There are no recent bookmarks.

Executive Director search for the Backus Museum and Gallery

Posted by Gadsden Arts Center & Museum ; Posted on 
Job - DEADLINE :  
Executive Director search for the Backus Museum and Gallery




Exceptional opportunity to lead a dynamic museum steeped in history, but with a contemporary directive, on Florida’s Treasure Coast. The newly re- built museum is well organized by a strong volunteer force and operated by a small dedicated staff. The board of directors seeks to find a qualified candidate to replace the current Executive Director who is retiring after 19 years.

The A.E. Backus Museum & Gallery seeks an experienced, entrepreneurial, innovative and business-minded individual to lead the museum during its next stage of growth.  The Director will be responsible for furthering the goals and mission of the Backus and directing development, fundraising, marketing, general management, financial management, and fostering member/volunteer/docent/board relations of the Backus.  The Director will also be responsible supervising curatorial activities, exhibition acquisition and establishing the annual exhibition and special events and educational schedule.

Of significant importance is the responsibility for maintaining and fostering the museum’s 57 year image of exceptionalism.  The Director must be able to capitalize on the Backus’ existing strengths and provide leadership and management for the next chapter in the Museum’s history.  The Director is expected to be an active participant in the community, attending events and creating relationships within City and County government and with other community groups.

The E.D. is the primary liaison with the Museum’s volunteer corps, known as the Board of Associates, and meets monthly with the Board of Directors and with the Executive Board as may be necessary for the smooth management of the Museum.

The ideal candidate will be an energetic museum professional enthusiastic about growing an institution and with a passion for working with diverse populations.

Qualifications: Museum management experience with emphasis on community and patron relations; fund-raising ability; excellent written and verbal communications skills; degree(s) in business, museum studies or related field(s) or equivalent. A passion for art and history is a plus.


  • As Museum Director, manage the operational and administrative duties of the Backus in an efficient and effective manner.
  • Oversee budget development and financial management; ensure the accuracy and integrity of complete financial and accounting records and reports.
  • Develop plans for exhibitions and programs including exhibition sponsorships.
  • Direct the personnel and employment of human resources that includes interviewing, hiring, training, encouraging, coaching, and disciplining and terminating employees.
  • Ensure the efficient operation and maintenance of the facility, including HVAC systems, technology systems, security systems, janitorial staff, and grounds maintenance.
  • Maintain and oversee the effective safety and security of the museum.
  • Enhance the Backus marketing program to raise awareness and grow audiences.
  • Facilitate the development of web-based marketing and strong social media presence.
  • Collaborate with community partners to enhance the arts in the area.
  • Participate in Board meetings as Director and administrator of the museum.
  • As Chief Fundraiser, engage vigorously and effectively in development and fundraising.
  • Consistent with the Backus’ current and long-term needs, lead fundraising events, annual fundraising initiatives, specific grant proposals, capital campaigns, and membership campaigns.
  • Develop and monitor an Endowment Foundation.
  • Cultivate and strengthen relationships and communications with members, Board of Directors, BOAs, donors, Backus collectors and supporters of the Museum.
  • Providing a high degree of visibility in the community, strengthening community relationships and serving as chief spokesperson for the Backus.
  • As Chief Strategic Planner provide visionary leadership in long-range planning and implementation.
  • Advance the current long range plan established by the Board of Directors.
  • Lead the Board of Directors in an annual strategic plan update.

Candidate Profile

  • Possession of a bachelor’s degree in a relevant field of study is required and an advanced degree preferred.
  • Relevant executive experience working with a board of directors and leading a staff; minimum of five years of successful and progressive responsibility, executive experience in a museum environment.
  • Exceptional skills in development, fundraising, marketing and financial management.
  • Experience in successful grant writing.
  • Strong skills in written and verbal communication and organization.(Please provide samples of writing)
  • Possess an entrepreneurial spirit, including the capacity to develop innovative strategies for income generation, audience-building, and programming.
  • Possess the capacity to develop and maintain positive relationships with members, donors, exhibitors, collectors and community constituents and stakeholders.

Employment Contract and Salary Range and Benefits:

  • Successful candidate will be required to sign an employment contract as well as a non-compete and a confidentiality agreement with the Museum.
  • All finalists will undergo a thorough background check.
  • Compensation will range between $50,000 – $60,000, commensurate with qualifications and experience.
  • Company car
  • 2 week paid vacation (increases by an additional week after 5 years)
  • 14 paid sick days
  • 403-B retirement plan
  • Partial reimbursement of monthly health insurance premium (no group policy is offered).

About the Museum

The A.E. Backus Museum is fresh from a $1.4 million dollar expansion, which doubled its size, as well as A reimagining of exhibitions and a Museum Store expansion. Housing the nation’s largest public exhibition of artwork by Florida’s preeminent painter, A.E. Backus, the Museum also offers the only permanent multi-media exhibition on the internationally acclaimed, outsider artists known as The Florida Highwaymen.

With a career spanning over 70 years, Backus (1906 – 1990) was the first Florida born artist to paint Florida. He was lucky to have known great success during his lifetime with paintings hanging in the homes and offices of a who’s who of Florida power and wealth. A renowned humanitarian who abhorred the South’s racist attitudes and segregation, Backus taught and mentored the Florida Highwaymen. Twenty-eight artists in the Florida Artist Hall of Fame owe their start to A.E. Backus. If there were no A.E. Backus, there would be no Highwaymen.

Established in 1960 as the Gallery of Fort Pierce, the Museum has grown and expanded its facility, collection and vision over the years. Changing exhibits from artists of national and international acclaim round out the Museum’s Florida centered mission. The new outdoor Mural Plaza opens onto a park that borders the Indian River Lagoon and offers a place for fresh air and artistic inspiration. Families and school groups will enjoy the Art & History Scavenger Hunt which is open to the public and free of charge. The Museum offers a lecture series, hands on art workshops and continuing classes in a variety of mediums.

Museum’s Mission

To promote the arts in the community and to perpetuate the artistic and humanitarian legacy of A.E. “Bean” Backus.


The Museum encompasses 8,000 sq. ft. of interior exhibition, museum store, office and storage space. An outdoor mural plaza and Art & History Scavenger Hunt are part of a public art exhibition on the Museum’s landscaped park grounds.

The Backus is funded by donations from our “Friends of the Museum” membership, business sponsorships, state cultural & humanity grants, charitable foundation gifts, fund raising events and activities, the proceeds from the sale of Backus originals in our consignment gallery and Museum Store sales.

  • Paid vacation

To Apply Send:

  • A letter of interest
  • Current and verifiable resume
  • Copy of college/graduate school transcripts
  • Two samples of professional writing
  • Current photograph of yourself
  • List of three professional references with email contact information

Send information to


Finalists will be asked to come for a personal interview with the Search Committee.

It is the desire of the Search Committee to have an approved candidate ready to begin training in early August, 2017. Position begins October 1, 2017, prior to the Museum’s opening for its 58th season.


Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

Submit Listings

Additional Resource Guides: