Executive Director

Mind-Builders Creative Arts Center




General Management / Strategic Planning


NY - New York metropolitan area

About the Organization

Since 1978, Mind-Builders Creative Arts Center has brought together the best of arts education, youth development, and community engagement. Mind-Builders provides high-quality arts instruction to over 700 students and families and reaches audiences of over 7,000 individuals each year. Professional teaching artists lead 200 group and private classes across: dance, music, theater, visual arts, folk culture research, martial arts, and fitness instruction. In addition to arts instruction, Mind-Builders also runs a zero-cost Pre-K program and offers subsidized studio rentals, at their brightly, newly renovated facility, to the broader community.

Integral to the Mind-Builders mission is to serve as a resource to the vibrant and culturally diverse community of the Bronx and, through our programs, address the systemic and critical quality of life issues that remain prevalent. We believe that the practice and mastery of an artistic skill can help children succeed in school and in life. A nurturing, challenging, and exciting learning environment is not only transformative but it helps children realize the power, beauty, history, and limitless capacity that they possess. As such, Mind-Builders is committed to ensuring that our programs are accessible to all, offering free, subsidized, and low-cost tuition classes, with no child ever being turned away because of an inability to pay.

Our mission is to develop skills in a variety of art forms for children, teens, and adults while nurturing self-esteem, building character, and cultivating an appreciation of the diverse cultures through high-quality arts and education programs. On the wall upon entry is a quote by Archbishop Desmond Tutu that greets all who enter, and perfectly sums up our ethos: "One day we will wake up and discover we are family."

Take a closer look at the work we do by visiting us at: https://www.mind-builders.org/about-us/

About the Position

Mind-Builders is looking for a collaborative, inspiring, and hands-on enterprising Executive Director (ED) committed to supporting young people realize their power, potential, talent, and history. The ED will serve as Mind-Builder's chief executive, leading fundraiser, and motivational champion. The ED will also oversee the organization's strategic direction and impact as it seeks to continue serving the community, refining and improving its programmatic offerings, and diversifying its $3M operating budget.

The ED, with a full-time Executive Assistant, will report to the Board of Directors and will oversee a team of 52 full-time and part-time staff with 8 direct reports, including: 2 full-time Assistant Executive Directors, 2 full-time Program Directors, and 4 part-time Program Directors. Additionally, a contingency of family and community volunteers help support the work of Mind-Builders.

This is a unique opportunity for a mission-driven, dynamic leader, with a deep appreciation and knowledge of the culture and art forms inspired by the rich history of the African-American/Black, Caribbean, Latinx and related African diaspora. A commitment for empowering young people to express themselves, realize their full potential, and live dynamic and rewarding lives is an absolute must!

Responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

Strategic Vision Setting

  • Uphold Mind-Builders mission and vision, provide inspiring direction for Mind-Builders future, and work with the Board and staff to develop, implement, and refine the organization's strategic priorities ensuring alignment to its core values and artistic direction
  • Continue to evolve Mind-Builders programmatic offerings and organizational strategy, overseeing the execution and evolution of Mind-Builders core programs and setting clear and consistent performance metrics
  • Think big about Mind-Builders and how its high-impact and high-quality suite of programs can have expanded and deepened impact for its students, families, and the broader community to support the overarching vision of creating a world where children can explore and expand their sense of self through the arts

Organizational Leadership

  • Promote and model an inclusive, equitable, and welcoming culture that embodies Mind-Builders values of: access, artistry and discipline, professionalism, community, heritage and belonging, trust and accountability, and lasting impact
  • Manage all day-to-day operations (including effectively managing the budget, contractual obligations, and all internal operations) and staff, with ultimate accountability for the success of the organization
  • Ensure staff has clearly defined roles and goals, and access to the information and resources necessary to achieve their goals; hold team members accountable for achieving ambitious goals
  • Coach and mentor a high-performing team, hire and retain a team committed to Mind-Builders work, and ensure that they have opportunities for growth and development

Community Engagement & Fundraising

  • Steward existing relationships with all Mind-Builders stakeholders, champions, and collaborators by maintaining an ongoing presence and active involvement in the Bronx community and beyond
  • Maintain existing relationships and cultivate new relationships with members of the community, consistently welcome new groups and individuals to the Mind-Builders network in an effort to advance the organization's mission, vision, and goals
  • Design and implement a fundraising strategy for raising annual operating income, developing support for new strategic initiatives, and diversifying the organization's revenue streams
  • Develop and manage key philanthropic relationships to support current and future program initiatives
  • Work with the Board to serve as a key external face of the organization, enhancing the visibility, and bringing awareness to the critical work Mind-Builders does to media agencies, government officials, and other stakeholders

Candidate Requirements:

  • Passion for Mind-Builders vision, mission, and programming, with a demonstrated ability to effectively run community-based programs; brings deep cultural competency in regard to issues of race and socio economic disenfranchisement
  • Demonstrated ability to develop and lead a fundraising strategy with a track record of attracting and growing philanthropic support from varied partners, including: government, foundations, corporations, and individuals
  • Excellent, persuasive, and effective communication skills with the ability to serve as the lead spokesperson and ambassador to build awareness and increased visibility of the work and impact of Mind-Builders
  • Strong people and team management skills, with demonstrated ability running a similarly-sized organization or program vertical and managing a diverse staff; balances an inclusive and emotionally intelligent leadership style that engenders trust, provides clear and consistent direction, and fosters accountability
  • Proactive team leader who can strengthen both strategic and tactical initiatives, is comfortable operating in a lean environment and is a highly responsive, detail-oriented problem solver
  • 10 plus years of experience with at least 5 years of programmatic or executive leadership experience ideally in education, arts education, youth development or a related field; experience at a community-based organization is preferred
  • Knowledge, appreciation, and understanding of the African and Black diasporic arts and culture is a must
  • Brings a passion for empowering historically marginalized young people, families, and communities
  • An undergraduate degree and a graduate degree is preferred but not required

Compensation and benefits:

Location: Mind-Builders is based in the Northeast Bronx, highly accessible to public transportation, with the option to leverage remote work days up to two days per week. In order to monitor Center activities and be available to meet families and students, this position requires work on occasional evenings and Saturdays.

Compensation and Benefits: The salary range for this position is $145K - $165K+ annually with the exact salary depending on experience. Competitive benefits include health insurance with generous company contribution, dental insurance, 401K contribution, three weeks paid vacation plus an August company closure week, 12 paid holidays, four personal days, and paid sick leave. In addition Mind-Builders provides technology equipment (phone and laptop) and a 30% discount on classes for immediate family.

Mind-Builders employees may elect to begin health insurance benefits on the first day of the month after completing 2 months of employment. Further Mind-Builders employees have the opportunity to participate in a company-sponsored retirement plan after one year or a minimum of 1000 hours worked.

Mind-Builders is an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will be considered for employment without unlawful discrimination based on race, ethnicity, color, creed, national origin, gender, age, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, military status, prior record of arrest or conviction, or current employment status. Because of the communities we serve, we especially encourage people from African Diasporic culture to apply for this position.

Like Mind-Builders, On-Ramps is deeply committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion. We believe social change happens when people with a wide range of backgrounds, experiences, and identities come together with a common purpose. We're partnering with the team at Mind-Builders to build a diverse team that reflects their mission of inspiring the growth of youth, families, and the community through quality arts and education programs. We encourage candidates from all backgrounds to apply.

On-Ramps is committed to the inclusion of all qualified individuals in the hiring process, including but not limited to those with disabilities. If you require reasonable accommodation(s) to participate in the application or interview process, please contact info@on-ramps.com.