Organization: The Los Angeles County Arts Commission

Location: Los Angeles, CA

Express Interest

The Los Angeles County Arts Commission

About The Los Angeles County Arts Commission:

The Los Angeles County Arts Commission fosters artistic excellence, diversity, vitality, understanding and accessibility, and provides leadership in a range of cultural services and programs in Los Angeles County which encompasses 88 municipalities and 137 unincorporated areas. A significant and impactful source of funding and programming for communities across LA County, the Arts Commission is a critical cultural and economic force in the vitality of the entire region.

The Arts Commission is nationally recognized as a leading advocate for cultural equity and inclusion, and in 2017 released a report on its Cultural Equity & Inclusion Initiative (CEII) which can be viewed here. The Board of Supervisors intends the County to be a driving force in ensuring that the diversity of Los Angeles County is reflected and embraced across arts and community leadership, workforce initiatives, policy recommendations, public programming, artist development and participant composition. The Executive Director will be instrumental in creating and implementing effective strategies to ensure that local arts organizations reflect this mission.

The Arts Commission funds 364 nonprofit arts organizations through a two-year $9 million grant program, runs the largest arts internship program in the country; coordinates the LA County Arts Education Collective serving served 600,000 students with 56 school district partners; manages the County’s civic art policy; and produces free community programs.

The Opportunity:

Appointed by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, the Executive Director will serve as a key advisor to the Board of Supervisors, and will have direct input in shaping the strategic direction of the Commission, its grantees, future development and fundraising strategy, and community partnerships. In addition, the Executive Director will be involved in shaping the Commission’s future status as an entity of Los Angeles County, working closely with the Board of Supervisors in assessing the feasibility of becoming a Department of the County.

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors seeks a charismatic, visionary, politically fluent leader to serve as the new Executive Director for the Arts Commission. This is a highly specialized opportunity for an experienced, thoughtful individual to provide structure, vision, and a strategic direction for the Arts Commission as Los Angeles County continues to distinguish itself as a cultural and creative hub. The Executive Director will play a significant and influential role in the continuing development of a diverse and vibrant artistic sector in Los Angeles County, and enhance its impact on the expanding creative economy in the region.

In carrying out the mission of the Cultural Equity & Inclusion Initiative, the Executive Director will endeavor to transform Los Angeles County through meaningful arts and cultural leadership, education, programming, revitalization projects and public policies. The Executive Director will deepen the Commission’s existing partnerships and pioneer new initiatives, collaborating with community groups, nonprofits, schools, private industry, foundations and cultural institutions across Los Angeles County. Among the initial priorities of CEII, the Executive Director will be charged with substantively increasing and improving arts education across Los Angeles County, and proactively striving to create best-in-class career training, professional development and mentoring opportunities for the region’s youth.

Position Summary:

The Executive Director is the Chief Executive of the Los Angeles County Arts Commission and will plan, direct and coordinate the arts and cultural programs of Los Angeles County under the auspices of the Board of Supervisors and the Los Angeles County Arts Commission. The Commission is an advisory body to the Board of Supervisors, comprising 15 appointed representatives, three for each of five supervisorial districts. The County has been listed by Forbes Magazine as one of America’s Best Employers for 2015, 2016, and 2017.

The Executive Director will manage the overall operational and administrative functions, including personnel, budget, and human resources. In addition to overseeing the Commission’s nearly $14M annual operating budget, the Executive Director will direct the Commission’s annual grant-making activities encouraging the production of a variety of visual, performing, cultural and civic arts programs. The Executive Director should have an extensive knowledge of arts administration and diverse arts disciplines and the ability to carry out assignments, lead and support the activities of project committees and working groups, and provide consultation and technical assistance to arts organizations.

The Los Angeles County Arts CommissionKey Responsibilities

In addition to overseeing the Commission’s budget and staff, the Executive Director will:

  • Provide charismatic leadership for the Arts Commission to advance the County’s vision, and the Commission’s mission and strategic plan, collaborating with the Board of Supervisors to define and carry out the Commission’s long-term goals;
  • Proactively and regularly communicate with all Board of Supervisors’ offices, County departments, stakeholders, and institutional partners to ensure strategic alignment and build trust;
  • Direct and develop the preparation of metrics and evaluation-based research analyses, impact studies, program initiatives and policy recommendations;
  • Oversee preparation of quarterly budgets, annual reports, and Board of Supervisors and community presentations; conduct fiscal management and resource allocation of the Commission, working with staff to evaluate day-to-day operational effectiveness and align resources;
  • Oversee the development, coordination, delivery, and supervision of programs, events and educational enterprises, promoting innovation and collaboration; partner with outside individuals and organizations to develop meaningful, engaging programming;
  • Ensure high-quality execution of the Commission’s grant-making processes and programs, and take responsibility for implementing, refining and recommending grant-making goals, strategies, and protocols in compliance with Board-approved policies;
  • Oversee ongoing evaluation of program data in relation to the strategic plan to address and analyze program effectiveness and challenges, through use of evaluation tools such as grantee surveys, grant impact assessments, grant reporting, and close-out reports, in order to improve performance and drive grant-making success;
  • Establish, maintain, and promote collaborative relations and communications with internal staff, County Departments and units, and all external partners;
  • Guide and assist in the hiring, evaluation, support and retention of a diverse and culturally representative staff, fostering an open, collaborative environment;
  • Develop partnerships and programming that enhance the strategic goals of the CEII initiative across the County, including pioneering outreach and programming for diverse communities all across the region;
  • Provide leadership over development, including the creation and implementation of a fundraising and development plan, and potentially leading the creation of a 501c3 foundation;
  • Embrace the role of chief spokesperson and advocate for the Commission with residents, community organizations, businesses, governmental agencies, donors, arts organizations and artists;
  • Develop and implement capacity-building programs for artists, nonprofits, schools and arts organizations;
  • Maintain the healthy operation of the Commission under all state and local rules and regulations and contractual requirements in keeping with best practices and standards.

Core Competencies:

The Executive Director will be a passionate and accomplished nonprofit or civic leader with experience leading arts programming and knowledge of the role of arts in public and community life. Ideal candidates will have relevant knowledge and expertise regarding arts in Los Angeles County, including a fluency with Los Angeles County governance and politics, knowledge of major cultural institutions and arts organizations, and meaningful relationships with arts leaders.

The ideal candidate will have a bachelor’s degree and an advanced degree in Arts, Public Administration or related field, and at least 7 years of relevant leadership experience along with the following competencies and personal characteristics:

Passion for the Mission and the Arts: The Executive Director will have a true passion for arts in the community, belief in civic engagement, and a personal and professional commitment to cultural equity. The Executive Director should possess a commitment to diversity, and have a natural enthusiasm for identifying and embracing community needs.

Strategic Leadership: A proven visionary, the Executive Director will have experience in strategic planning, program leadership, budget management, fundraising and analysis, with the ability to perform at a high level in a nonprofit or public sector. The Executive Director will lead the Commission in alignment with overall County goals and resolutions, with the ability to innovate as well as collaborate.

Operational Expertise and Management Experience: The Executive Director will have demonstrated success in leading and managing a diverse and complex organization. This leader will have a clear perspective on the complexity of the Commission and County operations, and experience leading significant organizational change. The Executive Director will be an advocate and mentor to staff, with a holistic outlook on the impact of change on culture and community.

Exceptional Communication: The Executive Director will be an engaged and active listener, and will be able to communicate effectively with a broad group of stakeholders and outlets, including the community, staff, artists, the Board of Supervisors, external partners and the press. The Executive Director will be a leader known in the community for honesty, strong diplomacy, humor, a willingness to listen, and mentorship. This individual will be the external face of the Commission, able to identify, build and enhance strategic partnerships alongside strong relationships with artists.

Relationship Builder and Collaborator: A natural and deliberate consensus-builder, the Executive Director will be comfortable with ambiguity, politically astute, and have the persistence to drive process forward through collaboration and dedication. The Executive Director will be skilled at building and sustaining excellent relationships across all levels, including the Board of Supervisors and community members.

The Los Angeles County Arts CommissionHow to Apply:

Los Angeles County has engaged Koya Leadership Partners, a national retained executive search and human capital-consulting firm that works exclusively with nonprofits and social enterprises, to help in this hire. This search is being led by Michelle R.S. Bonoan, and Sheila Hennessey,

Please submit a compelling cover letter and resume here.

Compensation and Benefits:

The Appointee will receive an annual salary, commensurate with qualifications and earning history, as well as an excellent program of benefits that allows employees to choose the benefits that meet their specific needs. The package includes:

  • Retirement Plan – new appointees will participate in a contributory defined benefit plan
  • Cafeteria Benefit Plan – The County funds its cafeteria plan using a tax-free contribution of an additional 14.5 – 17% of the employee’s monthly salary.
  • Flexible Spending Accounts – In addition to tax-free medical and dependent care spending accounts, the County contributes $75 per month to an employee’s dependent care spending account.
  • Savings Plan (401k) – Optional tax-deferred income plan that may include a County matching contribution up to 4% of an employee’s salary.
  • Deferred Compensation Plan (457) – Optional tax-deferred income plan that may include a County matching contribution up to 4% of employee’s salary.
  • Holidays – 12 paid days per year.
  • Transportation Allowance
  • Split Dollar Life Insurance

About Koya Leadership Partners:

Koya Leadership Partners is a national retained executive search and human capital consulting firm that works exclusively with mission-driven organizations, educational institutions, and social enterprises. We deliver measurable results, finding exceptionally talented people who truly fit the unique culture of our client organizations and ensuring that organizations have the resources and strategies to support them. For more information about Koya Leadership Partners, visit