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Located in Southeast Philadelphia, Fleisher is recognized as the nation’s oldest community school of visual arts. Founded in 1898 as the Graphic Sketch Club, Fleisher has maintained its mission to make art accessible to everyone regardless of economic means, background or artistic experience. Samuel Fleisher created a place where anyone, especially those that otherwise lacked access to creative enrichment, could be inspired by art. The endeavor grew so popular that he ultimately acquired three row homes, a former school, and a former church to accommodate classes and exhibitions. After Fleisher’s death in 1944, his estate was left in trust to the Philadelphia Museum of Art for the perpetuation of his vision. In his memory, the Club was renamed the Samuel S. Fleisher Art Memorial, and became an independent nonprofit in 1983.
We continue to be guided by three core values:
- The Artist in Us All: Within every individual are the ingredients for original artistic expression.
- Art is a Pathway to Fulfillment: An individual’s ability to use art is a vital means for emotional and intellectual exploration and growth.
- Art Enriches the Community: By nurturing each individual’s creative potential, we aim to provide social, cultural, and economic benefits to the community as a whole.
Additional detail about Fleisher Art Memorial can be found on its website: http://www.fleisher.org
Fleisher serves over 20,000 annually through its onsite classes as well as numerous programs reaching throughout the city. As it has done from its inception as the Graphic Sketch Club, Fleisher continues to offer free and low-cost classes for every level of artist, from beginner to professional. Our Teen Lounge provides students in grades 9-12 with free artist-led projects during after-school hours, and our new after-school program, Creative Labs, extends learning beyond the school day in workshops designed to helps students in grade K-5 find their artistic voice. Our offsite programs reach broad and deep, and includes ColorWheels, a mobile art studio, and artist-residencies in fifteen schools and social service agencies.
Our galleries are home to ten free exhibitions each year. The Wind Challenge Exhibition Series has showcased artists for more than 40 years, with public programming that engages children and adults. We partner with Calaca Flaca, a committee of local Mexican business owners and activists, to present an annual Dia de los Muertos Festival for 500+ people.
Fleisher’s programs have been recognized as models by the National Guild for Community Arts Education, Grantmakers in the Arts, Americans for the Arts, among others. The Wallace Foundation featured Fleisher in two case studies: Something to Say: Success Principles for Afterschool Arts Programs From Urban Youth and Other Experts (2013) and Staying Relevant in a Changing Neighborhood: How Fleisher Art Memorial is Adapting to Shifting Community Demographics (2015). In 2011, Fleisher received National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award, presented by First Lady Michelle Obama.
Fleisher currently operates with an annual budget of approximately $2 million with a full-time staff of nineteen, including four program managers that report directly to the Program Director, and six part-time staff. Additionally, almost one hundred part-time teaching artists and faculty members provide classes for a student population that encompasses children and adults, amateurs and professionals, community residents as well as those from across Philadelphia. Approximately 30% of the budget comes from earned income – tuition/studio fees, rentals, and sales of artwork. Income from the Fleisher Trust and other investments comprise another 30%, with the remainder raised in contributed funds from individuals and foundations.
Fleisher’s current facility encompasses six connected buildings which house administrative offices, galleries, multi-use spaces, and working studios – including numerous specialty studios e.g. print making, photography, ceramics, digital media, among others. It completed a master plan in 2015, and has a vision for the future of its campus. Fleisher is equally committed to the depth and quality of its offsite programming made possible through numerous long-term partnerships. We currently present art education programs in fifteen spaces throughout Southeast Philadelphia, and see potential for continued growth and demand.
Fleisher’s culture is one of collaboration and team effort. The Board is highly engaged, serving Fleisher from both oversight and operational functions; there are numerous working committees working closely with highly qualified staff. The staff Leadership Team comprises Fleisher’s four directors: Executive, Development, Communications, and Programs.
· Participate in the conceptualization, development, implementation, and evaluation of strategies for furthering the achievement of Fleisher’s culture and values, overall vision, mission, and program goals.
· Ensure ongoing excellence, rigorous program evaluation, and consistent achievement of high quality in all Fleisher programming.
· Regularly and clearly communicate progress to the Executive Director and Board of Directors. Attend meetings of the Board of Directors and lead Program-related committees.
· Contribute to Fleisher’s national reputation as a thought leader through speaking engagements, articles and studies, and other means of sharing best practices with the field.
· Recruit, develop, motivate, supervise, and evaluate a high‐performing program staff.
· Schedule, manage, and develop these people. Encourage an overall spirit of teamwork and collaboration within Fleisher, setting an example for the staff at all times.
· Ensure that job descriptions are relevant and that regular performance evaluations are conducted, and that sound human resource practices are in place.
· Encourage staff and volunteer development and assist program staff in relating their specialized work to the total program of the organization.
· Work with the staff, Business Manager, and Executive Director in preparing an annual operating budget.
· Oversee financial management of programs department. Provide leadership to staff in planning, constructing, monitoring, and managing Fleisher’s budgets within approved guidelines.
· Support Development Department in identifying new funding opportunities and strategies. Monitor and maintain obligations associated with funder requirements.
Communications, Public Relations
· Serve as an ambassador of Fleisher throughout the community at all times, maintaining and enhancing Fleisher’s visibility and reputation.
· Build and maintain strong cooperative relationships with community partners and organizations locally, regionally, and nationally.
· Ensure the Fleisher brand is managed, utilized, and promoted appropriately.
· Strive to ensure that Board members and supporters feel integral to the organization’s success and support the Board in its efforts to serve as ambassadors of Fleisher’s mission and programs.
Administration and Operations
· Identify and develop new educational initiatives and partnerships. Sustain and strengthen select ongoing educational initiatives and partnerships.
· Facilitate communications between program staff and Fleisher’s senior management.
· Support program staff and faculty on development and dissemination of curriculum materials.
· Prepare and be accountable for the design and execution of detailed project plans with clear timeframes.
· Strategic, high-level thinking. Ability to draw all actions to a higher purpose and getting others at the table to support.
· Demonstrated success in the planning, development, and implementation of educational programs and community outreach.
· Firm grasp of curriculum development and the professional development needs of teaching artists.
· A collaborative leadership style that encourages staff to bring ideas to the table, while giving the support and freedom for staff to problem-solve and to make decisions. Comfort with being a sounding board to mentor staff in both day-to-day logistics and broader policy/program decisions.
· An effective and compelling communicator, comfortable in representing the organization publicly, with a keen ability to articulate the mission and vision of Fleisher.
· Impeccable oral and written communication skills; multilingual fluency is compelling.
· Exemplary public presentation skills.
· A minimum of five years’ experience in senior leadership in organizations of similar size, scope, and/or complexity.
You are a self-motivated professional – personable, reliable, hardworking, and results-oriented. You are a smart, thoughtful, and clear thinker, who values open communication, is able to give and receive constructive feedback, and is supportive of a team-oriented environment.
You are not hesitant to start projects from scratch because you are patient, open to change and continual improvement. When tackling problems, you easily break down challenges into manageable pieces, finding creative and sustainable solutions to complex, knotty problems. You are always looking outside of the organization to identify best practices and find ways to implement them in your realm of influence. You possess:
· Core beliefs in the importance of art, art making, and the impact of art on the individual and the community.
· A deep commitment to, and passion for community engagement.
· Ability to derive deep satisfaction from facilitating the best work of others.
· A desire to be part of the South Philadelphia community.
· High degree of empathy, thoughtfulness, and a natural diplomatic ability.
· Ability to recognize and use your influence within and on behalf of an organization.
· Ability to embrace the strategic implications of your role and responsibilities.
· Commitment to supporting Fleisher’s mission to make art accessible to everyone.
$65,000-70,000 annually. Fleisher employees receive a competitive compensation package, including options to enroll in health, dental, life insurance, and pension plans; a Philadelphia Museum of Art (PMA) employee badge that provides access to museums nationwide; and access educational and professional development opportunities.
If this description seems like a good match for your personality, skills, and career goals please submit your cover letter, resume, two writing samples, and three references (all in one document.) No phone calls, please. Applications for this position will be accepted until January 31, 2019 or until filled. Interviews will be conducted on a rolling basis.
The committee hopes to make its decision by early 2019, with the successful candidate onsite as soon as possible thereafter.
Fleisher Art Memorial is an equal opportunity employer. We are committed to fair and inclusive employment practices, and strongly encourage people of color, LGBTQ individuals, people with disabilities, and others who may contribute to the diversification of ideas to apply.