MRAC Seeks Next Executive Director


Thank you to all the individuals who applied for this position. The committee has reviewed the applications and is not accepting additional applications at this time. 

Organization Overview

The Metropolitan Regional Arts Council (MRAC) is a nonprofit organization serving formal and informal groups with annual arts programming expenses of less than $400,000, and artists in Anoka, Carver, Dakota, Hennepin, Ramsey, Scott and Washington counties. The Metropolitan Regional Arts Council is one of eleven regional arts councils throughout the state of Minnesota. As one of the eleven regional arts councils in Minnesota, MRAC’s funding is derived primarily from appropriations from the Minnesota State Legislature with money from the State’s general fund and Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund. MRAC also receives a generous grant from The McKnight Foundation. Mission MRAC’s mission is to improve arts access for communities in the seven-county metropolitan area through support to artists and organizations.

Vision and Principles

It is MRAC’s vision that artists and arts organizations thrive; arts engagement takes place in every community; and the public actively values and celebrates the arts and artists. The organization’s guiding principles are:

• We take into account the needs and interests of constituents in our region when developing programs and services.

• We strive to maintain transparent decision-making processes and accessible public information.

• We meet our constituents where they’re at and recognize their unique needs.

• We act with integrity, ensuring that all constituents are treated in a fair, respectful and consistent manner.

• We’re committed to advancing inclusion and racial equity in all aspects of our work.

• We work with our community partners to promote and advocate for the arts.

Position Description

The next Executive Director will lead MRAC in their efforts to manage and maintain a highly effective grant-making system, work to advance and deepen the organization’s commitment to racial equity, lead and develop staff, and represent MRAC throughout the seven-county metropolitan area. The Executive Director will advance a shared vision for the organization, provide decisive leadership on the strategic direction of our work, and represent MRAC to a wide and diverse range of artists, constituents, stakeholders, and other Regional Arts Councils throughout Minnesota. As an engaged and dynamic leader, the Executive Director must be knowledgeable and experienced in the fields of art, grant making and racial equity, and collaborate with Board and staff to innovate and guide the future work of MRAC.

The Executive Director reports to the MRAC Board of Directors and supervises a staff of seven. This position is full-time, exempt, with an excellent benefits package. Minimum salary $85,000, salary will be commensurate with experience.

Major Duties and Responsibilities

Organizational Strategy and Leadership – Work with Board of Directors on setting vision and strategic direction for MRAC and provide leadership to staff on implementation of the strategic plan. Lead organizational transition and culture change efforts and promote and fulfill the mission of MRAC. Actively advance inclusion and racial equity in all aspects of MRAC’s work. Demonstrate willingness to lead and work alongside the Board of Directors through deep, meaningful engagement.

Program Management – Oversee all MRAC’s programs with an interest in new and innovative ways to achieve the high quality of current panel recruitment, training, and application review. Ensure that MRAC’s interaction with constituents reflects the organizations values regarding racial equity and increased access to quality arts experiences.

Financial Management – Ensure financial stability of the organization with an understanding of budgets and the budgeting process, and clearly communicate MRAC’s financial standing to Board of Directors. Understand and comply with state allocation guidelines.

Internal Relations – Provide leadership and clear direction to staff, support professional development, and utilize existing strengths and skills to advance MRAC’s mission and programming. Nurture and support a healthy work environment that encourages learning, growth, respect, differing perspectives, new ideas, and allows for conversations to challenge the status quo. Provide regular reports and relevant materials for Board meetings in a timely way that support Board decisions and actions to further the mission. Facilitate board discussions with dialogue that leads to consensus building and focuses on setting policies and strategic direction. Provide orientation for new Board members, and training for continuing Board members in partnership with Board leadership. Update the Board on emerging trends and issues in the fields of art, grant-making, and racial equity. Provide creative leadership and inspiring vision that empowers the volunteer Board to contribute knowledge, skills and time in an effective manner.

External Relations– Serve as the public face of the organization and the primary liaison to the Minnesota State Arts Board, Forum of Regional Arts Councils of Minnesota, the Minnesota legislature, and the Minnesota Citizens for the Arts. Authentically engage diverse and under-represented communities. Represent MRAC to the public, policymakers, arts philanthropists, community leaders, external partners, and both local and national grant making networks.

Knowledge and Skills Required

• Expertise in financial oversight and program management for a mid-sized organization.

• Experience with the local arts community and metro-area cultural institutions with technical and sector-specific knowledge, particularly in smaller or grassroots organizations. Have established relationships and networks across racially and culturally diverse communities.

• Bachelor’s degree and at least ten years of increasingly responsible and mission-driven senior leadership experience, or a combination of comparable experience and education.

• Proven ability to collaboratively partner with private, public and nonprofit sectors, artists, board, staff and volunteers.

• Significant interaction or leadership role with a Board of Directors and an understanding of nonprofit governance, including setting and implementing policies and procedures for the organization.

• Experience in public, nonprofit, or related private sector field with knowledge of program management and the mechanics of the grant-making process.

• Demonstrated experience engaging historically marginalized communities and the ability to apply a racial equity lens to all aspects of the work.

• Strong understanding of racial equity and social justice with an interest in expanding this understanding.

• Proven ability to successfully supervise, manage, and develop staff, and a willingness to learn alongside and from staff.

• Write and present information in a concise and accurate manner.

• Computer competency and digital adaptability, familiarity with web-based applications.

• A strong commitment to constituent service and relationships.

• Ability to be nimble in working with groups of many styles at various stages of development.

• Ability to articulate your passion for the MRAC mission.

Knowledge and Skills Preferred

• Nonprofit accounting experience preferred – understanding of balance sheets, general ledgers, and best practices in nonprofit budgeting.

• Community organizing experience a plus.

• Track record as a collaborative decision-maker and analytical thinker.

• Ability to communicate clearly and effectively with interpersonal sensitivity and high emotional intelligence.

• Ability to be facilitative in style and approach.

• A self-reflective leadership perspective with evaluative capacity in support of ongoing learning and growth.

• Knowledge of benefits and facilities management.

• Experience in guiding change management and team building for organizations in transition.

To Apply

Position will remain open until filled. Submit information by 5PM on Wednesday, February 21st, 2018 to be considered in the first screening. Send cover letter, resume, and contact information for three professional references, and include a description of racial equity work experience, as one .pdf document (maximum of 6 pages) to

A confirmation email will be sent upon receipt.

Questions about the search can be directed to Melissa Martinez-Sones at Meyer Consulting:

Finalists will be required to complete a background check. MRAC welcomes qualified applicants and employees regardless of their race, color, religion, creed, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, marital status, national origin, status as a documented alien, or status as a qualified individual with a disability or protected veteran.

Job Posting downloadable as a pdf: MRAC Executive Director 2018

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