Position Profile

Position Filled

Associated Artists of Winston-Salem
Executive Director

The Organization

At Associated Artists, we give art a chance to be seen by giving it a space to be shown.

The mission of Associated Artists of Winston-Salem (AAWS) is to provide artists of all ages (over 15) and all abilities with opportunities to practice their craft and exhibit their work in both our gallery and community exhibits across the Triad. From novice to professional, Associated Artists of Winston-Salem is committed to providing professional support and ongoing inspiration to artists across the Piedmont and beyond. With more than 500 members of all ages and representing all artistic mediums, the shows in our downtown gallery location are fresh and engaging. Community Exhibits take art to the general public, with partnership host galleries in more than 20 regional businesses and public spaces. Special programs engage members in networking and educational opportunities, while also allowing skills to be shared.

Associated Artists is the largest membership organization for visual artists in the Triad. Established in 1956 this valuable community for the arts has now reached more than 500 members and holds some of the most prominent practicing artists in our region; in some instances, the nation. From themed professional gallery exhibits to small group community exhibits, from professional feedback to peer-to-peer sharing - members are encouraged to grow and develop as professionals in their chosen medium.

Our future plans include renovating our gallery space to make it more inviting and amenable to members, facilitate workshops and rentals and improve the space for staff.

The Area

The Piedmont Triad area of North Carolina includes Greensboro, Winston-Salem & High Point. Located within the area are the Piedmont Triad International Airport and the Piedmont Research Park, home to corporate giants and the destination for corporate relocations.

Geographically, the Piedmont Triad is located in central North Carolina with only short drives to both the beaches and the Blue Ridge Mountains. The climate is mild with an average high of 88 degrees in mid-summer and 52 degrees in mid-winter. North Carolina is noted for its beautiful countryside, rivers, sounds and forests.

The Piedmont Triad is an area of outstanding educational resources offering multiple universities and colleges, including the North Carolina School of the Arts, UNC-Greensboro, Salem College, Wake Forest University & Winston-Salem State University. For residents, tuition to the acclaimed UNC-affiliated universities is held to a minimum by the State’ s Constitution.

The Piedmont Triad is an area of tremendous resources where cultural and performing arts organizations thrive. Winston-Salem has branded itself “the City of Arts & Innovation.” In 2010, the new Milton Rhodes Center for the Arts was completed. The center is the result of $12 million in renovations that transformed the Sawtooth building and old AC Delco garage into what now includes galleries, event spaces, the new Hanesbrands Theatre as well as classrooms in the renovated Sawtooth School for Visual Art. The City is home to 3 national festivals, the biannual National Black Theatre Festival, the River Run Film Festival, and the Piedmont Craftsman’s Fair. The area is also home to multiple art museums, including Reynolda House Museum of Art, Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art (SECCA) - now an affiliate of the NC Museum of Art, the Diggs Gallery at WSSU, the Delta Arts Center, the Weatherspoon Art Museum, & the Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts at Old Salem. Other performing arts institutions include the Piedmont Opera, The Winston-Salem Symphony, Twin City Stage and several new performing arts companies that now call Winston-Salem home- Winston-Salem Festival Ballet, Festival Stage and No Rules Theatre Company. Finally, the North Carolina School of the Arts is a nationally recognized arts conservatory for both high school and undergraduate/graduate students.

The Candidate

The Executive Director reports to the Board of Directors, supports the mission of the organization, and is involved in all facets of the organization – administrative, fundraising, board management, community outreach and management, production, and marketing and communications. The Executive Director must demonstrate initiative and drive, have strong interpersonal skills, and be able to plan, organize and manage the work of multiple projects. The Executive Director functions as the spokesperson for the organization and represents it at special events, community projects and other endeavors to promote and raise awareness of the organization. The Executive Director must also be able to manage and direct both staff and volunteers for a retail gallery as well as a variety of programs.

The environment at AAWS is cultivated by the committed, collaborative leadership of individuals passionate about the mission. The Executive Director plays a key role in this vibrant organization which requires that the individual have a confident, polished professional approach. The successful candidate will be creative and cooperative, with a strong sense of community and a genuine interest in working with visual artists.

The Position

The Executive Director, reporting directly to the Board of Directors, is responsible for overall implementation of the mission of the organization. The Executive Director will be a strategic leader who can develop, manage, market and evaluate AAWS programs and provide direction for the organization.

The successful candidate will understand the necessary strategies to operate an arts-based organization with a retail footprint as well as outreach programs throughout the community. The successful candidate will have proven nonprofit management skills, knowledge of budget setting and finances, excellent organizational skills, excellent management skills of both staff & volunteers, experience working with a Board of Directors, flexibility and the ability to communicate the long-term vision of the organization.

Exceptional interpersonal skills are required to interact with staff, board, artists, volunteers, funders and community members in a motivating and productive way. The successful candidate will need to balance strong leadership and business skills with diplomacy and passion for the mission to meet the challenge of developing innovative arts programming for our member artists and the community at large. The Executive Director must be visionary and energetic, while expressing empathy for the member artists and providing oversight for the daily administration of the organization. The Executive Director will be provided with a laptop allowing for flexibility in working from outside the office as needed.

Essential duties and responsibilities of the position include, but are not limited to the following.


  • Develop an annual budget and any special project budgets with Board of Directors involvement
  • Monitor budget over the fiscal year including monthly reporting, variance analysis & re-projections of budget as necessary.
  • Manage all receipts and disbursements, including payroll for the staff (actual payroll processing is handled by a third party) ensuring appropriate internal controls are in place.


  • Develop and implement annual fundraising plan with assistance from Fundraising Committee & Board of Directors
  • Find, write and apply for foundations and corporations grants; produce year-end report to each grantor
  • Identify and solicit individuals for support
  • Create direct mail appeals to targeted audiences
  • Plan and implement special fundraising events
  • Write acknowledgement letters and manage donor database
  • Maintain, nurture and develop relationships with foundations, individual donors, government agencies and corporations

Program and Production

  • Work with the Exhibitions Committee to define the exhibit calendar and execute the themed exhibits each year (including securing sponsors for the 2 national juried shows)
  • Work with the Community Exhibits Committee to identify locations for community exhibits, schedule exhibitions for each location, solicit member artist participation in the exhibits and evaluate ongoing viability of locations
  • Work with Programs Committee to define workshops for member artists and the community at large. These workshops may include lunch time talks on Contract Reading to multi-day plein air workshops and cover the gamut in between
  • Work with Programs Committee to plan and fill at least one arts-based trip per year. Historically, AAWS has led a trip each year to the Highlands of Ecuador, a land rich in artisan traditions and stunning landscapes.
  • Identify and cultivate relationships with community partners; for example AAWS partnered with the Enrichment Center to produce Ray of Joy an exhibit featuring developmentally disabled artists
  • Manage & coordinate Arts in Education program between member artists and WS/FC schools.
  • Identify & Execute other programs as necessary.

Board Management

  • Organize, prepare reports and attend all board and committee meetings, working with the Board Chair and Committee Chairs
  • Ensure good board communication and oversee board committees
  • Assist with developing a strong fundraising board, by supporting current board members and cultivating new board members, to support the organization

Marketing and Communications

  • Create and update all marketing materials including print, electronic media and the web
  • Write and distribute all press releases; create relationship with the press
  • Identify and organize community relations opportunities
  • Internet marketing and promotion of web site


  • Be responsible for hiring staff (Development/Marketing Coordinator, Gallery Coordinator, Gallery Assistant (s)) and/or subcontractors as needed
  • Manage and develop personnel
  • Run monthly administrative/artistic meetings
  • Identify and manage volunteers
  • Identify office needs including equipment and computer software
  • Perform necessary functions using Quickbooks


To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required.

  • Bachelor's degree in visual arts, non-profit management or other related field.
  • 3+ years’ program leadership experience in a nonprofit organization.
  • Experience with visual arts programming, including managing exhibits in multiple locations, arts-related programming/workshops.
  • Proven individual fundraising, foundation grant and corporate sponsor experience.
  • Knowledge and experience in nonprofit board development and management.
  • Strong interpersonal skills. The ideal person for this job would be collaborative, personable, professional, upbeat, and energetic.
  • Able to maintain clear communication with internal staff on all levels. Proven written and oral presentation skills
  • Demonstrated ability to manage multiple projects in various stages of development, each with a unique timeline.
  • Work requires continual attention to detail. Must be able to work in a fast-paced environment with demonstrated ability to juggle multiple competing tasks and demands.
  • Strong employee development and performance management skills.
  • Working knowledge of Microsoft Office including Word, Excel, and Power Point.
  • Willingness and ability to travel locally and occasionally non-locally

To apply

This position has been filled. Thank you for your interest.

[an error occurred while processing this directive]