Executive Director of The Crucible
The Crucible, a 501(c)3 nonprofit arts education organization that fosters a collaboration of arts, industry, and community is seeking its next Executive Director.
Through training in the fine and industrial arts, The Crucible promotes creative expression, reuse of materials, and innovative design, while serving as an accessible arts venue for the general public in the Bay Area.
The Crucible inspires creative exploration and expression through welcoming, hands-on arts education and experiences for people of diverse ages and backgrounds. As an innovative hub built around the industrial arts, The Crucible is a catalyst for individual growth and vibrant community connections.
A leader in the Bay Area arts community, The Crucible is widely recognized for its exceptional learning experiences, rich and varied arts programs, skilled and committed faculty, and unparalleled educational facilities.
The Crucible Overview
The Crucible began in 1999 with a simple idea: to provide an accessible industrial arts studio for artists and makers of all ages and abilities. While we’ve grown to serve more than 10,000 people a year, we have the same core mission: to inspire creative exploration and expression through welcoming, hands-on arts education and experiences for everyone. Crucible students of all ages get their hands dirty making useful or artful objects themselves, from start to finish. Today The Crucible is the second largest arts organization in Oakland.
Our industrial art classes welcome all levels — from absolute beginners to experienced artists and craftspeople — to a learning environment where people can work together to create something amazing. The Crucible’s departments include Bike Shop, Blacksmithing, Ceramics, Enameling, Fire & Performance, Foundry, Glass Blowing, Glass Casting & Coldworking, Glass Flameworking, Glass Fusing & Slumping, Jewelry, Kinetics & Electronics, Machine Shop, Moldmaking, Neon & Light, Leather, Textiles, & Fine Art, Stone Working, Welding, and Woodworking.
The Crucible offers adult classes, with a variety of formats, levels, and price points. Evening and weekend classes are designed for working and busy adults, and range from brief introductions to a studio area to weeklong or longer immersions that can transform a novice into a skilled and confident craftsperson.
The Crucible provides access to arts education and skill building for youth, ages 8-18, through classes, camps, field trips, community projects, volunteer opportunities, and paid internships. Of 5,000 youth served annually, approximately 80% participate for free or at a reduced cost. Our youth program has gained regional attention for its ability to positively transform the lives of our students.
TEAM BUILDING WORKSHOPS
Annually, we host more than 150 team building events, helping employees of local businesses think creatively, learn new skills, and collaborate in new ways. Our unique hands-on educational opportunities are a great way to fire up imaginations and drive innovative thinking.
The Crucible actively engages the local West Oakland and greater Bay Area communities through our offering of special events, regular Bike Fix-A-Thons, and lectures, demonstrations, and performances by various artisans and tradespeople. Crucible Open Houses are free of charge. We encourage guests to explore, ask questions, and learn with hands-on activities. We take our show on the road, too, with demonstrations at schools and events like Maker Faire and East Bay Mini-Maker Faire. Our annual fundraising gala, the Fire & Light Soirée and Art Auction, is a spectacular event that honors our supporters, celebrates our community, and finances our programs.
Setting up your own workshop can be expensive and space prohibitive. CREATE is a way for current and former students to use The Crucible’s studio space, tools, and equipment to work on their own projects. CREATE members can access equipment in ARC welding, blacksmithing, glass coldworking, enameling, fabrication power tools, grinding room, jewelry, MIG welding, oxy-acetylene welding, plasma cutter, shell room, TIG welding, wax room, and wood shop.
Our 150+ instructors bring an energizing combination of real-world experience and passion to each class. These experts, industry professionals, and emerging and acclaimed artists teach at The Crucible because they enjoy the unique atmosphere and the ability to help students gain practical, working knowledge of the field they love.
A dedicated staff of 37 keeps The Crucible running. In every office position, we’re using our unique talents and experience to build a sustainable and thriving organization, bringing meaning to our work and the positive, creative force of art into our community. Together we continue to grow this one-of-a-kind industrial arts education center.
As a nonprofit, we depend heavily on the unique skill-sets of our diverse volunteer force. Our volunteer pool — around 150 individuals active at any given time — helps power nearly every aspect of what we do, from the office to the studio floor, from the youth program to our renowned events. Volunteers earn discounts on classes and membership benefits, as well as the satisfaction of being an integral part of one of the nation’s top industrial arts facilities.
Our classes are designed for everyone, from beginners with no prior experience to advanced makers, artists, and tradespeople. With classes in welding, blacksmithing, neon, glass blowing, ceramics, jewelry, woodworking, and more, Crucible students learn techniques and develop skills through hands-on practice and projects. Membership with The Crucible represents a commitment to your creative habit. Members receive valuable benefits, such as discounts on tuition and events, early registration privileges, access to the CREATE program, and more. Crucible members take pride in being part of, and supporting, Crucible programs.
DONORS AND SUPPORTERS
As a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, donors subsidize the costs of all Crucible programs, ensuring the future of industrial arts education in our community. Through tax-deductible donations, in-kind support, membership, and institutional contributions, we serve 10,000 people. Each year, Crucible donors support Fuego Youth Leaders, 450+ workshops taught by 150+ working artists, 500+ students in school partnerships, 1000+ youth summer campers, and $120,000 in youth scholarships and free programs.
We believe in the power of making and creative risk-taking.
We celebrate awe-inspiring arts-based experiences and our ability to foster and share them.
We create an environment that is fun, respectful, non-competitive, and welcoming to anyone who wants to participate.
We nurture others and ourselves by creating a safe environment in which to test the boundaries of new abilities and artistic expression.
We appreciate varied life experiences, perspectives and abilities, and believe that we can all learn from one another through shared creative endeavor.
We value the skills, craftsmanship, and knowledge of our faculty, staff, and students, and celebrate our opportunities to offer access to broad-ranging expertise and artistic excellence.
The Executive Director reports directly to the Board of Directors and is responsible for planning, implementing, supervising, and assessing The Crucible’s programs and operations in support of its Strategic Plan. The Crucible has an annual operating budget of $3 million, which includes nearly $1 million of private charitable support each year. The Executive Director will oversee the budget and a staff of full-time and part-time employees, including faculty. Direct reports are the Chief Financial Officer, Director of Advancement, Director of Programs, and Director of Studio and Facilities.
Together with the Board, the Executive Director will provide vision and operational leadership for the organization’s future growth and development. The Executive Director is a highly visible representative of The Crucible and is responsible for developing and maintaining strong relationships with various constituencies including students, Board members, funders, volunteers, government, and partner organizations. The Executive Director must lead by example and therefore, create an environment in which staff can live the values and principles of The Crucible in their day-to-day work with its constituencies.
Key Areas of Responsibility
- Leadership – Articulating vision and strategic direction of The Crucible, ensuring the implementation of the Strategic Plan and recommending short term and long range plans and budgets to the Board of Directors; formulating budgets for plans, programs, and objectives, and directing all programs, services, and activities; articulating both the short term and long term vision of the organization and ensuring that overall objectives and milestones are met.
- Fund Development – Working closely with the Director of Advancement and Board, developing effective partnerships, collaborations, and strategic alliances with government agencies, corporations, foundations, individuals and other sources of funds; representing The Crucible to prospective and current major funding sources.
- Financial Oversight – Overseeing the development of budgets for submission to the Board; ensuring the Board is regularly informed on the financial status of the organization, including forecasts; providing the appropriate control and accountability of all funds, physical assets, and other property.
- Management and Staff Development – Leading the senior management team to strengthen and support the programmatic, financial, and operational goals of The Crucible; involvement in recruiting, developing, and motivating staff; identifying training needs and ensuring development and implementation of programs that address needs; overseeing succession planning and assessment of staff; reviewing current practices and methods, and initiating development of new ones as necessary to reduce costs, encourage growth, and improve efficiency.
- Advocacy, Community Relations and Communications – Assuring that the organization and its mission, programs, and services are consistently presented in a strong, positive image to relevant stakeholders; maintaining leadership and program advocacy role of the agency by interfacing with other community organizations and key constituent groups, County departments, and political leaders through direct contact and through local and state provider associations.
- Board Administration and Support – Facilitating operations and administration of the Board, by promoting proactive Board development, advising and informing Board members, interfacing between Board and staff, and supporting the Board to fulfill its governance function.
- Quality, Compliance and Reporting – Ensuring that the organization’s activities and operations are in compliance with local, state, and federal regulations and laws governing business operations and safety; establishing systems to regularly and systematically evaluate the results of overall operations and programs.
Qualifications and Personal Attributes:
- A visionary, forward-thinking leader with an entrepreneurial spirit.
- Strong interpersonal skills and team player, as well as a team leader and relationship-builder.
- Proven fundraising experience and the ability to relate comfortably with a variety of funding sources, including public funding stream contacts, foundations, and individuals.
- A strong business acumen that will enable effective decisions regarding the future growth of the organization, balanced by programmatic experience in the arts.
- Critical thinking skills, integrity, good judgment, technical expertise, strong organizational skills, and logical priority-setting skills.
- A demonstrated commitment to promoting diversity within the organization and recognition of the diverse nature of the community.
- An inclusive leadership style that endorses collaboration and open, transparent communication, valuing the perspectives of all stakeholders.
- Ability to accomplish goals through motivation, the delegation of authority, and the use of systems that are designed for effective planning, evaluation, and accountability.
- A good listener who is accessible and who possesses the ability to adapt and respond effectively to change, while continuing to lead and mentor.
- A coalition-builder who can work on multiple levels with a wide variety of constituencies to implement programs and processes and facilitate change, when required.
- A strong work ethic, self-initiative, a good sense of humor and high energy level.
- A sincere dedication to the mission and philosophy of The Crucible.
Ideal Candidate Background
10 years of progressive leadership experience in a nonprofit organization, preferably one focused on the arts or arts education.
Direct experience in fundraising and community engagement.
An undergraduate degree in a related field, with a graduate degree preferred.
This search is being conducted by Einstellung Labs on behalf of The Crucible.
To apply in confidence, please send a cover letter and resume to firstname.lastname@example.org.