Established in 2011 as the Local Arts Agency for Pinellas County, Florida, Creative Pinellas’ mission is to foster and sustain a vibrant and inclusive arts community for all. Creative Pinellas provides support, connection, and opportunities for the residents and artists of Pinellas County, as well as the many visitors to the area, a vibrant peninsula between the Gulf of Mexico and Tampa Bay known as The Arts Coast. Creative Pinellas manages a 10,000-square-foot gallery and has an office where workspace is made available to area arts organizations. The organization has awarded grants to over 180 professional and emerging artists, sent over 200 artists and arts leaders to the CO.STARTERS business program for entrepreneurs, partnered with the Tampa Bay Rays major league baseball team on an artists’ poster series, worked with the county on a public art mural program and with area foundations on arts and mental health. Creative Pinellas is a 501(c)(3) arts and cultural organization and embraces values that are inclusive, collaborative, accessible, involved, and contemporary.
Creative Pinellas’ current operating budget is $1.8 million. There are 8 full-time staff members, and the organization also works with a variety of independent contractors that support project management, grant-writing, managing Arts Coast Magazine, gallery-hosting and more. The board of directors currently includes 21 members, from the arts, business, and professional communities as well as local government.
During the pandemic, Creative Pinellas coordinated countywide public meetings and partnered with local foundations, working with the county to distribute over $3 million of CARES grant funds to artists, arts organizations, and arts businesses. In 2022, Creative Pinellas was one of 26 Local Arts Agencies awarded a $500,000 Recovery Grant from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) to regrant support for 14 artists and 20 arts organizations. Most recently, Creative Pinellas launched a high-tech, user-friendly app called Arts Navigator that connects residents and visitors to their perfect arts experiences.
Creative Pinellas is in excellent fiscal condition due to strategic budget management and strong support from the Pinellas County government. Much of Creative Pinellas's funding comes from tourism dollars, a major industry in the region, and Creative Pinellas is highly confident that it will continue to grow in strength and influence. The organization has gained traction with existing and new funding sources, strengthening relationships for continued support. Additionally, Creative Pinellas is in the process of gathering economic impact information through the Americans for the Arts’ Arts & Economic Prosperity 6 research project and has also begun the process of developing a countywide cultural plan. Findings from both projects will provide the tools to encourage increased funding from local government as well as continue to grow corporate and foundation grants, individual and community sponsorships.
Located on the Gulf of Mexico, with miles and miles of white sand beaches, Pinellas County is home to almost a million residents spread over 274 square miles. In the last 20 years, the county has experienced an arts and cultural renaissance with the creative industry responsible for over $1.8 billion in revenue and accounting for over 5% of the economic impact and jobs. Anchored by St. Petersburg and Gulfport in the south, by Tarpon Springs with its famous Sponge Docks and bronze sculptures in the north, and by the walkable arts communities of Clearwater, Dunedin and Safety Harbor in between, Pinellas County is a diverse and dynamic community with a rich history of arts and culture. There are over 100 active arts and cultural institutions and more than 400 professional artists in all genres.
Pinellas County community leaders have come to recognize and advocate for the importance of supporting the county as an arts and cultural destination, given its role as a draw for travelers and economic engine for the workforce. Recently elevated by Condé Nast Traveler as offering a “big time art scene,” and by Smithsonian Magazine for offering “five reasons why arts lovers should visit,” Pinellas County is taking its place as The Arts Coast, the most vibrant and innovative arts community in Florida. The county is known for its visual arts and arts festivals; for the murals dotting the downtowns of the 24 municipalities supported by programs including Clearwater Art Walks; and for the seven museum and visual arts centers anchoring the downtown area, including the Salvador Dali Museum, the Museum of Fine Arts St. Petersburg, the new Museum of the American Arts and Crafts Movement, the James Museum of Western Art, the Dale Chihuly Collection and the Imagine Museum, which traces the history of glass art from its early days to the present. Other visual arts centers include the Dunedin Fine Art Center and the Leepa-Rattner Museum, a contemporary art museum featuring works of 20th and 21st century masters, as well as works by artists working in Florida and the Gulf Coast.
Performing arts are also ascendant in Pinellas. Regional Equity theaters include American Stage and freeFall Theatre, bringing new, innovative, and important work to the community as well as satisfying theater lovers’ connection to classical works. Dance collectives like Beacon and projectALCHEMY connect audiences with the vibrant exploration of the dancing body. Performing arts centers like the Mahaffey Theater and Ruth Eckerd Hall provide the community with Broadway theater and national concert acts and also provide a performance home to The Florida Orchestra, an award-winning orchestra led by award-winning Music Director Michael Francis. Meanwhile, the Palladium Theater and the Central Park and Tarpon Springs Performing arts centers provide venues for local, regional, and national jazz and blues performers, as well as the St. Petersburg Opera Company.
Additionally, the St. Petersburg Campus of the University of South Florida; Eckerd College, the renowned liberal arts college in South St. Pete; and St. Petersburg College, which offers bachelors, associate, and IT degrees at campuses throughout the county; bring an intellectual rigor and a curious, energized, and engaged faculty and student body to all that the arts in Pinellas County have to offer. Support from these institutions, along with the public school system, the business community and local government, have created an unprecedented environment for growth, innovation, and engagement with the arts.
Sources: pinellas.gov; creativepinellas.org/education; cntraveler.com/stories/2012-01-17/st-petersburg
Creative Pinellas, the designated Local Arts Agency for Pinellas County, is looking for a dynamic, experienced, results-oriented Chief Executive Officer (CEO). The CEO will build upon the momentum and success of its founding growth and guide the organization to the next level of service and support for the arts and community, with a vision for expanding the impact and scale of the organization. The CEO will be a strategic and dynamic leader with a deep passion for arts and culture, an exceptional work ethic, and demonstrated success engaging artists, arts and cultural leaders, civic leaders, partners, and philanthropic supporters. Reporting to the board of directors, the CEO will collaborate with the board, staff, and key stakeholders to set the long-term vision and implement short-term goals centered on Creative Pinellas’ mission. The CEO will be responsible for shaping, establishing, and implementing the organization’s strategic goals, setting priorities and expectations, and providing leadership in several areas, including expanding financial support for the organization and its programs, financial management, network-building, artistic and educational programming, venue management, and overall leadership of the organization. The CEO will demonstrate an unwavering commitment to diversity and to making arts accessible to all and will be highly visible in the arts community.
Role and Responsibilities
Strategic and Programmatic Leadership
- Provide dynamic, visionary, and strategic leadership to the organization, utilizing entrepreneurial sensibility to guide the staff to fulfill strategic goals.
- Maintain, advance, and reimagine Creative Pinellas programs and services, while managing risk and ensuring sustainability.
- Balance financial stability with service to the community, demonstrating a solid understanding of nonprofit structure with the ability to relate to, understand the needs of, and communicate with a wide variety of individuals, constituents, and staff.
- Build relationships with County Administrator, County Commissioners, members of the Tourist Development Council & City Council members from key municipalities.
- Establish/expand a leadership relationship with the cultural sector and design and implement a capacity-building program.
- Develop new funding structures — in particular, a public-sector dedicated funding stream.
- Serve as the primary spokesperson for the mission of Creative Pinellas, and advocate for its initiatives.
- Demonstrate Creative Pinellas’ commitment to equity, diversity, inclusion, access, and belonging throughout all facets of the organization, including programs, staffing, and organizational development activities.
- Ensure that staff, board members and guests of all genders, races, ethnicities, and backgrounds are appreciated, valued, and respected.
- Develop and renew funding structures and implementation activities, collaborating with the board of directors and staff to support key initiatives, including identifying and securing dedicated ongoing public sector funding and increased identification, cultivation, and stewardship of annual giving priorities, including foundations, sponsorships, corporations, individuals, major gifts, and planned giving.
- Expand the organization’s role and activities in the cultural sector to further fulfill its role as a Local Arts Agency including grant-making, support for arts and cultural institutions, advocacy, and strategic leadership.
- Develop, oversee, and actively manage a current budget of $1.8 million with the expectation of substantially growing that budget in coming years.
- Lead, motivate, and mentor a high-achieving staff of 8 full-time employees plus contract employees and grow the staff to achieve Creative Pinellas’ goals, provide high-quality service to the arts community and other stakeholders, and provide for thoughtful innovation that addresses changing times and environments.
- Support operations and administration of the board of directors by advising and interfacing with board members and staff, keeping the board informed of developments in the organization and the field.
Engagement and Advocacy
- Guide effective advocacy efforts and maintain, participate in, and build Creative Pinellas’ vital relationships with colleagues in the arts and cultural sector including funders, peer organizations, and strategic alliances and related networks.
- Promote and support artists and arts professionals as an advocate and serve as a thought leader in the sector, which includes advocating to municipal, local, and state government as well as public affairs efforts on behalf of arts and culture in Pinellas County.
- Ensure effective use of technology to improve service to the arts field and for initiation of innovative fundraising.
- Cultivate and maintain an active network of professional contacts in the field.
Artistic and Programming
- Oversee the finalization/implementation of the Pinellas County Cultural Plan and ensure that the goals, strategy, and tactics identified are fulfilled at the highest level.
- Design and implement a methodology to support arts and cultural organizations in Pinellas County, including, but not limited to, a grants program for arts and cultural organizations.
- Work closely with the Convention and Visitors Bureau and Visit St. Pete Clearwater (VSPC), to develop viable arts and cultural tourism programs aimed at establishing and growing Pinellas County as an arts and cultural destination known as The Arts Coast. Include the implementation of the Arts Navigator and other visitor-related products created by Creative Pinellas.
- Develop new and expand ongoing educational and outreach programs to promote engagement with the arts by residents and visitors to Pinellas County through year-round, multi-disciplinary events that appeal to multi-generational audiences and reflect the diversity of the Arts Coast.
Traits and Characteristics
The CEO of Creative Pinellas will be a visionary, inspired, and strategic leader with deep knowledge of the arts and cultural sector nationally, and a passion for service and arts growth. Supporting an innovative and dynamic environment, the next leader of Creative Pinellas will be collaborative and mission-focused, and lead the staff, board, and community members in the next chapter of the organization’s history.
Other key competencies include the following:
- Leadership and Personal Accountability – The dexterity to elicit strong engagement from internal and external stakeholders through inclusive leadership practices that shape decision-making, and to take accountability for decisions and grow from mistakes.
- Time and Priority Management – The ability to set, pursue and attain goals, regardless of obstacles or circumstances, and establish courses of action and complete them with the desired outcomes in a timely manner, while establishing courses of action to ensure that work is completed effectively.
- Diplomacy and Influencing Others – The capacity to organize and influence people to believe in a vision while creating a sense of purpose and direction, along with the capacity to inspire and influence others, leverage their networks to advance organizational priorities, and gain the trust and confidence of board, staff, local partners, and key stakeholders.
- Teamwork and Interpersonal Skills – The capability to build rapport and cohesiveness in the team, value and respect individual perspectives, and guide the team to consensus.
The next CEO of Creative Pinellas needs a demonstrated track record in the arts and culture sector, with a bachelor’s degree preferred. A master’s degree in public administration, arts administration, marketing, communications, organizational development, or equivalent disciplines is a plus. The candidates should bring at least 8 years of senior level experience in the arts and culture field. Experience with managing a comparable size Local Arts Agency or experience with a nonprofit local, state, or national arts service organization is preferred. The CEO will bring demonstrated knowledge and experience in advocacy, political relationships, grantsmanship, fundraising, strategic planning, fiscal oversight, board and staff management, and program development. A proven commitment to and success in advancing equity, diversity, inclusion, and access is essential. Exceptional written and verbal communication skills required, as well as core business fluency in contemporary enterprise and management systems such as Microsoft Office and Adobe Acrobat.
Compensation and Benefits
Creative Pinellas offers a competitive annual salary commensurate with experience, with a base yearly salary between the range of $125,000 - $150,000. Benefits include a 401k retirement plan with 3% company match, paid vacation, sick leave, and holidays, as well as a competitive medical, dental, vision and life insurance package.
Applications and Inquiries
To submit a cover letter and resume with a summary of demonstrable accomplishments (electronic submissions preferred), please click here or visit artsconsulting.com/opensearches. For questions or general inquiries about this job opportunity, please contact:
Nan Keeton, Senior Vice President
Josyanne Roche, Vice President
503 East Jackson Street, Suite 337
Tampa, FL 33602-4904
Tel (888) 234.4236 Ext. 203 (Keeton) or Ext. 240 (Roche)
Creative Pinellas is an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to status as a protected veteran or a qualified individual with a disability, or other protected status, such as race, religion, color, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or age.