Executive Director

About Bellevue Arts Museum


Bellevue Arts Museum provides a public forum for the community to contemplate, appreciate, and discuss visual culture. We work with audiences, artists, makers, and designers to understand our shared experience of the world.


Bellevue Arts Museum is one of the leading visual art institutions in the greater Seattle area. With its unique focus on art, craft, and design, the Museum presents dynamic exhibitions that celebrate artists and makers from a broad range of disciplines, viewpoints, and cultural backgrounds. Designed by Steven Holl, BAM’s galleries provide unique opportunities for curation. Within these galleries, emerging local artists share their work alongside established and national talents, and the absence of a permanent collection allows the Museum to present 7 to 10 exhibitions each year. Exhibitions present a wide range of themes—from sparking conversation about our society’s relationship with plastics, to pushing the boundaries of traditional media, to celebrating rising local talents and looking back at the careers of arts icons. BAM’s exhibitions are often created in collaboration with vibrant artists, guest curators, and national to global arts organizations. BAM also partners with local arts and cultural institutions toward crafting and mounting its exhibitions, such as Northwest Designer Craftsmen, Jordan Schnitzer Family Foundation, Pilchuck Glass School, and Bullseye Glass Company.

Bellevue Arts Museum grew out of an annual arts fair that was started in 1947 by a handful of community volunteers and eventually led to the founding of the Museum in 1975. In 2001, BAM moved into its permanent home, an architecturally significant building designed by Steven Holl. The Arts Fair, which is now run by BAM, is a much-loved summer event that attracts upwards of 350,000 visitors annually. 

BAM by the numbers
  • 1,051 members
  • 25 employees
  • 2,400 students served in 2019 (pre-pandemic)
  • 88 docents
  • 18 board members; 15 advisory council members


Our Location

Bellevue is a city in the Eastside region of King County, Washington, located across Lake Washington from Seattle. It is the third-largest city in the Seattle metropolitan area and the fifth largest city in Washington State. Its population was 148,164 in a 2019 census estimate. The city's name is derived from the French term belle vue ("beautiful view").

The Museum is in the heart of downtown Bellevue, an area bustling with commerce, restaurants, and entertainment that boasts a thriving urban population. The city of Bellevue is nationally recognized for livability and enjoys top-ranked public schools, an abundance of parks, amazing restaurants and performance venues, as well as easy access to outdoor recreation activities. Business is also booming in Bellevue as it is a growing hub for tech industry giants like Microsoft, Amazon, Google, Facebook, and more. Bellevue Arts Museum is committed to growing alongside the city’s increasingly diverse population, presenting exhibitions that intrigue, inspire, reflect visitors’ experiences, and encourage important conversations about our cultural moment.


Executive Director Responsibilities & Qualifications


The Executive Director is responsible for management of all aspects of Bellevue Arts Museum including fundraising/development, exhibitions and curatorial activities, outreach programs, marketing, human resources, financial management, strategic planning, facilities, and administrative activities. The Executive Director represents the Museum with government agencies, the community, and the public. In this leadership role, the Executive Director will work to maintain a positive and collaborative culture throughout the Museum that is inclusive and transparent and inspires and motivates staff. The Executive Director is responsible for advancing the Museum’s diversity, equity, and inclusion work, with the support of the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) committee, comprised of both Museum staff and board members. The Executive Director also works directly with DEI consultants or other outside contractors to develop and maintain the Museum’s DEI-focused work. As the museum’s primary advocate, fundraiser, and ambassador, the Executive Director builds long-lasting relationships with the community and donors.

The Executive Director oversees curatorial activities to ensure they meet the long-term mission and vision of the Museum and works together with the Curatorial lead, who is responsible for providing curatorial leadership and management, including the planning, budgeting, design, and display of art exhibitions and presentations. 

Reporting Relationships
  • Reports to the Board of Trustees
  • Performance expectations are defined by the Board and are formally reviewed by the Board President annually.

Primary Responsibilities
  • Visionary Leadership – Displays a passion for art, craft, and design; has knowledge and experience in arts administration that inspires respect and trust; mobilizes the Museum’s staff and Board of Trustees to fulfill the Museum’s mission. 
  • Executive Management – Effectively communicates and champions the Museum’s mission and vision to the community to elevate the visibility of the Museum and to elicit broad community support and engagement. Establishes a trusting and connected relationship with the Board of Trustees, Advisory Council, docents, artists, philanthropic leaders, donors, supporters, city and governmental agencies, and volunteers in the community. Leads the development of a clear plan for the Museum that sets directions for success in the following areas:
    • Museum Mission and Vision
    • Curatorial artistic direction
    • Resources and Staffing
    • Development and Financing
  • Effective Business Manager – Develops workable short and long-term operational plans; is a goal-oriented and data-informed decision maker who ensures coordination with current and long-term financial management that supports the Museum’s strategic plans.
  • Operational and Strategic Planning – Oversees short-term operational and long-range strategic planning and implementation processes, including the effective management of the organization’s departments. Consults and strategizes with the Board and staff regarding annual artistic, educational, and outreach plans and appropriate budget, with the aim of fulfilling the organization’s artistic vision and simultaneously maximizing earned income opportunities. Directs administrative personnel relations to ensure that the organization is effectively structured and staffed with competent employees. Ensure that BAM’s employer obligations to its staff, legally and ethically, are fully met. Develop, implement, and monitor a long-term institutional plan and vision in coordination with the Board and staff.
  • Financial Management – Manages all Museum financial commitments in alignment with the operational plan. Leads the annual budgeting process, working with staff and Finance Committee to submit for board approval in a timely fashion. Oversees the preparation of monthly financial reports and weekly cash management. Ensures timeliness, accuracy, and legal and regulatory compliance regarding all financial functions.
  • People Manager – Develops and nurtures a culture that attracts, inspires, and motivates employees, artists, docents, consultants, and board members; has a deep, abiding commitment to inclusive practices and builds, leads, and mentors diverse, inclusive teams; promotes diversity, equity, accessibility, and inclusion, both internally and externally. Manages, reviews, and sets goals for direct reports.
  • Curatorial Leadership – Oversees the curatorial and program staff to plan and execute a robust schedule of exhibitions and events that attracts broad and diverse participation from the community.
  • Fund Development – Works with Board of Trustees and Development staff to plan and execute fundraising initiatives, including major gifts, foundation and corporate funding, annual and capital campaigns, annual fundraising events, and the Bellevue Arts Museum Arts Fair.
  • Board Relations – In addition to regular reporting, brings all appropriate issues and policy requirements to the Board in a timely manner. Partners with the Board President to ensure that the Board and staff are cohesively working to support BAM’s established strategic direction.

Key Attributes of the Executive Director

The Executive Director will bring an optimistic, pragmatic, and entrepreneurial perspective in building an effective management team and organizational structure that best serves BAM’s mission, vision, and goals. They will be an intellectually curious, diplomatic, and assertive professional and a hands-on manager. The selected individual will have a proven track record and possess exceptional staff management, teamwork, planning and organizing, and revenue-enhancement skills. The selected candidate will be a strong leader by nature and should also demonstrate the following competencies:

  • Inclusive Leader – cultural intelligence, fairness and respect, collaboration, commitment
  • Communicator – listens, focused, responsive, sincere, respectful
  • Executive Presence – professional, confident, credible, composed
  • Community Builder – passion for enhancing the communities we serve
  • Team Builder – self-aware, listens well, empathetic, engages others
  • Strategist – critical thinker, anticipatory, realistic, deep knowledge, planner
  • Visionary – inspirational, emotionally intelligent, open-minded, imaginative, resolute


Qualifications & Experience
  • Advanced degree in nonprofit leadership, arts leadership, fine art, art history, museum studies or related disciplines. Associated studies or certifications in business or curatorial a plus. Work experience in lieu of education will be considered.
  • Seven to ten years of demonstrated senior-level leadership experience in managing and building successful arts and educational institutions with an emphasis on art, craft and design is preferred.
  • Strong background in operational and financial management, preparing and managing budgets with proven success creating and executing strategies and plans.
  • Demonstrated success and experience with building earned revenue, fundraising, strategic planning, program design, board relations, public relations, marketing, and communications.
  • Deep knowledge and understanding of DEI and how to ensure it is fully integrated into the culture and activities of the Museum. Ability to work effectively in collaboration with diverse groups of people and public constituencies.
  • Ability to multi-task and prioritize in a fast-paced environment.
  • Excellent communication skills and the ability to communicate effectively and in a professional manner, both verbally and in writing. Comfortable and adept at public speaking.
  • Strong community-relations skills, especially in responding to community needs and interacting with community leaders.
  • Respected professional among peers in similar organizations or art-related associations.
  • Coronavirus/COVID-19: As a condition of working on BAM premises, all employees must sign an acknowledgement of vaccination status, assumption of risk, waiver and release.
  • Applicants must pass a background check before hire.


Our Commitment

BAM is committed to creating an environment that supports freedom of artistic expression and invites and embraces diverse and wide-ranging perspectives. Our vision is to provide thought-provoking exhibitions and programs that open important conversations in our community. Embracing diversity, equity, and inclusion is a vital aspect of being a vibrant cultural asset for the region. Equitable practices ensure that diversity of population and thought are represented, respected, and valued in our exhibitions, programs, and across the organization.

Bellevue Arts Museum is an equal opportunity employer. BAM celebrates diversity of its employees, members, visitors, and larger community. BAM provides Equal Employment Opportunities (EEO) to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, or genetics. In addition to federal law requirements, Bellevue Arts Museum complies with applicable state and local laws governing nondiscrimination in employment. This policy applies to all terms and conditions of employment, including recruiting, hiring, placement, promotion, termination, layoff, recall, transfer, leaves of absence, compensation, and training.


Hours, Salary, & Benefits

Hours: Full-time, evenings and weekends as needed (exempt position)

Salary and Benefits: $110,000 – $130,000 per year; Comprehensive employee benefits package provided.


To Apply

Qualified and interested applicants who are enthusiastic about taking on the dynamic role of leading this vibrant museum can email a resume and cover letter explaining their interest to hr@bellevuearts.org.

No phone calls please. All applicants will be sent an automated reply notifying them that their application was received. Applicants selected to participate in the interview process will be notified. Position is open until filled.