Pewabic Pottery of Detroit recently posted a job listing seeking a new executive director. The full text of the listing follows:
Above image: Terracotta mask adorning the former Wilson Theater in Detroit.
More than a century ago Mary Chase Perry Stratton founded Detroit’s Pewabic, actively pushing the boundaries of ceramic practice through exploration, experimentation and the development of ground-breaking techniques. Today, Pewabic is a center for the promotion and development of contemporary ceramics and the living repository of a rich tradition that continues to influence artists and collectors. Like the city of Detroit, Pewabic is writing a new chapter in its history, firmly establishing itself as a leader among Detroit’s arts institutions.
Located in a 1907 Tudor Revival building – a National Historic Landmark – Pewabic is one of the few working potteries in the country dating back to the Arts and Crafts movement which flourished in Detroit as a counterpoint to assembly-line industrialization. Arts and Crafts proponents emphasized the importance of art, design and handicraft in everyday objects made for everyday use. In a world struggling to accommodate the rapid fire changes of technology, Pewabic is rooted firmly in clay and looking ahead to a new vision of contemporary ceramic craft that embraces change through a timeless medium.
Pewabic is a multi-faceted, non-profit organization. It maintains a thriving retail and design operation and supports the work of more than 100 ceramic artists throughout the region and extends Pewabic’s craft around the world. Pewabic pottery and tile designs are manufactured on-site. Pewabic operates a museum honoring its role in the development of ceramics and cares for a growing collection of Pewabic pottery that illustrates its history. The pottery provides ceramic art education to children and adults throughout the Detroit metropolitan area. Pewabic is an active partner in the changing look and culture of its east-side Detroit neighborhood, and a critical player in the revitalization of Detroit promoted by arts and culture organizations.
The organization operates with an annual budget of $2,850,000.00. It has a full and part-time staff of 45 and a 23 member Board of Trustees.
CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES
- Building on an established brand and reputation, enhance Pewabic’s position as a leader in ceramic arts regionally and nationally.
- Review, assess and propose innovative programs in alignment with mission and vision.
- Strengthen Pewabic’s finances by enhancing endowment, cultivating and engaging individual, corporate and foundation donors, optimizing retail sales and design commissions and integrating sound business practices throughout the organization.
- Actively engage with local arts initiatives, collaborate with other educational and cultural organizations and promote and expand Pewabic’s work by engaging the community in meaningful and innovative way.
- Support and build a dynamic, team focused organization that encourages creativity, productivity and excellence.
- Develop the physical campus.
POSITION AND RESPONSIBILITIES
The Executive Director reports to the Board of Trustees and is responsible for the organization’s consistent achievement of its mission and strategic objectives. As the primary public representative of Pewabic, the Executive Director works as a partner with the Board to ensure that the organization remains mission centered, programmatically exciting and fiscally viable.
- Assure that the organization has a long-range strategy that achieves its mission with consistent, timely and measurable progress.
- Develop strategies and lead initiatives to grow fundraising, retail and design development.
- Lead staff in the development of organizational and financial plans and execute those plans and policies with the support and approval of the Board.
- Promote active participation by the Board and volunteers in support of the organization’s work.
- Maintain official records and documents, and ensure compliance with federal, state and local regulations.
- Oversee the maintenance of the facility and work to expand the physical plant to increase manufacturing and programmatic capacity.
Community Outreach and Programming
- Guide staff in the development and implementation of creative, interesting and dynamic programs and activities to engage the greater community in ceramic opportunities and experiences.
- Oversee educational and exhibition programming and the historical collections.
- Manage the growth of the Pewabic brand and future development of Pewabic designs and fabrication.
- Ensure appropriate financial and legal practices are utilized and maintained.
- With staff, develop long-range financial projections, prepare the annual operating budget and manage the organization within budget guidelines and funding.
- Execute legal documents and correspondence on behalf of the organization.
- Act as primary spokesperson for Pewabic.
- Establish proactive working relationships with area arts organizations, volunteers, community groups and organizations and the media.
- Actively foster and support internal communication, ensuring that the entire staff is working to achieve Pewabic’s mission and vision.
- Keep the Board informed of the overall condition of the organization and all the important factors influencing it, such as finances, human resources, operations and programs.
Organizational Development and Human Resources
- Strengthen all aspects of human resources including policy and practices.
- Encourage staff and volunteer development and education.
- Ensure compliance with health and safety regulations.
The new Executive Director must be a person of vision able to inspire and excite a committed board, dedicated staff and extensive community of ceramic artists, designers, collectors, students, faculty, administrators, as well as residents of and visitors to Detroit. Success will require prior experience in the arts or a related field and appreciation of ceramic art throughout history to the present in addition to proven management skills. Most importantly, the successful candidate will possess exemplary personal and leadership qualities and will be eager to be part of an extraordinary organization dedicated to the ceramic arts.
Specific qualifications include:
- BA in a related field; advanced degree in arts administration or an MPA or MBA;
- Proven track record as a leader with 5 to 7 years in a management position, preferably in an arts organization;
- Artistic vision with a passion for ceramics;
- Fund development experience;
- Demonstrated ability to coach, lead, and manage a diverse, creative team of artists, designers, third party contractors, retailers, fundraisers and administrators;
- Skill as an administrator familiar with setting and achieving objectives and managing projects; experience with manufacturing and/or retail a plus;
- Excellent writing and speaking skills as well as excellent interpersonal and listening skills;
- Personal warmth, charm, sensitivity, compassion and a good sense of humor greatly appreciated.
PROCEDURE FOR APPLICATION
Applicants should submit a resume, a one-page narrative describing interest and experience, and the names of three references. Applications will be reviewed by Management Consultants for the Arts, the executive search firm working with the Board of Trustees of Pewabic. Suggestions of candidates are also welcome.
Send resume and accompanying materials via email to:
Linda Sweet, Partner
Email: Christy Wall at MCAWall2@gmail.com
Subject Line: Pewabic