Executive Director, Sarasota Art Museum/Ringling College of Art and Design, Sarasota, FL

  • 04 May 2021 9:23 AM
    Message # 10440567

    About The Sarasota Art Museum

    The Sarasota Art Museum is a catalyst for appreciation and understanding of the art of our time. As a platform for education, exposure and experimentation, the Museum inspires new ideas and new ways of being through an endless rotation of transformative, relevant, and pioneering exhibitions and programs designed to elevate and empower all by cultivating discerning visual thinkers and ethical citizens.

    About Ringling College of Art and Design

    Founded in 1931 and located in Sarasota, Florida, Ringling College of Art and Design is a private, not-for-profit college offering the Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in eleven disciplines and the Bachelor of Arts in two. Enrolling over 1,600 undergraduate students from 55 countries and 44 states, the College’s rigorous curriculum employs the studio model of teaching and immediately engages students through a comprehensive program that is both specific to the major of study and focused on the liberal arts. The College is recognized as the most technologically advanced art college in the world and is known for its cutting-edge and innovative programs, including Virtual Reality Development, Entertainment Design, Business of Art and Design, and more. Striving to create globally aware and socially responsible leaders of art and design, the College’s teaching model ultimately shapes students into highly employable and globally aware artists and designers. In addition to the college’s main campus, the recently opened Sarasota Art Museum anchors the Ringling College Museum Campus with 20,000 square feet of exhibition gallery space plus a bistro, shop, auditorium for educational events, performance and film, a beautiful courtyard, and classrooms for the College’s Osher Lifelong Learning Institute.

    The Opportunity

    The Ringling College of Art and Design seeks a forward-thinking, innovative Executive Director who will galvanize and inspire students, faculty, community members, and the global public in an ambitious collaborative vision for the Sarasota Art Museum. Reporting directly to the President of Ringling College of Art and Design, the Executive Director will work closely with the Museum Advisory Committee (MAC) of the Board of Trustees of the College. The Ringling College Board of Trustees has ultimate governance authority over the Sarasota Art Museum (“Museum”) as a division of Ringling College, and the Museum Advisory Committee actively acts in an advisory capacity to the President and to the Ringling College Board of Trustees. 

    The Executive Director must be an engaging leader adept at building and maintaining relationships with a wide range of constituents, including College administrators, students, faculty, community members, and donors. This individual will help to develop a distinctive national profile for the museum and will create connections with other museums, regional non-profit art organizations, and other contemporary art institutions. 

    Working with the President and the Museum Advisory Committee, the Executive Director will further develop and articulate a vision for the Museum to a variety of constituencies. The Executive Director must understand and promote the Museum’s role in the academic mission of the College, as well as the College’s wider public charge. Toward that end, the Executive Director must be able to leverage the profile of the Museum to engage its constituency more deeply with the Museum and the College as a whole.

    The Executive Director must have a deep commitment to and understanding of diversity – in all dimensions – as a force for academic and artistic excellence and as a deeply held commitment at the heart of the institution’s mission.

    Specifically, the next Executive Director will:

    ·         Develop and implement a strong collaborative vision that connects the Museum both to Ringling College and to the broader community and global issues by:

    ·         overseeing the development and implementation of innovative education initiatives that integrate the Museum into the community and the College.

    ·         overseeing the creation of public programs that will appeal to and foster new connections with a wide range of diverse audiences.

    Serve as the Museum’s chief liaison with the college and global community, ensuring that the Museum’s impact is felt locally, internationally, and campus-wide by:

    ·         engaging with campus partners to integrate the Museum into the mission of Ringling College.

    ·         developing local, national, and global networks and partnerships to ensure that the Museum’s impact reaches beyond the campus of Ringling College.

    ·         collaborating with the College’s advancement leadership and team members in developing and stewarding strong relationships with donors, and working with the Museum Advisory Committee to advance the mission and goals of the Museum. 

    ·         working closely with the College’s internal and external communications staff for all marketing and public relations.

    ·         serving as primary spokesperson for the Museum.

    Manage the operational and administrative duties for the Museum in close collaboration and partnership with the College by:

    ·         fostering a collaborative and supportive working environment focused on inclusion, innovation, growth, and personal and professional development.

    ·         overseeing the day-to-day public operation of the Museum to ensure quality and efficiency.

    ·         working with the College’s Office of Human Resources to determine personnel needs and hiring of staff.

    ·         managing budgets and grants and working closely with the College’s finance teams to ensure effective development of and adherence to all programming and operational budgets.

    ·         taking an active role supporting efforts by the College’s Advancement Office to develop annual revenue streams and enduring endowments to ensure the financial stability of the museum. 

    Candidate Profile

    The next Executive Director of the Sarasota Art Museum will be a persuasive and creative leader who is inspired by the unique mission of a contemporary art museum embedded in a premiere art and design college.  Top candidates will demonstrate evidence of progressively increasing organizational leadership within complex environments where relationship building and influencing skills are key to success. Ringling College seeks candidates with leadership experience in an art museum setting, arts institution, or similar organization, with a record of strong institutional and financial management. Other key qualities include a talent and enthusiasm for outreach and collaboration, and a commitment to diversity and inclusion.  A bachelor’s degree in art, art history, or other relevant field or research area is required, and an advanced degree or equivalent professional and leadership experience in a comparable setting is preferred.

    The ideal candidate should possess the following leadership competencies, professional expertise, and personal qualities: 

    Strategic and Visionary Leader

    The Executive Director will be a dynamic and charismatic leader with an entrepreneurial and enthusiastic spirit, and the ability to: (1) develop a compelling and captivating vision for the Museum, (2) partner with colleagues at the College and members of the broader community, and (3) serve as a visible and effective advocate for the critical role that the arts play in the overall educational and community service mission of the College.

    This individual must be a proven strategic thinker with the foresight, capacity, and experience to understand and balance complex and discrete needs. This person must be capable of providing stability and confidence when faced with important and quickly changing circumstances.  The Executive Director will be a consultative thought-leader within the College and the arts community.

    Mission Fit and Expertise

    The Executive Director will have a passion for art and an appreciation for the creative process. They will possess a dedication and enthusiasm for education at all levels.  The Executive Director must have an appreciation for the unique role of a College-based museum serving the wider public, and will understand and cultivate collaborative opportunities within an academic community.

    The Executive Director will help set the vision for compelling exhibitions, programs, and publications that expand audience engagement. The next leader will have a solid grasp and keen awareness of national and international trends and best practices in art museums and within the broader art world.

    Development and Fundraising

    The Executive Director will have knowledge of fundraising as well as cultivation and stewardship of donors.  They must be able to build strong relationships within the greater community, with current and potential donors, and with the advisory board. This leader will have substantial knowledge and experience with various fundraising and communications channels, including major gifts and capital campaigns, foundations, and corporations, and the ability to provide high-touch engagement with all of the Museum’s and College’s constituents.  

    Business Acumen and Operational Expertise

    The Executive Director will have a strong record of successful oversight and management of finance and operations. This person will promote a culture of excellence and high-quality execution at all levels within the institution, providing outstanding stewardship for the Museum. Highly skilled in budget, financial, and personnel management, this individual will have the perspective to work with the appropriate College office to consider the impact of decisions, strategic plans or initiatives, and programs on the organization, and to make sound recommendations accordingly.

    Skilled and Inspirational Manager

    The Executive Director will be a decisive, results-driven leader with a collegial, team-oriented working style, open and nimble in adjusting to emerging needs or shifting priorities. This individual will have a proven record of visible and effective leadership and management, and the demonstrated ability to professionally develop, nurture, motivate, and retain a strong team that is focused on impact, excellence, accountability, and efficiency. This person must understand the subtleties of motivating and directing, as well as delegating, handling, and prioritizing multiple activities and responsibilities.  A practiced leader and advocate, the Executive Director will possess the ability to negotiate graciously and diplomatically, while remaining decisive, proactive, and fair.  An unpretentious individual of high integrity, the Executive Director will possess good judgment and will be a motivator, able to inspire a shared vision, quality performance, and strong morale, empowering and cultivating staff through communication, feedback, and delegation, while actively promoting teamwork and collaboration.

    External Relations and Relationship-Building

    The Executive Director will have a compelling public presence and will be skilled at developing, building, and sustaining excellent relationships. This person will have a demonstrated ability to connect with and build bridges among the various stakeholders within and across the College’s environment, including faculty, administrators, students, the Museum Advisory Committee, major donors, and members of the community. The Executive Director will have excellent written and verbal communication skills and the facility to connect effectively with audiences of varying levels of expertise. This individual will have the capacity to serve as an active and sensitive listener, and to thrive as the Sarasota Art Museum at Ringling College’s foremost champion, persuading stakeholders to support and advance the Museum’s mission.  This person will also be a charismatic connector, collaborator, and bridge-builder with ability to engage with and gain buy-in from diverse stakeholders around their vision for the Museum.

    Other Characteristics

    The Executive Director will have a high level of emotional intelligence and be a humble, flexible leader with a sense of humor. Intellectually and artistically curious, the next leader will be able to break down silos and work collegially, building connections across teams, divisions, campus constituents, and community.

    Compensation & Benefits

    Compensation and benefits are competitive and commensurate with experience.


    Naree Viner and Tenley Bank of Koya Partners have been exclusively retained for this search. To express your interest in this role please submit your materials here or email Tenley directly at tbank@koyapartners.com. All inquiries and discussions will be considered strictly confidential.

    The Sarasota Art Museum at Ringling College of Art and Design is an equal opportunity employer and strongly encourages applications from people of color, persons with disabilities, women, and LGBTQ+ applicants.

    Ringling College’s campus community is a diverse blend of people, ideas and creativity. From its students to the faculty, staff, alumni, and friends that support them, the College offers an intimate environment for learning. Ringling College of Art and Design recognizes that creatives play a significant role in society. The College’s primary mission is to provide programs leading to degrees that prepare students to be discerning visual thinkers and ethical practitioners in their chosen area of art and design.

    About Koya Partners

    Koya Partners, a part of the Diversified Search Group, is a leading executive search and strategic advising firm dedicated to connecting exceptionally talented people with mission-driven clients. Our founding philosophy—The Right Person in the Right Place Can Change the World—guides our work as we partner with nonprofits & NGOs, institutions of higher education, responsible businesses, and social enterprises in local communities and around the world.

    For more information about Koya Partners, visit www.koyapartners.com.