Artistic Director

Philadelphia 19106, Pennsylvania

JoB Description

The Center for Art in Wood seeks a dynamic and visionary Artistic Director to help lead the Center successfully into the next decade after our remarkable founding director steps aside in 2018. In 2021, the Center will celebrate its 35th Anniversary as one of the leading international non-profit organizations working to advance art in wood. The Center maintains a vital exhibitions program, has built a diverse collection including a library and archive, engages in publishing (on-line and in-print) and has established a widely respected international woodworking residence program. Housed in a newly renovated facility in Old City Philadelphia, the Center currently operates with a staff of seven and maintains a consistently balanced budget of under $1 million annually.

The successful candidate will have a passion for the arts and a solid record of achievements as a curator and arts manager with the ability to inspire the staff, the board, the wood art community and the general public.


Minimum qualifications include:

  • Master's degree in art history, studio art, American studies, or material culture with at least five years of curatorial work in Wood Art, sculpture, contemporary craft or design.
  • Experience in organizational leadership and fundraising is also required.


Philadelphia is a nationally known center for craft and materials-based production and art education. The Artistic Director should also expect to build on the successful collegial and cooperative relationship enjoyed by the CAW with Philadelphia's art schools, non-profit craft and design galleries, museums, artists and artisans.

In addition to offering conceptual leadership, the Director will oversee the exhibition program, the collecting focus, the residence program and the effective promotion of the Center's activities. The successful candidate will also be an effective spokesperson and fundraiser who can work with the board and staff to maintain diverse streams of revenue to sustain the financial health of the Center. The position reports to the board of trustees who are committed to a fruitful partnership with the Artistic Director. The Center offers a competitive salary and benefits package appropriate for our budget size.


To Apply: Candidates should submit a letter summarizing their background and interest in the position, along with a professional resume that supports his or her application. Application deadline is November 10, 2017.

Please send materials to:  

  • By mail
    • Attn: Mariko Perry, Search Coordinator c/o The Center for Art in Wood P.O. Box 60050 1500 JFK Blvd., Suite C31 Philadelphia, PA 19102-9997

Contact: Search Cooridnator Mariko Perry

E-Mail: [email protected]

From the blog

Sustainable vs Viable Nonprofits

Posted by Laura Otten, Ph.D., Director on 16 March 2018, 8:20 am

There is little doubt in my mind that the greatest challenge facing every nonprofit is not whether it is sustainable, but if it is viable.  Many nonprofits that aren’t viable have proven their ability to be sustainable—defined as the ability to be maintained at a certain level. Sustainability makes no judgment as to the quality of the level at which the organization is maintained, simply that the level is maintained, month after month, year after year.  Thus, we can easily describe an organization that regularly operates month-to-month, hoping each month it will still be able to make payroll, and then.

Read the full post.
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