Executive Director Search

Arrowmont is seeking a visionary leader to serve as executive director of one of America’s premier schools of arts and crafts. The successful candidate will provide mission-driven leadership to achieve the vision and promise of the organization. Working closely with the Board of Governors, the Executive Director will develop programmatic, financial and operational policies and establish implementation strategies to achieve organizational goals. The position functions as the primary public spokesperson for the organization. The Executive Director will lead and manage a professional staff to accomplish measurable outcomes and ensure the success and continued viability of the school. The position carries responsibility for participating actively in development efforts to secure and sustain philanthropic funding and investment to support the organization.

Position Requirements

For a full position description, click here.

Education: Minimum B.A./B.S., master’s preferred, from accredited institution of higher education

Experience: At least five years’ senior level nonprofit management experience — CEO preferred

Additional Requirements: Must be willing to live in Sevier County, TN or in an adjacent county; conversant with and supportive of Arrowmont’s mission; committed to building an inclusive and diverse community.

Salary and Benefits: Arrowmont offers a competitive salary based on education and experience, excellent benefits, and a congenial work atmosphere.

Inclusion and Equal Opportunity Statement: Arrowmont is committed to creating a diverse and inclusive workforce and work environment and is proud to be an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, genetics, disability, age, or veteran status. Arrowmont is committed to compliance with all fair employment practices regarding citizenship and immigration status.

Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts is a community of individuals who seek meaningful arts and crafts experiences.  The community includes people of all skill levels, ages and backgrounds.  It includes makers, aspiring makers, skilled artists and craftspeople, appreciators of arts and crafts, and any individual who wants to be part of a dynamic and welcoming community.

Arrowmont: Founded as a settlement school in 1912 by the Pi Beta Phi Fraternity for Women, Arrowmont has grown into a national center for contemporary arts and crafts education, supporting learning opportunities for individuals of all skills levels and ages. Arrowmont is located on 13 acres in the heart of Gatlinburg, TN only minutes away from Great Smoky Mountains National Park. With access to tourist attractions, the convenience of a large city nearby, and a thriving arts and crafts community, Arrowmont offers a unique and immersive learning environment — an unexpected creative oasis amidst the bustle of a popular tourist destination. The heritage of the School is rooted in an approach to the arts that builds upon traditional arts and crafts, and the joy of making. People travel from across the nation and the globe to take classes at Arrowmont. More than 160 national workshops are offered annually, in addition to a full complement of community classes, children’s classes and ArtReach classes, which provide a day of art to over 1,200 local school children annually. In addition, Arrowmont is host to numerous gallery exhibitions, symposia and conferences.

How to Apply: Please send a cover letter telling why you are interested in the position and detailing how your skills and experience will benefit Arrowmont, resume, five professional references to Teri Bilbrey, tbilbrey@arrowmont.org.

Arrowmont Executive Director Update

Family illness has required Jim Scarsella to resign as executive director of Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts. Although he will be returning to their family home in Michigan, Jim will continue to work with our staff and Board on a number of initiatives that are underway. Jim will also serve a major role on the search committee for the new executive director.

Jim has been at Arrowmont for three years as deputy director and most recently, executive director. He has also been a student at the school for more than twelve years. Of his time at Arrowmont, Jim said, “Arrowmont always has, and always will hold a special place in my heart. All my years here, both as a student and instructor have been special, but the opportunity to work here, with such a talented group of dedicated people has been an extraordinary honor.”

In the interim the three senior department directors, Julia Clinton, CFO and administrative director; Fran Day, director-institutional advancement; Nick DeFord, program director will jointly manage the day-to-day operations of the school.

The search for the new executive director is expected to take a significant length of time. Details about the position, the search timeline, and application guidelines will be announced soon.

Dr. Steven Gottlieb, president of the Arrowmont Board of Governors said, “The Board regrets that Jim is resigning but recognizes that family obligations come first. He has been a positive force for moving the campus forward and will be missed by Arrowmont and by me personally. We are grateful that he will continue to be involved. With the three senior directors, Arrowmont is in good hands. The Board has every confidence that they will continue to work as a team to advance Arrowmont. Each of them has many years of experience in their position and working together.”

Jim Scarsella
Executive Director


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