Executive Director – Schaffer&Combs – San Francisco, CA

About SOMArts

SOMArts Cultural Center (South of Market Arts, Resources, Technology, and Services or SOMArts) is an independent nonprofit that operates the South of Market Cultural Center. SOMArts’ mission is to cultivate access to the arts within the Bay Area by collaborating with community-focused artists and organizations. SOMArts engages the power of the arts to provoke just and fair inclusion, cultural respect, and civic participation.

SOMArts is a cross-cultural, community-built space serving an audience of over 32,600 people on-site annually. SOMArts Cultural Center is a 26,190 sq. ft. center with two large performance / exhibition spaces, a flexible theater, a media lab, photography, ceramics and printmaking studios used on a weekly basis by professional artists, and four administrative offices. As an incubator for ideas that lie outside the mainstream of contemporary art funding and consumption, SOMArts Cultural Center is a part of a network of six cultural centers in San Francisco which includes Bayview Opera House, the African American Arts & Culture Complex, Asian Pacific Islander Cultural Center, Queer Cultural Center, and Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts.

Position Overview

SOMArts is seeking their next Executive Director to work closely with the SOMArts Board of Directors and staff to lead the cultural center and organization-wide programs. The Executive Director will provide vision and strategic direction for all annual programming of SOMArts, including Day of the Dead (a month-long invitational and multi-artist exhibit / installation), Fiscal Sponsorship, Classes, and the Main Gallery Exhibitions Program. In addition to the oversight of the creative season, the Executive Director will run major programming, including on and off-site support services programs for nonprofits through the Affordable Space Program and the Neighborhood Arts Program.

Major Duties & Responsibilities

Strategy & Program Leadership

Develop and implement innovative programming that deepens awareness and appreciation of our city’s many cultures, values, knowledge, skills, and experiences through the arts / support services for the arts.

Lead the planning of educational programs, residencies, and commissions.

Partnership Development & Communications

Build and maintain meaningful partnerships with a diversity of arts and cultural organizations, including civic and community organizations and other prospective communities.

Collaborate with Program Directors on executing marketing and public relations efforts; lead sales strategies and audience development.

Continue the relationship with the San Francisco Arts Commission to ensure the long-term stability and maintenance of SOMArts’ Cultural Center.

Financial & Operations Management

Develop financial strategies, including revenue generation, to advance programmatic priorities and program monitoring.

Oversee financial operations, including development and management of the annual budget (annual revenue is $1.7 million).

Oversee the Director of Facilities & Technical Operations, who is responsible for facilities management, safety and security, and for ensuring that Affordable Space contracts are carried out in accordance with the Center’s best interest and mission.

Direct / manage staff (6 full-time, 29 part-time / seasonal) to utilize talent and deliver optimal programs.

Oversee the negotiation of contracts with artists, crew, and maintenance / repair providers, including the Director of Neighborhood Arts Services, who oversees staging for events; ensure that service contracts and leases are carried out in accordance with the Center’s best interest and mission.

Board Development

Lead the board in the development of an overall strategic vision and direction for the Cultural Center, including the implementation of business and fund development plans and campaigns.

Provide timely / accurate reports regarding operations, fiscal health, and organizational relationships.

Preferred Qualifications & Skills

Direct knowledge of visual and performing arts; a deep commitment to supporting and promoting community arts / community-based artists in San Francisco

7+ years of successful managerial and leadership experience, preferably in the arts

A proven track record of both public and private fundraising, preferably at an arts organization

Demonstrated experience in financial management, including budget development and monitoring

A high degree of cultural competence and experience working with and serving diverse populations

Excellent interpersonal, communication, and relationship-building / networking skills

Equal Opportunity Employer

SOMArts fosters a creative and professional environment that reflects the diversity of San Francisco. SOMArts actively recruits a wide pool of applicants representing dimensions of difference that include — but are not limited to — age, national orientation, ethnicity, race, religion, ability, sexual orientation gender or political affiliation. This is a full time exempt position based in San Francisco, CA at 934 Brannan Street.


SOMArts offers a competitive salary and vacation / medical / dental benefits.

How to apply

Please submit a resume and cover letter to SOMArts@schaffercombs.com with your first and last name, the position title, and SOMArts in the subject line.

Please do not contact SOMArts directly; all inquiries should be directed to Schaffer&Combs. For further information, see www.somarts.org.

Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis.