Young Audiences of Western New York is searching for its next Executive Director to lead the nonprofit in sustaining the arts as a necessary component of a complete education, a vibrant economy and a dynamic community.


Young Audiences of Western New York (YA-WNY) works to advance teaching and learning in the arts by: 1.) Bringing meaningful arts experiences into the lives of children to improve their educational attainment; 2.) Connecting young people with professional artists in schools, community centers, and out-of-school-time programs and 3.) Expanding the capacity of teachers, artists, and cultural organizations to harness the power of the arts in education and learning in and through the arts. A member of Young Audiences National Network with 30 affiliates nationwide, its mission is to make the arts a part of young people’s lives in order to enhance their development as creative and productive human beings.

Headquartered in a cheery open-space office in downtown Buffalo, New York, YA-WNY operates with an annual budget of approximately $700,000, a staff of six full-time equivalent employees, and is governed by a 11-member board of directors. Every day, YA-WNY provides arts-integrated learning opportunities as well as training and assistance to education professionals. Its roster includes 109 trained and qualified teaching artists who last year alone provided over 1,700 workshops, performances and field trips. In the fiscal year ending June 30, 2017, YA-WNY served more than 95 schools, libraries and community centers.  In addition, the organization served 22 cultural partners through its Arts Partners for Learning program.

RESPONSIBILITIES: The Executive Director (ED) is the chief executive officer providing leadership, vision and direction. The ED implements policies and strategic plans established by the board. He/she manages, leads, oversees and continually develops programs, operations, budget, resources, community partnerships and professional staff. Specific management responsibilities include:

PLANNING: Implements, updates and reports on current strategic plans in areas of programming, fund development, and operational goals along with the care and building of key relationships.

FUNDRAISING AND DEVELOPMENT: In conjunction with the development director and the board, directs the conceptualization and administration of fundraising strategies, grant proposals, campaigns and events to meet or exceed annual goals to ensure acquisition of financial support from individuals, corporations, foundations, and government.

PROGRAMS: Leads the program director and staff to create new initiatives, expand partnerships and evaluate outcomes to ensure that artistic and educational programs serve the mission, as well as the contractual responsibilities of the YA-WNY programs and services.

FINANCE: Sets and maintains high standards of accountability; he/she ensures the integrity of policies and procedures and financial operations including financial reporting, analysis, annual budgets and project budgets.

ADMINISTRATION & HUMAN RESOURCES: Management, mentorship and professional growth of all employees including hiring and termination, training, professional development, performance evaluation and compensation -- all in accordance with the board-approved personnel policies.

PUBLIC RELATIONS: As primary spokesperson, the ED works with staff and board to develop a strategic, clear and consistent message to tell the organization’s story and to advocate for arts education and integration. An engaging and compelling speaker able to communicate with high-level school, government and arts personnel, the ED will participate in key associations and organizations, serve on committees and advisory groups and speak in public settings at community events. The ED will strive to develop a small army of spokespersons by coaching others into being articulate advocates for the organization.

BOARD RELATIONS: The ED reports directly to the board of directors. Navigating the talents and resources of the board, he/she works closely with members to ensure optimal organizational governance. The ED will strive to engage and energize the board to continuously improve upon its role as fundraisers, policymakers, and community ambassadors. The ED shall:

- provide timely reports and financial oversight tools for board review;

- partner with the board in prospect identification, cultivation, recruitment, and orientation of new board members and

- assist board committees in developing and implementing their goals and objectives for YA-WNY.


    • Proven ability to lead and grow an organization while meeting annual budgets, fundraising goals and community impact goals;
    • Bachelor degree in related field;
    • 8 to 10 years experience in related field (i.e. not-for-profit administration) with a preference towards those exhibiting participation in and/or appreciation for the arts in education;
    • Experience and skill in working with a nonprofit board of directors;
    • Strong financial management skills;
    • Keen understanding of the regulatory, governance and fiscal requirements associated with nonprofit management;
    • Demonstrated skill in areas of organizational development, personnel management and delegation with proven ability to collaboratively lead a team of professionals and maintain team morale;
    • Ability to partner with other agencies and identify strategic opportunities;
    • Sensitivity and respect for the diversity of families’ economic, linguistic and cultural backgrounds and situations;
    • Strong communication skills including writing, interpersonal communication, public speaking and representation skills;
    • Quantifiable success in fundraising with a track record in donor stewardship and successful solicitation of major gifts across all categories of donors (government, corporate, foundation and individual)
    • Demonstrated commitment to quality programs and data-driven program evaluation;
    • Computer literacy with a working knowledge of technology and
    • High integrity, ethical and trustworthy.

Preferred candidates will possess one or more of the following attributes: a discernible understanding of the value of the arts in the education and lives of young people; a postgraduate degree; ability to lead an organization of similar size (e.g. annual budget ranging from $500K to $1M); ability to successfully manage finances and meet budget targets; demonstrated ability to lead and actively participate in raising $500,000 to $700,000 annually; familiarity with Western New York schools, education, arts community and funders; ability to build strong relationships with stakeholders and to advance the mission and vision of an organization in service to the community; understanding of student achievement data; ability to manage conflict and adversity; a record of successful marketing, PR and campaign management; experience in Salesforce and/or entrepreneurial experience.

SALARY & BENEFITS: This is a full-time, exempt position. A competitive, experience-based compensation package with benefits will be provided.

TO APPLY: YA-WNY has retained consulting firm, NuLevel Strategies, to assist its Transition Committee. NuLevel works to build organizational capacity, transformative teams and leaders for mission-driven clients. To apply, please send resume and cover letter demonstrating your qualifications for the position. Applicants must include salary history, salary requirements and a list of 3 professional references. Candidates can be disqualified for failure to include all requested materials. Review of applications will begin November 13, 2017 and continue until position is filled.    NO PHONE CALLS PLEASE - all semi-finalists will be contacted by representatives from NuLevel Strategies.

SEND CORRESPONDENCE DIRECTLY TO: YA-WNYsearch@nulevelstrategies.com

Young Audiences of Western New York is an equal opportunity employer and seeks workforce diversity with respect to race, ethnicity, culture, gender, gender expression, military service, age, sexual orientation and physical ability.

The employer will not reimburse travel expenses or pay employee relocation expenses.

Successful finalists must agree to complete a background check as a condition of employment.