President & CEO, Arts Council of Indianapolis

Indianapolis, IN


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

292 Newbury Street, Suite 315
Boston, MA 02115-2801
Tel        (888) 234.4236 Ext. 225

For more information, please visit

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