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Last Updated: 8/24/23

Job Description



  • Do you have a passion for the arts?
  • Are you excited to help make the arts more relevant, inclusive, and welcoming to all?
  • Do you want to apply your expertise and insights in targeting marketing and experience design to build racially diverse audiences across the Cincinnati nonprofit arts sector?
  • Are you a thought leader who can share best practices with artistic directors and arts marketers throughout the region?

ArtsWave is the engine for the Cincinnati region’s arts.

ArtsWave, the local nonprofit arts agency serving the Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky Region, is the engine for the arts. Its roots stem back to the late 1920s when the Cincinnati Taft family provided initial investment matched by community support. In the late 1940s, it evolved to become the first united arts fund in the nation and in the mid-1970s, the first organization to initiate workplace giving for the arts. ArtsWave continues to innovate while leading, as illustrated by its No. 1 rank nationally in community arts fundraising; coordination of a sector-wide Blueprint for Collective Action; piloting of new technologies to maximize arts engagement; and development of resources for the arts. Each year, ArtsWave raises dollars from tens of thousands of donors – corporations, employees, foundations, residents, and others -- to support more than 150 arts organizations, projects and artists. The 2022 ArtsWave Campaign raised $11.5 million for the arts.

Strong funding for the arts has allowed Cincinnati’s arts and culture scene to become a national draw and regional asset, creating a wave of economic and community benefits. ArtsWave supports the work of over 150 arts organizations, school outreach programs, festivals, community centers, neighborhoods, and various collaborations annually, through impact-based grants. These grants create thousands of concerts, shows, exhibitions, arts for school children, public art, festivals, and events like BLINK®. Cincinnati ranks in the Top 20 U.S. regions for arts vibrancy.


In its Blueprint for Collective Action, a ten-year framework for community impact across the arts sector, ArtsWave challenges grant recipients to use the arts to bridge divides particularly across racial and ethnic differences. It also challenges arts organizations to deepen the roots of residents through the arts, with a particular focus on African Americans, who comprise 12% of the Southwestern Ohio/Northern Kentucky/Southeastern Indiana region’s population and 41% of the City of Cincinnati’s population.

As part of a comprehensive DEIA plan, Lifting as we Learn, ArtsWave has adopted intentional goals around increasing resources for artists of color and diversifying arts leadership, staffs and audiences. One objective is to create the community conditions that would sustain (through earned and contributed income) a large-budget BIPOC-centered arts organization. Among other requirements, success depends on the identification and cultivation of a culturally curious audience characterized by a balance of multiple races and ethnicities. One current strategy is ArtsWave’s events series, Flow, an African American Arts Experience, which showcases Black arts excellence in a variety of ways and has an aspiration to establish Cincinnati as a destination for experiencing the country’s best Black artists.

This position also functions within, and shapes responses to, the external environment. With changing demographics, altered consumer behaviors, new technologies, and evolving ways of consuming arts and entertainment, arts organizations are facing challenges to their business models and sustainability like never before. They are re-imagining programming choices and experimenting with ways to appeal to audiences of the future. The Executive-in-Residence – Inclusive Engagement will contribute to strategies, solutions, and tactics that help shape the future of the arts in the Cincinnati region.


The Executive in Residence – Inclusive Engagement is responsible for developing and driving ArtsWave’s strategies to attract and serve more diverse audiences across the arts sector, particularly focusing on African Americans and building on the Flow event series. Reporting to the CEO, they will be a thought leader and resource for ArtsWave and grant recipients, as well as manager of key marketing and engagement tactics.


  • Build on the success of Flow, an African American Arts Experience, including the development of a Flow Pass subscription series and accompanying social events
  • Create and manage a database of diverse individuals with interest and appreciation for arts experiences by/of/for African Americans and other minorities, that can serve as the basis for cross-organization marketing that benefits all arts organizations
  • Audit and assess the sector’s current programming and marketing to racially diverse audiences to surface and share best practices
  • Collect and analyze pertinent data on audiences, changing demographics and consumer behavior/arts consumption
  • Become a resource on inclusive marketing practices for ArtsWave grant recipients, collaborating with the VP, Equitable Arts Advancement; VP, Marketing & Engagement; VP, Community Investments; and Impact Executive-in-Residence
  • Partner with the ArtsWave marketing team and Board volunteers to improve or execute new sector-wide marketing communications and event strategies to drive engagement of racially diverse audiences


  • Five or more years of leading multicultural marketing efforts in any industry
  • Success leading complex initiatives in an ambiguous environment
  • Ability to analyze data and develop strategic recommendations
  • Deep interest in the arts, culture and a pulse on worldwide events and trends
  • Proven track record for developing and executing long-term strategic plans, versed in analytics and consumer insights
  • Executive presence and presentation skills
  • Versed in providing marketing solutions and content development ideas that reach multicultural audiences
  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent


  • Effective Collaborator
  • Comfortable with ambiguity
  • Willing to roll up sleeves as well as propose ideas
  • Embraces diversity
  • Self-starter
  • Driven for results
  • Culturally curious
  • A convenor
  • Analytical and strategic
  • High energy


This is a unique opportunity to join one of the country’s leading local arts agencies and create new strategies diversifying and growing audiences for the arts. You’ll collaborate with talented internal and external stakeholders to establish best practices and solutions that can be shared across the sector.

The target base salary range is $90K - $115K plus a competitive benefits package.


Cincinnati is a three-state, 15-county region that offers world-class amenities in the arts, entertainment, hospitality, sports, recreation, and business. While Greater Cincinnati features all the assets of a large, bustling metropolitan area of two million residents, we are also a region comprised of many “small towns” and neighborhoods each with its own unique history, culture, and pride. Whether your preference is urban, suburban, or rural, you will find abundant choices in housing that is affordably priced. Low cost of living. Easy commutes. Outstanding regional amenities. It is easy to see why the region's "livability" is one of its most valued characteristics.

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The arts— music, dance, theatre, museums, festivals, and more —create a vibrant regional economy and a more connected community. ArtsWave is an equal opportunity employer and is strongly committed to creating a diverse and inclusive environment where a variety of backgrounds, cultures, orientations, ideas, and talents can flourish.

Gilman Partners is committed to strengthening leadership teams and elevating the talent in our communities – and that means all qualified applicants will receive consideration without regard to race, ability, religion, sex, age, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, or national origin. You don’t have to meet every qualification in this job description to apply. If you’re drawn to the position and believe your experience makes you a good fit, we encourage you to reach out.


This role will work out of ArtsWave’s office in Cincinnati, Ohio and be a one-year renewable contract. The successful candidate will live in the Cincinnati region and embrace the opportunity to engage with our diverse collection of arts organizations.


Barry Elkus, Partner

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Company Details

Cincinnati, Ohio, United States