Chief Executive /Artistic Director, Visual, Carlow

VISUAL is seeking a dynamic Chief Executive /Artistic Director on a three-year contract. The closing date for receipt of applications is 16:00 (GMT), Friday, 1 February, 2019.

To lead it into its second decade as a major international arts facility, serving the locality, the region and the country, VISUAL is seeking a dynamic Chief Executive /Artistic Director. This inspiring position is a high-profile role for an energised charismatic leader, with extensive management experience in both arts and business. The successful applicant will require an exceptional balance of commercial acumen, artistic vision, personal commitment and stimulating arts management experience.

The Chief Executive / Artistic Director will work with the Board and the artistic, operational and marketing teams of VISUAL. He/she will be responsible for leading the organisation into its second decade as it continues to implement its Strategic Plan 2017 - 2021, which is driven by innovative artistic programming, the development of value for the region through VISUAL's activities, and long-term sustainability of the premises.


Nurtured and Developed out of Carlow's many years of proven commitment to the arts and especially the visual arts, VISUAL opened to the public in September 2009 and is one of Ireland's leading contemporary art spaces with four world class gallery spaces and a 320-seat performance space.
Our Mission is to ‘enrich, inspire and improve the everyday through art' and our Vision is to be ‘an international hub for realising the value of contemporary arts practice'

We work with partners, stakeholders and communities to realise the transformative benefits of the arts to society. VISUAL produces a programme of both commissioned and existing high-quality national and international contemporary art. It also contains a full-service restaurant, theatre bar and other facilities plus a programme of performances and events in multiple disciplines, including theatre, dance, film, comedy, literature and music. VISUAL offers a unique and exciting challenge to engage with audiences and the artistic community both within the region, nationally and internationally.

Competencies, Skills and Experience Required

•Proven experience in organisational leadership at a senior arts management level
•Demonstrable expertise in artistic programming and ability to attract and collaborate with artistsand institutions of national and international standing
•Proven track record of successful financial management for budgets in excess of €2million
•Demonstrable expertise in fund-raising and income generation
•Expertise in the development, implementation and review of Strategic Plans
•Proven ability to recruit, inspire, lead and manage a team
• Demonstrable expertise in working with Board structures and corporate governance requirements
• Ability to build effective relationships and partnerships with a broad range of stakeholders
• Excellent interpersonal, written and oral communication skills
• Demonstrable knowledge of audience development methodologies in the arts
• Proven strong administration skills, attention to detail and ability to multi-task and manage multiple priorities effectively

Desirable attributes

• Self-starting, an initiative taker and problem solver
• High degree of energy, enthusiasm and creativity
• Adaptable and flexible
• Strong negotiating skills and contracting experience
• Creative and innovative thinker
• Professionally credible to key organisational stakeholders

Principal Responsibilities

Supported and assisted by the team in VISUAL, the Chief Executive / Artistic Director will be responsible for the following:
• Provide strong, inspirational and high-profile leadership, to enable VISUAL to achieve its artistic and strategic objectives within a demanding cultural and commercial environment.
• Oversee all aspects of the management of the Centre - financial, commercial, operational and artistic
• Recruitment and management of a staff cohort of 22 FT/PT posts
• Overseeing all aspects of the operations of the organisation
• Preparation, development and implementation of a new Strategic Plan for the period 2022 - 2026
• Continuing the development of the national/international profile of the Centre, with a particular emphasis on developing local, regional and international audiences and increasing engagement.
• Programme VISUAL as a centre of excellence in the visual and performing arts, in collaboration with the artistic team and to international standards.
• Create and deliver an innovative artistic vision and programme, with a strong focus on socially engaged arts practice, encompassing the highest level of contemporary visual art, inter-disciplinary arts, digital arts, community participation, music, theatre, film, etc.
• Develop artistic and educational collaborations and creative partnerships that will support the artistic and business objectives of VISUAL and help it achieve its ambitions to reach and engage broad and diverse audiences both in the region and beyond.
• Target and reach new audiences through management of effective communications/marketing strategy, and ability to identify and remove barriers to participation.

Financial Management
• Work closely with the Finance Committee to oversee and ensure effective, responsible financial management of the company, including the preparation of annual budgets, budgetary control and management and financial reporting, ensuring an effective control environment and fulfilling statutory requirements.
• Actively identify and deliver new income streams for revenue growth, potential sponsors, patrons and funding partners.
• Lead on development of a fundraising strategy and implement same for the organisation.
• Develop new partnerships/funding nationally and internationally for touring, co-productions and potential European-funded projects
Corporate Governance
• Liaise with the Board of Directors and the Corporate Governance Committee to ensure best practice in governance and oversight through effective communication and reporting to the Board.
• Oversee and report on compliance and adherence to all statutory requirements
• Updating and oversight of the Corporate Risk Register as a key aspect of effective governance
• Identification, addressing and management of risks.

• Effective and efficient management of all aspects of the day-to-day operations of the facility.
• Lead on the development of appropriate company policies related to exhibitions, projects, theatre programming, staffing and all aspects of the organisation's operations.

People Management
• Recruit staff and consultants as required to ensure adequate resourcing of the organisation in delivery of strategic objectives.
• Have the ability to manage, inspire, encourage and motivate staff, in order to provide effective leadership and direction for staff members to reach their potential and the potential of VISUAL, working as a team.

Stakeholder Relations
• Build and maintain excellent working relationships with all stakeholders - local, regional, national and international.

Health and Safety
• Ensure that all statutory and Health and Safety requirements are implemented and enforced in the interest of the safety of all staff, clients and visitors to the Centre.

Click here for further information and details of the application process.