The Kerrville Folk Festival, the Foundation’s flagship event founded by Rod Kennedy, celebrated its 50th Anniversary in 2022. It is considered one of the top 10 festivals in Texas and is a Mecca in the songwriting community. For 18 straight days and nights, the Festival offers concerts and activities for all ages that are focused on nurturing and developing artistic expression, especially the art of songwriting and poetry.
The Festival is held at Quiet Valley Ranch near Kerrville, Texas, in the beautiful Hill Country, on which the Foundation has a long-term lease from its musical partner, Quiet Valley Ranch, Inc. The Festival spans Memorial Day weekend through the second week of June and features hundreds of original songwriter-performers. While many folks come out just to enjoy the evening concerts, many say the heart and soul of the Festival is in the campground experience, where song circles happen around the clock. Other events during the Festival include YAPI (Young Artists’ Performance Incubator), the annual Grassy Hill New Folk Competition, a songwriters school, and workshops in ukulele, harmonica and songwriting.
The Kerrville Folk Festival Foundation also produces Welcome Home Fest in October, and a concert series Music at the Mansion, in partnership with Schreiner University; and Music Camp for Teens, in partnership with the Boys and Girls Club of Central Texas. The Foundation’s Mission is “To promote public appreciation and support for songwriters, the songwriting craft, and the gift that folk music offers to the world.”
To learn more about the Foundation, visit: www.kerrvillefolkfestival.org/meet-the-foundation
Executive Director Position Description
The Kerrville Folk Festival Foundation is seeking a dynamic and strategic leader to set the direction for growth and impact to deliver on the mission of the organization. Reporting to the elected Board of Directors (currently 11), the Executive Director supervises and directs all aspects of the Kerrville Folk Festival Foundation’s $750K - $1M annual operations, as well as capital projects, and is responsible for the achievement of the organization’s vision, mission and strategic plans. The Executive Director is the leader of the organization, responsible for the growth and success of the festivals and programs, artistic vision, and reputation among musicians, the music industry, festival customers, and the larger external communities. This person will follow a successful 7-year tenure of our first full time Executive Director, who grew the Foundation’s programs, and increased the diversity of our festival audience and performers. We require a leader with exceptional interpersonal skills who understands how to cultivate relationships with donors, performers, the many grassroots volunteers, staff and other external audiences.
The Foundation Board of Directors are all elected by bona fide Foundation members who pay a fee to join each year and vote annually (at the Annual General Meeting held during the Festival) for 3-4 Board positions on rotating terms. Directors of the Board have a term limit of 3 consecutive terms. Foundation members also play a role in Board candidate nomination. In addition to a small paid staff, the Foundation's annual festivals are operated by a committed, well-managed community of volunteers who address everything from safety and first aid to workshop support, sanitation, parking, transportation, stage management and more.
In addition to operating income from tickets and sales, the Foundation is funded by membership dues, donations of all sizes, grants from the Texas Commission on the Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts and other philanthropic funding sources.
Key Responsibilities of the Executive Director
Develops vision, strategy and objectives that ensure a successful future for the Foundation. Inspires the organization to set and achieve ambitious, yet realistic goals aligned with a multi-year strategic plan. Ensures that the organization is accountable for its commitments, and provides clarity, fairness, feedback to motivate team members to achieve goals.
Leadership and Team Building
Hires and leads paid/contract staff and volunteer leadership. Creates accountabilities to help others meet success metrics. Serves as culture leader to create a positive, collaborative and effective culture.
Plans and manages an operating budget of $750K annually, cash flow, healthy balance sheet, including funding/executing capital projects, transparent reporting to Board and membership.
Partnering with Board of Directors
Develops open, transparent relationships with the Board, leads Board development, and assists in recruitment of new Board members.
Marketing and External Affairs
Promotes the Foundation and KFF brand. Serves as chief spokesperson to enhance visibility and public awareness. Builds community engagement, both with festival stakeholders and local county, city, state, and music industry professionals.
Production & Events Management
Ensures that the Foundation’s programs have a diverse and robust artist line up and events to draw and attract a growing festival audience. Ensures negotiation of artist contracts and payments, manages artists experience from transportation to hospitality. Will use surveys, input from curators and other input to ensure an artist roster that appeals to a diverse mix of genres, age, race, sexual orientation. Ensures readiness of facilities, sound and light, video, food and beverage, mass gatherings, roads and buildings, and health compliance. Coordinates faculty and curriculums for schools and workshops.
Leads fundraising programs, to ensure an effective membership/donor stewardship program that will grow perennial sources of income, including endowments, grants, corporate partnerships, in kind gifts, planned giving. Includes fundraising for capital projects.
Provides leadership to ensure a strong team for maintenance and improvements to physical facilities (buildings, roads, environmental, utilities, internet). Make sure that there are effective procedures to comply with leases, laws. Will integrate facilities management into year -round planning, to enhance the audience and artist experience for every event.
Other Desired Qualities
Team player, with proven ability to work with board members, staff, volunteers, and festival attendees to achieve successful festivals and events. Leadership style driven by open communication, engagement, and trust – motivating others to harness the passion for the mission of the foundation.
Hands on leadership style for all facets of the festival, with clear willingness to delegate and manage staff and volunteer teams.
Ability to anticipate problems before they occur.
Previous nonprofit management experience is preferred, especially in the arena of music and/or music festivals, concerts series, or other events.
Demonstrated commitment to the value of diversity, equity, accessibility and inclusion.
Previous experience with directing major artistic events, including responsibility for the operations/facility/infrastructure of such events.
Previous track record in fundraising, especially in the arts.
First Year Success Metrics
- Build a strong, collaborative relationship with the Board, among paid staff and key stakeholders in the Foundation/Festival community
- Learn and effectively manage the financial and operational functions of the Foundation/Festival
- Demonstrate successful event management through administration of the Welcome Home Fest, 2023
- Plan and Implement the 2024 KFF
- Establish and present a plan to the Board for the long range growth and sustainability of the Foundation
How To Apply
To Apply For The Position
Please send cover letter, resume, and 3 references via email to KFFF search committee at EDSearch@kerrvillefolkfestival.org
You will receive a confirmation of your submission via the email address used to submit your application.
Applications are open from October 28, 2022 to January 15, 2023.