California Arts Council

State of California

Arts Jobs - Detail

Executive Director

San Francisco, CA

Full time, salaried position.

Application deadline: July 26, 2015

About Leap

Leap provides top quality arts education programs that help students build skills to achieve their fullest potential. We envision a world where art is a fundamental part of every child's education and success. 

Leap was founded in 1979, and currently serves 25 elementary/middle schools and more than 7,000 students across the San Francisco Bay Area with innovative, high-quality residencies in the arts. Each Leap residency is custom-designed to meet the unique needs of the school, and is implemented by skilled, professional teaching artists who also practice in their own right. Leap students actively engage in a variety of projects within the following artistic disciplines: architecture, creative writing, dance, music, puppetry, theatre, and myriad visual arts. Leap’s programs help students improve critical thinking and problem solving skills, creativity, self-esteem, concentration and language abilities.

About the Position

Leap seeks an energetic and charismatic executive director to manage the organization and represent Leap in the community. A successful candidate will be able to motivate staff, nurture strong community partnerships, lead fundraising activities, and ensure the continued excellence of Leap’s program delivery.

The executive director reports to the board of directors and is responsible for the hiring and oversight of three full time staff, a contract grant writer, a contract event manager, and approximately 50 contract teaching artists.

The executive director is responsible for the effective and ethical management of the organization’s financial resources, and works closely with the board’s Finance Committee to create and report on the budget, which is approximately $600,000.

Both directly and through the management of support staff/contractors, the executive director ensures sufficient operating revenue. This revenue currently comes from special events/corporate support (~43%), earned income from school fees (~37%), foundation and government grants (~18%), and individual contributions (~2%). The board and outgoing executive director are currently completing a new fundraising plan for the organization, which will inform priorities for the incoming executive director and support the strategic plan. Likely priorities are: increasing individual income and continuing the expansion of the highly successful annual Sandcastle Contest fundraising event.

The executive director collaborates closely with the board of directors and its committees to develop strategic and long range plans, recruit new board members, and promote active board participation.

The executive director ensures programmatic excellence by supervising program staff in day to day program implementation and robust program evaluation; collaborating with the board’s Program Committee, teaching artists, and staff to develop and implement effective program strategy; and ensuring that the board is fully informed and engaged in mission delivery activities.

The executive director represents Leap in the community and provides leadership in relevant advocacy efforts. The executive director oversees marketing/communications, advocacy, and outreach activities. Leap has strong community partnerships with its sister organizations, the schools it serves, the business community, and other community partners. The incoming executive director must be a strong community builder who is committed to partnership and collaboration.

Required Qualifications

  • Minimum 5 years of relevant organizational leadership experience
  • Passion for arts education and Leap’s mission/vision
  • Proven effectiveness in managing and motivating small teams
  • Strong track record in building and maintaining community partnerships and collaborations
  • Demonstrated success in growing fundraising and resource development efforts
  • Experience creating, managing, and reporting on budgets
  • Firm grasp of best practices in nonprofit management and board
  • Commitment to programmatic excellence, and experience with successful program management and/or evaluation
  • Commitment to continuing Leap’s strong track record of diversity in the workplace

Preferred Qualifications

  • Direct experience managing arts education organizations
  • Knowledge of the local school system and connections to Bay Area schools
  • Track record of developing organizational capacity for advocacy


Competitive annual salary and benefits commensurate with experience.

To Apply

Submit a resume and cover letter to No phone calls please.

Equal Opportunity

Leap is an equal opportunity employer. Leap has a diverse and welcoming workplace, and we encourage all qualified candidates to apply. 


Deadline: 07-26-2015

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