Executive Director

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Reporting to the Board of Directors, the Executive Director (ED) has overall strategic and operational responsibility for ArtWorks for Milwaukee’s staff, programs, execution and expansion of its mission.

Organizational Summary: ArtWorks for Milwaukee is a youth career-readiness organization that has been building soft skills of Milwaukee high school students, primarily youth of color, through paid arts internships since 2001. With two full-time staff and five part-time program staff, we offer high school students the unique opportunity to interact with a diverse group of peers, professional artists, and community leaders from across the city while building skills that will contribute to their success well into adulthood. Through either an environmental arts internship or a graphic design internship, students receive 315 hours of training while acquiring essential career skills that employers have identified as critical to their success, such as problem solving, communication, public speaking, and decision making. ArtWorks’ mission is preparing youth for tomorrow by providing transferable career skills through arts internships today. Our vision is: all Milwaukee youth have access to career readiness opportunities. More than 1,500 high school students have completed ArtWorks’ internships since our inception.


Leadership & Management:

  • Actively engage and energize ArtWorks for Milwaukee’s staff, volunteers, board members, interns and intern alums, partnering organizations, and funders
  • Support the strength of the Board of Directors through diverse recruitment, onboarding, communication, and education
  • Serve as ex-officio of standing committees
  • Lead, coach, develop, and retain ArtWorks for Milwaukee’s staff
  • Develop, manage and monitor the organization’s budget to ensure fiscal health and growth
  • Ensure policies and procedures are in place to promote clarity, transparency, equity, and staff satisfaction
  • Continue building on the organization’s culture of integrity, quality, and inclusivity
  • Operate with the highest integrity, especially in compliance with government and foundation grants and governmental requirements for nonprofit status.

Fundraising & Communications:

  • Develop and meet/exceed fundraising goals which support programs and operations
  • Engage the stewardship committee, board, and staff in helping to achieve fundraising goals
  • Steward donors and prospective donors with regular communication and recognition to ensure long-term sustainability and growth
  • Serve as ArtWorks’ ambassador in the community to build and nurture relationships with funders, partners, volunteers, and other stakeholders.
  • Ensure increasing awareness of ArtWorks through ongoing community and media opportunities.

Planning for Growth:

  • Work with the Board to ensure that a strong strategic action plan guides discussions and direction; monitor progress against the strategic goals, and review and update the plan regularly to ensure the success and sustainability of the organization and its mission
  • Cultivate strategic partners to complement and strengthen ArtWorks’ organization and programs
  • Prepare the organization to take advantage of new and expanded programmatic opportunities by ensuring adequate systems and people are in place


The ED will be thoroughly committed to ArtWorks for Milwaukee’s mission. All candidates should have proven leadership, coaching, and relationship management experience.  Candidates with non-traditional, but relevant experience are encouraged to apply.

Specific requirements include:

  • At least five years experience in the nonprofit sector, including at the executive director level
  • Track record of fundraising success, particularly in individual and major donor fundraising
  • Experience leading and scaling a performance- and outcomes-based organization and staff; ability to point to specific examples of having developed and operationalized strategies that have taken an organization to the next stage of growth
  • Unwavering commitment to quality programs and data-driven program evaluation
  • Excellence in organizational management with the ability to coach staff, manage, and develop high-performance teams, set and achieve strategic objectives
  • Deep understanding of nonprofit finance, budgeting, forecasting, and ensuring the organization is on track to meet budget
  • Past success working with a Board of Directors with the ability to cultivate existing board member relationships
  • Strong marketing, public relations, and fundraising experience with the ability to engage a wide range of stakeholders and cultures
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills; a persuasive and passionate communicator with excellent interpersonal and multidisciplinary project skills
  • Action-oriented, entrepreneurial, adaptable, and innovative approach to business planning
  • Ability to work effectively in collaboration with diverse groups of people
  • A commitment to building a culture of equity among staff, board volunteers, and other stakeholders
  • Passion, idealism, integrity, positive attitude, mission-driven, and self-directed.

Salary: $69 to $72K annually, commensurate with experience

Benefits:  Health insurance stipend, flexible work schedule including remote work, generous paid time off, and professional growth and development opportunities.

Send your cover letter and resume to humanresources@artworksformilwaukee.org.  This position will be open until filled.

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