Smith Center for the Arts Executive Director

The Smith Center for the Arts in Geneva, NY seeks a visionary Executive Director to lead the Finger Lakes region’s premier arts organization. The Executive Director is responsible for consistent realization of the Smith Center for the Arts’ mission and financial goals. The Executive Director, in collaboration with staff and the Board of Directors, is responsible for strategic and financial planning, programming, development and donor relations, and marketing and communications. Additionally, the Executive Director works with staff to manage the day-to-day operations and facility needs of the Smith Opera House, the beautifully restored 120-year-old theatre that is the crown jewel of the Finger Lakes.

Geneva prides itself as being a “uniquely urban city”- a cross between a small town and a big city with an uncommon collection of assets: a rich textured history, a lakeshore setting, a vibrant downtown, a unique architectural heritage, strong institutional collaborations, and engaged and diverse citizens. Discover the many reasons Geneva is a great place to live, work and play at:

Specific responsibilities of the Executive Directorship include

Strategic and Financial Planning In collaboration with the Board of Directors, the Executive Director will:

  • Work to define and align the organization’s mission with the resources necessary to implement it sustainably.
  • Manage budgeting, annual financial performance, stewardship of assets, and capital planning.
  • Lead the organization to confidently achieve its short and long term goals.


The Executive Director, with the assistance of a volunteer programming committee, is responsible for curating programs offered by the Smith Center for the Arts in alignment with the mission, vision, and strategic plan. The Executive Director will:

  • Develop music, theatre, dance, and film programming from an artistic vision while meeting financial goals.
  • Demonstrate a strategy for audience development to include an understanding of regional and local draw and a balance for presenting marquee artists as well as community-based arts groups.
  • Gather input from all constituents, including but not limited to Geneva’s diverse community, members and patrons, and promoters who follow performance trends.
  • Seek new programming and revenue streams through creative use of the theatre.

Development and Donor Relations

Working with the Board of Directors, the Executive Director oversees the development and implementation of a comprehensive fundraising program. This includes, but is not limited to:

  • Directing a program of annual support focused especially on expanding the membership base.
  • Identifying and cultivating major donor prospects, as well as the stewardship of their gifts, and developing a program of planned giving.
  • Expanding outreach to foundations, corporations, and municipalities to generate additional revenue, sponsorship, and capital support.
  • Overseeing a robust program of year-round events designed to generate revenue.

Marketing and Communications

The Executive Director works with staff to effectively market and promote The Smith Center for the Arts and specific programs and special events. Responsibilities will include, but are not limited to:

  • Helping to raise the visibility of The Smith as a vibrant artistic gem of the Finger Lakes and Geneva and a flagship for the community.
  • Broadening all aspects of communications to create a strong brand for The Smith Center for the Arts through print and digital media. Ensuring programs and special events are effectively promoted through email marketing, website, advertising, news releases, social media, marquee, and other means.


A successful Executive Director for The Smith Center For The Arts will be:

  • Enthusiastic about the arts and their role in the growing and dynamic Finger Lakes region.
  • Excited to serve as a significant and publicly-involved member of Geneva and regional communities with a focused presence in downtown, non-profit and cultural areas.
  • A skilled communicator who is willing to be ‘the face’ of The Smith and present its mission to the staff, Board of Directors, community, and media outlets.
  • An energetic person open to new ideas, who brings creativity and innovation to the table.

Education and Experience

  • Bachelor’s degree required. Master’s Degree preferred, but not required in lieu of experience.
  • Demonstrable nonprofit management experience, ideally in or with interaction in the arts and cultural field.
  • An understanding of programming across an array of artistic disciplines and for a diverse audience.
  • Experience in annual fundraising and development activities, preferably including major prospect identification, special events, grant writing, and corporate giving.
  • Demonstrated experience in building a team of staff and volunteers to complement their own roles and strengths.
  • Strong budgeting, financial management, and analytic skills.
  • Excellent written/oral communication skills.
  • Computer literacy and competency with electronic donor tracking systems.

Interested applicants are encouraged to submit a cover letter, resume, and the names of three references with their contact information to:

Executive Director Search Committee
Smith Center for the Arts
82 Seneca Street Geneva, NY 14456

Review of applications will begin on November 1, 2016 and will continue until the position is filled.

The Smith Center for the Arts provides equal employment opportunities (EEO) to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, age, disability or genetics.