Small Museum Association

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Coos Art Museum Executive Director

19 Oct 2022 12:42 PM | Scott Carpenter


We invite qualified candidates to apply for the position of Executive Director of Coos Art Museum, a non-profit contemporary arts museum established in 1966 and located on the Southern Oregon Coast in Coos Bay, Oregon.


The Executive Director position presents an opportunity to bring progressive leadership, museum best practices, creative visual arts initiatives, and hands-on management skills to a full-service art museum that has built a solid regional reputation through its art exhibitions and progressive arts education programs.  The successful candidate will be an arts visionary, successful development officer, and community leader.

The Executive Director will, among other duties, work closely with the Museum’s Board of Directors, staff, artists, educators and community leaders to achieve the goals of the Museum’s current five-year strategic plan (, which include:

  • ·         Bringing professional art exhibits to the community and acting as a catalyst for arts advocacy and education in the region,
  • ·         Promoting the Museum as the cornerstone of visual arts on Oregon’s Southern coast and as a creative regional leader for arts and arts education,
  • ·         Securing long-term financial, artistic and community support for the Museum, its facilities and Permanent Collection,
  • ·         Fostering partnerships with community, artistic, business, tribal and educational groups to support visual art and art education,
  • ·         Hiring and supporting professional staff and energizing a volunteer base and vocal advocates, and
  • ·         Promoting respect and acknowledgment of locally produced art while celebrating art from recognized artists outside of the Southern Oregon area.


Coos Art Museum is the only art museum on the Oregon Coast. It draws more than 14,000 visitors annually, has an established community membership base and is financially stable. The Museum is housed in a 16,000 square foot restored 1936 art deco Post Office building that has six galleries with more than 5,500 square feet of exhibition space and more than 4,500 square feet of administrative, meeting, permanent collection and art education spaces. We produce an average of 20 juried and non-juried art exhibitions each year. Our most popular annual juried exhibitions include Vision (featuring high school student media of all types), Expressions West (featuring artists from 13 Western states), and The Maritime Art Exhibition (featuring nationally recognized artists). Our Permanent Collection includes more than 625 works, and focuses on original works by major Pacific Northwest artists and fine art prints.  Art education is a priority, and we sponsor a number of youth outreach programs and year-round workshops for artists of all ages.


  • What We’re Looking For: Our successful candidate will be imaginative, proactive and organized, and be able and willing to execute across a broad range of administrative and management activities. They will be a visible leader, working closely with community leaders, artist groups, city officials and funding sources. They will also be a team builder and critical thinker who is able to align resources with organizational priorities, promote diversity and equality within the Museum, and market the museum throughout the region.  The successful candidate will embrace a “can do” approach that achieves excellence, energy and creativity within limited staffing and finite resources. They will also have experience in business and finance management, intuitive people skills, and enjoy daily troubleshooting and, as required, crises management. They will be passionate about arts advocacy, and be fluent in contemporary arts discourse and museum management issues.
  • Specific Responsibilities. Our successful candidate will, among other things, be responsible for:
  • ·         Serving as the general face of the Museum in the community and with arts organizations within Oregon, promoting the Museum’s art and education programs.
  • ·         Acting as primary liaison between the Board and staff/volunteers, and serving on Board committees.
  • ·         Managing the Museum’s day-to-day administrative duties and staffing requirements consistent with achieving the Museum’s strategic goals. 
  • ·         Directing fundraising activities and overseeing all marketing, social media and public relations matters.
  • ·         Overseeing the acquisition, maintenance and use of the Museum’s Permanent Collection.
  • ·         Overseeing office operations, financial reporting, and financial systems, and implementing and maintaining best practices financial accounting, cash treatment and audit processes.
  • ·         Preparing annual budgets, monthly financial statements and proforma financials as necessary, all in a manner consistent with GAAP and lender/governmental reporting requirements.
  • ·         Overseeing financial reporting to outside agencies, including taxing authorities, lenders, grant providers and endowment partners, and monitoring the Museum’s compliance with non-profit entity regulations and any applicable endowment or grant rules or requirements.

Minimum Qualifications: Our successful candidate will meet the following requirements:

  • ·         An MA in art museum studies, art history, or a similar art-related field, with at least three years in a management position, or an equivalent combination of education and experience.
  • ·         Knowledge of curatorial standards and practices in an art museum.
  • ·         Demonstrated experience in STEAM-centered programs and visual arts education.  
  • ·         Project management skills for organizing, cataloguing and presenting exhibitions and permanent collections.
  • ·         Successful fundraising, development and grant writing experience.
  • ·         Demonstrated skills as a team leader with a record of successful collaboration.
  • ·         Experience with tax exempt non-profit organizations, including financial reporting for non-profit organizations.
  • ·         A record of skillful, successful fiscal management of a museum, museum department or similar organization.
  • ·         General familiarity with and proficiency in Microsoft Office suite.

Salary and Hours:  This is a salaried full-time position with some weekend and evening hours required. The starting salary will be between $55,000 and $65,000 depending on experience, with an opportunity for increases as the Museum prospers.


The Museum is located in the greater Bay Area, which is comprised of the cities of Coos Bay, North Bend and adjacent communities in Coos County.   The Bay Area is the largest population center along the entire Oregon coast, and is located within an area of Oregon known as the South Coast, a geographic region extending from Coos Bay to the California border that has a population of approximately 80,000.

The Bay Area has diverse cultural, artistic and recreational opportunities.  Its widely recognized recreational opportunities include world-famous beaches, internationally ranked golf courses, dune adventures, lake and sea fishing, camping and hiking. Renowned for its cultural events and natural beauty, the area is a frequent destination for tourists along the scenic 101 Coastal Highway. 

The Bay Area has a number of well-supported arts, theater and music communities, and is known for its local visual artists, its quality annual jazz and classical music festivals, its community-based band and its professional music groups.  The Bay Area is also home to the internationally honored Oregon Coast Culinary Institute, which is housed at the local Southwestern Oregon Community College, the first Community College established within the State of Oregon.  

The community is home to two Native American Tribes, the Coquille Indian Tribe, and the Confederated Tribes of Coos, Lower Umpqua and Siuslaw Indians, both of which are active in community affairs and own resorts/casinos in the area.  The local Boys and Girls Club is the largest within the State of Oregon, providing educational and recreational programs for youth.


This posting will remain active until the Executive Director position is filled, although candidates who submit applications on or before the close of business on November 7, 2022, will have priority. To apply, please email your resume (or CV) and a cover letter to No phone calls please.  We will notify applicants when we receive their application.  We are not responsible for placement fees for candidates.

Selected applicants will be contacted for telephone, web and/or in-person interviews. At our request, selected candidates will also be required to provide writing samples and references, and to consent to background checks. For additional information about the Museum and its vision of the future as described in its current Strategic Plan, see  For additional information about the cultural and recreational opportunities in the Coos Bay area, see

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