Executive Search
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Executive Search

Looking to hire an arts leader?

Let Arts Progress help you identify qualified candidates, navigate the interview process smoothly, and successfully manage the transition process.

We’re deliberately small –  you’ll have a single contact for the search, providing you continuity and simplicity. In addition, this means we’re not doing a lot of simultaneous searches, which increases our focus on your search, and reduces conflict of interest.

We’ve spent years ourselves working in the performing arts field, so we’re well-versed in what a nonprofit arts organization needs, and we’re well-networked with current and rising talent across the country.

We’re also less expensive than the big search firms. Without the overhead of fancy conference rooms and admin assistants, your money goes toward the search itself. Most of our searches are well under $20,000. But for that money, you’ll get a top-quality search that draws from professional connections across the country.

Throughout the process, we’ll look out for the needs of staff, board and the organization as a whole. As for the candidates, we understand that each applicant is entering a short-term relationship with your organization, and we’ll ensure that those relationships reflect your values from start to finish.

To get a sense of how our process works, download our intro guide to executive search.

Recent searches include

Artistic Director, Theater Mu

Artistic Director, Park Square Theatre

Managing Director, Jungle Theater

Artistic Director, Jungle Theater

Executive/Artistic Director, SteppingStone Theatre

Managing Director, Playwrights’ Center

Arts Progress offers a variety of services, depending on how much support you require.

  • Work with search committee on developing the process, refining the job description, and building a realistic timeline.
  • Ensure high visibility of the position, with local and national postings as well as targeted recruitment.
  • Confirm receipt of all applications and field additional applicant questions.
  • Screen applications and recommend a slate of candidates to the search committee.
  • Manage interview process, including schedules and any necessary travel arrangements
  • Conduct all necessary reference and background checks.
  • Assist board in preparation and delivery of offer to selected candidate
  • Manage all communication with declined applicants, including any requests for feedback.
  • Facilitate on-boarding of new hire, to ensure a successful transition for the new hire, the board, the staff and community stakeholders.

How we work

We are remarkably accessible to our clients, by whatever means of communication they prefer – email and text/phone are great, or we have fluency in Slack, Basecamp and the like. The work can be done remotely, with in-person meetings also an option.


“In 2014-15, the Jungle Theater embarked on a process to replace our founding artistic director, who served in that role for a quarter century. Robin professionally, effectively, and efficiently managed our artistic search process from the announcement, candidate vetting, coordinating Skype and in-person interviews, and providing guidance to the committee. She was a delight to work with and made the search for our new artistic director successful.”

Jeffrey Bores, Jungle Theater

I was a candidate on an Executive Director search that Robin was running. Robin was upbeat, helpful, friendly and extremely responsive and informative. Robin really helped the process go smoothly and did a wonderful job helping me navigate the process on behalf of the organization. Robin’s warm and congenial manner was especially helpful when the job offer came through and negotiations began. Robin would be an asset to any organization seeking assistance with the critical search process.

Search candidate