Job Posting

Avenue of the Arts, Inc. Executive Director

March 28, 2021
Location: Philadelpha, PA

The Avenue of the Arts

Chicago has Michigan Avenue, San Francisco has Union Square, Los Angeles has Rodeo Drive and Philadelphia, the fifth largest city in America, has the Avenue of the Arts, Philadelphia’s signature street. This unique mixed-use district offers many major arts venues, a large visual and performing arts university, upscale residential housing, critical social services, public transportation to major sporting events, accessibility to dining, retail and office space and more.  It encompasses Broad Street from City Hall, with the historic statue of Philadelphia’s very own William “Billy” Penn, looking south, to Washington Avenue.   The Avenue has the potential to be one of the most vibrant and successful performing arts, residential, educational, commercial, and tourist destinations in the United States.

In addition to being a “must see” for visitors to Philadelphia, the Avenue of the Arts is an economic engine for the city and the region:

  • Over 2.0 million visitors come to the Avenue of the Arts annually.
  • Businesses on the Avenue of the Arts create over 20,000 jobs with over $300 million in wages paid.
  • Over 235 businesses operate on the Avenue of the Arts, 75% of which are locally owned.
  • The Avenue is home to a growing residential population of over 18,500 people.
  • Seven large new developments on the Avenue are underway, or recently completed, with over $1 billion of construction spending and 800 jobs. These jobs become permanent when the construction is completed.
  • 40% of the new hotel rooms being constructed in Philadelphia are on the Avenue of the Arts.

The Organization                                                                             

Avenue of the Arts, Inc. (AAI) (www.avenueofthearts.org) is a not-for-profit organization founded in 1993 to promote the development, beautification, and marketing of the portion of Broad Street known as the Avenue of the Arts.  Its primary mission is to support the economic growth of the Avenue by advocating for the priorities of its diverse residents, businesses, and other nonprofit and for-profit stakeholders. It raises funds for capital improvements, marketing programs, traffic management, safety enhancement and advancement of the overall image and visitor experience of the Avenue. With the scheduled retirement of the current Executive Director/CEO, AAI is currently commencing a search for a new leader.

Position Summary

AAI is seeking an Executive Director/CEO who, working with an outstanding and engaged Board of Directors, will lead AAI with vision, strategic focus, and positive energy.  This individual will maintain and cultivate diverse and sustainable funding streams and build and leverage important relationships with business leaders, arts and culture leaders and city and state officials. Working closely with the Board of

Directors, the Avenue of the Arts Council and the Friends of the Avenue of the Arts (AAI’s Membership Organization), this individual will lead the organization in defining and achieving both strategic and tactical objectives.

Position Responsibilities

Strategic Leadership

  • Work closely with the Board to envision and implement a future that moves AAI forward and generates Board and stakeholder commitments.
  • Ensure that the day-to-day work of the organization is well-targeted and effective.
  • Act as primary spokesperson representing AAI’s mission and work to the broader community, media, public sector and civic leadership.
  • Build and cultivate strong, productive relationships with all stakeholders, including city and state officials, Avenue merchants and businesses, arts organizations, a university, real estate developers, social service organizations, Friends of the Avenue of the Arts, City Council, Center City District, contractors, and the Philadelphia Hotel Association.
  • Develop a deep team of individuals to serve as effective ambassadors, representatives, and advocates of AAI.
  • Play a leadership role with affiliated groups including the Avenue of the Arts Council, the Friends of the Avenue of the Arts and the Arts + Business Council of The Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia.
  • Work to promote new ideas and partnerships through outreach activities with interested audiences.
  • Ensure a well-managed messaging and branding strategy for the organization.

 Resource Development

  • Continue to develop and diversify short and long term sustainable fundraising strategies to identify, cultivate and solicit financial contributions from individuals, foundations, local and state officials and corporations to support and advance AAI’s mission.
  • Identify and cultivate new sources of funding.
  • Ensure Board involvement in diversifying funding streams and assist in board expansion and development.

 Fiscal/Fiduciary Management

  • Ensure overall financing strategy and capacity and sound stewardship of financial responsibilities.
  • Manage AAI’s budget, optimizing available funds in the most efficient manner.
  • Coordinate and oversee activities with professional advisors, including auditors, accountants, etc.

Professional Qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s degree is required.
  • Demonstrated work experience with a non-profit organization, business or association or other comparable experience.
  • Experience and success in planning and executing a broad range of fundraising best practices and tactics. Tangible experience in expanding and cultivating existing donor relationships over time.
  • Demonstrated ability to work well with individuals and entities with different points of view.
  • Strong ability to pivot with changing and new dynamics.
  • Proven ability to advocate effectively and passionately without alienating potential partners or supporters.
  • Strong organizational and financial management skills with the ability to manage multiple priorities and projects with exceptional attention to detail.
  • Excellent communicator, internally and externally, both orally and in writing, with an emphasis on public speaking; ability to distill varied sources of information and communicate clearly and effectively with multiple constituencies, including media.
  • Experience using social media to advance organization objectives and promote mission.

 Personal Traits

  • Relationship builder, ability to make the “ask.”
  • Flexible, opportunistic, adaptable and diplomatic.
  • Strong leader with vision, ability to motivate, lead and inspire Board, staff and collaborating partners.
  • Self-starter requiring minimum direction for completing assignments and projects.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills, high energy, sense of humor and passion for AAI’s mission.