The Morris Museum is seeking a President & CEO with vision and the ability to accelerate the exciting transformation developed recently by its Board of Trustees and departing President & CEO Cleveland Johnson, who will retire at the end of 2021. Utilizing its exhibitions, collection and performing arts programs, the Morris Museum is uniquely interpreting the past and discovering the future through art, sound and motion. Inspired by a recent gift of the Guinness Collection of Mechanical Musical Instruments and Automata, one of the finest collections of its kind in the world, the Museum has recently embarked on a revisioning that aims to integrate its fine and performing arts programs for a dynamic presentation of experiences. Unique among accredited museums, the proscenium stage in the 312-seat Bickford Theatre makes possible vibrant programing that includes indoor performances, films, lectures, along with seasonal outdoor concerts. This contemporary look at the world through the dynamic lens of art, sound and motion distinguishes the Morris Museum from other museums. The Museum’s proximity to New York City, the strength and diversity of its community, its rich history, and a vision and focus on multifaceted points of engagement offer the next President & CEO a unique opportunity to imagine, build, thrive and grow.
Overview of Qualifications and Job Responsibilities
The President & CEO is responsible for all operations of the Museum and is a full voting member of the Board of Trustees. This is a unique opportunity to advance the Museum by acting on the strategic plan and new vision to build financial stability, audiences and support. The complexity of the Museum’s offerings, including the mix of arts, science, history, performance and technology require a multidisciplinary thinker, comfortable leading across diverse, but mission-cohesive programs. The job requires a multi-tasker, visionary, friend-raiser and fundraiser, networker and champion of the Museum’s unique offerings and its opportunities to distinguish itself amidst a crowded field of arts offerings in the region. It is expected that a candidate will have experience managing a cultural institution with a record of achievement, an advanced degree, at least 5-years’ experience leading an institution or as head of a large department in a large institution. Fundraising, fiscal management, staff leadership, program development, project management, and building audiences are key indicators. Ability to implement the plan with effectiveness, efficiency, resourcefulness, and energy are essential. The Morris Museum is at a pivotal moment in its long history and the Board seeks a new leader able to realize the vision, seize the opportunity and build on past success. Key responsibilities include:
Qualifications, Knowledge, and Skills
Minimum 4-year college degree, graduate degree preferred.
5 years’ experience managing a cultural institution, museum, performing or cultural arts program or department within a larger institution.
Proven fundraising ability with evidence of monies raised, successful donor and sponsorship relations, major gifts, funded projects, grant writing and networking.
A record of accomplishments consistent with the strategic goals of the institution/s served.
Management experience including budgets, staff, facilities and programs.
Expertise in a field of the arts preferred and interdisciplinary experience or managing a multidiscipline facility and programs is a plus.
Excellent written and oral communication skills; able to translate ideas into actions.
Strategy, Leadership, and Administration
Act on the strategic, artistic and cultural vision to ensure the success of the Museum.
Lead all aspects of the Museum’s operations, programs, collections, and facilities adhering to AAM accreditation standards.
Develop and manage budgets, ensuring high-quality financial controls, forecasting and reporting.
Lead the effort to maintain, develop and expand new sources of revenue, sponsorship and funding.
Provide visionary, decisive leadership to staff in a supportive, mentoring, and team-centered work environment.
Work with staff to develop and present creative exhibition, performance and education programs that resonate with a diverse range of visitors.
Ensure effective utilization, care and development of the physical environment of the museum.
Develop and maintain positive Board relations encouraging engagement, participation, financial support, collaboration and networking.
Provide full transparency to the board in all areas of Museum functions including finances, operations, staff development and programming.
Support the board in its governance and networking roles.
Development and Fundraising
As chief spokesperson for the Museum and its chief fundraiser, actively lead fundraising efforts, and identify, cultivate and solicit donors.
Work with the Director of Development, create strategies and tactics to strengthen individual giving, grants and sponsorships to adequately fund programs.
Strengthen legacy and planned-giving to grow the endowment and ensure long-term financial stability.
Establish and maintain donor relations of the highest standards, built on trust, respect and positive relationships leading to lasting support.
Support the Development Department to create an effective annual and multiyear fundraising plan.
Exhibitions and Collections
Develop an inspiring program of exhibitions and collection presentations, working with the Director of Exhibitions and Collections/Chief Curator.
Ensure that exhibitions and collections programs adhere to the standards of an AAM-accredited museum.
Utilize the collection effectively as a resource to educate, inspire, and engage audiences.
Refine the collection through a thoughtful collection master plan building on strengths aligned with the vision for the Museum and its long-term collection goals.
Strengthen and build collector relations to achieve the collecting goals. Ensure an integrated brand with the Bickford Theatre programs, building on the art, sound, motion theme to grow overall audience engagement and support.
Ensure visionary programming that reflects the communities served and the mission and vision of the Museum, working with the Curatorial Director of Live Arts.
Ensure that the live performance programs of the museum adhere to high standards within the performing arts sector and that they span live performances, film, lectures and other engaging public programs.
Develop strategies and tactics to build new, diverse audiences through relevant programs for audiences of all ages and backgrounds.
Ensure an integrated brand with the Museum programs, building on the art, sound, motion theme to grow overall audience engagement and support.
Education, Programs and Events
Ensure an innovative and relevant education program for learners of all ages developed around the art, sound and motion theme and delivered to younger participants through the Spark!Lab, working with the Director of Education Programs.
Support staff to develop STEAM-based education programs and strategies to engage audiences and build participation across all sectors of the Museum experience.
Ensure proper assessment of education programs, outcomes and benchmarks
Partner with area colleges and universities to develop and expand internship and young audience engagement.
Public Relations and Marketing
Ensure an effective marketing plan implemented across all platforms, traditional and online, including website, Facebook, Instagram, Tik Tok, Linked In, etc., working with the Director of Marketing.
Serve as the chief spokesperson for the Museum maintaining positive community relations, networking, and engagement.
Promote a welcoming, diverse, and inclusive environment for all visitors and without prejudice.
Ensure effective public relations, marketing and media coverage including an effective and growing online and social media presence.
Play an active role in the life of the community and region, building relationships, creating networks to promote awareness of the Museum and its programs.
Encourage appropriate collaborations and partnerships that advance the mission.
Travel as necessary to develop, maintain and enhance relationships across all support sectors.
Additional Salary Information: Competitive salary commensurate with experience and other benefits. Applicants must be eligible to work in the United States.
Internal Number: Morris-Pres/CEO-21
About Morris Museum
The Morris Museum was founded in 1913 as a simple curio cabinet at the Morristown Neighborhood House. After several relocations and re-namings over the decades that followed, the Museum purchased the historic Peter H. B Frelinghuysen mansion, Twin Oaks, in 1964. Today this historic building is at the heart of the Museum’s operations. By 1970 building campaigns resulted in gallery expansions and the addition of the Bickford Theatre, offering 125 events per year. A 1990 expansion to the Museum complex resulted in its current 75,524-square-foot facility, 8 acres of grounds and a multi-level parking facility. The permanent collection of over 45,000 objects, includes diverse holdings of fine and decorative arts along with ethnological, geological and zoological materials and a growing collection of contemporary New Jersey artists displayed across multiple galleries including the 4,200-square-foot main exhibition hall. The Morris Museum is the State’s second largest based on exhibition square footage and is the only Smithsonian Affiliate in the State of New Jersey. Its newly opened Spark!Lab, a hands-on learning and making space, is only one of 10 such Smithsonian Partner learning spaces in the United States.