October 4, 2019
CultureSource is a regional arts and culture coalition that advances creative and cultural expression throughout Southeast Michigan. As a service organization, we do this work through hosting professional development workshops that grow creative and leadership capacities, presenting programs that provide space for exchanging ideas about arts and culture, and leading initiatives that bring together stakeholders interested in improving access to creative experiences.
Our alliance is primarily composed of our member nonprofit arts and culture organizations: currently a record high 157 members (above a recent average of 92 members). Those members include arts and science centers, museums, orchestras, historical societies, art house theaters and theater companies, after school arts education programs, and dance and design collectives, and they have local, statewide, and national reputations for anchoring their communities. We also use our expertise to serve artists, arts contractors, and informal arts collectives striving for positive impacts in our region. Peer service organizations and charitable corporations and foundations rely on CultureSource as a resource as well, collaborating with or contracting us to achieve shared goals for helping the cultural sector and the communities it serves thrive.
Over the past two years, CultureSource has been growing fast. While from 2015 to 2017 our forward progress slowed amid two executive leadership transitions, we recently regained traction—coinciding with newly appointed executive and board leadership—and we have been experiencing increasing momentum in realizing our vision and responding to the external environment. In this new mode of relevance, our internal systems are gradually becoming challenged by the increasing complexity of our work. Simultaneously increasing are our staff’s expectations for maximizing our benefit to our field.
Our lean organization is now craving and willing to invest in the additional capacity offered by a managing director, a new staff position for CultureSource. Ideally, the managing director would unlock and facilitate use of resources, tools, and work strategies that elevate the quality and joy of our service to our members and partners. This person would also take the external opportunities being generated by or pitched to CultureSource and shape them as they enter and move through the organization, giving focused and strategic attention to these relationships to help ensure desired outcomes. Additionally, as a complement to the executive director and as a day-to-day ally to the other staff team members, the managing director would offer a counter-balancing set of perspectives, peer coaching, and extra pair of hands.
Partner and Complement to the Director
The managing director will co-think and co-plan with the executive director regarding organizational development, for instance, related to human resources, budgeting and multi-year revenue planning, supporting board committee engagement, and adding or removing organizational structures that generate intentional and distinctive office culture. Stylistically, in this role the managing director is likely to identify as analytical, be process-oriented, like data, and ask lots of How questions.
As stated in one of our guiding principles, CultureSource is at its best when we work with partners and as connectors and instigators. We rely on partners to help us do our best work and do work greater than we could accomplish on our own. The managing director will be well calibrated to our internal and external environments and will help shape the relationships that we aspire to have with partners as they enter or exist within our organization. This includes creating and monitoring project workflows that maximize those relationships and maintain accountability, and making the case for new, expanded, or restructuring relationships. People we consider to be partners include, and are not limited to, vendors, donors, peer service organizations, and program presenters.
Special Projects Lead
From time to time, one-time projects emerge for CultureSource that do not easily fit within any single staff person’s job responsibilities. In these instances, project management will fall to the managing director. Two recent examples of CultureSource cross-departmental projects: when we hosted the National Council on the Arts of the National Endowment for the Arts in Southeast Michigan for a three-day visit in June 2019, and when we planned and orchestrated the relocation of our office in December 2018 to our current home in Detroit’s New Center.
“Offensive Coordinator” for Staff
The CultureSource staff is talented and each member of our team is exploring greater depths in their work and discovering new opportunities for impact. With the executive director, the managing director will be an ally in helping staff perform their jobs proactively and strategically as individuals and in cross-departmental teams. The managing director will be a highly available presence for the staff—often acting as a peer reviewer or provocateur—and with this perspective on the team’s skills and needs, will also help the executive director design staff development and learning experiences.
The CultureSource staff relies on a spirit of teamwork and interdependency. Beyond the duties above, the managing director will be a model team member by being an external ambassador for the organization, by showing up at our own events and programs, and by taking responsibility for investing in their own growth: cultural competency, subject matter knowledge, and creativity.
The executive director will regularly dialogue with the managing director about their work goals, achievements, and barriers to success. The conditions below describe an environment in which the managing director is thriving:
- Board, staff, and partners perceive that “things are running smoother,” and mistakes and glitches often occur only as a result of innovation, experimentation, or bad luck.
- The executive director and managing director express feelings of compatibility, and they regularly debate and vocally question each other’s thinking.
- Systems are in place (and are used) to track our work, progress, and learnings. Similarly, new work culture practices and policies have been adopted, each having a process for reflection and ongoing refinement.
- The managing director’s role and responsibilities expand as the organization more frequently capitalizes on opportunities externally and works smarter internally.
- The managing director has an ability to articulate how their annual and daily work is aligned with CultureSource’s guiding principles and to list business development opportunities that have been realized or intentionally rejected.
The managing director position is a 40-hour per week role that reports to the executive director and works out of our Detroit office, with regular travel throughout Southeast Michigan and occasional travel outside of the region for research and development.
CultureSource values difference and inclusion, and our hiring practices embody our stance as an equal opportunity employer. Beyond saying these things here, we try to represent these beliefs throughout our foundational documents, in our programmatic and operations decisions, and in the dedication of individuals in our organization to working on their own personal cultural competency. We hope candidates who think this role is a stretch given their perceived professional capacity will consider applying. We also hope that people who have felt oppressed by privilege in past professional situations will also consider applying.
There are no specific educational or work experience requirements for this role, though candidates will be expected to articulate a commitment to learning and education, the arts and creativity, and setting and achieving goals.
Interested candidates should email the following to firstname.lastname@example.org with “Managing Director – [LAST NAME]” in the subject line:
- Resume detailing experiences, accomplishments, and personal/professional traits relevant to the CultureSource work environment and the communications manager role outlined in this position profile
- A statement of interest in the managing director position that expresses why you are interested in this role and that in its style and presentation, conveys your approach to beginning relationships, presenting information, and making a compelling case for engagement and support.
Note: The candidacy of people who submit the materials above will be kept confidential from people outside of this hiring process.