, VSC provides art education to Johnson Elementary School students and other area schools.


Job requirements:

  • A demonstrated record of leadership characterized by integrity and vision, both programmatic and administrative, that supports and conveys the mission, spirit, and core values of VSC.
  • At least seven years’ experience in progressively senior positions, ideally in a not-for-profit cultural or educational institution with a sizable operating budget. Experience with a residential program, including international participants, will be valued.
  • A successful record as a strategic planner and fundraiser, including experience in soliciting major donors and managing multi-year campaigns.
  • A proven record of responsible budget development and fiscal management.
  • An understanding of the creative process, ideally through personal practice and experience, and a good general knowledge of the contemporary art and literary worlds.
  • Ability to foster a diverse, equitable, inclusive, accessible, and respectful workplace culture.
  • The ability to manage day-to-day operations in line with strategic goals and to implement decisions effectively while valuing inclusion of VSC’s stakeholders.
  • A successful record of engendering trust, confidence, and engagement in program participants, trustees, alumnx, staff, donors, and other related constituencies.
  • Excellent communication skills, both written and oral, and the ability to effectively present the values, purpose, and program of VSC.
  • Sensitivity to the Center’s responsibility toward the local community, historic preservation, and good environmental practices.
  • A working knowledge of technology and its capabilities to advance VSC’s programs and attract wider audiences.

Applications should be addressed to the Search Committee.

Contact Information

Sarah Hyde, Search Committee
Executive Director's Office
80 Pearl St
Johnson
VT
05656
Contact Phone: 
(802) 635-2727