More than a century ago Mary Chase Perry Stratton founded
Detroit’s Pewabic, actively pushing the boundaries of ceramic practice
through exploration, experimentation and the development of
ground-breaking techniques. Today, Pewabic is a center for the
promotion and development of contemporary ceramics and the living
repository of a rich tradition that continues to influence artists and
collectors. Like the city of Detroit, Pewabic is writing a new chapter
in its history, firmly establishing itself as a leader among Detroit’s
Located in a 1907 Tudor Revival building – a National Historic
Landmark – Pewabic is one of the few working potteries in the country
dating back to the Arts and Crafts movement which flourished in Detroit
as a counterpoint to assembly-line industrialization. Arts and Crafts
proponents emphasized the importance of art, design and handicraft in
everyday objects made for everyday use. In a world struggling to
accommodate the rapid fire changes of technology, Pewabic is rooted
firmly in clay and looking ahead to a new vision of contemporary ceramic
craft that embraces change through a timeless medium.
Pewabic is a multi-faceted, non-profit organization. It maintains a
thriving retail and design operation and supports the work of more than
100 ceramic artists throughout the region and extends Pewabic’s craft
around the world. Pewabic pottery and tile designs are manufactured
on-site. Pewabic operates a museum honoring its role in the development
of ceramics and cares for a growing collection of Pewabic pottery that
illustrates its history. The pottery provides ceramic art education to
children and adults throughout the Detroit metropolitan area. Pewabic is
an active partner in the changing look and culture of its east-side
Detroit neighborhood, and a critical player in the revitalization of
Detroit promoted by arts and culture organizations.
The organization operates with an annual budget of $2,850,000.00. It
has a full and part-time staff of 45 and a 23 member Board of
CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES
- Building on an established brand and reputation, enhance Pewabic’s
position as a leader in ceramic arts regionally and nationally.
- Review, assess and propose innovative programs in alignment with mission and vision.
- Strengthen Pewabic’s finances by enhancing endowment, cultivating
and engaging individual, corporate and foundation donors, optimizing
retail sales and design commissions and integrating sound business
practices throughout the organization.
- Actively engage with local arts initiatives, collaborate with other
educational and cultural organizations and promote and expand Pewabic’s
work by engaging the community in meaningful and innovative way.
- Support and build a dynamic, team focused organization that encourages creativity, productivity and excellence.
- Develop the physical campus.
POSITION AND RESPONSIBILITIES
The Executive Director reports to the Board of Trustees and is
responsible for the organization’s consistent achievement of its mission
and strategic objectives. As the primary public representative of
Pewabic, the Executive Director works as a partner with the Board to
ensure that the organization remains mission centered, programmatically
exciting and fiscally viable.
- Assure that the organization has a long-range strategy that achieves
its mission with consistent, timely and measurable progress.
- Develop strategies and lead initiatives to grow fundraising, retail and design development.
- Lead staff in the development of organizational and financial plans
and execute those plans and policies with the support and approval of
- Promote active participation by the Board and volunteers in support of the organization’s work.
- Maintain official records and documents, and ensure compliance with federal, state and local regulations.
- Oversee the maintenance of the facility and work to expand the
physical plant to increase manufacturing and programmatic capacity.
Community Outreach and Programming
- Guide staff in the development and implementation of creative,
interesting and dynamic programs and activities to engage the greater
community in ceramic opportunities and experiences.
- Oversee educational and exhibition programming and the historical collections.
- Manage the growth of the Pewabic brand and future development of Pewabic designs and fabrication.
- Ensure appropriate financial and legal practices are utilized and maintained.
- With staff, develop long-range financial projections, prepare the
annual operating budget and manage the organization within budget
guidelines and funding.
- Execute legal documents and correspondence on behalf of the organization.
- Act as primary spokesperson for Pewabic.
- Establish proactive working relationships with area arts
organizations, volunteers, community groups and organizations and the
- Actively foster and support internal communication, ensuring that
the entire staff is working to achieve Pewabic’s mission and vision.
- Keep the Board informed of the overall condition of the organization
and all the important factors influencing it, such as finances, human
resources, operations and programs.
Organizational Development and Human Resources
- Strengthen all aspects of human resources including policy and practices.
- Encourage staff and volunteer development and education.
- Ensure compliance with health and safety regulations.
The new Executive Director must be a person of vision able to inspire
and excite a committed board, dedicated staff and extensive community
of ceramic artists, designers, collectors, students, faculty,
administrators, as well as residents of and visitors to Detroit. Success
will require prior experience in the arts or a related field and
appreciation of ceramic art throughout history to the present in
addition to proven management skills. Most importantly, the successful
candidate will possess exemplary personal and leadership qualities and
will be eager to be part of an extraordinary organization dedicated to
the ceramic arts.
Specific qualifications include:
- BA in a related field; advanced degree in arts administration or an MPA or MBA;
- Proven track record as a leader with 5 to 7 years in a management position, preferably in an arts organization;
- Artistic vision with a passion for ceramics;
- Fund development experience;
- Demonstrated ability to coach, lead, and manage a diverse, creative
team of artists, designers, third party contractors, retailers,
fundraisers and administrators;
- Skill as an administrator familiar with setting and achieving
objectives and managing projects; experience with manufacturing and/or
retail a plus;
- Excellent writing and speaking skills as well as excellent interpersonal and listening skills;
- Personal warmth, charm, sensitivity, compassion and a good sense of humor greatly appreciated.
PROCEDURE FOR APPLICATION
Applicants should submit a resume, a one-page narrative describing
interest and experience, and the names of three references. Applications
will be reviewed by Management Consultants for the Arts, the executive
search firm working with the Board of Trustees of Pewabic. Suggestions
of candidates are also welcome.
Send resume and accompanying materials via email to:
Linda Sweet, Partner
Email: Christy Wall at MCAWall2@gmail.com
Subject Line: Pewabic