Executive Director Opening

smac logo

Quick Details:

Location of office: Marshall, MN
Type: Full Time
Benefits: Yes
Salary: Compensation is commensurate with experience and includes a benefits package.
Deadline for application: May 1, 2017

Overview job description:

The Southwest Minnesota Arts Council (SMAC), headquartered in Marshall, MN, is seeking applicants to serve in the role of Executive Director.

The Executive Director is responsible for providing direction and leadership towards the achievement of the Southwest Minnesota Arts Council’s vision and mission to promote and encourage the development of the arts in the 18 counties of Southwest Minnesota.

SMAC is one of eleven regional arts councils in Minnesota that uses public and private funding to support the arts throughout the state. SMAC’s annual budget is approximately $900,000.

General responsibilities for the new Executive Director include leading the organization’s professional staff, oversight of grant program administration, financial oversight and data reporting to the Minnesota State Arts Board and The McKnight Foundation, and serving as staff liaison with the Forum of Regional Arts Councils of Minnesota, the Minnesota State Arts Board, and The McKnight Foundation.

How to apply:

Send a cover letter and resume to Janet Olney, SW MN Arts Council Board President at:



The Executive Director is the chief executive officer for the organization and is responsible to the Board of Directors for the overall management of SMAC’s operations.  The Executive Director provides leadership to the board and staff in developing, articulating, and achieving a vision for the organization as one of 11 legislatively mandated regional arts councils serving the State of Minnesota.


-Implement the strategic goals and objectives of the Southwest Minnesota Arts Council.

-Enable the Board, with the assistance of the Board Chair, to fulfill its governance function.

-Give direction and leadership toward the achievement of the Southwest Minnesota Arts Council’s philosophy, mission, strategy and annual goals and objectives.

Reports to: Southwest Minnesota Arts Council Board of Directors

Responsibilities and Highlighted Duties:


-Serves as authorizing official, fiscal and personnel officer for the corporation and supervises SMAC staff/volunteers.

-Supervises office management and staff.

-Supervises the staffing of Board and subcommittee meetings to ensure adherence to the Council’s mission and long range plan.

-Supervises policies, accounting, and other management activities for the Council.


Planning and reporting:

-Administers information gathering and a needs assessment at least every four years.

-Works with Executive Committee, Board committees, and the Board to develop and oversee long range planning, programming mission, and services.

-Prepares SMAC’s annual working budgets for administration, programs, and activities.

-Supervises the quarterly data reports to the Minnesota State Arts Board (MSAB).

-Creates the annual work plans and/or biennial plans for the MSAB and The McKnight Foundation.

-Creates the annual reports for the MSAB and The McKnight Foundation.


Public and community involvement:

-Represents artists and organizations in the Southwest Minnesota 18 county region (RDC regions 6E, 6W & 8) in situations requiring the Council’s participation, or as directed by the Council Chair and Board.

-Articulates the region’s needs in meetings with State Representatives, State Senators, and Minnesota Citizen’s for the Arts.

-Serves as staff liaison with the Minnesota State Arts Board and The McKnight Foundation.

-Serves on the board of directors of the Minnesota Forum of Regional Arts Councils.

-Assertively advocate for the arts on behalf of the eighteen counties of southwest Minnesota.

-Works with local and regional arts organizations to provide technical assistance on organizational matters, publicity, grant-writing, fundraising, etc., as needed.

-Works with city, county, or community groups to promote the arts in the SMAC Region.

-Develops a familiarity with funding sources in the region and state that might assist constituents.


Grant administration: Provides oversight and outreach for the administration of grant programs.

-Works with Board, staff, and committees to determine needs, develop grant programs, and supervises guidelines and the application processes.

-Supervises the work of the program assistant

-Conducts grant writing/technical assistance workshops as needed.


Services/technical assistance duties:

-Takes part in appropriate grant writing/technical assistance workshops prior to each grant deadline.

-Directs the program assistant to coordinate the presentation of workshops/informational meetings by statewide organizations in the region.

-Directs the program assistant to coordinate workshops that address specific needs identified by constituents.

-Works with staff to provide technical assistance on career planning, grant-writing, etc. to regional artists.


Bookkeeping/financial reporting:

-Supervises the paying of grants and bills (expenses)

-Supervises the paying of the IRS and MN monthly withholding and reporting requirements

-Supervises and approves payroll

-Prepares, with the assistance of the administrative assistant, financial information for the auditor


Core Competencies:

-Passionate about the arts and grassroots funding of the arts.

-Proficient computer knowledge with software such as: Microsoft Office programs, Quick Books, online granting systems.

-Excellent written and oral communications skills.

-Willingness to learn and adapt to change.

-Demonstrate leadership qualities.

-Capable of maintaining impartiality, confidentiality, and discretion.

-Experience working with nonprofit boards and volunteers.

-Experience in supervising a professional staff.

-Financial management background.

-Familiarity with public funding of the arts.

-Be able to discern needs in region and then conceptualize, develop and implement programs to meet needs.

-Problem-solving skills with volunteers, staff, and public.

-Familiarity with rural living and issues, preferably southwest Minnesota.

-Have excellent rapport with people of diverse backgrounds/value systems.

-Be sensitive to political, social, geographical, and economic issues of Southwestern Minnesota.

-Have an overall attitude of providing service and growth opportunities to artists and arts organizations in the region.

-Bachelor’s degree or equivalent combination of experience and training.

-At least two years working in a supervisory position.

-Able and willing to travel within the SMAC region and the State, occasionally overnight. A valid driver’s license and access to a vehicle is mandatory.


More about Southwest Minnesota Arts Council:

MISSION STATEMENTThe mission of the Southwest Minnesota Arts Council is to promote and encourage the development of the arts in the 18 counties of Southwest Minnesota.

The Southwest Minnesota Arts Council serves as a source of funds and technical services which enable local organizations, educational institutions and individuals to sponsor and/or create and promote the arts in their communities.

VALUESWe value creativity, diversity, accessibility, integrity, learning, artistic quality, participation and advocacy.

VISION:  Artists, arts organizations and arts activities thrive.  Public value of the arts is understood and acted upon by community members, leaders and policy makers.  The creative spirit is integrated into the social fabric of every community.

ORGANIZATIONAL OVERVIEWThe Southwest Minnesota Arts & Humanities Council (SMAHC) was incorporated as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization in 1974.  In September 2013 the SMAHC membership, at its annual meeting, approved a name change to Southwest Minnesota Arts Council (SMAC). This change was made to facilitate better communication about who we are and what we do with our constituents. At this point in our history the majority of our funding sources are restricted to the arts.  Having humanities in our name and mission sent a confusing message since we were not able to support humanities programming.  We also adopted a new logo, a new and more accessible website and increased our marketing efforts.

SMAC has a proud history of promoting artists and arts activities throughout its eighteen-county region.  Since its inception, SMAC has been supported by membership donations from individuals, businesses, organizations, schools, cities and counties, in addition to funding from the McKnight Foundation and the State of Minnesota through allocations from the general fund and arts & cultural heritage fund.  Our membership revenue allows us to expand our budget beyond our State and McKnight allocations.  Budget deficits can be covered with our unrestricted fund balance which is made up of unexpended membership revenue from previous years.  It also allows us to address needs as they arise.  The organization is governed by an eighteen member board of directors (one representative for each of the 18 counties served) elected from the membership.  The board is advised by grant review panels made up of knowledgeable volunteer experts from the region.  SMAC board members and panelists help spread the word about SMAC’s resources, advocate for the arts, and serve as a conduit of information from their counties to the SMAC office.  SMAC has three full-time and one part-time staff positions.

SMAC’s 18 county service area includes Big Stone, Chippewa, Cottonwood, Jackson, Kandiyohi, Lac qui Parle, Lincoln, Lyon, Meeker, McLeod, Murray, Pipestone, Nobles, Redwood, Renville, Rock, Swift and Yellow Medicine counties.  The SMAC region is the second largest regional arts council covering 12,066 square miles in the southwest corner of the state, bordering Iowa on the south and South Dakota on the west.  The 2010 total population of the region was 282,681.  The largest towns are Willmar (pop. 19,610), Hutchinson (14,178), Marshall (13,680) and Worthington (12,764).  Medium size towns include Litchfield (6726), Glencoe (5,631), Montevideo (5,383) and Redwood Falls (5,226), Windom (4,646) and Pipestone (4,317). Of 151 towns 138 have a population of less than 3,000.  73% are smaller than 1,000; 58% are smaller than 500.  The Upper Sioux (pop. 982) and Lower Sioux (pop. 453) reservations reside within our region.  Ethnic diversity is increasing in our region.  37.8% of Worthington’s residents are nonwhite.  35% of Walnut Grove (pop. 871) is Asian and 28% of Milan (pop. 369) is Micronesian. 13% of Willmar is nonwhite. Much of the region’s business is agriculture based.  Health care institutions and schools are the largest employers in most of the region.

The Southwest Minnesota Arts Council (SMAC) is a non-profit organization committed to supporting the development and diversity of the arts in the eighteen county region of southwest Minnesota (Big Stone, Chippewa, Cottonwood, Jackson, Kandiyohi, Lac qui Parle, Lincoln, Lyon, McLeod, Meeker, Murray, Nobles, Pipestone, Redwood, Renville, Rock, Swift and Yellow Medicine counties) through work designed to increase access to the arts. SMAC achieves its mission in three ways:

  • As a grant maker for arts activities initiated by individual artists, and organizations and government entities within the 18 county region,
  • as a source of non-grant programs and training services, and
  • as an advocate for the arts.

Funding from the Minnesota Legislature, the Arts and Cultural Heritage Funds of Minnesota and the McKnight Foundation are the primary sources of SMAC funds.  Additional funding comes from membership contributions to SMAC from individuals, businesses, organizations, schools, cities and counties.

Skip to content