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Fleisher Art Memorial Executive Director June 2022

About Fleisher Art Memorial

Located in Southeast Philadelphia, Fleisher Art Memorial 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 rowhomes, a former school, and a former church to accommodate classes and exhibitions. After Mr. 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.

Fleisher continues 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.

Adult and Youth Programs

Fleisher offers low-cost classes for young people ages 5 to 18 designed to develop artistic skills, foster engagement with the arts, encourage self-expression, and build confidence as a creative person. Over 100 classes in a range of media are offered throughout the year, allowing children and youth to experience hands-on art-making in a supportive and enriching environment. Additionally, Fleisher also offers low-cost classes for parents of children enrolled in the program.

Fleisher also provides tuition-free classes to adults of all ages, backgrounds, and levels of artistic experience. Led by members of Fleisher’s esteemed faculty. Fleisher offers students who are new to art-making, need a refresher course, or are ready to experiment with a new medium, an opportunity to explore their creative side.

Community Programs

Since 1997, Fleisher’s Community Partnerships in the Arts (CPA) program has brought creative art-making experiences to children and youth in public schools and community after-school programs. Fleisher’s trained teaching artists partner with public schools, community organizations, and social service agencies to create arts-integrated residencies that enrich and enhance students’ learning. Projects enable students to

develop studio and technical skills in the visual arts and are culturally relevant and community oriented.

Fleisher Art Memorial Today:

Fleisher currently operates with an annual budget of approximately $3.5 million with 26 full-time staff members. Additionally,144 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 including 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 is seeking an Executive Director to lead the organization into the future with a strategic focus on financial sustainability, programming, operations, facilities, culture, and community relations. The organization has emerged from the COVID pandemic strong and eager to continue to serve its communities and students. The next Executive Director will be critical in leading that charge.

Additional details about Fleisher Art Memorial and its programs can be found on its website: http://www.fleisher.org

Key Relationships

Reports to: Board of Directors

Direct Reports: Director of Education, Director of Development, Director of Exhibitions and Community Outreach, Director of Communications, Business Manager

Location: Philadelphia, PA

Key Responsibilities

Key responsibilities of the Executive Director will include:

Execution of Organizational Mission and Strategy:

· Ensure that Fleisher is effectively pursuing its mission, working with the staff and the Board to develop, refine, and implement strategies aligned with vision and mission.

· Ensure ongoing excellence, rigorous program evaluation, and consistent achievement of high quality in all Fleisher programs and activities.


· Lead Fleisher in articulating Fleisher’s vision internally and externally, driving action to successfully achieve the organization’s goals.

· Effectively and clearly communicate vision within the organization aligning programs, operations, facilities and planning.


· Identify, cultivate, and sustain relationships with individual and institutional donors so that Fleisher has sufficient resources to maintain and grow programs and internal operations.

· Work with the Director of Development and staff to create a development strategy aligned with mission including a potential capital campaign and Fleisher’s upcoming 125th anniversary celebration.

Financial Management:

· Lead the organization in setting and meeting ambitious budgets and fundraising goals, while monitoring Fleisher’s financial health.

· Work with the staff, Business Manager, and Board to prepare an annual operating budget that includes resources for advancing strategic initiatives.

Team Management:

· Successfully inspire and lead a team of committed staff, teachers, and artists.

· Recruit, develop, motivate, and lead a high-performing staff with a focus on culture and transparency.


· Articulate and foster a transparent, inclusive, and collaborative internal culture aligned with Fleisher’s mission.

· Establish a DEIAB /Anti-Racist ethos and institution-wide commitment to defining and shaping actionable, policies, procedures, and practices across programming and operational functions including support of the staff-led Racial Justice Incubator.

Community Relations:

· Ensure that Fleisher continues to grow and develop its community programs and serves communities by working to make them better places for all by developing, sharing, and promoting creative resources.

· Serve as a Fleisher ambassador throughout the community, maintaining and enhancing Fleisher’s visibility and reputation.

· Build and maintain strong cooperative relationships with community partners and organizations locally, regionally, and nationally.

Board Partnership:

· Partner with the Board to effectively set organizational priorities and strategies.

Key Experience and Skill Set

· Ten years of experience in leadership positions, including at least three years of senior non-profit management experience; experience within education, community relations or art management a plus.

· A track record of successful administrative leadership and the ability to manage functional areas within a mission driven organization.

· Exceptional team management skills including a track record of building inclusive and transparent organizational cultures.

· A track record of successful fundraising on behalf of an organization.

· Expertise developing and implementing collaborative strategic plans.

· Experience managing and operating physical real estate and facilities with a lens on sustainability and campus management.

· Strong financial management skills, including budget preparation, analysis, decision making, and reporting.

· Experience working effectively with a Board of Directors.

· Proven success building an organization’s external brand and serving as an external spokesperson.

· Experience serving as an external facing leader within an organization.

Key Personal Characteristics

· A facilitative and transparent leadership style with demonstrated ability to build and motivate high-performing, passionate and committed teams.

· Exceptional organizational abilities, including planning, delegating, program management, and assessment.

· Excellent donor relations skills, understanding of the funding community, and demonstrated fundraising success.

· The ability to effectively prioritize and manage multiple initiatives and projects.

· A collaborative and inclusive leader with integrity and energy.

· The desire and ability to work within a diverse and creative community.

· Excellent written and oral communication skills, including public speaking.

· Exceptional people management and communication skills.

· The ability and desire to serve as the external face of the organization.

· The ability to set Fleisher up for future success while maintaining an appreciation and recognition of its history.

· A deep affinity for Fleisher’s mission and a commitment to lifelong learning and arts education.

Compensation: A competitive compensation package commensurate with industry sector and organization size.

Applications: Nominations and applications, including resume and cover letter, should be directed to cdisston@disstonsearch.com.

Fleisher Art Memorial is an equal opportunity employer. Fleisher is 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.

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