March 1, 2021 – Boston-based search firm Arts Consulting Group has been enlisted to find the next executive director for the Martha’s Vineyard Museum in Vineyard Haven, MA. President Bruce D. Thibodeau is leading the assignment. “Reporting to the board of directors, the executive director will serve as a forward-thinking chief executive officer of the newly revitalized MVM, with overall responsibility for the execution of its mission and achievement of its vision,” said the search firm. “An outgoing leader, the executive director will be committed to museum excellence and possess a deep appreciation for the changing museum field, community engagement and high-quality visitor experiences.”
The new leader will be expected to represent MVM regionally and nationally to external stakeholders, constituents and community partners, said the search firm. He or she will be charged with building excitement, providing leadership, and invigorating a strategic direction in support of MVM. Maintaining a high professional profile, the executive director will support growth in both contributed and earned revenue, closely collaborating with the board to complete the capital campaign while identifying opportunities for legacy and endowment gifts. The individual will also partner with the board to cultivate relationships and financial resources that will ensure the success of an institution that serves as a symbol of community engagement and pride to the residents and visitors of Martha’s Vineyard.
Among the key roles and responsibilities of the position, the next executive director will be expected to provide strategic direction and revenue enhancement for the organization, said Arts Consulting Group. The individual must communicate the museum’s strategic direction, vision and impacts to build membership, attendance, commitment, and support for the organization and its mission and programs. It is also critical that the leader pursue an expanding dialogue about Vineyard histories through collection enhancement, creative and relevant exhibits, meaningful educational opportunities and programming that deepens the exhibit narrative.
The executive director must have a well-rounded set of competencies as a resourceful and creative museum professional who values frequent interaction and collaboration with others, said the search firm. A visionary leader with the ability to set, pursue and achieve goals in a timely manner, the executive director will have excellent communication skills, imagination, entrepreneurial spirit, leadership abilities, and a passion for the unique mission and impact of MVM.
“A results-oriented relationship builder who maintains a high professional profile, the executive director will inspire a long-term vision with achievable goals and a strategy that embraces many constituencies,” said Arts Consulting Group. “They will value MVM’s social impact on its community and articulate its cultural, educational, and economic impact messages. A strong conceptual thinker and creative generator of curatorial ideas, the executive director will have the ability to move from dialogue to timely decision making and action.”
Candidates are required to have a master’s degree or equivalent experience with at least seven years of progressive executive leadership or senior management experience in a museum or related nonprofit organization. A deep understanding of historical collections and archives, particularly in a multi-facility organization, is highly desired. A proven track record as an effective fundraiser with supervisory budget oversight is essential.
“The ideal candidate will possess skill, passion, creativity and an appreciation for cultural history, educational programming, and community partnerships, as well as a demonstrable commitment to the importance of equity, diversity and inclusion,” said Arts Consulting Group.
Martha’s Vineyard Museum is a century-old historical and cultural museum that has collected art, artifacts, oral histories, documents, and photographs that help tell the stories of Martha’s Vineyard from its prehistoric stage to the present. Founded in 1922 as the Dukes County Historical Society and incorporated in 1923, the organization officially changed its name to the Martha’s Vineyard Museum in 2006. Thirteen years later, the museum opened its current location in Vineyard Haven. Its collections include more than 43,000 different items and more than 350 individual subject collections consisting of manuscripts, maps and charts, and genealogical materials. Its Hackney Research Library provides anyone interested in the history and culture of Martha’s Vineyard with access to more than 3,500 books, 900 maps and charts, and 50,000 photographic images.
Arts and Culture Recruiters
Arts Consulting Group provides interim management, executive search, revenue enhancement consulting, facilities and program planning, and organizational development services for the arts and culture industry. The firm has identified senior-level leaders for the Long Beach Opera, Fort Worth Opera, Chicago Opera, Stockton Symphony Association and Portland Baroque Orchestra, among others. The firm has offices in Boston; Calgary; Chicago; Dallas; Denver; Halifax; Los Angeles; Nashville, TN; New York; Portland, OR; San Francisco; Tampa, FL; Toronto; and Washington, D.C.
Dr. Thibodeau founded ACG in 1997 and has been part of numerous projects in all practice areas to grow institutional sustainability, advance the arts and culture sector, and enhance communities served by the industry. He has guided hundreds of non-profit, university and government clients in achieving effective leadership transitions, planning cultural facilities, increasing revenues, developing dynamic institutional brands and messages, crafting strategic plans and business models, and revitalizing board governance practices.
Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media