Executive Director

Turnaround Arts: California

Los Angeles, CA


Co-founded in 2014 by renowned architect Frank Gehry and arts education advocate Malissa Shriver, Turnaround Arts: California is a non-profit organization that administers Turnaround Arts, a school reform program launched by the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities under the Obama administration and now run by the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. The program is designed to bring effective and integrated arts education into some of the lowest performing elementary and middle schools in the country. Through this initiative, schools in the process of reform develop new strategies and tools to shift school culture and climate and better engage students and families through the arts.

Turnaround Arts: California seeks an energetic, enterprising leader to serve in this newly created Executive Director role, overseeing all aspects of organizational growth and sustainability. Reporting to Turnaround Arts: California President (and co-founder), and working closely with the Director of Program and Strategy, the Executive Director will provide organizational strategy, relationship management, and fund development, to ensure overall organizational and operational success and sustainability. He or she will build the fundraising practice into a systematic, strategic approach that converts interest into investment in the organization, ensures complete capitalization, diverse sources, and a prudent reserve. He or she will help to maximize the organization’s human capital. He or she will support the Director of Program and Strategy’s achievement of programmatic excellence, while orchestrating continued high-visibility for the organization and tackling larger, non-programmatic goals, such as partnering for public policy change and large public awareness campaigns. He or she will be committed, diplomatic, strategic, ethical, and good for the culture of the board, staff, funders, artists, and Turnaround Arts schools. The ideal candidate will be an experienced, independent, motivational leader who is passionate about mission driven work, has proven fund development experience, and is excited about nonprofit administration. Join us and contribute to the changing face of education reform strategy.


In coordination with the President, the Director of Program and Strategy, and the Board:



  • Build a development strategy including setting and tracking progress towards concrete short and long-term goals, creating a systematic approach, and relevant tools (e.g. technology, calendars, communications)
  • Formalize, expand, and manage institutional fundraising including prospect research, writing grant proposals, and reports to foundations, in collaboration with the Director of Program and Strategy
  • In close coordination with the President and co-founder, develop strategy for cultivating major individual donors and diversifying income
  • In close coordination with President and Board Chair, support Board development and expansion, to optimize engagement and fund development
  • Identify and optimize opportunities, such as creative partnerships with funders, universities, or others who are in strategic alignment with Turnaround Arts: California and may invest time, funding, or expertise towards shared goals
  • Manage relationships for organizational success, including with artists, the board, staff, funders, the national program, schools, prospects, and other core stakeholders.



  • Oversee all administrative aspects of the organization and program, in conjunction with the Director of Program and Strategy, including:
    • Organizational budget development, tracking, forecasting, revision, and reporting
    • Participating in the hiring, supervision, and evaluation of staff and contractors
    • Managing end of fiscal year closeout and reporting
    • Preparing of budgets, reports, and other materials for the Board of Directors
    • Developing and executing contracts, overseeing contract management, and adherence to budget
  • Recruit, hire, train, and manage the performance of and the retention of staff according to organization protocols



  • Oversee Director of Program and Strategy in her management of a 3-person team, and manage the staff and board for success
  • Oversee the creation of annual and long-term goals, ensuring alignment of the organization’s various efforts to maximize impact, growth, and sustainability
  • Coordinate with Turnaround Arts: National, both adhering to national standards and helping redefine success inside the Turnaround Arts national network
  • Build mutually beneficial, strategic relationships with other local and national partners in the educational, arts education, and policy fields



  • With Program Manager, supervise media and communications strategy including, and not limited to, developing a communications plan that identifies and targets key audiences and emphasizes the central role arts education has played in turning around historically underperforming schools
  • Build strategy to meet fund development goals and work with Program Manager to execute
  • Build and execute a partnership strategy to set and achieve non-programmatic goals in larger domains, such as goals related to changing public policy, raising awareness, or championing public education, as envisioned by the board

This position is based in Los Angeles and requires the Executive Director to work onsite at the Turnaround Arts: California office. 15-20% travel, including overnight travel, is required.



  • Self-aware leader with a collaborative, outcomes-based, growth mindset approach
  • Ability to handle complex, fast-paced workload with a high level of professionalism
  • Diplomatic and responsive with various internal and external stakeholders.
  • Successful at leading fundraising efforts -- especially supporting the cultivation of individuals and board members and creating an active grant funding pipeline
  • A track record of building successful partnerships across sectors
  • Successful and efficient management of three or more staff and organizational operations
  • Polished oral and written communication skills
  • Ability to represent Turnaround Arts: California in an exceptional manner
  • Experience with press and other types of visibility
  • Absolute discretion and confidentiality
  • Passion for equity in education, using the arts to increase young people’s success
  • Perform other duties as assigned or needed



  • Competitive salary based on qualifications and experience
  • Benefits package including medical, dental, and vision insurance, 401k plan, paid holidays, and
    paid time off


Application Procedure

Submit the following materials to [email protected] with the subject line “Executive Director Position.”
We are interested in filling this position ASAP so materials will be reviewed on a first come first serve basis with interviews anticipated to start in April.

  • Turnaround Arts: California Employment Application [PDF or WORD]
  • Cover letter demonstrating interest and ability to perform the job responsibilities outlined above
  • Resume demonstrating experience and education

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