For decades Las Vegans have envisioned a fine art museum that showcases the region’s unique culture, attracts artists, thinkers, and exhibitions from around the world, fosters creativity and education among diverse local and visiting audiences, and puts Las Vegas on par with fellow global cities. Now, finally, their vision is poised to become a reality with the founding of a new Museum in the heart of the City.
The Museum will be established as a new division of the Nevada Museum of Art, the oldest cultural institution in Nevada, which currently operates a highly-regarded and well-supported museum in Reno, Nevada. Through this innovative and collaborative organizational structure, the Las Vegas Museum will benefit from Nevada Museum of Art’s existing infrastructure and 80+ years of institutional experience and credibility, and Nevada Museum of Art will become a statewide cultural institution capable of advancing its vision and values through fine arts museums and education centers in Reno and Las Vegas, home to over 2 million residents and destination of over 43 million annual visitors.
The organization is seeking a founding Director to lead the creation of a 21st century, distinct Museum that addresses Las Vegas’ unique needs and opportunities, and secures an important place in the local, national, and global art communities. The Director will be entrepreneurial and experienced, and ready to thrive in the exciting opportunity of founding the Museum.
About Nevada Museum of Art, Las Vegas
The new Museum, tentatively called the Nevada Museum of Art, Las Vegas, will be the first and only purpose-built and accredited fine art museum in Las Vegas. As such, it will have the opportunity and responsibility to play a profound role in the region’s continuing growth and evolution. For example, local community leaders consistently suggest the Museum should:
- Educate, inspire, celebrate, and connect diverse people through its programming and facility.
- Feature a variety of exhibitions by local, national, and international artists.
- First and foremost, serve the over two million residents in the region, while also leveraging and maximizing Las Vegas’ unique position as a global destination that welcomes over 43 million annual visitors.
- Provide strong educational programming and outreach for school children and adults.
- Create unique private and public spaces that are accessible and usable for all sorts of purposes, ranging from civic events to co-working.
- Foster community engagement and partnerships of all sorts, particularly to ensure the Museum is embraced by the whole community and the whole community feels ownership and pride in the Museum.
Thanks to a visionary challenge grant from the city of Las Vegas, the new Museum will be centrally located in downtown Las Vegas within the 61-acre Symphony Park development, which is home to the The Smith Center for the Performing Arts, DISCOVERY Children’s Museum, and the Frank Gehry-designed Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health.
Based on early estimates, the Museum will be approximately100,000-square feet, and be developed over 5-7 years, including launching and mostly completing the anticipated $100 million founding capital campaign.
Following several years of extensive community outreach and finalizing its position as a division with the Nevada Museum of Art, the Museum can begin in earnest program and facilities planning, developing broad community partnerships, and securing support from the donor community to finally build the fine art Museum Las Vegans have yearned and worked for.
About Nevada Museum of Art, Reno
The oldest cultural institution in the state of Nevada, the Nevada Museum of Art was founded in 1931 as the Nevada Art Gallery by Dr. James E. Church, a Professor of German and Classics at the University of Nevada, Reno. The Museum was created to serve as a gathering place to facilitate and engage in conversations around art, science, and culture – essentially, to be a place of ideas – as opposed to more traditional purposes of housing a founding collection.
Today, the Nevada Museum of Art remains an institution dedicated to and driven by ideas. As the only accredited art museum in the state, the Museum features exhibitions by national and international artists as well as a permanent collection that aims to place Nevada within a larger cultural context. The Museum is a privately-funded non-profit, and welcomes more than 120,000 visitors annually to its 70,000 square-foot facility designed by Phoenix-based architect Will Bruder.
The Museum annually organizes 25 original exhibitions, publications, and documentaries, and presents traveling exhibitions that serve a broad audience. Its permanent collection is divided into four thematic focus areas: the Robert S. and Dorothy J. Keyser Art of the Greater West Collection, the Carol Franc Buck Altered Landscape Photography Collection, the Contemporary Art Collection, and the E. L. Wiegand Work Ethic in American Art Collection. These thematic, rather than historical or stylistic specializations, are a natural outgrowth of the institution’s collecting practices over the years.
The Museum’s commitment to bold collaboration, education, ideas, and research also permeates its:
- Center for Art + Environment, an internationally-recognized research center dedicated to supporting the practice, study, and awareness of creative interactions between people and their environments, including unique art and archive materials from more than 1,000 artists working on all seven continents such as Cape Farewell, Michael Heizer, Walter de Maria, and Lita Albuquerque.
- Education program that is pioneering STEAM education curriculum in K-12 classrooms.
- E.L. Cord Museum School that offers tuition-based courses in art and design for all ages and serves approximately 2,400 students annually.
- Major public art projects, including Ugo Rondinone’s Seven Magic Mountains in Las Vegas and (2017 MacArthur Fellow) Trevor Paglen’s upcoming Orbital Reflector.
- Recent series of design feasibility and think tank sessions with Pritzker Prize-winning urban theorist and architect Rem Koolhaas.
The CEO and Board of Trustees are seeking an energetic, entrepreneurial arts leader – with a proven track record in building vibrant organizations and programs – to spearhead the creation and operation of the new Nevada Museum of Art, Las Vegas. An entrepreneurial spirit with management skills will be critical in managing the complex business of fund development, design and planning for this new enterprise. Serving as the founding Director, s/he will lead the Las Vegas Museum and Southern Nevada division day-to-day, and report to the Nevada Museum of Art CEO.
In collaboration with the Nevada Museum of Art CEO and other senior staff, and with input from community stakeholders and Board of Trustees, the founding Director will craft the Museum’s artistic, aesthetic, and educational direction, and develop and implement its architectural, business, curatorial and education plans. Working with the CEO and other stakeholders, s/he will be responsible for managing the architectural process including the selection of the Museum’s architect. And, critically, s/he will actively and robustly engage and secure support from donors while also developing the organization’s operating capacity and standards.
In short, the Director will be the key player in developing, earning support for, and implementing the new Museum’s vision.
The Director should have a strong background in the visual arts, and be highly thought of by his/her peers in the art and museum world. The Director must possess excellent and demonstrable skills in: engaging diverse stakeholders to build consensus and support; fundraising; financial planning and management; and organization building and management. Also, the Director will serve as the Museum’s primary spokesperson to all constituencies, so must be a compelling communicator and presenter, both verbally and in writing.
Essential Duties and Responsibilities:
- In collaboration with community stakeholders and CEO, define the Museum’s vision and craft actionable business, curatorial, and education plans that bring the Vision to reality and ensure its long-term sustainability and success.
- On a day-to-day basis, lead and manage implementation of such plans, including budget development and oversight.
- Maximize collaboration and efficiencies between Southern Nevada Museum/division and Nevada Museum of Art’s existing Reno-based Museum, culture, infrastructure, programming, and staff.
- Identify and generate opportunities to secure, and cultivate significant financial support for the Museum as part of a comprehensive capital campaign that includes working with CEO, Board, and other stakeholders to expand ties to the philanthropic, political, and civic communities.
- Assist CEO and curatorial team in building the Museum’s growing collection.
- Create an architectural process and engage an architect alongside CEO.
- Cultivate highly-collaborative working relationships with area partners in the arts and education, including the Clark County School District.
- Actively and authentically engage the diverse communities of Southern Nevada.
- Build and manage a team of dedicated professionals.
- During the development of the Museum, create “pop-up” artistic activities throughout the community to help people imagine the role the Museum will play when it opens.
Qualifications and Qualities:
- 10-15 years of increasing responsibility in a museum of significant size or recognized fine arts institution such as university or in an art gallery including service for the past five (5) years in a senior position with a demonstrated record of accomplishment.
- Demonstrable understanding of museum industry, practices, operations, and standards (including AAM) is required.
- An advanced degree in Art History or a related field is essential. An MBA, coupled with an advanced art degree, would be a definite advantage.
- Successful implementation of a development program that includes articulating a museum’s needs for capital and annual funding.
- Experience in developing, implementing, and managing comprehensive plans.
- Experience with project planning and priority setting.
- Experience in identifying opportunities for and partnering with diverse cultural and educational institutions.
- A dynamic, energetic, and welcoming disposition.
- Ability to work in politically sensitive situations.
- Ability to communicate in a simple, but persuasive manner in both written and oral presentations, and to present and represent the Museum to internal and external constituencies.
- Ability to work collaboratively to develop and establish best-in-class programming and facilities.
- Demonstrated interest and ability to energize a diverse community.
- Excellent listener.
- Reputation for the highest level of integrity and credibility.
- Self-directed, able to work independently, but also has the ability to work collaboratively.
- Upon acceptance of offer, willing and able to establish primary residency in Clark County, Nevada within 90 days.
Compensation: Competitive and commensurate with experience.
Start Date: Fall 2018
Procedure and Application:
Send resume and cover letter indicating interest, qualifications and list of three references to:
Management Consultants for the Arts
Box Nevada Museum of Art, LV
Via email to: Mcawall2@gmail.com