ARAC seeking new executive director

The Arrowhead Regional Arts Council is accepting applications for the position of executive director. This position shapes arts and culture in Duluth and the Arrowhead, so they should want the best possible pool of applicants.

Executive Director

The Executive Director of ARAC will be a forward-thinking leader with a capacity to manage an impactful grantmaking system that supports the development and artistic growth of artists and arts organizations within our region. The Executive Director will recognize and value the unique geographical range of the Arrowhead region while advancing the distinct cultural and creative strengths found within every county and tribal territory. The Executive Director must have professional leadership experience related to the arts and grantmaking, the advancement of racial equity, and the collaborative nature of shared governance. The Executive Director provides direction and leadership toward the achievement of the ARAC’s philosophy, mission, strategy and annual goals and objectives. The Executive Director reports to the ARAC Board of Directors and supervises a staff of three full and three part-time employees. The Executive Director will be an active and visible presence in the Arrowhead region, directly building relationships with creatives, elected officials, and allied organizations to further advance ARAC’s mission and vision for the future.

Major Duties and Responsibilities

​​Organizational Strategy and Leadership:

  • Responsible for general leadership and oversight of the office and staff.
  • Works with the Board and its committees to develop and implement organizational vision, mission, strategic planning, programs, and services.
  • Leads the staff and Board forward while supporting a positive, respectful, and equitable organizational culture, modeling wellness and work-life balance.

Program Management:

  • Works with Board, staff, and committees to determine needs and develop grant programs, supervises the guidelines and application processes, and supervises annual grant writing/technical assistance workshops.
  • Oversees the work of the grants management staff and participates in the Grant Panel Review process.
  • Helps deliver the granting decisions by the panels to the Board for approval, providing context and clarification when necessary and appropriate.

Financial Management:

  • Supervises all financial aspects of the organization by overseeing the work of the Director of Operations’ day-to-day responsibilities.
  • Collaborates with the Director of Operations to prepare financial and payroll information for annual audits, mandated state reports, and monthly board meetings.

Internal Relations:

  • Responsible for general leadership and oversight of the office and staff.
  • Supervises policies, accounting, and other managerial responsibilities for the Council.
  • Hires and evaluates staff, ensures that employees reflect the mission and values of the organization.
  • Oversees the grant review process.
  • Models collaborative and facilitative leadership with inclusive staff-wide planning and decision making.
  • Works to recruit and retain a Board that represents the diverse populations, needs, and concerns of the region.

External Relations:

  • Conducts site visits and works one-on-one with grant applicants and recipients.
  • Serves as the public face of the organization and collaborates with all statewide arts entities to benefit artists and arts organizations in the region and the state.
  • Actively participates in the work of the Forum of Regional Arts Councils, Minnesota Citizens for the Arts, and engages effectively with the Minnesota State Arts Board.
  • Builds new partnerships that are of benefit to artists and arts organizations in the Arrowhead.
  • Builds and maintains strong working relationships with State Representatives, State Senators, Tribal Representatives, and Minnesota Citizens for the Arts, the Minnesota Forum of Regional Arts Councils, and the McKnight Foundation.

Preferred Knowledge and Demonstrated Skills

  • Working for 3-5 years in a leadership position with a staff and a Board of Directors.
  • Working as an artist and/or in leadership related to the arts industry.
  • Creating, reaching, and evaluating goals.
  • Bridging political, racial, and geographic differences in service of larger goals.
  • Communicating verbally and in writing in a clear and articulate way.
  • Recruiting, training, supervising, and retaining highly effective staff, volunteers, and board members.
  • Managing finances, including budget preparation, analysis, decision making, and reporting.
  • Effectively navigating the Minnesota Legacy Funding model, and other public and private funding models in the region and the nation.
  • Collaborating successfully with various constituent groups: staff, board members, volunteers, partners, and the public.
  • Leading effective strategic planning and collaborative vision planning.
  • Leading or participating in Creative Community Placemaking.
  • Working with Indigenous communities in Minnesota.
  • An understanding and working knowledge of the region served by the Council.

To Apply:

The position will remain open until filled. Submit information by 5 PM on Thursday, March 31st, 2022, to be considered in the first screening.

Send cover letter, resume, and contact information for three professional references to hiring @ A confirmation email will be sent upon receipt.

Questions about the search can be directed to hiring @

Finalists will be required to complete a background check.

ARAC 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.

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