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Executive Director

  • 498193
  • Full-time


We imagine an Arizona where everyone can participate in and experience the arts.

Executive Director

Job Location:

Address:  417 W. Roosevelt Street

Phoenix, AZ 85003

Posting Details:

Salary: $90,000 

Grade: E2

Closing Date: OTF

How to Apply:

Complete applications include: A) a cover letter not to exceed 2 pages, B) a resume or curriculum vitae, and C) names, titles and contact information for no fewer than 3 professional references. Items A, B and C should be combined and submitted as one PDF. Please include your last name in the PDF file name.

Candidate questions can be directed to Dr. Tiffanie Dillard with Avenir Consulting Partners, at azartsED@avenirconsultingpartners.com.

Job Summary:

One of 56 state and jurisdictional arts agencies across the United States, the Arizona Commission on the Arts is a 54-year-old agency of the State of Arizona that invests in and amplifies the public benefit of the arts in Arizona. The Arts Commission is staffed by a small team of professionals, each grounded in arts-based practice, and governed by a 15-member board, appointed by the Governor of Arizona.

The Executive Director is a visionary, creative, collaborative, ethical, and adaptive leader of the Arizona Commission on the Arts, an agency whose mission is to imagine an Arizona where everyone can participate in and experience the arts.

The Executive Director provides public policy leadership in support of diverse statewide constituencies; cultivates and advances advantageous partnerships in areas of funding, programs, and advocacy; serves as executive administrator of and policymaker for agency planning, initiatives, grantmaking, operations, and spending; and endeavors to continually enhance and expand quality service delivery to Arizona residents.

Across the position’s areas of responsibility, the Executive Director is expected to recognize and respond to the many ways people organize to create and share arts and culture, inclusive of but not limited to nonprofit structures; prioritize ethical engagement and active dialogue with an array of community representatives to inform practices, standards, goals, and policies; and persistently drive toward increased transparency and a more equitable distribution of resources.

Governor-appointed Commissioners hold responsibility for hiring and monitoring the effectiveness of the Arts Commission’s Executive Director. The Executive Director oversees all other agency personnel decisions.

Job Duties:

Overall this position:

  • In alignment with the agency mission, establishes a policy and service agenda and provides direction to agency programs, grants, initiatives, and operations, maintaining knowledge of trends, external resources, and opportunities.
  • Collaborates with team members to identify and work to undo inequities in agency practices and distribution of/access to resources.
  • Utilizes dialogue, feedback, and other data to analyze service delivery and resource distribution, and then develop and implement practices, standards, goals, and methods for improvement.

Agency Leadership

  • Provide ethical, credible leadership for/with agency staff, board, partners, and constituents.
  • Collaboratively develop and implement policies and strategies that advance the agency’s mission.
  • On behalf of Arizona’s arts and culture sector, foster productive relationships with elected officials, government agencies, educational institutions, cultural organizations, and local and national service organizations and philanthropic institutions.
  • Guide iterative, stakeholder-engaged planning initiatives that center Arizona residents in process and outcome. Oversee implementation of relevant evaluation and measurement processes.
  • Identify, manage, and actively foster inter-agency, community, and national partnerships supporting priority focus areas and the development of strategic opportunities.
  • Represent arts and culture sector interests in the media as a public speaker, writer, analyst, arts advocate, and champion for the contributions of artists, arts workers, and organizations.
  • Represent the agency’s work and interests within state government, in the context of community partnerships, as well as in statewide and national settings.
  • Oversee submission of comprehensive annual funding requests to the National Endowment for the Arts and the Arizona Governor’s Office.
  • Collaborate with agency staff to integrate relevant research into program and policy decisions.

Programs, Grants, Strategic Initiatives

  • Serve as executive administrator of and policymaker for agency programs, grantmaking, and initiatives, facilitated in alignment with the agency’s NextAZ Plan, which articulates “a just and equitable distribution of resources and opportunities” as a core agency value. Across all work, endeavor to continually enhance and expand quality service delivery to Arizona residents.
  • Collaborate with agency staff and diverse partners/stakeholders to develop and implement meaningful, accessible arts-based services and public programs.
  • Collaborate with agency staff and diverse partners/stakeholders to develop and maintain effective, integrated grant programs.
  • Provide oversight to or direct administration of strategic initiatives.
  • Oversee the development and implementation of relevant timelines to encourage staff, stakeholder, and participant success, and to allow procedural and reporting deadlines to be met.
  • Oversee the development and implementation of systems and standards to ensure constituents receive responsive, high-quality counsel and technical assistance.
  • Oversee the development and implementation of evaluation and assessment systems and procedures to ensure persistent improvement and increased efficiency.
  • Develop and monitor programs, grants, and initiatives budgets in association with Director of Fiscal Operations and Deputy Director.

Operations, Oversight, Culture

  • Administer $2 to $6 million annual operating budget, centering accountability to Arizona residents and ensuring compliance with relevant state and federal laws, rules, and policies. Oversee implementation of relevant monitoring and reporting processes.
  • Oversee dynamic and responsive staff of 10-20, with direct supervision of 2-6 team members.
  • Build, motivate, and foster a high-quality, diverse, and equity-oriented team and work culture.
  • Cultivate a collegial and participatory work environment where shared leadership, trust, integrity, and open communication are valued, while actively modeling practices supporting equity, diversity, inclusion, and belonging.
  • Liaise with 15 Governor-appointed Commissioners; support and maintain enthusiastic engagement.
  • Guide information- and resource-sharing efforts, including approaches relevant to multidirectional dialogue, communications, and the agency’s online presence and social media ventures.
  • Oversee operations design and human resources processes in association with Deputy Director.
  • Ensure timely development and submission of grant application materials, annual funding requests, and periodic reports to authorizers.

Other Duties

  • Correspond with constituents and develop sufficient knowledge of agency programs, procedures, and policy in order to respond accurately and comprehensively to requests for information.
  • Provide backup to programs and operations as needed in a small agency.
Knowledge, Skills & Abilities (KSAs):


  • Practices and approaches related to equitable, asset-based public service;
  • Practices and approaches related to (and differences between) diversity, equity, inclusion, and access in arts-based service and engagement;
  • Principles, practices, and techniques related to engagement strategies, intercultural communication, collaborative decision-making, consensus building, and facilitation;
  • Arts and cultural disciplines, policy, history, and trends;
  • Government and arts policy leadership and management;
  • Operational structure of the nonprofit sector, nonprofit arts organizations, and other public services;
  • Grantmaking principles, methods, and techniques.


  • Exemplary diplomatic, cooperative, and interpersonal skills;
  • Exemplary listening, communications, and creative problem-solving skills;
  • Exemplary organizational skills and the ability to prioritize concurrent projects with multiple stakeholders;
  • Strong skill/ability to guide and motivate staff;
  • Strong skill/ability to manage, organize, and properly document information;
  • Strong skill/ability related to program/project/event management;
  • Strong skill/ability with standard office products and diverse online systems.

Ability to:

  • Connect with, inform, and engage various publics in service of the Arts Commission’s mission;
  • Build effective relationships with individuals, groups, and communities of diverse backgrounds, perspectives, and cultures;
  • Show good professional and interpersonal judgement;
  • Manage collaborative teams with respect and encouragement;
  • Manage conflict and negotiate compromise;
  • Navigate operational structures of local, state, tribal, and federal government;
  • Provide useful, timely, and sensitive customer service to diverse constituencies and authorizers;
  • Show respect for professional, avocational, formal and informal artforms and practices;
  • Know when to ask for help, advice, and support.
Selective Preference(s):

The following (or any combination of experience/education that has resulted in comparable knowledge, skills, abilities):

  • 6 or more years of professional experience within a nonprofit organization, government agency, tribal entity, grantmaking institution, educational institution, or other arts and culture sector entity.
  • A Bachelor’s degree and/or advanced training in a relevant area of study.
  • Desired qualifications: Willingness to travel on occasion. Background or current practice in a creative discipline a plus. Bilingual (English/Spanish) a plus.

The ideal candidate possesses exemplary diplomatic, cooperative, and interpersonal skills, and has a respect for, or a connection to, Arizona and its communities. The ideal candidate is also a creative, collaborative individual who values public service, authentic community engagement, diverse artforms and cultural practices, and ongoing/lifelong learning.


The Arizona Commission on the Arts offers a comprehensive benefits package to include:

  • Accrued Vacation and Sick leave
  • 10 paid holidays per year
  • Robust health and dental insurance
  • Retirement plan with 100% employer matched contribution
  • Life insurance and long-term disability insurance
  • Optional employee benefits include short-term disability insurance, deferred compensation plans, and supplemental life insurance

For a complete list of benefits provided by The State of Arizona, please visit our benefits page

  • ASRS
Contact Us:
  • Candidate questions can be directed to Dr. Tiffanie Dillard with Avenir Consulting Partners, at azartsED@avenirconsultingpartners.com.


All Arizona state employees operate within the Arizona Management System (AMS), an intentional, results-driven approach for doing the work of state government whereby every employee reflects on performance, reduces waste, and commits to continuous improvement with sustainable progress.  Through AMS, every state employee seeks to understand customer needs, identify problems, improve processes, and measure results.  
State employees are highly engaged, collaborative and embrace a culture of public service.

Arizona State Government is an AA/EOE/ADA Reasonable Accommodation Employer.