Update: ED Search Closing Soon!
Thanks to all who have submitted applications for the Foundry Consortium Executive Director to date. We have an extraordinary set of candidates who come from Cambridge and from elsewhere. We are pleased that the applicants to date bring a rich and diverse set of skills and experiences. We will continue to accept applications and review candidacies until March 31, 2021. Applications received after the March 31 deadline will be acknowledged, and we will offer all applicants the opportunity to have their qualifications considered for future positions at the Foundry Consortium. We hope to announce the selection of the first Executive Director of the Foundation Consortium by the end of June, 2021.
Executive Director Position
The Foundry Consortium seeks an innovative and strategic leader to become its first Executive Director. The Executive Director will oversee the start-up, programming, and operations of the Foundry, a self-sustaining center for creativity and collaboration for the Cambridge (MA) community.
The Foundry is located at 101 Rogers Street, the edge of Kendall Square, the Canal District, and the East Cambridge neighborhood. It will provide space for the visual and performing arts, entrepreneurship, technology, and workforce education within its historic, industrial setting. The Foundry Consortium will facilitate: use of the building; access to a range of programs provided by others in the community; and connection to the dynamic working and learning environment of Kendall Square for all local residents, including those often underrepresented in the arts and sciences.
History and Mission
Beginning in 2008, extensive community conversations were held to determine the use of the Foundry. The City of Cambridge and the Cambridge Redevelopment Authority (CRA) undertook the rehabilitation of the Foundry as a publicly funded capital project, in order to deliver a high-quality community space that would achieve the community’s vision. The Foundry is currently undergoing a $45 million renovation, and is scheduled to open to the public summer 2022.
The building will house private offices as well as community spaces, including four maker spaces, a multi-use performance space, artist work spaces, a demonstration kitchen, and a range of meeting and event rooms. The Foundry’s operations will be supported through rents paid by the building’s office tenants, and through community use fees. The bulk of the income will be derived from the office spaces, allowing for an estimated 60% of the building’s programmatic space to be dedicated to community uses.
The Foundry Consortium, a new nonprofit organization, was selected by the CRA and the City to be the Operator of the Foundry building in April of 2018. The Consortium is an important coming together of local nonprofits and community leaders with expertise in arts, sciences, and education.
The Operator role includes bringing programs in to use the Foundry community spaces, and providing for the day-to-day operation and management of the Foundry building. We aim to create a vibrant center and partnership hub that benefits Cambridge residents, and to bridge social divides through a new form of civic engagement. The Foundry will serve as a model for other communities across the United States. The unique blend of STEM and the arts that permeate program offerings will generate unprecedented opportunities for residents to engage in meaningful and creative programming. Through this programming, people will grow and develop skills, competencies, and relationships that add value to residents’ daily lives and foster success in school or college, access to high-wage jobs, and career advancement.
The Foundry will operate under the following guiding principles:
- The Foundry is a community asset, and its mission is to be of service to the community.
- Particular attention is needed to ensure that all Cambridge residents see the Foundry as a warm, welcoming, and valued neighborhood resource.
- Participatory programming that draws on Cambridge’s history and the cultural capital of its residents will support inclusion and engagement of diverse audiences.
- Programming will focus on STEM and the arts for residents of all ages, with an emphasis on youth and senior engagement, and particularly on under-represented, lower income households.
- The Foundry is one of many spaces in Cambridge that supports STEM and the arts. We will recognize and intersect with the opportunities found in other spaces.
- Residents’ workforce development needs must be supported, and will benefit from partnerships with STEM and arts professionals in the neighboring Kendall Square area.
- A viable economic model must accompany the use of space to ensure that the Foundry is self-sustaining.
- The City of Cambridge and the Cambridge Redevelopment Authority will continue to collaborate with the Foundry Consortium to achieve our shared goals.
Challenges and Opportunities for Our First Executive Director
The first Executive Director of the Foundry Consortium will work together with our Board of Directors and key partners to implement our vision for the Foundry. They will embrace the following challenges and opportunities:
- Lead an organization that is new and unique, built on community visioning activities and information gathered for both residents and a range of innovative arts and educational organizations in Cambridge and across the nation.
- Be a key voice and strong advocate for the Foundry, and support activities that build community, and advance arts, education, and workforce development opportunities in Cambridge and in greater Boston.
- Facilitate connections and deeper understandings of the rich cultural diversity and knowledge that exists within the Cambridge community through opportunities for learning at the Foundry.
Welcome and Include
- Meet the needs of the entire Cambridge community by fostering a welcoming community space in East Cambridge where residents feel a sense of belonging, and a desire to participate and share knowledge and experiences.
- Curate activities, programs and events offered by individuals and organizations that enable residents to meet each other, and to discover and celebrate the many diverse cultures in Cambridge.
- Facilitate engagement among residents in ways that ensure that the Foundry is inclusive of young people, families with low incomes, seniors, people of color, and people who are underrepresented in the arts and sciences.
- Build strong relationships with existing arts organizations, nonprofits, representatives in the private sector, educational, scientific and technological institutions, and assist them to bring their programming to the Foundry.
- Foster programming that provides a reciprocal benefit at the ‘home’ location of entities who extend their programming to spaces in the Foundry.
- Build strong relationships with employers and schools, so students and parents know about the Foundry and its programming, and benefit from the opportunities it will provide.
- Build community, both within the space and among the people using it.
- Raise grant and corporate funds nationally and locally in a way that does not compete with but adds to the resources of the Cambridge arts and nonprofit communities.
- Collaborate with the Cambridge Redevelopment Authority to maximize net income generated from the Foundry’s office spaces, and raise some income from the community spaces.
- Attract and sustain individual donors to support initial start-up costs of the Foundry Consortium required for the opening of the building.
Listen, Leverage and Respond
- Leverage the Board’s skills, resources, and connections in a way that takes advantage of the various ways they can support the organization and its mission.
- Engage effectively with a diverse set of leaders and stakeholders.
- Navigate the complexities of diverse groups and multiple collaborative efforts with other entities in Cambridge that are critical to the Foundry Consortium’s success.
- Galvanize interest, and work with the Board and the community to periodically caibrate programming at the Foundry, in accordance with shifting needs and interests of community residents.
- -Mitigate the possibility that the Foundry may not be able to meet all the competing ideas and expectations of those who live and work in Cambridge.
Plan and Pivot as Needed
- -Plan for running a building that supports collaborative arts, science, technology, education and workforce development building, while it is still under construction.
- -Given the changing city, state, and national economy, keep to the mission, but adjust to the times and to the unknowns to ensure that the Foundry is meeting changing community needs in a viable and sustainable manner.
The Executive Director’s core start-up and continuing responsibilities will include:
- Establish a 90-day start-up plan and a longer-term strategic plan together with the Board.
- Plan for and, once construction concludes, oversee property management of the whole building.
- Create transparent processes for selecting individuals or entities that will offer programs in the Foundry that are consistent with the Foundry use principles.
- Market and outreach to people and organizations who can use Foundry space to offer programs in the Foundry.
- Hire and oversee staff to carry out the work of operating the building.
- Review and develop the financial stability strategy and develop a fiscal management system for the Foundry, in conjunction with a finance staff person.
- Start to build donor relationships and raise funds for initial start-up costs.
- Create or oversee development, implementation, and ongoing management of technology systems.
- Develop or oversee development and management of human resources systems for the Foundry Consortium.
- Set up or oversee development and management of health and safety systems for the building.
- Recruit, manage, and appreciate volunteers (or oversee staff to do so).
- Cultivate an organizational culture that celebrates inclusion and equity.
- Build in and implement continuous monitoring, evaluation, and reporting mechanisms to ensure that programming consistently meets community needs and is aligned with the use principles.
Our Ideal Candidate
We seek a visionary leader who can contribute a profound understanding of the complexities of the local environment in Cambridge. Our ideal Executive Director will be a strategic thinker and a demonstrated innovator. They will be passionate about our mission and about bringing people together to build community and bridge social divides through creative endeavors.
Our Executive Director should bring many of the following skills and qualifications:
- At least five years of experience leading an organization or leading a department of a large organization
- Cultural competence
- Demonstrated ability to serve as an effective bridge builder
- Commitment to remedying social and cultural divides and addressing equity issues
- Strong delegation and organizational skills
- The self-knowledge and humility to build and lead a team that complements their own skills and addresses gaps
- Understanding of nonprofit budgets and organizational finance
- Demonstrated fundraising skills
- An appreciation for the arts, science, and technology
- Adaptability and resilience
- Politically savvy
- Emotional intelligence
- Skilled networker
- Well organized self-starter
- Good listener and communicator who brings warmth and kindness to their work
- Prior involvement in the arts, science, technology, or educational communities and understanding of related programming
- Knowledge of the local environment or demonstrated ability to navigate complex local networks
- Knowledge of the workforce development field
- Experience with community-based and nonprofit organizations
- An ability to communicate in more than one language spoken in the Cambridge community, and
- Bachelor’s degree or the equivalent in relevant work experience.
The Selection Process
Please submit here one PDF document containing a cover letter, detailing your interest and qualifications for this position, and an up-to-date resume.
The Foundry Consortium offers a competitive salary and benefits package and a supportive community of leaders who have collaborated on this project. Applications will be reviewed and acknowledged as they are received. We aim to fill this position by spring 2021.
The Foundry Consortium seeks a diverse pool of candidates. We are committed to a policy of equal employment opportunity without regard to race, color, national origin, religion, disability, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation or age.