Executive Director

Women's Studio Workshop

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Women’s Studio Workshop (WSW), a non-profit arts organization in Rosendale NY, is seeking a creative and visionary Executive Director (ED). We seek candidates with a proven record of leadership, a deep commitment to contemporary art and artists, a strong understanding of the operation of an arts organization and/or residency program, and a comprehensive commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging as an ethical practice. The ideal candidate will have a collaborative and progressive approach to arts leadership.

Founded 50 years ago as a women’s art space, WSW has shed patriarchal definitions of gender to serve an expanded mission: to operate and maintain a workspace that encourages the voice and vision of women, trans, intersex, nonbinary, and genderfluid artists. We provide professional opportunities for artists at various stages of their careers and promote programs designed to stimulate public involvement, awareness, and support for the visual arts. WSW maintains studio facilities in printmaking, papermaking, ceramics, and book arts.

The Executive Director, reporting to the Board of Directors, will bring vitality, direction, and clear communication in their leadership of WSW. The ED is responsible for the overall strategic development, operational management, facilities oversight, and artistic initiatives of the organization, managing and augmenting our financial resources, spearheading fundraising, and leading both short and long-range planning. The ED will serve as the public face of the organization to our varied stakeholders, including the artistic community, donors, grantmakers, sponsors, and partners.

The ED should be a team-oriented leader who is flexible and adaptable, who encourages a warm and creative environment that fosters communication, cooperation, and openness, and who respects staff expertise and allows staff to thrive.

The incoming ED will work closely with our Deputy Director, who has been at WSW for 7 years. Additionally, in order to facilitate a smooth transition, the outgoing Co-Executive Director of Finance, Development and Operations will support the incoming ED through consulting until they are up to speed, with a particular focus on donor management, grants and completion of our new building.


Creative Leadership

  • Maintain high artistic standards, enhancing and supporting WSW’s vision and mission

  • Lead and/or oversee all artistic and programmatic activities, including but not limited to:

Artist Residency Program

Artist’s Book Publishing

Internship Program

Library and Archives


Educational Programs

  • Remain current on issues in contemporary art and artistic practices in of printmaking, papermaking, ceramics, and book arts

Strategic Leadership

  • Lead staff in ongoing efforts to build alignment across the organization, centering WSW’s mission

  • Champion diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging as an ethical practice across the design and execution of programs and initiatives

  • Prioritize organizational capacity, stability, and sustainability in the design and execution of programs and initiatives

  • Track and effectively communicate progress and milestones to the Board, funders, and other constituents

  • Support a strong Board of Directors, serve as ex-officio member of each committee, and build Board involvement

Financial Responsibility

  • On an annual basis, review, revise and execute WSW’s business plan, and recommend actions needed to achieve strategic goals

  • Oversee and participate in financial management of the organization, including building an annual as well as departmental budget, payroll supervision, financial planning, annual audit and asset management

  • Work in partnership with an off-site accounting contractor in financial transactions and reporting, with aid from a staff member

Administrative and Operational Responsibility

  • Maintain and manage a highly qualified and motivated staff

  • Supervise staff including hiring, recruitment, onboarding, oversight, and facilitation of professional development opportunities

  • Perform regular staff evaluations and create (or revise as needed) clear job descriptions

  • Work with studio, maintenance, and office staff to ensure quality of on-campus experiences, including but not limited to that of resident artists, interns, instructors, students, renters, and visitors

  • Manage all consultants, negotiate contracts with vendors, and ensure proper contract processes are followed

  • Collaborate with teams to integrate systems and improve organizational efficiency

  • Ensure and oversee ongoing maintenance and upgrades of equipment and facilities; work with staff to ensure safety in all locations and operations

  • Work closely with architects and contractors on facility needs and/or expansions

Development and Fundraising Responsibility

  • Oversee a robust fundraising plan that builds on WSW’s strength with institutional donors, including execution and reporting

  • Cultivate and acquire new major gifts from individuals

  • Develop profitable special events

  • Expand online donor campaigns

  • Work closely with the Board to create vehicles for capital campaigns and endowment gifts

  • Work with staff to develop further support from government and foundation sources.

Marketing and Communications

  • Serve as the public face of the organization, acting as a local and national presence who communicates impact, strengthens partnerships, and cultivates relationships within the arts; and with political leaders, grantees, community leaders and donors

  • Develop methodologies to increase visibility locally, nationally, and internationally

  • Manage sales of artists’ books, maintaining contact with repositories and standing orders and organizing and/or conducting annual sales trips as needed

  • In partnership with staff, deepen and refine internal and external communications to ensure consistent, compelling messaging of WSW’s mission, vision, and achievements

  • Collaborate with staff to create and execute public relations and crisis response strategies


The new ED should have:

  • The ability to define and drive a vision for the next stage of WSW’s artistic growth, integrated with our rich history

  • 5+ years of responsibility in an arts or cultural nonprofit, with 3+ in a leadership position with clear accomplishments (i.e. financial growth, organizational advancement, programmatic vitality, etc.)

  • Experience creating and implementing creative programming

  • A proven track record in fundraising

  • A combination of education, training and experience equivalent to a master’s degree

  • Budgeting, staffing and personnel management experience

  • A working knowledge of WSW’s artistic disciplines

  • Ability to exhibit courage and clarity when communicating about controversial and complex issues, both internally and externally

  • Willingness to be open and consultative in interactions with staff, board and all constituencies. The ED should exhibit strong cultural competency and the ability to work with individuals across cultural, generational, and socio-economic backgrounds

  • Outstanding communication, interpersonal skills, and relationship-building skills with an ability to prioritize, negotiate, and work with a variety of internal and external stakeholders and produce compelling written and digital materials.

  • A reputation for the highest levels of integrity and credibility, and the ability to represent WSW in an exemplary manner.

How to Apply

Applications will be reviewed starting April 9, 2024: review will continue until the position is filled.

Interested and qualified candidates are encouraged to submit a cover letter, resumé, and four professional references: all three items should be submitted as a single pdf. Your cover letter should be no more than two pages long: it should describe why this post and organization are attractive to you, and what about you and your work would make you a strong leader of Women’s Studio Workshop. Materials should have the applicant’s name as part of each file name and must be submitted to searchcommittee@wsworkshop.org.

Once all applicant materials have been submitted online, applicants will receive confirmation of their submission via the email address provided in their application. Applications will be reviewed as they arrive; we expect to have preliminary results during the week of April 29. For clarification on any of this information, please contact us at searchcommittee@wsworkshop.org.


If you see yourself in this job description but don’t feel like you meet every single criteria, we encourage you to apply anyway! Research shows that individuals from historically marginalized groups, particularly women, trans, non-binary folks, and BIPOC, tend to self-select out of opportunities at higher rates. We take a holistic approach to all of our hiring practices and want to hire those who best align with our mission and goals.

Posted on April 9