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Executive Director, Art Enables

Art Enables

  • CATEGORY Admin
  • LOCATION Washington, DC
  • DATE MAY 24, 2023
  • JOB TYPE Full Time
  • COMPENSATION $120,000 - $130,000
  • POSITION LEVEL Executive (CEO/ED/AD/Pres.)

Art Enables, a vocational arts program and gallery dedicated to creating opportunities for artists with disabilities, seeks an Executive Director to steer its highly successful and unique model into its next era. 

Since 2001, the organization has offered artists the creative space, materials, and marketing support they need to make, market, and earn income from their original and compelling artwork.

Art Enables believes that artists with disabilities offer unique voices, experiences, and perspectives that are vital to a robust arts landscape and should be afforded the opportunity to pursue art professionally. Art Enables works with artists who experience a broad range of developmental and cognitive disabilities and mental health challenges, including autism, Down’s syndrome, traumatic brain injury, schizophrenia, and bipolar disorder. Learn more at art-enables.org.

Position Overview

The next Executive Director will develop a vision and guiding framework to create a new strategic plan, in consultation with the board, artists and their families/caretakers, staff, partners, and other stakeholders. They will lead operations and direct fundraising efforts to support Art Enables’ studio art, exhibition, and community arts programming. 

In 2022, Art Enables had a revenue budget of approximately $1M, comprising funding from the District’s Department of Disability Services, public and private grants, and individual contributions. The position reports to the Board of Directors and oversees a small professional staff in Washington, D.C. Specific areas of responsibility include: 

Strategy, Vision, and Leadership 

  • Enthusiastically set strategic direction for Art Enables’ mission, vision, and goals in collaboration with the Board of Directors, staff, and stakeholders. 

  • Maintain ongoing programmatic excellence, rigorous program evaluation, and consistent quality of finance and administration, fundraising, communications, and systems.

  • Lead a collaborative strategic planning process, and ultimately implement the new strategic plan, including setting measurable goals.

  • Advance diversity, equity, and inclusion throughout programmatic initiatives, policies, operations, and organizational culture. 

  • Foster a culture of care, mentorship, transparency, and effective internal communication.

  • Maintain and expand Art Enables’ local and regional reputation as a leader in professional development programming for adult visual artists with disabilities. 

  • Establish strong working relationships and collaborations that advance Art Enables’ mission with a range of key partners, policymakers, government agencies, funders, and others. 

Advocacy, Fundraising, and Partnerships

  • Serve as an external voice, locally, regionally, and nationally, that communicates program results with an emphasis on the successes of the artists.

  • Manage the refinement of all aspects of communications—from web presence to external relations—with the goal of creating a stronger brand and raising Art Enables’ visibility.

  • Lead a comprehensive fundraising strategy to expand fundraising and earned revenue. 

  • Cultivate relationships with individual, corporate, and institutional funders, including identifying new prospects, engaging lapsed donors, and creating stewardship systems to recognize donors at all levels. Serve as the primary solicitor for support from major institutional, corporate, and individual donors.

  • Manage the relationship with the District’s Department of Disability Services.

Organizational Development and Management

  • Manage day-to-day operations, including human resources, finances (with the assistance of an outside accountant), legal and regulatory compliance, and facilities management. 

  • Manage and develop a team of professionals with the skills and expertise to administer programs with a high degree of creativity, professionalism, and sustainability.

  • Facilitate strong working relationships, clear communications, and effective decision-making.

  • Nurture a strong relationship with the Board of Directors; seek and support Board involvement; serve as a liaison between board and staff; provide regular reports.

  • Set annual financial goals in partnership with the Board. 

Experience, Skills, and Qualities 

The most competitive applicants will have many of the following attributes:

  • No less than 5 years of leadership roles in nonprofit, public sector, academic, or small business settings.

  • Deep understanding of the disability community as first and foremost a community of people and that a disability is merely one part of a person’s identity.

  • Demonstrate a strong equity and justice frame, with high levels of emotional intelligence, integrity, cultural sensitivity, and interpersonal skills.

  • Experience developing and implementing strategic plans, transforming systems, tools, and processes that take an organization to the next stage of growth.

  • Excellent organizational management, including budgeting, financial management, human resources, grants, contracts, facilities management, and legal compliance. 

  • Strong marketing, public relations, and fundraising experience with the ability to engage a wide range of stakeholders and cultures.

  • Considered a Major Plus: Experience working with people with disabilities and their families or caregivers; experience in arts organizations; experience with local government agencies 


The budgeted salary is $120,000-$130,000 with benefits that includes health, vision, and dental insurance, paid time off and holidays, and an employer-matched 401(k) retirement plan. 

Application Process

The Board of Directors has retained the services of Good Insight, a national executive search firm serving small nonprofits. See the full executive profile and application information at www.good-insight.org/careers. Resume reviews begin immediately. For best consideration, apply by June 16, 2023. Early applications are encouraged due to the pace of the search.

Equal Opportunity Employer

Art Enables is an equal employment opportunity employer with a fundamental policy not to discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy, childbirth, related medical conditions, breastfeeding, and reproductive health decisions), gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, age, physical or mental disability, genetic information, veteran or military status, citizenship, status as unemployed, personal appearance, family responsibilities, political affiliation, matriculation, credit information, or any other characteristic prohibited by federal or D.C. law.


Job Announcement Document(s)

Art Enables - Executive Profile - final .pdf


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