Washington Studio School, Managing Director

Posted: November 13, 2017 at 3:23 pm


The Washington Studio School seeks a Managing Director (MD) to lead fundraising and financial operations. The MD will serve as chief financial officer and chief operating officer. Along with the incumbent Artistic Director, the successful candidate for this position will build upon the School’s 33-year history as a unique venue for teaching art. S/he will possess the maturity and communication skills to represent the School and to be able to communicate its mission to the public, students, donors, and arts and civic communities at large. The ideal candidate will have experience in the arts and will possess development and management expertise in a non-profit educational environment. This is a full-time position that reports to and enjoys the support of the Board of Directors. The MD will direct and manage operations to accomplish and maintain, over the next 5 years and beyond, the School’s strategic objectives. S/he will lead development efforts and manage administrative staff. The MD will work with the Artistic Director to maintain and grow WSS’ unique program of teaching and to support the continued development of its curriculum, Certificate Program, and other programs.


Revenue Generation and Development

The MD will be responsible for leading the Board’s and WSS’ fundraising activities. S/he will actively participate in the cultivation and solicitation of major donors, individuals, foundations, corporations and government funders. S/he will research, identify and respond to grant and other funding opportunities, create and implement development plans and campaigns (including, possibly, a capital campaign), integrate marketing tasks into development, and create and use donor and other databases and reports to enable the Board’s participation in fundraising and to facilitate a “culture of giving” at WSS. The MD will be a member of the Board’s Development Committee. S/he will attend meetings of the Executive Committee (the officers) and, as necessary, meetings of the Board. The MD will identify and present to the Board opportunities to increase earned income (tuition, fees, etc.), as well as donations and grants.

Financial and Facilities Management; Human Resources

The MD will provide prudent, hands-on financial management to advance WSS’ strategic objectives and mission. S/he will create and maintain policies and procedures for internal controls. Together with the Board Finance Committee, s/he will develop and execute budgets to achieve financial stability and will achieve revenue targets and development goals set by the Board. S/he will also be responsible for monitoring and directing building maintenance and repairs. The MD will also supervise and manage administrative staff and contractors other than models.


-At least 5 years of experience in a nonprofit management or leadership position, preferably with an art school or arts organization;

-Substantial experience in fundraising, development and grant writing, including use of development software: experience with at least one capital campaign preferred;

-Experience with and knowledge of business administration and financial operations;

-At least 2 years’ experience supervising staff in a nonprofit environment;

-Strong organizational, teamwork and communication skills;

-Excellent speaking and writing skills;

-Strong technology and computer skills; experience with QuickBooks and Excel preferred;

-Agility in responding to change, and ability to anticipate, analyze, diagnose and resolve problems;

-Ability to interface with all stakeholders in an arts education environment, including Board members, staff, faculty, students, volunteers, donors, vendors, contractors, grantors and funders, community leaders and representatives;

-Education equivalent to at least an undergraduate degree from an accredited college or university;

-References that will confirm the above qualifications.


– Annual salary of $75,000;

– Generous vacation;

– Health insurance and retirement reimbursement/contribution.


Founded in 1985, WSS offers classes and workshops for adults in drawing, painting, printmaking and sculpture. WSS teaches skills of observation, critical analysis and material technique in a dynamic environment that supports studio-based art. Complementing three 10-week terms and an abbreviated summer term are a 3-week summer teen intensive, a Certificate Program for experienced artists, and events, shows and lectures open to the public featuring visiting artists and WSS faculty. WSS also offers limited atelier space to artists who have studied at the School.

Email resume and supporting materials to careers@washingtonstudioschool.org