City of El Paso, TX

Director of Museums and Cultural Arts

Location: El Paso, TX
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The City of El Paso, TX
The Director of Museums and Cultural Affairs

The Community
El Paso is a city on the move! Located in far west Texas and on the border with Mexico, El Paso is known for being a leader in international trade. The City is home to more than 672,000 people making it the 19th largest city in the United States. Together with its sister city, Ciudad Juarez, the area comprises the world's largest international metroplex, with a population of approximately 2.7 million making El Paso a thriving international city that plays a key role in world trade, manufacturing and distribution while serving as a regional center for health care, higher education and the cultural arts.

The City is not only a great place to work but to live as well. El Paso is America's Safest City. The weather with more than 300 days of sunshine a year is perfect for any outdoor lover. The City offers a variety of parks and recreation activities, outdoor music concerts and cultural events. If that's not enough, the City provides the perfect setting for rock climbing, hiking and biking at the Franklin Mountains State Park. El Paso also offers a diverse and rich culture that is clearly a reflection of its history and the great people that have called the City, "home".  El Paso is also home to Fort Bliss, the fastest-growing U.S. Army installation in the United States and a vital part of the City's economy.  Other pillars of El Paso's economy include the University of Texas at El Paso and the Medical Center of the Americas, which houses the only four-year medical school located on the U.S./Mexico border. 

The City of El Paso operates under a council-manager form of government. This system combines the political leadership of elected officials, in the form of nine Council Members, including the Mayor, with the strong managerial experience of an appointed local government manager. All power is concentrated in the elected council, which hires a professionally trained manager to carry out its directives and oversee the delivery of public services.

Museums and Cultural Affairs Department
Launched in 2005, The Museums and Cultural Affairs Department (MCAD) combines the expertise and resources of the previous Museums Department and the Arts & Cultural Department, and is designed to serve El Paso's citizens and visitors with opportunities to experience the region's unique artistic and cultural heritage.

The MCAD incorporates a diverse portfolio of programs, including:

  • Public Art Division

The public art program currently receives funds from capital funds set aside from the City's Capital Improvement Program.  Capital funding is used for public art projects, as outlined in the public art ordinance and policy, with the provision that 15 percent of those funds can be spent on the Program's administrative costs.  The current capital program for the City's Quality of Life Bonds and Street Infrastructure Bonds will generate approximate $13 million in public art capital funds over the course of those bond programs, which run through 2024.  Capital funding can only be used on permanent projects.  The public art program has completed 56 projects to date and currently has 19 projects in progress.

  • Cultural Program Division

Cultural Programs Division manages municipal investment in cultural sector via all arts allocation of Hotel Occupancy Tax (HOT), as allowed under Texas tax Code.  The division provides funding and support services for El Paso artists, cultural/heritage organizations and creative entrepreneurs while directly implementing large-scale programs and events for El Pasoans and visitors while managing a State-designated arts district.  Total Fiscal Year 2015 HOT annual allocation is $1,119,617. The Division's support and programs serve approximately 2.1 million El Pasoans and visitors. This Division also secures additional funding through both sponsorship solicitation and grant writing, typically managing $120,000 in State and Federal grants.

·         Heritage Division

The purpose of the Heritage Museums Division is to provide history, cultural and anthropological exhibitions, educational programming, collection stewardship and community-driven services to El Pasoans and visitors so they can discover and connect to the past, present and future experiences in the region and beyond. The Heritage Division includes El Paso Museum of History and El Paso Museum of Archaeology & Chihuahuan Desert Nature Trail & Indian Garden.

  • El Paso Museum of Art

The El Paso Museum of Art, nationally accredited and municipally owned and operated, carries a $3 million operating budget:  $1.4 million in General Funds and $700,000 in Restricted Funds managed by the director; the balance is absorbed into City budget for liaison services noted below and utilities and insurance. The Museum employs 30 full time staff.  Six community Advisory Councils and one Acquisitions Committee convene biannually or ad hoc for community vetting.  The Museum is admissions free and charges a $5.00 to $10.00 admission fee for non-Members to access featured touring exhibition programs.  Annually, the museum offers 200 free programs, twelve formalized education programs (lecture series, tours programs, book clubs, etc.), a studio art Museum School, a public non-circulating library, a retail store, and thirteen curated and touring exhibitions.  There are over 6,500 works in the permanent collection with a focus on the art of Mexico, Europe, and the United States.

The Position
The Director of Museums & Cultural Affairs serves at the pleasure of the City Manager, and directs citywide cultural activities in all aspects of the arts through an extensive set of programs, special projects, and policy-setting initiatives. With a staff of 61 and an annual budget of over $4 million, the Director oversees the planning and implementation of museum operations, art, music, performance, literature, and related cultural programs, confers with government agencies, community groups, and cultural organizations to coordinate activities and programs, participates in review and oversight of civic design, and manages the City's growing collection of public art.

Major Duties and Responsibilities

  • Implement the programs of a full-service municipal arts agency with an emphasis on art, culture and heritage that includes: Cultural Funding Programs, Management and Technical Assistance, Community Arts, Arts Education, Public Art, Cultural Tourism, Public Events, Arts in Economic Development and special initiatives. Also includes oversight of management and operations of city museums that focus on Art, History and Archaeology. Involves: oversight of management and development of cultural programs, fundraising solicitations and grants administration, acquisition negotiations, contracts, media relations, marketing, facilities operations and department services to general public.
  • Oversee fundraising solicitations and grants administration, acquisition negotiations, contracts, media relations, marketing, and department services to general public.
  • Promote cooperation and participation in art, culture and heritage programs, and city museums between City, institutions, citizens, agencies, and governmental entities.Involves: Publicize, coordinate and improve programs and services to deliver and increase marketing of quality programs. Ensure compliance with applicable museum accreditation standards and practices.
  • Explore joint marketing strategies with other entities to attract, retain and diversify audiences.Assess and identify community needs, opportunities and develop strategic initiatives.
  • Confer with staff, advisory boards, foundations, financial supporters and elected officials on acquisitions, preservation efforts and effectiveness assessments.
  • Promote, encourage and develop international cultural activities between El Paso and Juarez.
  • Network with Texas Commission of the Arts, National Endowment of the Arts and Humanities, and other local, state and nationwide art agencies and organizations to develop and exchange programs and activities.
  • Assist with programming and promotion of events in City-owned performing arts facilities.
  • Serve as liaison with other city departments, business community and other entities involved with economic development.
  • Collect, compile, and disseminate department activity information to the public.Involves:Promote the functions, programs, events and legislation related to the arts, culture and heritage, and museums.
  • Implement and maintain city advisory boards and foundations and make recommendations on art, culture and heritage programs and museum activities and resources consistent with the purpose of the department.Includes providing research, analysis and assistance in identifying funding resources.
  • Facilitate preparation of meetings and minutes and maintain public records of the boards.
  • Represent the art, culture and heritage community and City museums at professional conventions and community social events.Participate in or conduct seminars.
  • Oversee department administration.Involves: Prepare budgetary projections for resources to meet short and long term goals and objectives including personnel, facilities, capital improvement, programs and services.
  • Prepare annual budget recommendation with justifications based on projections and analysis. Coordinate inter-departmental activities and monitor collective performance. Maintain records and approve expenditures.
  • Develop and implement department policies, and procedure performance and measures to improve operational and program services.
  • Represent the City's interests to ensure contract compliance with artists, educators and consultants. Oversee operation and updating of collection documentation and required department record keeping such as payroll, employee files, purchase requisitions and other transactions.
  • Monitor and evaluate efficiency and effectiveness of service delivery methods and procedures.
  • Supervise professional, administrative, technical and clerical staff.Involves:Schedule, assign, instruct, guide and check work.Review operational and procedural activities.
  • Prioritize and coordinate departmental activities.Appraise employee performance and reviews evaluations by subordinates.Provide staff training and development.Enforce personnel rules, regulations, and work standards.Counsel, motivate and maintain harmony.As appointing authority, interview applicants and hire, terminate, transfer, discipline and assign merit pay or other employee status changes.
  • Clear, concise oral and written communication to prepare and present reports to City management, Mayor and Council advisory boards, civic and cultural organizations, prepare and submit grant proposals, prepare press releases, prepare and negotiate contracts and other management level reports.

Required Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

  • Knowledge in one or more of the core functions including Cultural Funding Programs, Management and Technical Assistance, Community Arts, Arts Education, Public Art, Cultural Tourism, Public Events, Arts in Economic Development and management and operations of Museums in addition to knowledge of arts and business administration practices and procedures.
  • Knowledge of planning, coordinating and contracting for fine arts, performing arts and museum events.
  • Knowledge of long and short term strategic planning methods and procedures.
  • Knowledge of budget development and control techniques.
  • Knowledge of fund development, including direct fundraising campaigns and grant writing.
  • Knowledge of planning, designing and preparing educational and promotional exhibits, events and activities.
  • Knowledge of arts and museum related agencies and their functions.
  • Knowledge of marketing, public relations and customer service practices and procedures.
  • Interpretation of applicable federal, state, and City laws, rules, regulations, related to art and museum programs, state and local labor and occupational safety and health rules and regulations.

Education and Experience
Qualified candidates should possess a Master's degree in arts administration, fine arts, business or public administration or a related field.  Qualified candidates will have a minimum of seven (7) years of progressively responsible professional experience in a municipal arts agency, arts administration or a related field, including three (3) years in a supervisory or managerial capacity.

The Ideal Candidate
The successful candidate should be a creative leader with the ability to energize, inspire, and motivate.  This person should have the presence to establish and maintain effective working relationships with coworkers, officials, contractors, granting agencies, contract artists and educators, foundations and the general public. A demonstrated ability to work successfully and respectfully with people from all cultural, ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds will be essential for the success of this position.

The ideal candidate should have a background in art, dance, music, entertainment, theater, or another creative venue combined with experience working in a vibrant urban environment.  Experience in museum project management/development is desired.

The ideal candidate should have strong interpersonal skills, exceptional organizational and administrative skills, a collaborative working style, and a demonstrated knowledge of and passion for the arts. Advanced written and oral communication skills will be imperative.

The City of El Paso is offering a competitive salary commensurate with experience and a comprehensive benefits package. Relocation assistance will be available for the successful out of area candidate.

How to Apply
Interested applicants should forward a cover letter and resume to:
Reference: MCAD

Affion Public
2120 Market Street
Suite 100
Camp Hill, PA 17011
Fax: 717-214-2205

*Deadline to receive resumes is November 07, 2014