Operations / Administration Executive Director
Background: In December, 2022, the Bronx Children’s Museum (BxCM) opened its first permanent home to complement over a decade of in-demand outreach programs. The Museum celebrates the natural curiosity, creativity, and compassion inherent in all children. By blending the hands-on play and exploration of a children’s museum, with the arts and culture focus of a fine arts museum, BxCM’s programming allows children the freedom to express themselves, become better communicators, learn to problem solve, build confidence and think creatively.
Officially incorporated in 2007 and beginning its programming in 2009, BxCM has been reinventing what a 21st century children’s museum should be by reframing the traditional destination-only institution with outreach programming that radiates to the entire community. The Bronx and its diverse people, neighborhoods and natural resources are the Museum’s palette. BxCM is committed to shining a spotlight on Bronx artists (including Charles Esperanza, Bobby Sanabria and Dr. Valerie Capers) and cultural icons (such as Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, actor/activist Kerry Washington and Sonia Manzano, best known as “Maria” from Sesame Street), as well as connecting Bronx children to local artists, culture, and history. BxCM engages children from infancy to age nine, and their caregivers and teachers, offering a wide range of programs.Until COVID hit, BxCM was engaging 16,000 Bronx children and caregivers annually in hands-on arts and science (STEAM) experiences and programs throughout the borough at community-based organizations, schools, shelters, libraries, parks, fairs and festivals. There were 11 programs and the iconic “Museum On the Go!” purple bus, a roving learning environment with complementary suitcase exhibits and curriculum. During COVID, BxCM successfully pivoted to digital programming and developed daily remote activities, educational content and curricula to provide virtual Museum-educator-led lessons. They were also able to create arts programming for those without devices or internet access. In-person programming has now resumed. As a museum “with and without walls,” BxCM will continue to be a robust community anchor as well as an ambassador for all the Bronx has to offer.
Position: Bronx Children’s Museum is looking for a visionary and entrepreneurial leader to be its new Executive Director (ED). The Executive Director will be a compelling and charismatic individual whose love of the arts, culture and the Bronx community energizes the Museum’s stakeholders around its institutional values and mission. The successful ED will have the ability to communicate a genuine passion and joy for children and their process to think, play and create both inside and outside the walls of the Museum space.
Reporting to the Board of Directors, the ED will oversee Museum staff, including five direct reports, and manage an annual operating budget of $2.5 million. The ideal candidate will be front-facing and dynamic, able to build, cultivate and maintain partnerships and relationships. The ED will possess outstanding communication and negotiation skills and be a persuasive advocate and spokesperson for BxCM, engaging diverse audiences that include corporate and non-profit leaders, elected officials and the general public. The ED will become an integral part of the Bronx community by understanding the issues facing the Bronx, participating in community board meetings and community events and forging new partnerships. The ED will have exceptional organizational, administrative, management, fundraising and financial skills. The ideal candidate will be thoughtfully adventurous, democratic but decisive, and pragmatic when it comes to institution building and enhancing organizational capacity.
- Manage overall operations; responsible for the day-to-day functioning of the Museum.
- Work in partnership with the Board and core staff to define the strategic direction of BxCM consistent with its vision, mission and culture.
- Cultivate a strong working relationship with staff based on trust, confidence and transparency, encouraging collaboration in pursuit of organizational effectiveness and growth, as well as manage recruitment and hiring of new staff.
- Support developing the Board’s diversity, expertise and philanthropic capacity.
- Strengthen and support the Museum’s programmatic and operational goals; maintain strong financial oversight including setting long- and short-term financial objectives to facilitate sustainable growth.
- Together with the Development Director, create and pursue a strong fundraising plan that ensures the growth of a diversified funding stream, including individual gifts, corporate, foundation and government grants.
- Act as the primary liaison with city, state and federal agencies regarding expense and capital funding, policy, advocacy, and efforts toward attaining CIG status.
- Together with key stakeholders, develop and execute developmentally appropriate and relevant programs, dynamic exhibits and new multicultural initiatives/partnerships that advance the mission, vision and goals of the Museum.
- Stay current on trends that affect museums and cultural institutions that blend community outreach with traditional museum-based activities focusing on an exceptional multicultural lens that treats all visitors inclusively and equitably.
- With the Communications and Marketing Director, oversee all marketing and public relations activities effectively communicating the work and mission of BxCM while increasing the Museum’s visibility.
- Encourage an entrepreneurial culture that identifies, assesses and pursues opportunities to generate new earned income revenue sources while improving existing revenue categories.
- Foster staff development in a supportive and inclusive manner, providing leadership and setting quality standards while promoting a culture that reflects the organization’s Diversity, Equity, Accessibility and Inclusion values and rewards productivity.
- Baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university, or equivalent work experience
- Minimum of eight to ten years of relevant senior level leadership experience; experience at arts/culture organizations and/or STEAM programming and early childhood education a plus
- Strong financial and operational acumen to grow and maintain a financially stable and sustainable organization including budget preparation, analysis, decision-making and reporting
- Accomplished fundraiser at ease with all aspects of fundraising and proven success in the role of seeking and procuring individual and major gifts
- Experience with museum programs, including membership, preferred
- Relationship builder with the know-how to build, cultivate and maintain partnerships with diverse stakeholders in the community, including Board members and high-end donors, as well as appointed and elected officials
- Strong leadership skills, including the capacity to inspire teamwork, build consensus and motivate a wide variety of stakeholders
- Solid experience working with and supporting a Board of Directors, including board development
- Inclusive, hands-on, collaborative manager who inspires and guides staff to maximize performance
- Superior writing and verbal communication skills with the ability to serve as a persuasive advocate and spokesperson for BxCM
- Entrepreneurial and creative self-starter who is also a strategic and credible colleague and thought leader
- Strong organizational skills and poise under pressure; flexible, able to focus, prioritize and implement, as well as address and solve problems/issues as they arise
- Familiarity with the cultural, business and political landscape of the Bronx preferred
- Strong commitment to a culture of diversity, equity, access and inclusion
All positions at Bronx Children’s Museum are filled without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, disability, HIV/AIDS status, veteran status or any other characteristic protected by law. All are encouraged to apply.
For more information about Bronx Children’s Museum, please visit their website at www.bronxchildrensmuseum.org
Annual salary is $150,000 to $175,000 based on experience.
Relocation assistance, if needed, is negotiable. A comprehensive benefits package will be provided.
How to Apply
To Apply: Bronx Children’s Museum has retained the services of Harris Rand Lusk to conduct this search. Inquiries, nominations and applications may be directed in confidence to: Jack Lusk, Managing Partner & CEO Miriam Martinez, Senior Director Harris Rand Lusk 260 Madison Avenue, 15th Floor New York, NY 10016
Email your resume and cover letter to Noelle Minter: email@example.com
Please put “BxCM ED” in the subject line of your emailed application.