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Seeking Dynamic Executive Director for Coastal Florida Art Museum

  • 29 Mar 2017 12:36 PM
    Message # 4698432




    Executive Director Position Available

    A.E. Backus Museum & Gallery, Fort Pierce, Florida

    Posted March 27, 2017

    Application Deadline, June 1, 2017

    Exceptional opportunity to lead a dynamic Museum steeped in history, but with a contemporary directive, on Florida’s unspoiled Treasure Coast. The newly re- built Museum is well organized by a strong volunteer force and operated by a small dedicated staff. The Board of Directors seeks to find a qualified candidate to replace the current Executive Director who is retiring after 19 years.

    The A.E. Backus Museum & Gallery seeks an experienced, entrepreneurial, innovative and business-minded individual to lead the Museum during its next stage of growth.  The Director will be responsible for furthering the goals and mission of the Backus Museum.  The Director will also be responsible supervising curatorial activities, exhibition acquisition and establishing the annual exhibition and special events and educational schedule.

    Of significant importance is the responsibility for maintaining and fostering the Museum’s 57 year image of exceptionalism.  The Director must be able to capitalize on the Backus’ existing strengths and provide leadership and management for the next chapter in the Museum’s history

    The ideal candidate will be an energetic Museum professional enthusiastic about growing an institution and with a commitment to working with diverse populations. This is a hands-on, active position and requires personal involvement assisting staff, volunteers and the Board with the running of the Museum and its events.




    • As Executive Director, manage the operational and administrative duties of the Backus in an efficient and effective manner.


    • ·         Oversee budget development and financial management; ensure the accuracy and integrity of complete financial and accounting records and reports.
    • ·         Work with the Exhibition Coordinator to develop plans for exhibitions and programs, including exhibition sponsorships.
    • ·         Manage consignment sales of A.E. Backus originals.
    • ·         Working with the Collection Curator, oversee the appraisals of Backus paintings.
    • ·         Direct the full range of responsibilities for the Museum’s Human Resources requirements.
    • ·         Ensure the efficient operation and maintenance of the facility, including HVAC systems, technology systems, security systems, janitorial staff, and grounds.
    • ·         Maintain and oversee the effective safety and security of the Museum.
    • ·         Enhance the Backus marketing program to raise awareness and grow audiences.
    • ·         Enhance the development of web-based marketing and strong social media presence.
    • ·         Collaborate with community partners to enhance the arts in the area.
    • ·         Participate in Board meetings as Director and administrator of the Museum.
    • ·         As Chief Fundraiser, engage vigorously and effectively in development and fundraising.
    • ·         Develop and lead fundraising events, annual fundraising initiatives, specific grant proposals, capital campaigns, and membership campaigns. 
    • ·         Cultivate and strengthen relationships and communications with members, Board of Directors, governmental entities, the volunteer corps, donors, Backus collectors and supporters of the Museum.
    • ·         Providing a high degree of visibility in the community, strengthening community relationships and serving as chief spokesperson for the Backus.
    • ·         Oversee and enhance innovation in the Museum’s online presence as well as increase digital components within the Museum.
    • ·         As Chief Strategic Planner provide visionary leadership in long-range planning and implementation.
    • ·         Lead the Board of Directors in an annual strategic planning retreat.


    Candidate Profile

    1. Possession of a bachelor’s degree in a relevant field of study is required and an advanced degree is preferred.

    2. Relevant executive experience working with a board of directors and leading a staff.

    3. A minimum of five years of successful, leadership responsibility which includes executive experience in a Museum environment.

    4. Exceptional skills in development, fundraising, marketing and financial management.

    5. Experience and proficiency with QuickBooks, MS Office programs and donor and collection management software.

    6. Experience in successful grant writing.

    7. Strong skills in written and verbal communication and organization (Please provide professional writing samples).

    8. Possess an entrepreneurial spirit, including the capacity to develop innovative strategies for income generation, audience-building, and programming.

    9. Possess the capacity to develop and maintain positive relationships with members, donors, exhibitors, collectors, community constituents and stakeholders.

    10. Possess a strong work ethic, a can-do attitude and high level of energy.

    11. Safe driving record

    Employment Contract and Salary Range and Benefits:

    • ·         Successful candidate will be required to sign an employment contract as well as a non-compete and a confidentiality agreement with the Museum.
    • ·         All finalists will undergo a thorough background check.
    • Compensation will range between $58,000 - $62,000, commensurate with qualifications and experience.
    • Company car for transporting artwork and supplies as well as personal use.
    • 2 weeks paid vacation after the completion of one full year of employment
    • 14 paid sick days annually
    • Retirement plan
    • Cellphone
    • Partial reimbursement of monthly health insurance premium (no group policy is offered).

    Physical Requirements

    This position requires an ability to sit, stand, walk, bend, lift, reach up, stoop and carry items occasionally more than 30 pounds. It also requires manual dexterity, visual acuity and ability to operate standard office machines such as, copier, computer, projector, fax, sound system, telephone, and other equipment.

    This description is intended to indicate an outline of the job’s requirements and expectations. It is not intended to be a contract for employment. The employer reserves the right to make any necessary revisions to the job description at any time without notice.

    About the Museum

    Located in a City park along the beautiful Indian River Lagoon, the A.E. Backus Museum is fresh from a $1.4 million-dollar expansion, which doubled its size, redesigned exhibits and included a Museum Store expansion. Housing the nation’s largest public exhibition of artwork by Florida’s preeminent painter, A.E. Backus, the Museum also offers the only permanent multi-media exhibition on the internationally acclaimed, outsider artists known as The Florida Highwaymen.

    Established in 1960 as the Gallery of Fort Pierce, the Museum has grown and expanded its facility, collection and vision over the years. Changing exhibits from artists of national and international acclaim round out the Museum’s Florida centered mission. The new outdoor Mural Plaza opens onto a park that borders the Indian River Lagoon and offers a place for fresh air and artistic inspiration. Families and school groups will enjoy the Art & History Scavenger Hunt which is open to the public and free of charge. The Museum offers a lecture series, hands on art workshops and continuing classes in a variety of mediums.

    Who Was A.E. Backus?

    With a career spanning over 70 years, Backus (1906 – 1990) was the first Florida born artist to paint Florida. He was lucky to have known great success during his lifetime with paintings hanging in the homes and offices of a who’s who of Florida power and wealth. A renowned humanitarian who abhorred the South’s racist attitudes and segregation, Backus taught and mentored the Florida Highwaymen. If there were no Backus, there would be no Highwaymen. Twenty-eight artists in the Florida Artist Hall of Fame owe their start to A.E. Backus.

    Museum’s Mission

    To promote the arts in the community, and to perpetuate the artistic and humanitarian legacy of A.E. “Bean” Backus.


    The Museum encompasses 8,000 sq. ft. of interior exhibition, Museum store, offices and storage space. An outdoor mural plaza and Art & History Scavenger Hunt are part of a public art exhibition on the Museum’s landscaped, waterfront park-grounds.



    The Backus Museum is funded by donations from our “Friends of the Museum” membership, business sponsorships, state cultural & humanity grants, charitable gifts, fund raising events and activities, the proceeds from the sale of Backus originals in our consignment gallery and Museum Store sales.


    The Museum is located along the waterfront in historic downtown Fort Pierce. Central to Florida’s Treasure Coast, Fort Pierce is known as a lively waterfront community with miles of unspoiled beaches, incredible fishing, a vibrant arts and cultural scene and a diverse and active community. The cost of living is low and the quality of living is high. The neighboring communities of Stuart and Vero Beach also offer outstanding cultural and leisure activities.

    Links to things of interest in the local area,

    • To Apply Send:
    • ·         A short video of interest
    • ·         Current and verifiable resume
    • ·         Copy of college/graduate school transcripts
    • ·         Two samples of professional writing (articles, funding requests, newsletter articles, published papers, etc.)
    • ·         List of three professional references with email contact information

    Send information to 




    Following a telephone interview, finalists will be asked to come for a personal interview with the Search Committee.

    It is the desire of the Search Committee to have an approved candidate ready to begin training in early August, 2017. Position begins October 1, 2017, prior to the Museum’s opening for its 58th season.