Job Posting

Director, James A. Michener Art Museum

Location: Doylestown, Bucks County

The Organization

The Michener Art Museum James A. Michener Art Museum is celebrating its 35th year. Located in Bucks County/ Doylestown, the Michener is American Alliance of Museums accredited. The collection of Pennsylvania impressionist and contemporary paintings, photography, sculpture, and studio craft, as well as special exhibitions highlighting a wide range of historical and contemporary work continues to expand and innovate. Attracting tens of thousands of visitors annually locally and from around the world, more than 3,000 members support the Michener. Its focused permanent collection is supplemented by six changing exhibitions annually, drawn from a broad range of art and cultural genres. The Michener has published dozens of catalogues documenting its research and exhibitions in areas such as American paintings, drawings, sculpture, craft, and decorative art. The museum is named for James A. Michener, Pulitzer Prize-winning writer, philanthropist and art collector.

Post-pandemic, museum members and the public are encouraged to experience and interact with the Michener in many traditional and new ways through paintings, sculptures, furniture, a wide variety of education classes for young people and adults, lectures, artist conversations, music, yoga, meditation in the glass walled pavilion, reading in the Nakashima reading room and more.   The Michener offers an ever-growing array of art experiences.

After reflection and with full support of its board, the Michener is working to expand its reach, its appeal, and its reputation to a wider constituency, aiming to transform itself to meet today’s exciting contemporary opportunities. The board and staff are refining the Michener’s position as one of the region’s true cultural gems, a gathering place for people who value art, community, experiences, and a place to pursue cultural enrichment.

In short, the Michener’s goal is to be to be kinetic and vibrant — a magnet for culturally minded people of all ages and from all walks of life.

Position Overview

The Director will be responsible for executing the overall organizational vision, strategic direction, operating and fiscal policies in collaboration with the Michener board, staff, and members. The Director will be a team builder, both internally with the ability to delegate and develop, and externally to build cross organization collaboration. This individual will instill a culture of continuous improvement in the organization while broadening the Michener’s scope of art, activities, visibility, and appeal within the Bucks County community and beyond.  Specifically, the new Director will oversee programming; communication of the organization’s mission and brand; membership expansion; community support, funding; staff development; educational programming and the use of the collection to create an ever-growing array of cultural experiences for the benefit of members and the public.

The successful leader will maintain and steward the mission and vision. This individual will strengthen and cultivate strong relationships with stakeholders, including staff, board, members, the public, community partners, local, state, and federal government partners, and with a wide array of funders including foundations, individual donors, and corporate partners.

Position Responsibilities

Strategic Leadership

  • Together with the board and senior team, execute on the organization’s vision.
  • Create and deliver expanded programs while maintaining financial sustainability.
  • Actively embrace best/evidence-based practices while developing an inclusive culture.
  • Bring a 21st century perspective to the institution.
  • Integrate arts, culture, and design by fostering a cultural hub for Bucks County, a center for creative placemaking.

Fiscal/Fiduciary Management/Operations

  • Work closely with the board and senior team in setting and achieving multi-year strategic financial plan targets.
  • In conjunction with the CFO and Chair of the Finance Committee, ensure full financial transparency by providing regular communication regarding strategic financial plans, budgets, and financial performance to the board.
  • Ensure full compliance and financial stability through sound fiduciary stewardship.
  • Coordinate and oversee activities with professional advisors, including legal counsel, auditors, and accountants.

Resource Development

  • Lead and work closely with the development team and all program areas to continually identify, diversify, and increase funding from individual donors, foundations, city, state, federal, and corporate partners.
  • Serve as the public face of the organization, carrying the message of the Michener to various funding communities.
  • Bring together the board, business leaders, and funders to increase financial support for the Michener.

 Board Governance

  • Engage and educate the board on relevant topics affecting the Museum. Educate and collaborate continually.
  • Assist the board in identifying, attracting, and onboarding new board members.
  • Work closely with the board chair to provide a stimulating, meaningful experience for all board members.

External Relations/Communications

  • Act as primary point person for information and insight on local and national policies as they relate to the Michener’s mission.
  • Serve as spokesperson and liaison representing and promoting Michener’s mission and work to the broader community.
  • Communicate the Michener’s direction and vision internally and externally to build commitment and support for the organization, driving contributed and earned revenue strategies.

Human Resources

  • Promote the development of an effective talent acquisition and retention strategy, supporting the professional growth of employees and creating a collaborative team.
  • Ensure the organization’s commitment to
    Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging is clear and evident in all the Michener’s operations.
  • Motivate the senior team and staff through clear articulation of objectively attainable goals that challenge and engage them as individuals and as a team.
  • Provide leadership, direction, and meaningful and timely communication to all staff and volunteers.
  • Develop thoughtful and effective evaluations for the eight-person senior team to assess performance and ensure appropriate alignment with Michener’s strategic and operational goals.
  • Talent acquisition and retention strategy as well as succession planning.

Critical Skills/Qualifications

  • Passion for the Michener’s mission and vision and a commitment to Bucks County.
  • Innovative, relevant, executive-level leadership experience.
  • Expertise to unite governance, leadership, and staff around strategy and effective implementation.
  • Ability to stay focused on the mission, vision, and strategic goals.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of and interest in the issues, trends, opportunities, and challenges facing a museum/non-profit/membership organization.
  • Skilled at working through a strategic planning process with a board.
  • Proven fundraiser, comfortable building relationships and asking for financial support from a variety of sources.
  • Ability to build, proactively nurture, and maintain networks of credible contacts and relationships.
  • Proven ability to “knit together” cross-functional teams.
  • Demonstrated ability to energize and mobilize stakeholders.
  • Ease and ability to understand and work with diverse constituencies and multiple viewpoints.
  • An engaging, humble, inspiring leadership style.
  • High emotional intelligence, curiosity, sense of humor, and exceptional communication skills.
  • Collaborative, creative and “connector” style with strong business acumen.
  • Technology and analytics enthusiast.
  • Empathetic and focused problem-solver.