The Museum of Latin American Art (MOLAA) expands knowledge and appreciation of modern and contemporary Latin American art through its collection, groundbreaking exhibitions, stimulating educational programs, and engaging cultural events. MOLAA’s vision is to be the leading museum for Latin American and Latino art in the United States and a movement builder internationally. This vision transcends specific goals to ensure renowned curatorial experiences and world class exhibitions, robust touring and travel programs, and a dynamic national and international board of directors.
Founded by Dr. Robert Gumbiner in 1996, MOLAA celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2016, which was highlighted by its accreditation by the American Alliance of Museums. In recognition of its outstanding educational programming and artistic quality, MOLAA was designated as one of only 140 Smithsonian Affiliate museums nationwide. In 2017 MOLAA successfully recruited Lourdes I. Ramos-Rivas, PhD as its President & CEO to lead the museum’s expanded vision and future.
The museum’s founder established a vision for the organization: to educate the American public about modern and contemporary Latin American fine art through the establishment of a significant permanent collection and the presentation of dynamic exhibitions and related programs. Today, MOLAA showcases highlights from the founding collection as well as emergent collections of new media and art of the Latino diaspora. In 2017 MOLAA filled its galleries with an equal representation of permanent and traveling exhibitions, which included Frank Romero’s first museum retrospective and a collaboration with the Getty Museum entitled Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA Relational Undercurrents, guest-curated by Tatiana Flores.
MOLAA attracts approximately 65,000 visitors annually to its exhibitions, festivals, educational programs, and cultural events. It has curated a series of outstanding permanent collection, traveling, and museum-curated exhibitions featuring works by important modern and contemporary Latin American artists. Past exhibitions have included works by Diego Rivera, Frida Kahlo, Manuel Álvarez Bravo, José Bedia, Esteban Lisa, Fernando Botero, and many others. In addition to these larger exhibitions, MOLAA’s Screening Room features trendsetting work of important up-and-coming Latin American artists who have had little or no exposure in the United States. As its newest gallery, The Port to Learning uses exhibitions and events to expand visitors’ understanding of topics central to MOLAA’s mission and important to the international community.
MOLAA’s location is in its second iteration as a cultural institution. Between 1913 and 1918, the site was the home of Balboa Amusement Producing Company, a silent film studio. MOLAA’s exhibition galleries, administrative offices, and store are housed in a former roller skating rink known as the Hippodrome. Built in the late 1920s after the film studios were gone, the high vaulted ceilings and beautiful wooden floors were perfectly suited to showcase many of its 1,600-piece permanent collection comprised of works by Rodolfo Morales, Lucía Maya, and Wifredo Lam, among many others.
MOLAA is governed by a nine-member board of directors and operates with a staff of 40 employees, with a development department consisting of five full-time positions whose responsibilities include major gifts, membership, annual fund, foundation grant writing, corporate sponsorship, special events, research, and database administration. MOLAA has a $3.6 million budget, with a contributed revenue goal of $1 million and a $24.5 million permanent endowment. It receives annual financial operating support and in-kind services from the Robert Gumbiner Foundation and strives to maintain cultural authenticity and public accessibility throughout the organization.
MOLAA is located in the rapidly growing East Village Arts District of Long Beach, California—one of six business improvement districts (BIDs) in Long Beach. The City of Long Beach is the seventh most populous city in California and the third largest in Southern California, behind Los Angeles and San Diego.
Long Beach boasts a thriving arts community with its own opera company, symphony, and numerous theater companies and museums. In addition to MOLAA, Long Beach hosts cultural institutions such as The Queen Mary, Long Beach Museum of Art, and Aquarium of the Pacific, which broke ground on a $53 million expansion in 2017 that will double its existing gallery space. Shops and galleries in the East Village Arts District hold monthly art openings. On the second Saturday of every month, Art Walk allows artists to exhibit their work in street galleries. Long Beach has a percentage of funds for art programs administered through the Arts Council of Long Beach and the Redevelopment Agency, which ensures that new private developments contribute to the arts fund or commission artworks for their new project.
Sources: downtownlongbeach.org; lbcityguide.com; artslb.org
The Vice President of Development (VP) will have an exciting and rewarding opportunity to chart the next phase of philanthropic growth for MOLAA. Reporting to and partnering with the President & CEO, the VP will also work closely with the board of directors to engage in the identification, cultivation, and solicitation of major donors. As an integral member of the four-person senior management team, the VP will play an active role as a thought-partner in planning for the organization’s overall growth. The VP will be charged with conceptualizing and implementing a plan to grow MOLAA’s philanthropic support and donor base. The VP will be responsible for developing and establishing strong relationships with a diverse array of donors, stakeholders, and professional peers in Long Beach, Southern California, nationally, and—given the scope of the museum’s work—internationally.
Roles and Responsibilities
- Oversee the development department, including individual, major, and institutional giving, membership, and special events, with a focus on the expansion of the donor base, primarily through individual major gifts, corporate donors, and grants.
- Implement a comprehensive stewardship program and more robust planned giving program that brings donors and stakeholders closer to the organization and motivates them to include MOLAA in their estate plans.
- Proactively support the board and President & CEO to drive fundraising activity and personal engagement with top prospects and provide expert counsel and training as needed to support board success in fundraising.
- Establish a strong relationship management protocol and donor portfolio structure for the President & CEO, board members, and other relationship managers, with the goal of cultivating and soliciting increased major gifts for the annual fund, special events, capital projects, and special programs.
- Determine solicitation priorities, manage prospect lists and research, and develop and execute targeted cultivation plans and solicitation strategies for a range of prospects.
- Collaborate on earned revenue strategies with other departments to expand the membership base, with the goal of converting high-level members to donors.
- Serve as an ambassador for MOLAA and enhance its relationship with the local community.
- Embrace other fundraising leadership responsibilities as needed.
Departmental Strategic Planning and Operations
- Create, implement, and manage a strategic development plan designed to significantly increase contributed revenue, with an eye towards implementing a campaign for capital improvements in the near future.
- Evaluate the development operation and prioritize department functions to maximize success in achieving contributed revenue goals for foundation and government funding and special events, with special emphasis on the identification, cultivation, and solicitation of new individual major gifts and corporate partners.
- Supervise the development staff by setting clear expectations, motivating and evaluating the team through a specific and unified vision for success, and assisting with their professional development.
- Support the growth of the development team through strategic hiring, as appropriate.
- Embrace other departmental strategic planning and operations responsibilities as needed.
Administration and Oversight
- Direct all aspects of membership and patron benefits program, including stewardship, special events, cultivation, benefits fulfillment, daily donor interaction, and volunteer management.
- Prepare and monitor revenue and expense budgets; provide accurate reporting, analysis, and integration of data; and oversee the maintenance and integrity of membership, donor, and prospect records.
- Develop partnerships with the marketing department to support annual giving programs, sponsorships, special projects, and events and to create customized donor stewardship and recognition opportunities that support expanded fundraising activities.
- Lead and mentor the development staff in utilizing available data to analyze and document fundraising needs and opportunities.
- Assess current technology and refine development practices to ensure maximum efficiency and results.
- Embrace other administration and oversight responsibilities as needed.
Traits and Characteristics
The successful VP will be a proactive and collaborative partner to the President & CEO, presenting MOLAA’s mission with authority and passion. Delivering exceptional customer service, this individual will be both highly accountable and a skilled fundraiser, with exceptional detail-orientation and follow-through. The final candidate will be an articulate organizational messenger, in writing and verbally, and an experienced relationship manager with the ability to connect stakeholders to MOLAA’s mission and programming. This key member of the senior management team will enjoy working collaboratively with staff, volunteers, donors, and stakeholders. The VP will possess the leadership skills to effectively build strong, high-functioning, results-oriented teams both within development and in a similar style on the senior management team. This individual will bring a passion to positively impact the organization’s long-term success, complemented by highly developed skills and an efficient and professional, best practices approach.
Other key competencies include:
- Personal and Professional Accountability – The capacity to accept responsibility for actions and outcomes of development and development communication efforts while inspiring others, building trust, and demonstrating loyalty.
- Customer Focus and Interpersonal Skills – The dexterity to commit to customer satisfaction with a high value on multiple stakeholder needs, anticipate challenges, and develop appropriate solutions while building rapport and relating well to diverse stakeholders regardless of cultural differences.
- Decision Making – The ability to independently make decisions within the construct of the larger organizational goals and as a trusted source of information, well-versed in best practices.
- Goal Achievement – The resiliency to establish goals that are relevant and attainable and to initiate activity without delay.
- Planning and Organizing – The ingenuity to use logical, systematic, and orderly procedures to meet objectives while serving as a positive example for the development team’s work ethic, commitment, and professionalism.
A bachelor’s degree with bilingual proficiency (English/Spanish strongly preferred), a minimum of seven years of experience with increasing responsibility, and proven success in a fundraising leadership role, ideally with a museum or cultural organization, are required. A strong track record in the identification, qualification, cultivation, and solicitation of donors and potential donors at all levels, particularly major gifts donors, are necessary. Candidates must be highly self-motivated, metrics-driven, and goal-oriented. Superior presentation and written/verbal communication skills are required. Experience working with boards and high net worth individuals is essential. Candidates must possess a focused but flexible team-approach to maximize their success in the diverse culture of MOLAA, Long Beach, and the Greater Los Angeles area. This individual must exhibit a passion for understanding and communicating the vibrant nature and diversity of Latin American art and be able to inspire stakeholders to invest in the mission of the organization. Strong computer skills, including Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint), donor database software, electronic and social media, and advanced tools for donor prospecting and research, are necessary.