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Arts Council of Indianapolis Seeks President and CEO 

Posted by Arts Council of Indianapolis ; Posted on 
Arts Council of Indianapolis Seeks President and CEO 


Arts Council of Indianapolis – President and CEO


The Arts Council of Indianapolis (ACI) fosters meaningful engagement in the arts by nurturing a culture where artists and arts organizations thrive. ACI was incorporated as an organization in 1987 with a remit to award $500,000 of grant funding from the City of Indianapolis to worthy local arts and cultural groups. ACI has advocated for and received additional funding in part due to its independent, conflict-free peer panel review process. Over the last 30 years, the impact and mission of ACI has grown to provide programs, services, and technical assistance for artists and arts organizations while also awarding grants and fellowship opportunities, including the Creative Renewal Arts Fellowship, Transformational Impact Fellowship, and Robert D. Beckmann, Jr. Emerging Artist Fellowship. In addition, ACI publishes the Indy Arts Guide, which provides a comprehensive arts calendar featuring thousands o events, performances, and exhibitions throughout central Indiana.

ACI owns and operates the Indianapolis Artsgarden as well as Gallery 924, both of which serve as essential spaces for hundreds of performing arts events and visual art exhibitions annually. Additionally, ACI funds and executes public art projects, helps local artists secure public art commissions by notifying them of opportunities, and manages the city’s public art program, inclu ding the new Public Art for Neighborhoods initiative. ACI has already engaged in eight diverse public art projects in 2018.

Committed to the importance of arts education, ACI, in partnership with Indianapolis Public Schools, is a member of the Any Given Child  program of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. Selected because of its demonstrated commitment to the improvement of education in and through the arts, the community participates in collaborative efforts to provide equity and access in arts education for all students. In May 2018 ACI received a $50,000 grant from the National Endowment of the Arts to support this program.

ACI has 15 full-time and two part-time staff members and is governed by a 21-member board of directors, under the leadership of Chair Ted Givens. Its current annual operating budget is $3.2 million, with 79 percent received through contributions and government grants and 21 percent through rental, event, and interest income. Net assets stand at approximately $7.6 million, of which $2.6 million is in operating reserves and $5 million in fixed assets.


Indianapolis is the 12th largest city in the United States, with 863,000 residents within the city and more than two million residents within the metropolitan area. The economic and government center of Indiana, this capital city is where art, culture, and recreation come together. As the seat of Marion County, Indianapolis has a consolidated city and county government structure. It is one of the largest United States cities by area, covering over 368 square miles of land. An easy city to access and often referred to as the Crossroads of America, Indianapolis is at the intersection of two major north/south and east/west highways, has a historic train station with Amtrak service, recently expanded its transit system through referendum, and enjoys an art-filled international airport making it an accessible city for travel and tourism.

Arts and culture thrive in Indianapolis from the exhibitions at the city’s  museums, dynamic theater performances, and indoor and outdoor concerts. The arts and culture industry in Indianapolis generates over $440 million in economic impact each year and employs 15,000 full-time positions. The city’s  arts attendance each year reaches more than seven million visits. More than 1.5 million children and youth are impacted through arts and education outreach programs.

With six designated Cultural Districts located within historically significant neighborhoods unique to the city’s heritage, pockets of international and local talent, music, and art thrive throughout the community. Local events represent its diverse population, with celebrations that include Italian, German, Asian, and Greek festivals. More than 200,000 participants attend the Indianapolis Black Expo Summer Celebration, an annual 10-day cultural festival with a variety of films, concerts, and programs across the city. Residents can drive about one hour south of the city proper to visit Brown County, home to one of America’s original artist colonies.

The Indianapolis community is a welcoming, exciting place. It is the home headquarters for three Fortune 500 companies, state and federal government offices, major health care systems, half a dozen professional and amateur sports teams, and the National Collegiate Athletic Association. It is also known for the renowned Indianapolis 500 race—the country’s largest one -day sporting event. Outdoor enthusiasts can enjoy the Indianapolis Cultural Trail, an eight-mile urban-planned pedestrian and bike pathway connecting neighborhoods and cultural districts. The trail offers access to multiple entertainment venues, public art, restaurants, and shops along the way. A few miles northeast of downtown is Eagle Creek Park. Its more than 3,900 acres of land and 1,400 acres of water host many community-based clubs for activities such as sailing, rowing, and golf. Sources:;;;


Serving as a collaborative leader and champion for arts across the city, the President and CEO will report to the board of directors and will be responsible for the implementation of ACI’s  strategic vision, programs, grant making, and overall administration of the organization. A passionate advocate for the arts, the position will be in charge of stakeholder engagement, advocacy, and resource development in support of ACI’s mission.

Roles and Responsibilities

Leadership and Stakeholder Engagement

  • Maintain positive relationships with local artists and arts organizations as well as funders, corporate, education, and political communities.
  • Enhance ACI’s  image and effectiveness by being active and visible in the community and by working closely with other professional, civic, government, and private organizations to support cultural tourism and cultural policies.
  • Serve as the chief liaison to the Mayor’s Office, Governor’s Office, city councilors, state legislators, and any other government officials.Represent ACI to the media and at local, state, regional, and national meetings and arts community functions.
  • Promote transparency and facilitate ongoing communication among stakeholders.
  • Embrace other leadership and stakeholder engagement responsibilities as needed.

Advocacy and Resource Development

  • Grow organizational capacity, cultivate funders and donors, and pursue private funding support for ACI’s programs, grantmaking, and special projects.
  • Keep abreast of national, state, and city initiatives and legislation.
  • Initiate, lead, and engage in broad-based arts and culture advocacy initiatives at all levels to raise the profile of all arts organizations, regardless of size.
  • Create greater access to and availability of arts education experiences and advocate for greater curricular integration of the arts.
  • Serve as the face of the organization, representing ACI and the entire culture sector at meetings, conventions, and public forums in the business, philanthropic, and civic sectors.
  • Embrace other advocacy and resource development responsibilities as needed.

Program and Grant Management

  • Seek opportunities to develop strategic partnerships and collaborate with arts organizations to deliver relevant and timely programming to diverse communities throughout the city.
  • Manage, evaluate, and oversee existing programs, services, marketing, and communications.
  • Oversee all marketing and communications, grants, programs and services, development, finance and operations, cultural tourism, public policy, technology, administration, and special projects functions of ACI.
  • Develop funding criteria with the board of directors, oversee the grantmaking process, and communicate grantmaking outcomes.
  • Embrace other program and grant management responsibilities as needed.

Board Relations and Governance

  • Communicate effectively with the board, provide timely and accurate information, and support all board activities, including meetings and sub-committee meetings as necessary.
  • Prepare and present written and oral reports as necessary.
  • Partner with the Board Governance Committee to identify, cultivate, recruit, and engage new board members and play an active role in the orientation and education of new and existing members.
  • Engage board members to maximize participation in their contribution toward ACI’s  success and growth.
  • Ensure the fiscal integrity of ACI, including submission to the board of a proposed annual budget, monthly financial statements, and an annual audit that accurately reflect the financial condition of the organization.
  • Embrace other board relations and governance responsibilities as needed.

Strategic Planning and Operational Administration

  • Manage and lead all areas of agency planning, including the development and implementation of a long-range strategic plan and an annual work plan.
  • Create strategic plan and annual work plan implementation processes, including stewardship of the organization’s human, financial, facility, and technological resources.
  • Provide overall fiscal management within the approved budget to ensure maximum resource utilization and maintain a positive financial position.
  • Hire, train, and supervise administrative staff, mobilize volunteers, and oversee the effective use of financial and technological resources needed to achieve the organization’s goals and objectives.
  • Comply with all applicable intergovernmental laws and other laws governing nonprofit organizations.
  • Establish an administrative environment and decision-making process that promotes a positive working atmosphere and collegial staff relations.
  • Embrace other strategic planning and operational administration responsibilities as needed.

Traits and Characteristics

The President and CEO will be a diplomatic and resilient leader who will advance ACI’s  mission and welcome the diversity of the Indianapolis arts community. Embracing innovation, this individual will have a working knowledge of best practices. The President and CEO will be a good listener and demonstrate a strong constituent-focused approach— placing a high value on building relationships and possessing superior interpersonal and communication skills. Politically astute and flexible, this individual will have the ability to manage time and multiple priorities while working with various stakeholders. With a highly visible presence in the local community and beyond, the President and CEO will be an excellent convener and presenter, successful collaborator, dedicated team leader, and passionate advocate for artists and arts organizations of all sizes. The ideal candidate will possess a solid understanding of the factors that contribute to organizational success, artistic excellence, and community impact for a service organization operating in a competitive and diverse arts and cultural market.

Other key competencies include:

  • Leadership and Flexibility –  The ability to organize and motivate others to accomplish goals and the agility and adaptability to embrace and implement change when needed.
  • Constituent Focused –  The dexterity to anticipate, meet, or exceed needs, wants, and expectations.
  • Resiliency –  The capacity to quickly recover from adversity or setbacks and move past obstacles without unnecessary delay.
  • Diplomacy and Interpersonal Skills –  The resiliency to constructively embrace different points of view, resolve conflicts, and bring cohesion to a wide array of stakeholders while interacting with them in a positive manner, treating them fairly, and listening carefully to what they have to say.
  • Teamwork –  The integrity to recognize and appreciate the contributions of team members and to make team objectives a priority.


A bachelor’s degree is required (master’s degree preferred ) and a minimum of seven to 10 years of increasingly responsible leadership experience in nonprofit arts and culture organizations, public arts agencies, foundations, other grantmaking organizations, or similar institutions. A passion for artists and the arts in its myriad of forms is expected. Experience working with elected officials and nonprofit boards as well as excellent written and verbal skills are necessary.

Compensation and Benefits

ACI offers competitive compensation, commensurate with experience, and a benefits package that includes health, life, vision, and dental insurance; vacation, holiday, and sick pay; and an employee retirement plan.

Applications and Inquiries

Please submit a letter and resume with a summary of demonstrable accomplishments (electronic submissions preferred) to:

Ms. Wyona Lynch-McWhite, Vice President
Arts Consulting Group
292 Newbury Street, Suite 315
Boston, MA 02115-2801
Tel (888) 234.4236 Ext. 225


The Arts Council of Indianapolis is committed to working with the arts and cultural community to cultivate a sector that serves, celebrates, and values every resident of Indianapolis. We envision a city where engagement in the arts is not pre-determined by socio-economic status, race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, or disability. We see a robust and successful arts and cultural community as:

  • A city where all artists, creative workers, audiences, and students have full access to the robust creative arts resources of our community and in which their varied histories, voices, and life experiences are honored.
  • A city where equitable access to arts funding and programs for all arts organizations and artists is expected and delivered.
  • A city where such funding and programs unite arts organizations and artists with diverse populations in our community to nurture a community where every resident sees themselves as belonging, learning, and participating in the arts sector.

We believe these closely held tenets will sustain a full creative life for all.


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