Executive Director, The Clemente Soto Vélez Cultural and Educational Center
The Clemente Soto Vélez Cultural and Educational Center not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization has been a mainstay of the Lower East Side’s artistic community for nearly 30 years and has been a place of passions since its founding. The Clemente’s mission is focused on the cultivation, presentation, and preservation of Puerto Rican and Latinx arts and culture.
It operates in a multicultural and inclusive manner, hosting and promoting artists and performance events that reflect the cultural diversity of the Lower East Side and New York City as a whole. The Clemente offers support services and subsidized administrative, studio, rehearsal, community and performance/exhibition space to artists and nonprofit arts organizations; venue rentals for performance; and public programs that reflect and advance the Center’s vision.
Housed in a City-owned architectural landmark-quality building, The Clemente is a five-story, 98,000-square foot structure housing two art galleries; four theaters; three rehearsal/multi-use rooms; an outdoor Plaza; and 46 visual arts studios. It is also home to 11 performing, arts and educational organizations. The organization’s budget is approximately $1,000,000.
The Clemente has four years remaining on its current 10-year renewable lease from the City of New York. With City capital funding, it is starting a second phase renovation, ADA-Code Compliance Building Renovation Project, scheduled to start in early 2021.
The Clemente is currently governed by a seven-member Board of Directors and has 13 full-time and part-time employees in addition to the Executive Director.
Overview of the Position
Reporting directly to the Board of Directors, and working closely with Board committees, the Executive Director will lead The Clemente during a season of transformation and renewed viability that will cement its role as an important and vibrant anchor in the Puerto Rican/Latinx/Multicultural community.
The ideal candidate will have experience in managing both complex institutions and large facilities/properties; be knowledgeable about and/or committed to Puerto Rican and Latinx culture, and visual and/or performing arts; be passionate about promoting access and participation to the arts for broad publics of all ages and backgrounds.
Over the past three years alone, The Clemente has had multiple executive directors or interim directors, the Board was depleted by changes and departures, and several staff members left. This ongoing leadership turnover has created challenges for The Clemente and a unique opportunity for the future of the institution.
In collaboration with varied stakeholders: including board and board committees, staff, tenants, and external advisory committee, the Executive Director will lead a strategic planning process that will unify the various stakeholder groups around an agreed mission and vision for the future direction of organization and facilities. The Executive Director will have exceptional skills for reconciling differing viewpoints to establish common understanding and build consensus.
• Unify the organization (board, staff, tenants, etc.) to improve overall engagement, participation, and satisfaction
• Invest in board training and development to ensure board oversight is effective and implements best practices across all entities
• Invest in capacity building and professional development for all staff
Growth & Sustainability
• Engage in a strategic planning process that results in a refined vision and plan for the next 3-5 years
• Clarify mission and vision to ensure clearer understanding of the purpose for both the organization and the building
• Improve fundraising strategies with an emphasis on increasing revenue and diversifying funding streams
• Serve as the face of and key spokesperson for The Clemente to all internal and external stakeholders: tenants, arts organizations, artists, city funding agencies, individual donors, foundations, government entities, and local/state policymakers
• Maintain relationship and communication with and seek counsel on institutional matters from NYC Department of Cultural Affairs (DCLA) as the transition continues
Facilities, Administration & Operations
• Maintain operational strength and flexibility to ensure high-quality program delivery
• Ensure building is always in compliance: ADA, C of O, OSHA, etc.
• Conduct a facilities audit to determine needs, improvements and repairs, and invest accordingly
• Effectively manage tenant relationships including rent and license agreements, resolve complaints, enforce rules of occupancy, etc.
• Establish policies for rental equity structure and implement accordingly
• Oversee sound financial management for all departments: develop organizational project budgets, ensure accurate and timely financial reporting and grant compliance, develop investment strategies, and complete annual audits
• Invest in ongoing programmatic excellence
• Conduct programmatic needs assessment within the communities served to assess current program viability and determine new program opportunities
Background and Qualifications
The Board is committed to honoring the rich history, including the cultivation, presentation, and preservation of Puerto Rican and Latinx culture, providing affordable workspace to artists and arts organizations, and hiring a transformational leader who will guide The Clemente into its next chapter. Therefore, the incoming Executive Director will be a politically savvy turnaround specialist that has a passion for the mission of The Clemente, understands the complexities of working with artists and arts organizations, and has a demonstrated history of organizational development.
Skills and Attributes
● Exemplary board relationship development and management expertise
● Demonstrated history of executing vision and strategic priorities
● Superior financial acumen and substantial budget management experience
● Established facilities management, capital improvement, construction project, and space utilization experience
● Strong leadership, team-building, and supervisory skills
● Proven track record in securing unrestricted funds and developing diversified funding streams
● Strategic thinker, especially in planning and building of collaborative relationships
● Essential data driven and analytical proficiency
● Outstanding presentation and communications skills
● Established relationships within New York City’s arts, culture and government entities
● Bilingual fluency in spoken and written English and Spanish a plus
Master’s degree or equivalent experience in nonprofit management, arts administration, business or a related field. Must have a minimum of 7 – 10 years of nonprofit management experience with increasing responsibility.
Compensation and Benefits: Competitive and commensurate with experience
How to Apply: The Clemente is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Interested applicants should email their resume, cover letter and salary requirements to The Clemente Search Committee at email@example.com. Applications will be considered on a rolling basis, so interested applicants are encouraged to apply early. Applications without cover letters that directly address the candidate’s fit with the key qualifications will not be considered.
Visit The Clemente’s website at http://www.theclementecenter.org/