Executive Director

Executive Director

Executive Director 150 150 bryland@visarts.org
The Visual Arts Center of Richmond
March 2, 2023
Job Type
Contact Name (not public)
Betsy Ryland


Position Overview


The Executive Director is the leadership position of the Visual Arts Center, a major nonprofit arts organization in Richmond, Virginia, which has significant regional and national visibility. They will be a strong and inspirational leader to the diverse stakeholders of VisArts, helping to set a clear direction for the organization and continue the decades-long success of the center as they celebrate their 60th anniversary year. The Executive Director will implement and enhance the organization’s strategic goals, support and sustain fundraising initiatives and programming, oversee programmatic decisions and development, and lead the staff for the successful day-to-day operation of the Center.  They will be a positive role model for the organization, valuing diversity and collaboration and fostering an organization that is inclusive and equitable.

Reporting to the Board of Directors, the Executive Director serves as a creative force and advocate for the organization within the local arts community and beyond. This position devotes significant time in the community creating and growing VisArts’ image with a variety of constituents. These may include community leaders, donors, artists, and other directors of artistic and cultural organizations. The Executive Director will be expected to build solid relationships with staff, board, donors, artists and community leaders.

Roles and Responsibilities

  • Serve as a leader in developing and promoting VisArts as a recognized leader within the regional arts community, including making critical programming decisions and creating and executing a comprehensive strategic plan with staff.
  • Provide creative and inspirational direction to all employees, especially the senior leadership team and other direct reports, to sustain the continued development and management of a professional and efficient organization.
  • Create and promote a positive, inclusive, and equitable work environment that attracts, retains, supports, and motivates a diverse staff. The director will collaborate with staff to strengthen internal communication and collaboration throughout the organization and ensures annual performance evaluations are completed.
  • Support the creation of an engaged, diverse, and inclusive Board of Directors that represents the communities served by VisArts. Cultivate a strong and transparent working relationship with this group to ensure open communication about progress of organizational goals and that the budget, staff, and priorities are aligned with center’s mission. The Director will serve as ex-officio of each board committee, seeking to build board involvement with strategic direction and daily operations.
  • Oversees all marketing, branding, and development strategies, collaborating with staff to deepen and refine all aspects of communication with the goal of increasing exposure, ensuring a strong identity within the community, and achieving annual revenue goals.
  • Embrace the Executive Director’s role as a leader in fundraising to strengthen endeavors utilizing local, regional and national resources. Collaborate with development staff and board committees to cultivate, solicit, and steward major donors and execute annual development activities.
  • Responsible for overseeing the assets and financial affairs of the organization to ensure the organizations financial sustainability including developing long- and short-range financial plans, monitoring the budget and that expenditures are in line with available resources, executing proper financial controls, and providing routine reports to the board and staff.
  • Works closely with education staff to make critical artistic and programmatic decisions, ensuring the continuous improvement of the Center’s programs that are consistent with best practices and emerging trends.
  • Assist the Board in developing and implementing organizational policies and in maintaining appropriate provisions for expansion and succession.
  • Oversee all concerns and operations concerning the building and grounds of the Visual Arts Center of Richmond.
  • Exercise ultimate responsibility for VisArts offerings and artistic programming.
  • Build and foster relationships with new, current, and potential constituents, partners, and funders, participate in outward-facing events, workshops, committees, and associations to build and maintain external relationships and demonstrate leadership in the community through involvement and participation.



The successful candidate will be passionate about the mission of the Visual Art Center and possess the following qualifications:

  • Background within the visual arts or previous experience working within the art sector.
  • A successful track record of leadership in an arts related organization and a strong understanding of educational programming and/or significant senior management experience with an educational institution or community nonprofit.
  • Excellent communication skills and strong public speaking ability.
  • Passion and ability for developing and maintaining long-term relationships that will enhance the artistic, educational, and financial goals of the organization.
  • A solid track record of seeing projects through to successful completion.
  • Proven experience and success in fundraising.
  • Understanding of fiscal management, particularly with nonprofit finance.
  • Skilled at using leadership and delegation, combined with a personal and inclusive management style, to build VisArts’ base of volunteer support, optimize staff resources and faculty relationships.
  • A willingness to live in the Richmond area and to participate actively in local arts events and VisArts robust schedule of activities and events during weekdays, evenings and weekends.
  • An undergraduate degree is required; an advanced degree (MA, MBA, MFA etc.) is desirable. Experience may be considered in lieu of degree.

Supervisory Responsibility

All full-time, part-time, and contracted staff at VisArts, with several direct reports.

Work Environment

This job operates in a professional office environment as well as studios spaces and classrooms. This role routinely uses standard office equipment such as computers, phones and photocopiers.  Must have a driver’s license and access to a vehicle.

Position Type and Expected Hours of Work

This is a full-time, salaried, exempt position. Days and hours of work are Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Occasional evening and weekend work may be required and attendance at local and regional events during evenings and weekends will be expected throughout the year.


Occasional travel will be required both locally and regionally.

Other Duties

Please note this job description is not designed to cover or contain a comprehensive listing of activities, duties or responsibilities that are required of the employee for this job. Duties, responsibilities and activities may change at any time with or without notice.


EEO / AA Statement


Visual Arts of Richmond provides equal employment opportunities (EEO) to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability or genetics. In addition to federal law requirements, Visual Arts of Richmond complies with applicable state and local laws governing nondiscrimination in employment in every location in which the company has facilities. This policy applies to all terms and conditions of employment, including recruiting, hiring, placement, promotion, termination, layoff, recall, transfer, leaves of absence, compensation and training.


How To Apply