About Raw Art Works
Raw Art Works (RAW) was founded in 1988 with a group of passionate art therapists who shared the belief that good things happen when kids feel they are a vital part of a creative community that truly cares. Youth at RAW are welcomed into a diverse, equitable, and inclusive environment the moment they step through the door. Through the use of the arts, youth are given the tools to process what is really going on in their lives, giving them the opportunity to create in unexpected ways, and envision new possibilities for their future. Many of the youth rely on the trusted relationships they build at RAW to help navigate the complexities of their lives.
RAW’s mission is to ignite the desire to create and confidence to succeed in underserved youth. As a youth development arts organization rooted in art therapy, over 400 youth, ages 8-19, participate in after-school and summer visual and expressive arts groups, digital film school classes, leadership development opportunities, and college and career access programming. When youth attend programming at RAW they are seen and heard through a refined blend of art and therapy. An orientation to trauma-informed care provides a grounding to the work with many of RAW’s youth who have experienced undue stress in particularly challenging environments.
RAW creates endless opportunities for youth to build meaningful relationships with their peers and RAW staff. They are given a safe environment to express themselves to a community that feels like home and they come to recognize the strengths within themselves. The skills learned at RAW support youth as they transition into adulthood, and the passion and purpose they find here are the turning point in a making change in their lives and communities.
RAW is located in downtown Lynn, MA, a culturally diverse city of over 100,000 located 10 miles north of Boston. Lynn’s demographics reflect its rich immigration history and are one of its greatest strengths, offering youth a wide range of perspectives to enrich and explore their identities. However, youth experience poverty rates that are among the highest in the state. The poverty and racial inequities in Lynn both create and perpetuate additional systemic challenges for youth and their families.
For more information on RAW, please read more here.
To plan for the transition of a highly successful, long-time leader, the organization is seeking an Executive Director (ED) who is excited about building on the remarkable history of RAW as they look to expand their impact into the future. The ED will serve as the primary leader and strategist, external champion and community ambassador, and organizational leader for RAW, to expand on a strong track record of success. Reporting to the Board of Directors, the ED will be an experienced nonprofit leader who will be able to advocate successfully and passionately on behalf of the youth that RAW serves and the Lynn Community. In addition, the ED will have had success in fundraising in various revenue streams to support the delivery of effective programming.
Creative and entrepreneurial, the ED will be people oriented and bring a growth mindset with an eye on how RAW can continue to have a greater impact. With a commitment to diversity, inclusion, equity, and justice, the ED will embrace the importance of these initiatives throughout the organization. In addition, the ED will be an effective and flexible communicator, collaborator, and results-driven individual. They will be invested in the arts and social justice and understand how to build a culture that is inclusive and one where people can show up as their authentic selves.
The ideal candidate for this role will be a collaborative and communicative leader who understands how to move a wide range of constituents and lead through inspiration and motivation.
While no one candidate will possess every quality outlined for this position, a successful candidate will bring many of the following professional qualifications and personal attributes:
Passion for the Mission and Diversity, Equity, Justice, and Inclusion
As the leader of RAW the ED will bring a balanced hand in cultivating organizational culture and crafting strong administrative systems in support of the mission of RAW. During a time of transition, the ED will embrace leading the organization through change with empathy and sensitivity. With a highly focused social justice lens, the ED will be a champion of and exhibit an abiding passion and commitment to diversity, equity, justice, and inclusion values. The ED will have a demonstrated track record in advancing DEJI initiatives both internally within the organization, as well as externally in the larger community. Ideally, the ED will have experience in the arts, arts therapy, youth, social services, and community, and/or a personal connection and belief that all kids should be seen and heard.
Strategic Organizational Leadership
The ED will be a strategic, tactical, and entrepreneurial leader able to develop and articulate a vision for RAW’s next chapter. This leader will develop and promote strategic priorities needed to advance the work of a nonprofit organization – from funding to mission delivery. They will bring experience building and leading high performing teams and guiding team members’ growth and development. Leading a team of 23 dedicated staff members, the ED will possess the ability to inspire staff at various stages of their careers with a diverse set of skills and provide a productive work environment and professional growth opportunities that result in team cohesion and camaraderie. They will be an experienced manager who engenders trust in the staff through a collaborative management style, helps them achieve their potential, and holds them accountable to clearly defined expectations and goals. With a data and metrics lens, this individual will offer creative, yet practical, ideas to continue to strengthen RAW’s programs and functions, while staying focused on outcomes and cost effectiveness.
Strong Ambassador and Partnership Orientation
As the public face of RAW, the ED will be responsible for sharing its mission and vision with the greater Lynn community to increase visibility and awareness. They will be an energetic fundraiser and resource developer who will fully embrace every aspect of the role. The ED will bring a creative and entrepreneurial approach to revenue generation and an understanding of nonprofit finance and various revenue streams, including grants, philanthropic, government grants, and individual support among others. Reporting to the Board of Directors, the ED understands the importance of a robust partnership with the Board and will ensure best board practices and accountability to the Board. They will possess an authentic and genuine ability to convene and inspire individuals, communities, and partner organizations around the RAW vision. The ED will be a strong advocate for constituents, the Board, and the staff.
Business and Financial Acumen
The ED is an executive with staff, operational, and financial management experience. They will have a proven track record in strategic financial oversight and a record of overseeing various functions of an organization. They will have proven experience in budgeting, strategic forecasting and planning, and in overseeing financial, accounting, compliance and risk management for an organization. RAW is projected to grow to $2.6M budget this fiscal year.
In addition, strong candidates will offer:
- Strong commitment to RAW’s mission, vision, values, and strategic plan
- Ability to attract, develop, retain, motivate, and lead the staff while maintaining a high level of performance and a leadership style that is both strong and empathetic and respects the intensity of the day-to-day work
- Solutions-focused and results oriented with an ability to solve problems independently and as a team
- Understanding and respect for populations with diverse cultural, economic, and educational backgrounds
- Ensure program outcomes are achieving mission, vision, and intent and that a rigorous method of continuous improvement is active across all programs
- High level of emotional intelligence (self-awareness, empathy, and compassion)
- Strategic thinker with the ability to take a long-term, thoughtful approach to achieving organizational goals
- Demonstrated leadership, coaching, and relationship management experience
- Given the community of Lynn, fluency in a language other than English, especially Spanish, Vietnamese, or Khmer, would be a plus
Compensation & Benefits
While RAW is targeting a salary range of $135,000 – $150,000, commensurate on the candidate’s skills and experiences, we are open to feedback from the market and would welcome the ability to connect with potential candidates who may be outside of the compensation band. RAW is committed to equity in pay practices.
RAW provides a competitive salary and benefits, including paid time off, health care contribution, short- and long-term disability coverage, and term life insurance.
RAW has engaged Koya Partners to help in this hire. Please submit a compelling cover letter and resume to Alicia Salerno here.
RAW is an equal opportunity employer that welcomes any qualified applicant and values diversity of all kinds.
About Koya Partners
Koya Partners, a part of the Diversified Search Group, is a leading executive search and strategic advising firm dedicated to connecting exceptionally talented people with mission-driven clients. Our founding philosophy—The Right Person in the Right Place Can Change the World—guides our work as we partner with nonprofits & NGOs, institutions of higher education, responsible businesses, and social enterprises in local communities and around the world.
For more information about Koya Partners, visit www.koyapartners.com.