Co-Executive Director: Culture Works Greater Philadelphia

CultureWorks Greater Philadelphia (“CultureWorks”) seeks a strategic and equity focused leader experienced in facilitating growth and change in an organization undergoing transition to serve as Co-Executive Director – External Relations and Organizational Strategy. This is a new role that reflects an evolution in organizational structure for CultureWorks. This posting is for the first position, with the second Co-Executive Director – Operations and Internal Culture to be hired in mid- to late 2024. In partnership with the organization’s staff and board, the inaugural Co-Executive Director will lead a review of the organization’s strategy, implementation of any shifts in approach, and fostering a healthy and supportive internal culture.  Candidates must be committed to CultureWorks values of empathy, equity, creativity, boldness and sharing.

The Co-Executive Directors will report to the Board and represent the mission and vision of CultureWorks to the community at large, including funders, the government, the corporate sector, the many individuals and organizations that flourish as part of their member community as well as other key community partners. The Co-Executive Directors will work closely with the Board and the senior management team to develop and maintain a high level of quality and strategic vision regarding services, programs, policies and systems for CultureWorks and its sister entity, CultureTrust Greater Philadelphia (“CultureTrust”) (fiscal sponsorship arm) and to continue the organizational change process that is currently underway. The Co-Executive Directors will exercise executive powers for CultureWorks and CultureTrust.

About CultureWorks

CultureWorks was organized in 2010 as a management commons for the arts, heritage, and creative communities — a platform of space, human capital and services to help artists not only survive, but flourish. Between their fiscally sponsored projects and space members, CultureWorks provides equitable access to management resources for both individuals and organizations, the makers and preservers of culture. The commons is inspired by a means of community based economic and social support practiced within a vast variety of cultures, regions and time periods: The sharing of resources and harnessing of collective power.

CultureWorks currently serves 150 members, provides fiscal sponsorship to 88 organizations and has an operating budget of $1,100,000.

A Board of directors, composed of external and CultureWorks members, works closely with the staff. In a step towards adopting an organizational model that supports distributed power and decision-making, the Board recently moved to a Co-President model, with seats designated for a member organization and an external board member.

About The Co-Executive Director Positions

This initial Co-Executive Director position will hold the strategic, relational and creative responsibilities, as described below.  The second Co-Executive Director will have responsibility for the organization’s operational functions and internal culture.

This new, shared leadership structure aligns with the collectivist orientation and community-grounded ethos of CultureWorks. In addition to resonating with the organization’s core values, an executive leadership structure that distributes power and responsibilities among two people acknowledges the complexities of the organization and recognizes that no one person is likely to embody all the traits and areas of expertise required to optimize the organization’s operational, strategic, relational and mission-based functions. Splitting day-to-day operational responsibilities from strategic responsibilities also will help provide checks and balances internally, increase staff capacity and ensure there is accountability to the very specific needs to be met in this moment of organizational transition.

Co-leadership recognizes that sole leadership can create undue burdens for the leader and can foster an environment that is over-reliant on the perspectives and control of a single individual. By sharing decision-making responsibility, co-leaders have the opportunity to co-create, model power sharing and develop a process where strategy and decisions are made based on multiple perspectives. CultureWorks is committed to adopting this model and acknowledges it will take time to develop and implement and will require ongoing support for the new hires.

The creation of the Co-Executive Director roles is part of a larger internal conversation about reimagining the existing staffing structure. As an organization dedicated to changing systems, CultureWorks believes it is essential that they recognize the strengths of their staff, providing them with agency over their work, engaging them in decision making, and honoring their role as thought leaders and as holders and co-creators of institutional memory. This will represent a deepening of an existing commitment to nurturing a culture of learning, transparency and respectful exchange of varying viewpoints.

Primary Responsibilities

In addition to the ongoing responsibilities of this position identified below, it is anticipated that the Co-Executive Director will initially be primarily focused on:

  • identifying and implementing (in collaboration with the board) paths for strengthening the organization in the areas of Member and Affiliate Services, Revenue, and Leadership and Governance, to include:
    • developing, strengthening and diversifying the board, by:
      • updating and revising bylaws as needed.
      • assessing gaps in board skills and demographics.
      • identifying diverse, skilled and passionate board candidates as well as advisory board, working groups and other ad hoc groups members as needed.
    • Developing and implementing a fundraising plan to generate new sources of contributed revenue for CultureWork and member projects.
    • Providing executive leadership and oversight, including:
      • Collaborating with staff on overall program/service development and delivery to meet organizational standards of transparency, equity, accountability and quality.
      • Working with staff to develop a comprehensive and realistic organizational budget for Board approval.
      • Engaging with the program services team to further refine the fiscal sponsorship program and policies, with an ability to report on impact and outcomes.
    • Identifying and implementing alternative leadership models and staffing structures, such as team-based operations and collaborative/equity-based leadership.
    • Leading a strategic visioning process with the Board and staff that builds on CultureWorks’ existing model and strengths but provides opportunity for growth and evolution in services, structure and engagement with the community. Creating a roadmap for realizing the strategic vision and checkpoints for reflection and iteration to allow for adjustments based on learning and changes in the nonprofit, arts and funding environment.
    • Planning for the hiring of a Co-Executive Director. Implementing retention strategies for existing staff and leading the hiring and onboarding of staff as needed.

Ongoing responsibilities include:

  • Board relations and development:
    • Acting as a liaison between the Board and staff to ensure clear communications.
    • Maintaining a strong relationship with an active, working Board.
    • Partnering with the Board to support the Board’s governance, advocacy, resource development and strategic planning responsibilities.
    • Assisting the Board in maintaining a robust, diverse, pipeline of potential board candidates.
  • Co-lead fundraising efforts with the Co-Executive Director – Operations and Internal Culture so that each holds responsibilities for fundraising in their relevant spheres of responsibility.
  • Maintain and cultivate strong relationships with all CultureWorks stakeholders, including members, funders and affiliated institutions.
  • Facilitate membership development and engagement by:
    • Identifying and cultivating potential members.
    • Developing relationships with and identifying potential opportunities/partnerships for member projects.
    • Acting as a resource for project directors of fiscally sponsored projects seeking advanced support and guidance.
    • Developing practices to invite and weigh feedback from members on program impact and potential program evolution.
    • Staying abreast of trends and emerging practices in art making, cultural practice and management. Creating opportunities to explore and adopt new ideas that advance the organization’s mission.
    • Assisting marketing/communications consultants with marketing campaigns and overall organizational messaging.
  • Assist the community operations team with ongoing regular communications to project directors, etc.
  • Partner in the planning of organizational events (networking, professional development, etc.).
  • Engage with the community to stay abreast of needs to inform program planning, membership offerings and organization evolution
  • In the period until the Co-Executive Director – Operations and Internal Culture is hired, manage operational and staffing functions including:
    • Partner with Senior Finance Director and Senior Director of Fiscal Sponsorship & Community and provides general leadership for the entire staff (including specialty contractors and consultants)
    • Support the Senior Finance Director on the audit process.
    • Manage and approve contracts, payables, and staff PTO, reimbursement and wellbeing allowance requests.

Key Competencies

CultureWorks seeks a candidate that is:

  • A dynamic manager with demonstrated success in leading across key areas of organizational focus (i.e. programs, strategy, human resources, finances, fundraising and systems/infrastructure).
  • A strategic thinker with a critical eye who is good at making decisions with an understanding of how they impact the big picture (and impact two distinct, but interrelated organizations – CultureWorks and CultureTrust).
  • an open minded learner who is informed about, and deeply interested in, art making, cultural practice and management from others across the sector and the ability to see opportunities where others may not.
  • A networking powerhouse with knowledge of the arts & culture sector, artists, and creatives and/or a related community-based sector in Philadelphia, as well as regional funders and other stakeholders. Has a demonstrated ability to build and maintain organizational relationships with external stakeholders and funder.,
  • A team builder with strong interpersonal and communication skills and a collaborative work ethic. Has experience working with and helping to further develop a (currently 14 members) board of directors and small (7 person) staff.
  • a thoughtful manager experienced in leading a team through transition, including familiarity with hiring, onboarding and retention strategies.
  • An experienced fundraiser who has directed and successfully implemented development plans.

The candidate must demonstrate:

  • The capacity to deeply respect others, effectively and tactfully handle difficult or sensitive issues, build consensus, and guide the team in support of their values in alignment with those of the organization.
  • the ability to self-evaluate and take responsibility for personal actions and decisions, accept setbacks, look for ways to progress, and understand how obstacles impact and foster progress.
  • the ability to sense, understand, address, and resolve conflict constructively.
  • an openness to hearing others’ perspectives and reaching consensus.
  • a commitment to workplace equity, diversity, inclusion and access, and creating an anti-racist environment.
  • experience navigating and fostering change, and inspiring a culture of excellence and alignment among the team they lead.


This person will be a leader with experience in the philanthropic, private, public, arts and/or nonprofit sectors. experience in an executive leadership role is desirable, but not required.

Also highly desirable are:

  • Proven results in fundraising and comprehensive contributed and earned revenue skills.
  • An outstanding track record of development and community relations.
  • Experience working as a co-leader or in a non-traditional organization structure.
  • Knowledge of membership organizations.

A broad range of life experiences is welcomed. Applicants are encouraged to discuss how their experience connects to this role and to the philosophy, values and the mission of CultureWorks.

The Co-Executive Director is 100% FTE, exempt position. Benefits include healthcare, retirement and paid vacation. The position is based in Philadelphia, PA. While the schedule is flexible, occasional evenings and weekends are required.

Salary range:               $90,000 – $100,000, commensurate with experience

Benefits:                      Time frame to hire:     September 2023

If you are interested in this position, please send your cover letter and resume to with Co-Executive Director Search in the title of the email.  Applications are due by 5:00 pm on Friday, July 28, 2023. 

If you have questions about the position, please email

CultureWorks will compile a list of frequently asked questions. If you would like to receive this information, please email

Final candidates will be asked to provide references and will be subject to a background check.

CultureWorks is an equal opportunity employer and strongly welcomes applications without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, veteran or disability status.