Director, Artist and Program Development

The Indefinite Arts Centre is searching for a Director, Artist and Program Development.

The Director, Artist and Program Development (DAPD) is a critical part of the Indefinite Arts Centre team. The position will oversee the most important element of the Centre’s operations – our artists and their experience at the Centre. Reporting to the CEO, the DAPD will work across the main business functions of the organization – administration, marketing, fundraising, operations, and artist services – to ensure that all of the organization’s efforts are focused to advance our artists’ practice and respond to their needs in tangible, demonstrable ways.

Direct Reports: 1 Coordinator, Programs and Exhibitions; 1 Studio Technician; 2 Artist Instructors; 1 Studio Assistant

Indirect Reports: 1 Coordinator, Artist Services; 1 Administrative Assistant

Context:

The Indefinite Arts Centre has recently unveiled its five-year strategic plan, This is Our Moment, which sets an ambitious goal to becoming a recognized leader in the delivery of arts training, creation, and exhibition opportunities for artists living with developmental disabilities – and use the power of their creativity to advocate for more inclusive practices and design in the contemporary arts world. A new organizational structure ensures that the team is positioned to deliver the goals and objectives of this strategic plan.

Desired State:

We are looking for a DAPD who is passionate about our belief – that individuals with developmental disabilities possess incredible creativity and that it should be a right for them to express that creativity in the ways they choose – and a responsibility for our organization to provide the platform for this to happen, but also to showcase their creativity in ways that can shape the conversation around disabilities.

The DAPD will develop and deliver on a program plan that will demonstrate meaningful outcomes that aim to advance the artistic practice of each of our participants – knowing that every single artist can be encouraged and supported to develop and grow in expressing their creativity. On the other end of the spectrum, the DAPD will develop and deliver on a plan that will strategically exhibit our artists’ works and engage new audiences – audiences who can help shape this important conversation as well.

Key Deliverables:

Program Strategy + Plan – 3 months

Almost immediately, the DAPD must provide additional input into a “wireframe” program strategy and plan that has been developed by the CEO that is line with the overarching organizational strategic plan. Working in close conjunction with the art studio staff, the DAPD will thoroughly review current studio activities, our artist roster and their “current status,” and identify gaps/opportunities that will guide the development of a strategy + plan. Ideally this strategy + plan will be an iterative process in following years.

Exhibition Strategy + Plan – 3-5 months

In tandem with the delivery of a program strategy + plan, the DAPD must also quickly assess our current exhibition strategy (or lack thereof), identify our current approach to exhibiting our artists’ works, identify gaps/opportunities as it is positioned against the deliverables of the strategic plan, and then develop a strategy + plan that meets the organization’s goals. Ideally this strategy + plan will be an iterative process in following years.

Staff competency analysis, performance review, professional development framework – 6 months

Working in close conjunction with the Centre’s Manager, Operations – whose responsibilities include oversight of our human resources policies – as well as a designated consultant who will be tasked to work with management to look at gaps/opportunities in our current HR policies, the DAPD will be tasked to do a staff competency analysis, then identify gaps/opportunities in our art studio staff to ensure that they feel engaged, appreciated, and that there are development opportunities for growth within the organization. Part of this work will require an analysis of current job descriptions, conducting “performance reviews” or some type of constructive employee engagement that is set against expectations of the organization and the strategic plan, and then developing professional development options for each studio employee.

Specific Responsibilities:

  • Oversee frontline art instructor staff to ensure that all artists are supported in their creative endeavours.
  • Liaise with arts partners and other venues to look for places to better support artists in their training, creation, and exhibition efforts.
  • Supervise and assist staff in the planning and execution of all artist-related events.
  • Work with the Administration staff to ensure accuracy and efficient data entry of artist files and tracking in accordance with the Government of Alberta funding agreement.
  • Be an inspiring leader to staff and artists; be a spokesperson for the organization when required.

Desired Traits:

The DAPD must be “innovative” in the truest sense of the word. Always considering ways to improve status quo, the position needs to be always thinking on their feet to see how the organization can better advance the needs and the profiles of each of our artists. Though having the right mindset towards individuals with disabilities is a must, the DAPD should not simply be satisfied with the provision of a program that is unique – but with marked, demonstrable growth displayed by each of our artists.

The individual will be more than simply satisfy the norm of “being a team player” and also being able to “work independently.” There is close collaboration required between the DAPD and CEO. Given the ambitious direction of the strategic plan, the CEO’s role will be primarily “external facing” with time spent on marketing/communications, fundraising, and government relations – especially with an impending capital campaign. The DAPD will be primarily “internal facing” though will play a visible leadership role given the responsibilities over the heart of our organization.

Desired Competencies:

Strategic planning, program planning experience is a must.

5+ years managing staff and volunteers a must.

Experience in curation, coordinating art shows a very strong asset.

Connections to Calgary’s arts community – and general awareness of the direction of this community – is an incredibly useful asset.

Compensation:

A competitive salary package will be offered, along with excellent health and dental benefits, and a health spending allowance.

This competition will be open until a suitable candidate is found.

Interested candidates can contact Jung-Suk Ryu, CEO, personally by phone 403.404.3174 or email js.ryu@indefinitearts.com.