Executive Director Job Description:
Baltimore Clayworks, a nationally known non-profit ceramic arts center, seeks an
entrepreneurial and multi-talented Executive Director who is or can become a passionate
advocate of ceramic art. The Executive Director will lead this organization with a mind for
business and a commitment to building the capacity of ceramic art to transform lives.
The new Executive Director will provide visionary and strategic leadership that translates
into measurable strategies and concrete actions that advance the mission.
Under the direction of the Board of Trustees and its committees, the Executive Director is
responsible for Clayworks’ overall management and consistent achievement of its mission,
strategic goals, and financial objectives. The Executive Director is the chief fundraiser and
The appropriate candidate for the position will demonstrate strong nonprofit management
experience, relationship building and strategic leadership skills. She/he will have a proven track
record of communicating a vision and developing, implementing and assessing strategy in a
highly collaborative environment. The new Executive Director will also inherit an organization
with a highly motivated Board, engaged staff and teachers, committed and involved students,
and a large an active volunteer community. The Executive Director will oversee the financial and
administrative functions of the organization, and collaboratively manage the staff team in
addition to other responsibilities. You can read more about this position here:
The next Executive Director will inherit a legacy arts institution that has just undergone a major
financial and leadership change, and has successfully set itself up to achieve a bold and
innovative transformation- shaping the next 50 years of Baltimore Clayworks. The Executive
Director will lead a dynamic organization through initiating, nurturing, and maintaining
relationships with community members, stakeholders, donors, local businesses and
government, as well as with the Board and staff.
Key responsibilities include:
- Embrace and devise successful strategies to implement and to broadly communicate the
mission and core values of Baltimore Clayworks
- Oversee the financial and administrative functions to ensure a fiscally sound and wellmanaged organization by developing, revising and complying with annual budgets and
providing for the appropriate control and accountability of all funds, physical assets and
- Responsible for supervisory functions, including staff development, hiring and firing, and
oversight of safety and compliance issues.
- Provide fundraising and resource development leadership for the organization, including
evaluating current and potential business and financial models to identify opportunities to
increase, maximize and diversify funding streams to grow the organization.
- Collaboratively manage the staff team and assist staff in implementing strategic
objectives and meeting goals.
- Develop and maintain professional relationships and serve as a spokesperson for the
organization for purposes of fundraising, expanding visibility, and advocacy.
- Further develop processes for quality assessment and evaluation of program
- Develop and maintain community-wide relationships.
- Support the Board of Trustees in its governance role, foster its ongoing development,
and keep it informed about internal conditions and external developments.
In addition to quickly understanding the mission, business model and approach of Clayworks, as
well as learning and understanding the dynamics of the community, the near-term priorities for
the first 12-18 months of the new ED tenure include, but are not limited to:
- Develop trust and working relationships with diverse stakeholders, including staff, Board,
artists, community members, government agencies and other constituencies.
- Learn and understand current programs and the recent historic context of Clayworks
- Evaluate the current business and financial models and identify possibilities that enable
Clayworks to increase and diversify funding to secure the foundation for the future.
Desired Leadership Experience and Attributes
Ideal candidates for this position will have a genuine commitment to the role of art and the value
of the practicing artist in society. Preferably, candidates will have management experience in an
arts organization. In addition to demonstrated experience in leadership, supervision, financial
and resource management, community outreach and board relations, they will also bring a
variety of experiences and attributes to Clayworks, including:
- An inspirational leadership style with a sense of humor, collegial manner, and a
successful track record of creating a collaborative environment
- Five to seven years’ professional experience of progressive leadership and management
responsibility, preferably in a nonprofit organization, including oversight of a comparably
sized budget and staff.
- Demonstrated ability to work successfully with diverse individuals in the artistic,
outreach, funding and business communities.
- Strategic and visionary thinking coupled with entrepreneurial spirit and experience.
- Business acumen, and attention to detail.
- A successful track record in fund development, including earned income, grants and
philanthropic support, and the ability to identify new revenue streams.
- A high level of initiative, creativity and an ability to produce results.
- Working knowledge of ceramics and/or the clay community is an asset.
- Experience working with, or for, a Board of Trustees with diversified skills and
- Proficiency in use of communications and office management software applications, with
an awareness and understanding of digital marketing, messaging and other significant
- Bachelor’s degree required; Master’s preferred.
Baltimore Clayworks is an equal opportunity employer and welcomes and encourages diverse
applicants. Communications will be confidential. Resume review begins immediately and
resumes will be accepted until the position is filled.
To apply, email cover letter, resume, salary requirements and the names and contact
information of 3 references to firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Baltimore Clayworks
Baltimore Claywork’s Mission: Founded 38 years ago by a group of Baltimore area ceramic
artists who wanted to collaborate and share facilities, Baltimore Clayworks is now a non-profit
ceramic art center that exists to develop, sustain, and promote an artist-centered community
that provides outstanding artistic, educational, and collaborative programs in ceramic arts.
– Artist – Centered, committed to the principle that making and appreciating art are essential to
the nourishment of the human spirit.
– Inclusive, serving both new learners and professional artists; nurturing students, artists and
collectors from diverse economic, cultural, ethnic and geographic backgrounds.
– We strive for increasing levels of Excellence in our art and in our management. It supports
growth and gives us credibility among experts and peers.
– Programs and management decisions are planned and executed with Integrity.
– Joy is pervasive in the Clayworks workplace – classrooms, studios, community facilities,
offices and even the Boardroom. This is expressed through the joy of accomplishment, of
working in environments of trust and excellence, and of being inclusive and transparent.
Clayworks occupies two historic buildings in the Mount Washington neighborhood of northwest
Baltimore and is:
- The only cultural institution in Greater Baltimore dedicated solely to the ceramic arts.
- Recognized as one of the top ceramic centers in the United States.
- Nationally and internationally recognized for artistic excellence, support of ceramic
artists, and community involvement.
- One of a few ceramic arts center in the United States that operates off-site facilities for
community arts programs.
- Clayworks has four program areas
– Studio education programs providing affordable ceramic classes and workshops for
adults and children taught by professional artists and skilled crafts persons.
– Resident Artist program for emerging artists
– Exhibition and Sales Galleries showcasing a wide range of contemporary ceramic art
and functional pottery.
– Community Arts programs for socially, economically or otherwise marginalized children
and adults, children and adults with disabilities, and veteran programs integrating health
and the arts.
In 1978, Clayworks acquired the former Mount Washington Library, which, after renovation,
became the Studio building that houses three instructional studios, studios for Resident and
staff artists, glazing areas, 3 gas kilns, 11 electric kilns, one soda kiln, and one Noborigama
wood kiln (located outdoors). In 2000, the St. Paul Companies donated what is now known as
the Gallery Building to Clayworks. The Gallery Building houses the exhibition, solo and sales
galleries, administrative offices, and meeting space. Clayworks currently has exhibition space
totaling approximately 15,000 square feet, including a permanent sales gallery, a Community
Arts gallery, a large multi-room exhibition space, and a small solo gallery. Exhibitions include
major curated shows; work by Clayworks Resident and Member Artists; and nationally and
internationally recognized ceramic artists. Collaborations with other arts and cultural
organizations both here and abroad provide expanded opportunities for shared programming.
Clayworks is governed by a 20-member Board of Trustees. In addition to the Executive Director,
Baltimore Clayworks currently employs a staff of 6 whose work is supplemented by interns and
30 part-time ceramics teachers who are professional artists. The annual operating budget is
approximately $1 million. Revenue is generated from earned income and contributions from
individuals, foundations, and government agencies.