Studio in a School

Organization Description: 
About Studio in a School

Agnes Gund, philanthropist and President Emerita of The Museum of Modern Art, founded Studio in a School in 1977 during a financial crisis that severely reduced arts education in public schools. With the support of generous individuals, foundations, and corporations, Studio in a School continues to provide visual arts programming taught by artists to students from Pre-K to college in New York City and beyond. Studio in a School Association, a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization, provides professional learning, partnerships, internships, and research grants on a local and national scale under the auspices of its two LLCs, Studio in a School NYC and Studio Institute.

Studio NYC engages more than 30,000 public school students in all five boroughs each year and aims to ensure that New York City public school students receive standards-based, quality instruction in the visual arts regardless of socio-economic status.

While nurturing age-appropriate skills in artmaking and art literacy, Studio NYC programs affect the “whole learner” by stimulating student development in realms such as habits of mind (e.g., envisioning, persistence, observation); language acquisition; and social-emotional growth. Students in Studio NYC programs become more willing to experiment and problem-solve; learn to work collaboratively; acquire and use new vocabulary; and grow adept at reflecting on their work and that of their peers.

Studio NYC hires and prepares professional working artists to become Artist Instructors. Studio NYC provides extensive professional development that enables them to acquire the necessary knowledge and technical skill to teach Studio NYC’s curricula and model key habits of mind practices such as curiosity, experimentation, problem-solving, persistence, and reflection.

Studio NYC has received several accolades for providing visual arts education to young students. In October 2017, in recognition of its consistent quality and accountability, Studio NYC was awarded the 2017 Arts Education Award, one of the National Arts Awards bestowed by Americans for the Arts. In October 2018, Studio NYC received the inaugural Chapman Prize from the Council on Foundations in recognition of Studio’s “significant contributions to American society.”

The other LLC under the umbrella of the Studio in a School Association is Studio Institute which shares tested innovations, visual arts curricula, classroom program models, professional development models, arts internships, research grants, and assessment methods with arts and educational communities outside of New York City.

Studio NYC and Studio Institute are designed to work collaboratively by sharing best ideas and practices among their leadership, staff, and artists. For more information about Studio in a School and its robust programs, please visit

Position Description:
The Opportunity

The Board of Directors of Studio in a School seeks a charismatic, visionary, politically fluent leader to serve as the new President of Studio NYC as it enters a key phase of its evolution. This is a highly specialized opportunity for an experienced, thoughtful individual to build on Studio NYC’s outstanding 47-year legacy of championing the arts in New York City and ensuring that visual arts education evolves with the rapid social, political, and economic changes that are shaping the future of New York City’s and our Nation’s public school students.

The President will

– Provide management acumen and strategic vision for the organization while building bridges among artists, schools, students and families, arts organizations, neighborhoods, and elected officials to advance arts programming, access, and equity in the New York City region.

– Play a significant and influential role in the continuing development of quality instruction in the visual arts and enhance its impact on the lives of students.

– Serve as a key leader, influencer, and change agent in the arts and arts education in the New York City region as well as at the national level.

– Position Studio NYC for continued success as an active and important advocate in these areas, and have a powerful voice in shaping the strategic direction of the organization, and its support for students and artists, its community partnerships, and its development and fundraising strategy.

– Lead Studio NYC’s partnerships with New York City by regularly interfacing with City and County leaders including the Mayor’s office and other elected officials and City agencies such as the Department of Education, Department of Cultural Affairs, and other potential partners.

– Deepen Studio NYC’s existing partnerships and endeavor to actively create meaningful arts education programming and pioneering strategies and initiatives.

– Build and establish new relationships with community groups, nonprofits, schools, foundations, and cultural organizations across the region, nationally, and around the world.

Most importantly, this leader will be charged with substantively increasing access to improved arts programming and education and proactively striving to create opportunities for the region and beyond.

Job Requirements & Responsibilities:
Main Focus and Key Responsibilities

In serving as Studio NYC’s chief advocate, strategist and visionary, the President will

– Oversee Studio NYC’s 19 full-time staff, of which seven are union administrative staff, plus 100 unionized artist instructors and a seasonal workforce of about 50 additional employees. Working closely with an experienced and passionate staff, public officials, arts organizations, and other stakeholders, this leader plays a central role and contributes their collective vision to creating an ecosystem where visual arts education encourages the creative mind, thrives, and advances social justice.

– Be responsible for managing Studio NYC’s $5M annual operating budget.

– Supervise the Program, Development, Finance and Human Resources Departments.

– Oversee operational and administrative functions for the Association, including meeting and committee support for the Board of Directors, tracking the Association’s $20M endowment, and providing management services to Studio Institute, such as financial oversight, fundraising, marketing, and human resources.

The President will be a decisive and transparent leader with the ability to execute on goals, lead collaboratively and by example, and support the activities of staff, the Board of Directors, and project committees and working groups. In addition, the President will be responsible for raising the approximately $5M annual operating budget, leading fundraising efforts with individual donors and foundations, establishing and overseeing fee for service contracts with local government entities, and working to raise overall arts and education funding while also making tough decisions on resource allocation.

The President will report directly to the Board of Directors of the Studio in a School Association and will interact regularly with the Founder, Chair of the Board, Vice Chair for Studio NYC, and Board Committee Chairs.

Candidate Qualifications:
Strong candidates will have a passion for the arts and their contributions to the development of children, experience in arts administration and relevant knowledge and expertise regarding the mechanics of providing age appropriate arts education. We recognize that there is a spectrum of lived and professional experience that will set candidates up for success in this role. While no one candidate will have every experience outlined in the position description, ideal candidates will display the following professional and qualities and personal attributes.

Executive Leadership and Management: The President will have proven strategic abilities, strong senior management experience, sound financial acumen, and a demonstrated record of collaborative leadership and executive-level experience in program leadership and resource development. Together with staff and the Board of Directors, the ideal leader will possess the skills to articulate the organization’s vision and lead its implementation. An open and inclusive management style ability is necessary to nurture, inspire, empower, and engender a shared vision with this diverse team. The President will have a record of initiating and overseeing complex projects and bringing them to successful conclusion, as well as directing and ensuring accountability for all finances and operations of a multifaceted organization.

Passion for Arts Education and Access: Studio NYC seeks a President who has a demonstrated passion for visual arts education, along with the ability to serve as a thought leader and respected advocate within the community. The ideal candidate will be familiar with current trends in visual arts education and a leader in and champion for the arts, with the gravitas and credibility to influence arts and education programming and funding. A bold thinker who is deeply community-oriented, this leader will play a highly visible advocacy role on behalf of Studio NYC, with a deep focus on the future of the field and the impact of a changing political landscape. Most importantly, the President will possess a high degree of emotional intelligence and a natural ability to connect with the communities and students who are most impacted by Studio’s work with a sense of humility and warmth.

External Relations and Fundraising: The President will have a compelling public presence and be exceptionally skilled at developing, building, and sustaining excellent relationships. Politically astute, this leader will have a demonstrated ability to connect with and build bridges among the various stakeholders of Studio NYC and throughout the field, including staff, Board members, students, families, school officials, colleagues, community leaders, and donors. A strong communicator with the ability to galvanize an audience, the President will be able to speak and write clearly and compellingly to all audiences about the organization’s history, impact, growth strategy, and future direction. The President will be a highly skilled fundraiser with the ability to raise funds from individual donors, institutions, and events and serve as the face of Studio NYC. Considerate and open, the President will work for the benefit of Studio NYC by promoting dialogue to identify best practices, synthesize divergent views, and coalesce all constituencies around a shared view or plan.

Business Acumen and Operational Expertise: The President will bring a strong record of successful oversight and management of finance, human resources, and operations. This leader will promote a culture of excellence and high-quality execution at all levels within the organization and provide outstanding stewardship for Studio NYC.

Skilled and Inspirational Manager: The President will be a decisive, results-driven leader with a collegial, team-oriented working style that is open and nimble.

Position Type:

Union Status:

FLSA Status:

Salary or Compensation:
Salary is competitive and commensurate with experience. The salary range for this role is $210,000 – $270,000. Studio NYC provides a generous and comprehensive benefits package. Note: New York City area residency required. This position is NOT fully remote and consists of a hybrid in-office and remote work schedule.

Organization or Project Website:

Application Info:
Koya Partners, the executive search firm that specializes in mission-driven search, has been exclusively retained for this engagement. This search is led by Stephen Milbauer and Chartise Clark. To express interest in this role please submit your materials here:, or email Stephen and Chartise Clark directly at All inquiries and discussions will be considered strictly confidential.

Koya Partners is committed to providing reasonable accommodation to individuals living with disabilities. If you are a qualified individual living with a disability and need assistance expressing interest online, please email If you are selected for an interview, you will receive additional information regarding how to request an accommodation for the interview process.

Studio in a School is an equal opportunity employer and strongly encourages applications from people of color, persons with disabilities, women, and LGBTQ+ applicants.

About Koya Partners

Koya Partners, a part of Diversified Search Group, is a leading executive search and strategic advising firm dedicated to connecting exceptionally talented people with mission-driven clients. Our founding philosophy—The Right Person in the Right Place Can Change the World—guides our work as we partner with nonprofits & NGOs, institutions of higher education, responsible businesses, and social enterprises in local communities and around the world. For more information about Koya Partners, visit

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