ABOUT

The South Side Community Art Center (SSCAC) preserves, conserves and promotes the legacy and future of African American art and artists while educating the community on the value of art and culture.
As the oldest independently owned African American art center in the United States, the SSCAC takes pride in its past and present contributions to the development and showcasing of emerging and established artists. An established resource for the art community locally, nationally and abroad, the SSCAC seeks out and educates young artists; exhibits the work of emerging and international recognized artists; presents and hosts a variety of cultural and educational programs and serves as a repository for African American artists, scholars, collectors, and the community. The SSCAC is committed to creating a community that values: Creativity, Excellence, Respect, Collaboration, and Stewardship. We successfully advance our work as curators, educators, collectors and preservers because of our resourcefulness, resilience, and commitment to meaningful community engagement. Since being founded by
Dr. Margaret Burroughs and others in 1940, the South Side Community Art Center has been instrumental in the careers of many nationally and internationally established African American artists - from the WPA era to the present. Poet Gwendolyn Brooks wrote and taught at the Center, photographer Gordon Parks had his first darkroom in the Center’s basement and Charles White and Elizabeth Catlett shared what they learned from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago with other artists who could not afford the tuition. In recent years, the SSCAC has supported the careers of B. Rael Ali, Candace Hunter, Kerry James Marshall, Faheem Majeed, and Joyce Owens. These names are just a few of the many artists who have contributed to the Center’s rich legacy. In 2018, the South Side Community Art Center was named a historic landmark by the National Trust for Historic Preservation and listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Over the next five years, the South Side Community Art Center seeks to become a thriving pillar of excellence in African American art and culture that contributes to a more culturally enriched Chicago while ensuring that its historic landmark arts center can meet the needs of artists, youth and our community long into the future.


Executive Director
A unique opportunity is seeking a unique individual.
The Historic South Side Community Art Center
is seeking its next Executive Director.

The  South Side Community Art Center is seeking a strategic visionary who can take the SSCAC to the next level. We need a face and a force. The Executive Director serves as the face of the organization and must be equally at ease interacting with artists and families as well as major funders, donors, and the press; comfortable working in-house and out, managing and directing staff and volunteers day-to-day, ensuring that exhibitions, art classes and special programs SSCAC is known for are maintained at their current level of excellence while growing in scope. In addition, the Executive Director will lead a major capital campaign and renovation project that has already attracted significant support from the State of Illinois.


Position Summary
The South Side Community Art Center’s Executive Director provides organizational leadership and vision and works in partnership with the Board of Directors and staff to advance the organization’s efforts to impact both the established and emerging arts community while maintaining a legacy of arts advocacy on Chicago’s Southside. The primary responsibilities of the SSCAC Executive Director includes: oversite of day-to-day operations and programming, fundraising, finances, HR and volunteers and facilities management.


The Executive Director reports to the Board of Directors.
Key Responsibilities Include:
Organizational Management:

  • Develop and oversee all Center operations including exhibitions, public programs, education programs, collections and archive management, facility maintenance and rental policies.
  • Plan, coordinate, direct and oversee the operation of SSCAC which includes carrying out the policies and programs as determined in partnership with the SSCAC Board of Directors.
  • In partnership with the Board Treasurer, manage SSCAC budget including planning, preparing, monitoring and administering; recommends opportunities to grow and develop sustainable revenue streams.
  • In partnership with the Director of Development and Board of Directors, develop fundraising strategies and lead fundraising efforts, including support for the annual operating budget and a major capital campaign to support capital improvements to the Center and programmatic growth.
  • Human Resources: full, part-time and contract staff including staff development, coaching, collaboration, problem solving and goal setting. Conducts annual staff evaluations.
  • Understand the role of technology in information exchange and works to ensure that the SSCAC employs current and innovative methods needed to reach multiple demographic groups.
  •  Ensure the operations and administration of the Center follow local, state and federal regulations.

Stakeholder Communication & Engagement:

  • Cultivate relationships with major stakeholders for the purposes of fundraising, including major gifts for special projects, operations and development of the Center.
  • Perform a variety of public relations activities; coordinate communication both internal and external concerning all aspects of SSCAC, work closely with affiliate groups, encourage and work with potential donors and sponsors to increase local community appreciation of the arts, and often gives presentations to various groups.
  • Utilize traditional, print, social, and other forms of media to bring visitors to the SSCAC and foster membership growth.
  • Work in partnership with the SSCAC Board of Directors, and keep them informed of SSCAC issues and projects, attend Board meetings as Executive Director and assist in the selection, evaluation, and orientation of new Directors members.
  • Attend conferences, seminars, workshops, and other training for professional development purposes.
  • Prepare annual report and other special reports as requested by funders, the Board, and other key stakeholders

Essential knowledge, skills and abilities:

  • Bachelor’s Degree or equivalent professional experience required.
  • Comfortable interacting with both artists and families as well as funders, donors, and the press.
  • Committed to expanding and maintaining strategic community connections and strengthening the institution as it lives out its goal of being a “frame of the past, a window to the future.”
  • Ability to handle multiple tasks, prioritize, work in a fast-paced, self-managed environment, establish effective working relationships with staff, and perform within set deadlines are crucial.​
  • Ability to work flexible hours as necessary, including on some evenings and weekends as required by events and programs at the Center.
  • Strong communication, analytical, and project management skills and excellent grammar, editing and proofreading skills.
  • Successful experience in event planning, fundraising/grant writing, budgeting and marketing for a non-profit organization.
  • Must be able to pass pre-employment substance abuse screening plus a background check.


All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, age, protected veteran status or status as an individual with disability. The South Side Community Art Center is an Affirmative Action / Equal Opportunity / Disabled / Veterans Employer. Job seekers in need of a reasonable accommodation to complete the application process may contact the

South Side Community Art Center by calling

(773) 373-1026 or by emailing SouthSideCommunityArtCenter@gmail.com


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