Ryman Arts transforms lives by creating access and opportunity for a diverse community of young artists through rigorous education in fundamental art skills and mentoring.

Ryman Arts is one of the nation’s top youth art programs, offering professional studio art instruction along with college and career guidance to artistic high school youth who are serious about a future in art—all at no cost to the student. Almost all graduates go on to college, many alumni work in creative industries, and all are poised for personal success. Since 1990, Ryman Arts has impacted over 38,000 students through its core program, outreach efforts, and community activities.  Ryman Arts has grown to serve approximately 550 students annually comprised of a vibrant community of culturally diverse teens from more than 190 zip codes across five counties in Southern California. To ensure that all students have access, Ryman Arts draws on its strong relationships with educators, community leaders, and high schools in low-income communities to connect with potential participants. Most participants live in low-income neighborhoods where schools provide little access to art and dropout rates are high. 

In addition to its renowned direct service to youth, Ryman Arts is the steward of its namesake’s legacy, artist Herbert D. Ryman and maintain a substantial collection of his work with the goal of making the collection accessible to scholars, students, and the public. The organization has an approximately $1.5M annual budget, all generated through fundraising, and has an endowment of approximately $3M.


Reporting to the Board of Directors, the Executive Director will provide leadership and strategy for the organization's programming and services to the community. With a $1.5 million annual budget, a staff of 8 full-time employees, and 11 part-time faculty members, Ryman Arts seeks a visionary leader with a deep belief in the transformative power of the arts.

The Executive Director's primary responsibilities include leading the organization’s strategy to achieve its mission, cultivating partnerships, driving program growth to reach more underserved youth, securing the necessary funding for Ryman Arts' continued success, and implementing a dynamic vision for the future. The ideal candidate will ensure the fiscal health and structural soundness of the organization, while focusing on diversification of funding, including corporate relationships, fundraising events, and increasing major donors.

The next Executive Director will have expertise in partnership building, a passion for art, and a commitment to youth development. The next Executive Director will also have the ability to expand secure funding that will be essential to ensure that Ryman Arts can continue to transform the lives of young artists and provide them with the tools they need to flourish in the world of art and creativity.


Organizational Leadership & Strategy

  • Manage all day-to-day operations of Ryman Arts, including planning, goal setting, fundraising, operations, programming, partnerships, advocacy, communications, and growth.
  • In partnership with Board of Directors, lead and implement a strategic plan that aligns Ryman Art’s with a long-term vision focused on growth, serving more students from diverse backgrounds, and addressing barriers to access from underserved communities.
  • Cultivate a work environment that recruits, retains and supports quality staff and faculty, focusing on morale and organizational culture.
  • In conjunction with the senior leadership team, assess community needs and analyze key program metrics to achieve program excellence.
  • Keep the Board fully informed on programming and fiscal sustainability, while identifying challenges, issues, and opportunities.
  • Cultivate Board member development and access additional networks for recruitment.

Financial Management & Fund Development

  • Work with the Board to establish a financial strategy that ensures sustainability, healthy cash flow and adequate reserves.
  • Create, monitor, evaluate and report on the annual budget and audit.
  • Utilize storytelling to engage new partners, donors, and community members in support of Ryman Arts.
  • Explore and implement a diversified funding strategy that includes grants, corporate partnerships, major donors, and innovative funding sources.

Community Engagement and Advocacy

  • Serve as chief spokesperson for Ryman Arts in the community, including media interactions and public events.
  • Enhance collaborations with educational institutions, art organizations, and creative partners to increase referrals and innovative alliances that benefit Ryman Arts and its students.
  • Initiate, develop and maintain cooperative relationships with a broad range of key constituencies, including alumni, staff, faculty, current students, volunteers, donors and partners.
  • Develop and execute innovative event strategies that not only serve as fundraising opportunities, but also foster a sense of community and engagement among stakeholders, donors, and supporters.
  • Maintain Ryman Arts as a thought partner and leader in the field of arts education.


  • Prior experience as an Executive Director, or member of the senior leadership team of a nonprofit arts or cultural organization or educational institution with an annual operating budget of $1 Million or more.
  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent executive leadership experience required.
  • A minimum of 8 years’ experience in progressively responsible roles within senior management positions.
  • Demonstrated experience in the arts, whether professional or personal.
  • Demonstrated fundraising success with major donors, private foundations and institutional partnerships.
  • Demonstrated experience with community engagement, especially in regard to creating and implementing strategic outreach, marketing, and social media.
  • Demonstrated belief in and a commitment to continued professional growth and development of employees and the Board of Directors.
  • Experience leading programs based upon core values that are consistent with justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion.
  • Ability to lead groups and collaborate with diverse groups of people with a wide range of faiths, beliefs, ages, cultures, and experiences.
  • An entrepreneurial mindset with a proven track record leading a strategic planning process, resulting in improved efficiency, program expansion, effectiveness, and sustainability.
  • A deep belief and passion for the transformative power of the arts.


The salary range is $130k - $160k. Benefits for full time employees include employer paid health insurance, paid vacation and personal days, paid sick leave, 11 paid holidays, eligibility for Flexible Spending Accounts, and employer matching contributions to a 403b retirement plan. Ryman Arts supports a hybrid work environment.

Ryman Arts is an Equal Opportunity Employer and encourages applications from qualified individuals regardless of race, religion, national origin, sexual orientation or different ability.

Envision Consulting was retained by the Ryman Arts to conduct the search for their incoming Executive Director.

Applicants needing accommodation for any part of the application process may contact Envision Consulting at 626.889.7905 to request and arrange for assistance.

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