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International Bluegrass Music Museum Begins Executive Director Search

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International Bluegrass Music MuseumThe International Bluegrass Music Museum's board of trustees announced in December that Gabrielle M. Gray, the museum's chief executive, would be ending her exceptional 12-year tenure as the museum's creative leader and retires as executive director. Carly Smith has been acting as the museum's interim director. The Museum has officially commenced their search for a new Executive Director to carry on the tradition and lead the museum on the next page of its journey.

The International Bluegrass Music Museum (IBMM) was established in 1991 in Owensboro, Kentucky, as a non-profit repository for the artifacts and collections of Bluegrass music. It has since become a fully operational museum serving a global fan base estimated in the millions. Currently, the Museum houses priceless artifacts, exhibits and memorabilia from the Pioneers of Bluegrass music, and is an international resource for research of the Bluegrass genre.

Gabrielle will be continuing her role as Executive Producer of ROMP, the signature bluegrass music festival she founded in 2004. Gray also remains the museum's primary grant writer. ROMP is the IBMM’s primary fundraiser, a public concert that has evolved into an award-winning event attended by thousands from around the world! In addition to public concerts, educational programs include group lessons, camps and the Bluegrass in the Schools Program (BITS), where thousands of local school children are exposed to the music, instruments and history of Bluegrass music. The IBMM is active in promoting the rich history, preserving the past, and promoting the future of Bluegrass music.

The City of Owensboro has recently undergone a revitalization of the downtown riverfront, streetscapes and private building construction. The IBMM has been offered the unique opportunity to construct an iconic facility on the most prime location in downtown to create a dynamic experience for visitors and fans from around the world.

The Board of Trustees is seeking a qualitied individual to embrace the mission of the museum, expand programming, educational and entertainment opportunities, with the addition of greater museum space and a state-of-the-art 500 seat theater. The structure of the organization will evolve to create the International Bluegrass Music Museum Center (IBMMC). The qualified candidate will be responsible for following the Board of Trustee’s vision for creating a dynamic, exciting and sustainable museum and music center.

The Museum has released their criteria and job description to help in their search for the best candidates. Here is what the museum is searching for...

  • Executive Director Responsibilities:
    • Will participate in strategic planning and evolution of existing and new programs.
    • Act as an effective advocate and spokesperson for IBMMC to obtain broad support in the local, state and international communities.
    • Cultivate and strengthen relationships and communications with the constituents, Board, donors and supporters of the IBMMC.
    • Operate the IBMMC in a financially prudent and ethical manner so as to achieve the specific revenue and expenditure goals set forth in the annual budget approved by the Board of Trustees.
    • Operate the IBMMC with a team-building approach to instill a culture of mutual respect and trust throughout the organization (artistic, staff, Board, donors, subscribers, volunteers). Value and recognize contributions made by all stakeholders.
    • Establishing an IBMMC “brand” through groundbreaking programs that generate regional, national and international recognition.
    • Lead an ongoing strategic planning process that identifies the short and long term goals and objectives of the IBMMC.
    • Execute Board approved policies.
    • Manage and oversee all fundraising efforts including:
      • Maintain working knowledge of funding sources including annual campaign, grants, fundraising events, and planned gifts.
      • Research, develop and monitor grant, gifts and endowment contributions.
      • With the Board, continue the Capital Campaign for the development of the new IBMMCenter.
      • Develop, manage and implement a comprehensive fundraising program consistent with the IBMMC current needs and long-term goals. This includes oversight of the current fundraising needs, as well as strategic long-range planning for organizational growth and development.
      • Develop a budget and establish a calendar that outlines all fundraising events and campaigns.
    • Hire and provide leadership to organization personnel through effective objective setting, delegation and communication.
    • Develop a marketing and public relations campaign with Marketing Director under the guideline set forth by the Board of Directors.
    • Protect and preserve the Museum archives, records and displays.
    • Keep abreast of industry trends, music awards, news related to artists and donors.
    • Oversee the creation of Procedure Manuals, employee Job Descriptions, Benefits, Performance Appraisals, and corrective measures.
    • Ensure compliance with all regulations and guidelines pertinent to the IBMMC role as an employer and non-profit agency. Submit all information, reports and records as required, including the annual financial reports and audit, and endowment investment information.
    • Work with the Board of Directors to develop and improve policies and procedures.
    • Maintain an effective and cost effective environment.
    • Ensure the accuracy and integrity of the complete financial, statistical, and accounting records of the IBMMC.
    • Provide administrative oversight for events and services.
    • Establish timeline and financial plan for annual events.
    • Maintain regular contact with the Board via (minimum monthly) email updates. Schedule meetings as directed by Chairman of the Board and bylaws.
    • Develop and manage quarterly and annual reports for the Board incorporating all income/expenses of IBMMC.
  • Qualifications: Preference will be given to those individuals who can demonstrate:
    • Strong business management experience coupled with a passion and knowledge of the IBMMC mission and for the “Roots and Branches” of Bluegrass music, with proven fundraising experience.
    • An entrepreneurial spirit, specifically, vision coupled with motivation and execution, with the ability to be both a leader and team player.
    • Excellent communication skills, both orally and written.
    • An ability to be a strategic planner with willingness for innovative thinking and take direction from the Board of Trustees.
    • A successful track record for managing a non-profit organization.
    • A personable and inclusive management style that optimizes staff resources through effective leadership and delegation.
    • An ability to effectively communicate with the Board of Directors to implement the policies and directives of the Board.
    • Experience in creating and monitoring budgets and seeking best practices for profit and sustainability.
    • A professional demeanor, ethical and trustworthy.
  • Compensation: Commensurate with experience.
  • To Apply:
    Please send a cover letter and resume to:
    Mr. Mike Simpson, Vice-Chairman, Board of Trustees
    207 East 2nd Street
    Owensboro, KY 42303

    Email any inquiries to:

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