CEPA Gallery Search for Executive Director

cepa gallery search for director

CEPA Gallery Search for Executive Director

CEPA Gallery is currently seeking a new Executive Director. The successful candidate will be able to deliver a dynamic, stimulating and effective array of programs and services consistent with CEPA’s commitment to the understanding and appreciation of the photo-related arts and contemporary art. Learn more about the position, and how to apply.

TITLE: Executive Director
REPORTS TO: CEPA Board of Trustees
DEADLINE: Position open until filled

CEPA fosters the exploration of photography and contemporary visual arts through both its exhibition and arts education programs that nurture creativity and encourage active learning.

Continue to be a globally recognized arts center and incubator of artistic creation, where our programs drive engagement with art as an essential facet of life and community.

Founded in 1974 during an intense period of creativity and artistic exploration in Buffalo, New York, CEPA Gallery is WNY’s premiere visual arts center. One of the oldest photography galleries in the United States, CEPA remains an artist run space dedicated to the advancement of contemporary photo-related art. Throughout its history, CEPA has earned international acclaim for its unique array of visual arts programming and dedication to the artistic practice. The organization curates and exhibits major installations, supports working artists, and educates Erie County’s diverse populace. It is an incubator of artistic creation whose practice drives community engagement with complex issues and themes of local importance. As a result of its 2013 merger with Big Orbit Gallery, CEPA’s long-time administrative and programming partner, the organization is making an even greater impact on the field and its community—maintaining its mission related focus on contemporary photo-related art, but expanding the context and interpretation of its visual arts programming to include elements of Big Orbit’s experimental curatorial vision. This has increased CEPA’s programming to include more artists, media, and the audiences and donors they attract.

Named one of the most relevant and important alternative art spaces in the United States by the European Journal of Media Art, CEPA is downtown Buffalo’s most active and vibrant visual arts center, an internationally celebrated cultural anchor, and the only organization in WNY dedicated to contemporary photography and digital media. In addition to its stellar visual arts programming, CEPA’s educational work is consistently ranked among the best in the nation, earning a 2013 National Arts & Humanities Youth Program Award (the nation’s highest honor for community-based arts education, presented to CEPA by Michelle Obama at the White House). CEPA’s unique ability to mutually serve the interests of working artists, city students and local audiences is what separates it from other cultural organizations and is the reason for its continued success.

CEPA’s mission is to foster the exploration of photography and contemporary visual art to nurture creativity and to encourage active learning. Its vision is to continue being a globally recognized incubator of artistic creation whose programs drive engagement with art as an essential facet of life and community. CEPA’s Visual Arts program curates world-renowned exhibitions and provides artists with unparalleled professional development and technical assistance. Its organizational structure is celebrated for efforts to maximize resources through collaboration, and its educational programming is recognized among the best in the nation.

Visit our Mission & History page for a more complete history of CEPA.

Reporting to the Board of Directors, the Executive Director (ED) of CEPA Gallery provides overall leadership and is responsible for direct oversight and management of all administrative and artistic areas and staff. The ED executes operating strategies, manages program staff, interacts with artists, sponsors, donors, members and the public, and assumes primary responsibility for the organization’s administration and funding development. S/he works with the Board and staff on strategic planning, develops partnerships with community organizations, manages marketing, community relations and advertising, executes fundraising strategies, and oversees the overall operational, financial, and administrative management of the organization. The ED hires and oversees personnel and implements policy, programs, and all operations in conjunction with staff. The ED works closely with the board and committees to ensure CEPA’s strong fiscal health and effective governance, while maintaining and strengthening its mission. The successful candidate will be able to deliver a responsive, stimulating and effective array of programs and services consistent with CEPA’s commitment to the understanding and appreciation of the photo-related arts and contemporary art.

Essential tasks include but are not limited to:

  • Oversee efficient and responsible fiscal accounting procedures related to cash, credit and online purchase and sales, banking, insurance, etc.
  • Collaborate with the Board in recommending, establishing and refining policies and procedures.
  • Ensure that the organization acts in accordance with its strategic and operational goals; monitor and report progress toward these goals and work collaboratively with the Board to achieve them; report outcomes in a timely fashion.
  • Collaborate with the Board Executive Committee to ensure adequate financial controls and reporting procedures, including revenue forecasting and budget analyses.
  • Ensure that human resources programs are effective and that appropriately skilled employees are available, trained, and empowered to lead.
  • Collaborate with the Board to implement Trustee recruitment and development; ensuring that communication with Board members is effective and timely; supporting the full engagement of each Board member.
  • Serve as the leader of CEPA’s marketing and fundraising program; solicit major contributions; oversee planning and operation of donor identification, cultivation, and solicitation program for gifts and grants at all levels and via all types of fundraising strategies (e.g., capital campaigns, planned giving, major gifts, annual giving, and special events).


  • Innovative and forward thinking; capable of advancing the visibility and vitality of a well-established mid-sized non-profit arts organization.
  • Leadership skills, including advocacy, negotiation, problem solving, decision making, delegation and employee development.
  • A minimum of five years’ experience in leading programs or operations in a non-profit agency or other arts organization; experience in fiscal planning and management.
  • Expertise in cutting-edge trends and familiarity with artists in contemporary photography, and knowledge of the history of photography and art history.
  • Strong communication skills, both oral and written; ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with the board, funders, donors, and stakeholders.
  • Bachelor’s degree from accredited college or university; Master’s degree preferred.

The Executive Director is a full-time position; salary is negotiable dependent upon experience and qualifications and commensurate with a fully-engaged, medium scale non-profit organization.

How to Apply

Qualified applicants are encouraged to submit their cover letter, résumé, and other relevant materials online to search@cepagallery.org.

NOTE: Applications cannot be accepted by regular mail or at any other email address. Please no calls or inquiries to the CEPA office or staff, thank you.

Lauren Tent