Executive Director


Executive Director

Franconia Sculpture Park



Full time position located in Shafer, Minnesota, 50 miles from the Twin Cities Metro Area


Now in its 23rd year, our beloved arts organization finds itself on an exciting journey of transition and opportunity. For the first time since its founding, Franconia Sculpture Park seeks a new transformative leader for our organization.


Overview of Franconia

Our History

Founded in 1996 by a group of visionary artists, Franconia Sculpture Park is a place where artists can be stimulated, challenged, and rewarded through the development and creation of sculpture within a supportive community. This founding vision continues to permeate the organization today, and has contributed to supporting nearly 1,000 national and international artists since 1996. This year, Franconia will provide fellowships and internships to more than 40 emerging and mid-career visual artists at our 43-acre sculpture park in the scenic St. Croix River valley. In total, Franconia hosts over 150,000 annual visitors with free daily access to explore 120+ outdoor sculptures.


In addition, Franconia is completing a capital project. The Visitors’ Information and Education Center is a 6,000 square foot facility with a multi-functional space for meetings, classes and workshops, lectures, performances, special events, and gatherings. The facility will become a visitor’s first stop when coming to the park, and will include a reception area, classroom space, curatorial space, a full kitchen, accessible public restrooms, and administrative offices.


Our Mission

To provide physically and intellectually wide-open spaces where all are inspired to participate in the creative process.


Our Vision

We envision a place unlike any other: where artists may get fresh perspectives on their work during informal conversation; where a visitor may learn the context for an artwork directly from its creator; and where there are numerous opportunities for these kinds of spontaneous connections to happen in an inclusive, equitable and wide-open environment. The spark of these connections fosters deep engagement in our programs by artists and audiences alike - and adds to the vibrancy and quality of life of surrounding communities. Interactions among artist, artwork, and audience transform into a greater awareness of the world we live in, build an understanding for diverse perspectives, and inspire creativity.


Our Work

Franconia Sculpture Park is a leading American arts organizationdevoted to the creation and exhibition of sculpture in a singular location where artists can live, work, and exhibit their artwork. Through the residency experience, Franconia nurtures a global community of artists who benefit from peer-sharing and learning, which in turn creates opportunities to engage the public with diverse, high quality artwork and programs.


Franconia supports sculptors and sculpture in the broadest definition of the art form and provides artists with a safe place to create without limitations. This environment supports resident artists in challenging artistic boundaries, personal limitations, and societal restrictions. Franconia is an open-air sculpture laboratory where artists are encouraged to experiment, take risks, and learn from challenges.


At Franconia, artists from varied cultural and ethnic backgrounds and artistic visions work side by side which fosters multi-cultural collaboration and learning among artists. The residency component at Franconia facilitates professional networks that spark future projects, collaborations, and academic opportunities.


Adding to the synergy and innovation at Franconia is its rural setting in close proximity to the Minneapolis/St. Paul area, which bridges the gap between urban and rural artists in a setting without the physical limitations of a studio environment. This freedom to create in an expansive outdoor space offers artists the rare chance to work in any scale they desire, engage with the public while creating art, and learn from other artists from around the world.


About You

You are passionatearts visionarywith a demonstrated track record to lead an organization with steady guidance through transformative change and growth. You have the ultimate responsibility for the smooth operation, the creative programming, the financial success and the overall strategic mission of the organization. Wide-open future possibilities in the art world excite you. You envision a plan to move Franconia from a seasonal arts outdoor laboratory into a year-round artistic community with the completion of the new Visitors’ and Education Center.


You are an inclusive leaderwho is fully committed to creating and maintaining a welcoming culture of equity that provides opportunities for artists without regard for gender, race, sexual preference, color, religion, sexual orientation, national origin, disability, or protected status. You are driven to reach out to artists from marginalized communities and you work to create opportunities for them to take advantage of Franconia’s resources and creative community.


You must be able to build community, cultivate support, and strengthen the financial abilitiesof the organization to fund the mission through traditional and creative methods. You are an experienced leader with solid project management abilities.  You are an inspiring leader, comfortable with leading a staff of arts professionals in a collaborative manner. You are savvy enough to understand that arts organizations need both creative expression and operational excellence to succeed. You are an inspiring and inclusive leader and mentor.


You are the unceasingly positive brand ambassador for 3-D art in multiple expressions. You will strengthen and deepen the programming that built our success and you will be a creative innovator who strengthens and expands opportunities for artists, art lovers, and art neophytes. You are adept and comfortable at sharing our mission and making the case for support of Franconia’s mission with potential funders, constituents and partners.  You are not afraid to ask for large gifts in support of the organization.


You are a collaborator.  You are comfortable sharing Franconia’s resources with employees, artists, visitors, other arts organizations and neighbors.  You see Franconia as a valued member of the nearby St Croix Valley and Twin Cities arts communities.  You seek opportunities for partnerships that leverage Franconia’s mission and provide increased visibility and synergy for both Franconia and its partners.



If you see yourself in this description of our next leader, we invite you to learn more by reviewing the following pages.

Skills & Qualifications: 


Reporting to the Board of Directors, the Executive Director (ED) has overall artistic, strategic and operational responsibility for Franconia Sculpture Park’s organizational structure, programs, financials, and execution of its mission. 


The ED is an ex-officio member of the BOD and of the Executive Committee, and is responsible, in coordination with the Board Chair, for ensuring proper governance practices, board management and recruiting.



  • Baccalaureate degree (Master’s preferred) or equivalent experience in nonprofit arts management, business, accounting, management or similar subject area.
    Five to seven years of increasingly sophisticated leadership in a visual art non-profit organization, community-based organization or other arts or nonprofit organization. Curatorial experience or sculpture park work is desirable.
  • Positive experience and confidence leading an organization, managing staff, managing through change, managing complex operations, and working with a Board of Directors.
  • Demonstrated success in fundraising, revenue growth, and grant writing
  • Exceptional public and interpersonal communication skills
    Demonstrated skills in financial analysis, budgeting, bookkeeping, and fiscal management.
  • Experience with constituent/donor management database systems.
    Demonstrated ability in interpersonal relationships and management; ability to work independently and in collaboration with a team.
    Excellent written, verbal, interpersonal and public communication skills.
    Personal qualities of integrity, credibility, and dedication to the mission and values of Franconia Sculpture Park.




Strategic Leadership, Artistic Visioning, and Mission Execution

  • Develop and cultivate world-class creative vision, artistic mentorship, arts management and arts programming.
    Engage with the Board of Directors and Franconia Stakeholders to create and implement the strategic plan to meet the organizational mission and vision.
  • Collaborate with the Program Director to regular review with vital constituents all programs and activities to ensure quality, relevance, mission alignment, and effectiveness.
  • Commit to and comply with all applicable laws and regulations across the organization.
    Develop positive relationships with key stakeholders, including donors, artists, and government and corporate entities.
    Proactively address challenges in the internal and external environment to protect organizational interests.
    Oversee the maintenance and compliance of Board of Directors records, Board Policy Book, communications, meeting agendas, minutes, and program reports.
    Lead organization-wide management activities including communication, policy development, strategic planning, and staff interactions with the Board of Directors


Fundraising & Development  

  • Serve as the face of the organization to all major donors, both institutional and individual.  Cultivate relationships with significant individuals and serve as the primary solicitor.
  • Research and develop new earned and contributed revenue opportunities for funding operations and programs.
  • Supervise the Development Director in his or her grant writing and submissions and in the management of the grant calendar.  Together, develop a plan for individual donations that cultivates and maintains donor relationships.
  • Supervise the Development Director in the maintenance of regular reports on development activities and maintain funding files.
  • Together with the Development Director, manage fundraising campaigns and ensure accuracy and maintenance of the donor database in Salesforce.
  • Oversee fundraising events and collaborate on annual direct mail fundraising campaigns.
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of fundraising campaigns.

Marketing, Publicity and Community Outreach 

  • Collaborate with the Marketing & Communications Director to develop an effective and timely marketing/publicity program including measurement of marketing ROI.
  • Oversee direction and creation for marketing and publicity activities, including social media strategy, news releases, invitations, brochures and other promotional materials.
  • Represent the organization at community events and meetings as appropriate.
  • Foster relationships with local, state and federal government agencies and representatives while ensuring organizational compliance.
  • Plan, execute and evaluate, in conjunction with staff and board, special park events.


Financials /Risk Management   

  • Own the accounting process.  Hire, train and oversee the performance of all accounting functions – AR, AP, PR, and cash account management utilizing GAAP.
  • Perform or direct the performance of monthly, quarterly and annual financial reporting and provide analysis and recommendations to management.
  • Develop and implement the annual operating budget and all unit budgets.
  • Direct control of budget, including disbursement, accounting and auditing of all funds.
  • Work closely with Board and management to provide financial reporting and leadership around budget analysis.
  • Oversee the operations of budget entries and reports and monthly bank reconciliations and cash maintenance.  Maintain operating process and procedures for tracking restricted funds.
  • Coordinate and prepare, with Bookkeeper, for YE Audit and other work with Auditors
  • Maintain or direct the maintenance of Insurance binders and policies, Property binders, property tax exempts and assets.
  • Maintain, or direct the maintenance of, the physical and virtual filing systems.
  • File timely and accurate corporate documents and tax returns.


HR/Personnel Management

  • Create a culture of transparency and effective communication throughout the organization.
  • Recruit and develop a team of senior leaders to manager critical business functions.
  • Lead, mentor and motivate personnel.
  • Provide organization-wide leadership and analysis of all personnel policies and practices, ensuring compliance with regulations and best practices.
  • Maintain or direct the maintenance of all employee benefits, including providing analysis, exploring options and providing recommendations on cost and effectiveness.
  • Ensure compliance with Department of labor reporting, Workman’s Compensation Operations, and IRS reporting and files.
  • Review and regularly revise Employee Handbook, training manuals, and other personnel documents.


Park Operations

  • Oversee the artistic mentorship and development of annual resident artists.
  • Provide leadership, analysis, recommendations and management of the Information/Computing Technology, Tele-Communications, and Audio / Visual infrastructure, ensuring all business needs are met with cost-effective solutions.
  • Supervise and direct the maintenance, repair, and improvement of all Park facilities, buildings, machinery and equipment to assure effective accomplishment of the Park’s mission.
  • Develop processes and procedures to ensure the safety of all staff, volunteers, visitors or stakeholders for the development, building and installation of Art works and during visits to the Park.




This is to affirm Franconia Sculpture Park policy of providing Equal Opportunity to all employees and applicants for employment in accordance with all applicable Equal Employment Opportunity/Affirmative Action laws, directive and regulations of Federal, State and Local governing bodies or agencies.  All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, disability, or protected status.

To Apply: 

To apply, please email the following to edsearch@franconia.org:

  • Resume
  • One page narrative describing your unique qualifications
  • Three references

Deadline to apply is March 1, 2019.

Contact Information
Contact Name: 
Dorothy Goldie
Contact Email: