Job Details

VP Arts Impact

Location:   Cincinnati, OH

Salary:   based on experience

Last Updated:   July 12, 2018


POSITION TITLE:  Vice President, Arts Impact


CLIENT SUMMARY: With the help of tens of thousands of donors, ArtsWave supports more than 100 arts and community organizations that make the Greater Cincinnati region an amazing place to live. They believe that the arts— music, dance, theatre, museums, festivals, and more —create a vibrant regional economy and a more connected community.  The Vice President, Arts Impact will execute ArtsWave’s strategy to continue this legacy for another 100 years!



The Vice President, Arts Impact will be a storyteller with the data and analysis behind the story, and a thought leader around the impact the arts makes in our community. He/she will coach, train, and inspire our arts organizations to continue to do the work they do.

The VP, Arts Impact will execute on a 10-year collective action strategy, the Blueprint for Collective Action, through $10MM+ in annual grantmaking and cultural services/planning. Reporting to the President & CEO, the position will develop and implement measurement tools that connect the activities and results of arts organizations to broader community indicators and outcomes. The position amplifies ArtsWave’s visible leadership around the positive benefits of the arts on the community in key areas including workforce development, diversity and inclusion, arts education, and neighborhood vibrancy.

The position continually builds will for adaptive change through education, communication, and collaboration. The VP, Arts Impact will be involved with both planning and visioning of a future Cincinnati, with and through the arts, and with tactical execution on related workplans as ArtsWave counts down to its centennial anniversary in 2027.




  1. Impact Advancement and Measurement
  • Oversee the execution and continuous improvement of ArtsWave’s framework for annual investments in the arts sector.
  • Identify and implement ways to build community will for driving and recognizing the impact of the arts.
  • Design processes and procedures for data and metrics management using currently available tools; help identify, secure funding for, and design/implement additional tools.
  • Research and monitor the wide variety of local and national data sources that can be utilized to demonstrate the art sector’s impact on our region and the points of intersections with other sectors.
  • Conceptualize, design and conduct research that aggregates and analyzes arts and culture sector data to inform strategy, policy and decisions of ArtsWave’s leadership, its partners and other civic stakeholders/influencers.
  • Maintain a broad knowledge of current research methodologies and practices in the arts sector and in the wider field of impact measurement and evaluation; participate in and lend expertise to conferences, seminars and other professional development activities to shine a national spotlight on ArtsWave’s work and to keep current in our areas of focus.
  • Participate in and provide leadership as requested for initiatives related to driving collective impact through strategic initiatives and partnerships within the sector and across sectors.
  • Regularly report to the Board and other stakeholders on the initiative’s effectiveness.


  1. Grantmaking and Services to the Sector
  • Supervise the Director of Grants Programs and the Grants Coordinator, providing oversight of ArtsWave’s grantmaking processes, including proposal and report mechanisms and requirements, staff and panel review, tracking, and data compilation and analysis.
  • Provide technical assistance and inspiration to arts organizations to help them collect and use data to inform programming and drive community impact.
  • Guide and mentor arts organizations in defining outputs and outcomes, identifying key measures of success, using data to inform programming, and storytelling.
  • Create a regular cadence of learning opportunities with subject-matter experts for arts sector personnel.
  • Coach, engage and leverage the perspectives of volunteers in the grantmaking process.
  • Participate in and provide leadership as requested for initiatives related to improving efforts of organizations throughout the sector to be diverse, inclusive and representative. 


  1. External Contact/Communications/Fundraising
  • Work directly with CEO/senior management to determine how best to effectively communicate the collective impact the arts to target audiences and the broader community; help execute communications strategies and tactics as a key thought-leader for the organization and in alignment with the CEO to ensure consistent messaging.
  • Develop high-quality relationships and partnerships with the larger arts and culture organizations of our region through one-on-one and group sessions with arts clients. Be a conscientious listener.
  • Develop processes to help ArtsWave stay current with the inventory and activities of smaller or emerging organizations/arts practitioners.
  • Work directly with CEO/senior management to craft funding proposals for impact measurement and collective impact work; help cultivate relationships with key funders.
  • Share results and provide feedback to constituencies through reports, presentations and other communications.
  • Represent ArtsWave on relevant external committees, at public events, arts events, and speaking engagements as requested and in order to augment the CEO’s visibility in the community.
  • Other duties as assigned, including occasional help on weekends or evenings at ArtsWave-sponsored events.




  • Commitment to the mission, vision and values of ArtsWave
  • Demonstrated ability to influence and interact persuasively with senior leaders in business, nonprofit and government sectors
  • Master’s degree in arts administration, cultural policy, social research, public administration, planning, market research or another related field
  • Minimum of 7-10 years of experience in (one or more): arts education, community development, diversity & inclusion, impact measurement & evaluation, applied social science research, evaluation and/or impact-based grantmaking
  • Experience managing and developing a small team of direct reports
  • Experience in applied measurement and evaluation as well as statistical analysis and an understanding of and facility with supporting technologies
  • Experience in leading complex organizational change processes
  • Knowledge of the arts or interest in learning about the arts
  • Outstanding verbal and written communication skills including an ability to communicate data and technical issues to people with a wide range of data expertise
  • Proficiency with MS Word, Excel and PowerPoint; proficiency with databases, research tools and data intelligence tools


Michele Plessinger, Partner