The Arts Foundation for Tucson and Southern Arizona (AFTSA), formerly the Tucson Pima Arts Council, has served the Southern Arizona community as a convener, grantmaker and advocate for the arts since 1971. The community is at the center of all activities in which the Arts Foundation works. AFTSA coordinates the production and installation of public art, provides funding in the visual and performing arts, offers professional development services for arts organizations and artists and advocates for support of the arts in both the public and private sectors. The majority of AFTSA’s budget comes from the City of Tucson and Pima County. As a publicly funded agency, the Arts Foundation has a strong commitment to community involvement, transparency and equitable representation and access.

The Arts Foundation for Tucson and Southern Arizona is a 501(c)3 agency. The organization is composed of the board of directors, professional staff and community members who serve on grant committees and panels. The staff, in addition to the executive director, consists of an operations and project manager, public art manager and grants and services manager. All who serve the Arts Foundation are passionate, highly motivated and committed to the work.

Our Mission

To advance artistic expression, civic participation and equitable economic growth of our diverse community by supporting, promoting and advocating for arts and culture in our region.

Our Vision for Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Access (IDEA)

Through forward-thinking, accountable leadership, the Arts Foundation for Tucson and Southern Arizona works to affect systemic change that fosters an accessible, diverse, inclusive and equitable local arts community.

Strategic Plan 2019–2021

The Arts Foundation is driven by its strategic plan. After a yearlong process, the board of directors adopted a plan that includes four guiding principles and five priority goals.

Guiding Principles Priority Goals
Diversity Community Impact
Equity Organizational Sustainability
Community Arts Coalition Building
Creativity Public Arts Program Expansion
Increased Visibility in the Region

The executive director is responsible for leading AFTSA as it continues to instill these guiding principles in its work to achieve the priority goals.


The executive director will be a passionate and creative leader who represents the Arts Foundation in the communities of Tucson and Southern Arizona. The successful candidate will demonstrate a commitment to advancing equity in arts funding and representation. The executive director reports to the board of directors and will be guided by the strategic plan. This position is responsible for administering the policies set in place by the board, advocating for and working to increase public funding for the arts, ensuring that the Arts Foundation is well positioned within the community and that community leaders, businesses and public figures are aware of the work of the Arts Foundation and its central role in promoting and supporting the arts and the economic vitality of Tucson and Southern Arizona.



• Provides strategic direction and support in the development and effective use of resources to implement the mission

• Acts as chief spokesperson for AFTSA with all stakeholders, media and city, county, state and federal funding sources

• Ensures the understanding of the role that the arts and artists play in the socioeconomic and cultural health of the region

• Positions AFTSA as the convener, facilitator and thought leader regarding the role the arts play in creating a healthy environment that enhances Tucson and Southern Arizona as a desirable place in which to live and work

• Works closely with the board of directors, ensuring effective communication and participation in the governance of the organization

• Supports and leads the staff in grantmaking, the public art program, advocacy activities and the achievement of priority goals

• Creates and maintains a work environment that attracts, retains, motivates and encourages innovation among a highly effective staff

• Maintains awareness of local, regional and national industry trends to proactively anticipate potential challenges to the organization’s well-being


• Financial management: experience with budgeting, cash flow, forecasting and reporting and ability to anticipate necessary course corrections to avoid budget overruns or other negative impact on sustainability of organization

• Personnel management: experience with recruitment, professional development, supervision, retention and evaluation

• Ability to contract with and manage independent contractors

• Experience working with the public sector in maintaining and growing support for the arts, which will allow AFTSA to execute its mission

• Experience in fundraising from individuals, corporations and foundations is helpful

• Knowledge of developing a campaign to issue bonds in support of the work of the AFTSA is helpful

• Experience in grant writing and compliance

• Experience managing intergovernmental relations, including knowledge of, or ability to learn, local, state and federal processes and requirements

• Highly developed skills in public speaking

• High level of computer software knowledge and ability to work in multiple applications, such as SalesForce, Trello, and Submitable

• Ability to oversee marketing contractor and collaborate on development and maintenance of AFTSA’s website and social media platforms

• Familiarity of nonprofit and employment law is helpful


• Develop and oversee programs that align and advance AFTSA’s mission, vision, values and commitment to IDEA

• Use available market and industry data and trends to assess and design new programs that would be helpful to the arts community

• Ensure ongoing programmatic excellence

• In cooperation with program managers, regularly evaluate programs for progress on goals and objectives and communicate outcomes to stakeholders

• Create an environment that encourages the innovation of new programs, protocols and strategies

Required Qualifications

• Bachelor’s degree in arts administration, public policy or related field, advanced degree preferred

• Five to seven years of experience in grantmaking organization, arts administration or related field

• A successful track record in fundraising: grant writing, public funding and individual, corporate and foundation sources

• Passion for and personal experience in the arts

• Strong interpersonal and organizational skills

• Desire to create and work in a collegial atmosphere with a sense of humor

Personal Attributes

• High level of ethics and commitment to best practices relative to board governance, fundraising, grantmaking and donor and constituent relations

• Professional and cordial demeanor, empathetic, tactful and diplomatic when interacting with staff and internal and external stakeholders

• Ability to develop and cultivate new and current stakeholders, including elected officials, volunteers, donors and donor prospects and professional colleagues

• Ability to communicate and advocate persuasively in support of the arts through public speaking, in one-on-one situations and through the written word

• Ability and confidence to work in a small group setting without close supervision


Organization/Company: Arts Foundation for Tucson and Southern Arizona
Location: Tucson AZ
Deadline: February 29, 2020
How to Apply: Salary Range: $85,000 - $95,000

For information on salary ranges in this field, please go to:
For information on Tucson as a community in which to live, please go to:

Application Process
Please send cover letter and professional resume to:
[email protected]
Arts Foundation for Tucson and Southern Arizona
236 South Scott Avenue
Tucson AZ 85701