Minnetrista Museum & Gardens is at a dynamic moment in its 34-year history, having successfully established itself as a beloved community gathering place and poised now to re-envision priorities and interpretive opportunities for this multifaceted cultural facility.
Minnetrista is a place of beauty. Its 40-acre campus includes 20+- acres of themed garden spaces, a six-acre Nature Area, children’s play areas, and two interpreted historic homes. Minnetrista Boulevard is a designated Historic District on the National Register of Historic Places. A main museum building (the “Center”) includes one 1500-square-foot and two 3,000-square-foot exhibition galleries upstairs and 10,000-square-feet of meeting and event space on the ground floor. A mission-driven museum store is next door to the Center.
Founded by the Ball family of Ball jar fame, the museum shares the family legacy and its impact on local, regional, and national history through original temporary exhibitions drawn from its collections. These temporary exhibits, along with traveling exhibitions, generate most of the repeat visitation. In 2018, Minnetrista opened the Oakhurst Experience in the home of George, Frances, and Elisabeth (Betty) Ball. This interactive experience explores the stories of the Ball family and the creation of the Ball Blue Book Guide to Preserving. Minnetrista has drawn a significant national audience for its permanent exhibition, the Bob Ross Experience that opened in October 2020. It tells the story of Bob Ross’s PBS painting show, The Joy of Painting, filmed from 1983-1988 in one of the Ball family homes by Ball State PBS (who continued to film the show through 1994). The Bob Ross Experience includes the reproduced original studio, a 1980s-style family living room, an art gallery, and a painting workshop where regular classes for participants are taught by certified Bob Ross instructors. Located within a 15-minute walk of downtown Muncie, Indiana and Ball State University, Minnetrista also hosts a popular weekly farmer’s market, a series of signature events, and many other free and paid activities and workshops for families and visitors.
Minnetrista seeks a President & CEO, gifted at communications, who can set and implement a vision for an organization with expansive opportunities. The CEO must have exceptional managerial skills, ready to lead and mentor a talented leadership team of five and a total staff of 69, with 55 FTEs. The leadership team includes the Vice President of Visitor Experience, the Vice President of Collections & Storytelling, the Vice President of Community Engagement, the Vice President of Finance & Operations, and the Director of Human Resources & Employee Experience. This team works together on a basis of shared authority to set institutional priorities and continuously move the museum forward. The CEO will oversee an annual budget of approximately $5M and a robust schedule of activities that includes educational programs, tours, traveling and on-site theatre performances, exhibitions, the community farmer’s market, and community partnerships. The incoming CEO will be highly visible in the East Central Indiana regional community, serving as spokesperson for and champion of Minnetrista and will extend Minnetrista’s networks to diverse constituencies. The CEO will bring a commitment to donor engagement and will lead Board, staff, and stakeholders to build Minnetrista as a nationally known destination through quality experiences, strategic fundraising, and expanded audience engagement. The incoming CEO will lead a team of trustees, staff, and community members in the development of the next five-year strategic plan and a review of the site master plan that includes new site development, and the continuation of infrastructure repairs and upgrades. The CEO reports to a 25-member board of trustees.
- Lead a multifaceted cultural and educational site and a gathering place and site for lively family experiences.
- Lead an established institution with untapped potential and enthusiastic community support.
- Leverage and promote the uniqueness of Minnetrista’s site, mission and legacy.
- Broaden funding beyond the three Ball Foundations that have historically been very generous to the museum.
- Provide administrative leadership for the institution, partnering with the Board to set direction, goals and priorities for its future.
- Oversee the development of national-caliber programming.
- Work with the Board, staff and stakeholders to define long-term strategies for the collections, programming and interpretation of Minnetrista and the Ball family legacy.
- Obtain the annual resources needed to meet the current operating needs of Minnetrista. Develop the annual budget and effectively manage and operate Minnetrista on a sustainable basis.
- Be an enthusiastic and hands-on fundraiser, cultivate major donors and foundations, and guide the Board through the drafting of a long-term plan for building the museum’s endowment.
- Lead, inspire and mentor staff; foster a culture of recognition and respect.
- Partner actively with the local, regional, and state cultural and non-profit community.
- Oversee marketing strategies to augment visibility and community connections, to continue to grow attendance and broaden audiences, and to promote Minnetrista and its offerings as a compelling destination for local, regional and national visitors.
- Review organizational infrastructure and align it with strategic plans and efficient operations as the organization continues to mature.
- Provide appropriate care for and stewardship of the buildings, grounds, and collections.
- Maintain the highest level of museum best-practices and standards.
- Encourage, promote and facilitate strong corporate governance.
- Have a minimum of five years’ experience as the successful director of a museum or related cultural organization. If you are coming from a large institution, experience could be as a deputy director or department head with substantial management responsibilities.
- Have a BA, MA preferred, in museum studies, education, American studies, nonprofit leadership or a related specialization.
- Experience working with a board of directors.
- Be able to develop and foster talent and a culture of excellence among staff, and support ongoing engagement and enthusiasm among board members and stakeholders.
- Be an excellent financial manager, demonstrating success with operational budgeting, multi-stream revenue development, and long-term financial planning.
- Bring a record of successful fund- and friend-raising, including experience cultivating individual, foundation, and municipal donors.
- Have exceptional leadership skills and enthusiasm for working with the public and be a motivator who can:
- Communicate Minnetrista’s mission and vision and cultivate and energize donors.
- Engage and inspire visitors
- Foster strong collaborative relations with the Board and with staff.
- Be a civic leader and a player at the table in the city, region, and state.
- Bring a strong commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion and be enthusiastic to incorporate DEI goals at all levels of institutional planning.
- Be collaborative and team-oriented, a listener and consensus-builder.
Salary starts at $150,000. A comprehensive benefits package includes health insurance options, Section 125 Plan, group life insurance, short and long-term disability, paid vacation and sick leave, paid holidays and personal days, a 401(k) Safe Harbor Program, and professional development opportunities.
HOW TO APPLY
Nominations and inquiries welcome. To apply: email cover letter and resume and names of 3 references with contact information by August 29, 2022, to: Connie Rosemont, Senior Search Consultant at: firstname.lastname@example.org. References will not be contacted without prior permission of the applicant, and all applications and nominations are kept confidential. For full details, visit www.museum-search.com/open-searches.
Minnetrista values diversity and is an Equal Opportunity Employer.
MORE ABOUT MINNETRISTA MUSEUM & GARDENS
Minnetrista is an immersive 40-acre campus that interprets the importance of place and community gathering through its historic museum collections, long- and short-term exhibitions, signature events, and its buildings and gardens. Situated along the banks of the White River and adjacent to downtown Muncie, Indiana, the Minnetrista campus was at one time home to the five Ball family brothers, founders of the Ball Brothers Company, maker of the iconic Ball jar. Today, Ball Corporation is also a major player in the aerospace industry, among other pursuits.
Minnetrista interprets the legacy of the Ball family and the Ball jar, and through their stories, focuses on the importance of community through a variety of exhibitions, historic tours, educational enrichment activities, hands-on experiences, and community events. The 17,000-object Minnetrista Heritage Collection includes Ball Company historical records, an extensive holding of Ball jars, and other Ball Corporation products—both historical and contemporary. In addition to corporate items, there is a significant collection of Ball family archival records and artifacts. Beyond Ball-related materials, the Heritage Collection also features the works of regional artists, regionally manufactured goods and industrial history, historic textiles and clothing, newspapers, photographs and more.
The museum campus includes 10 buildings, 4 of which are over 100 years old; 20+ acres of themed gardens, including the Oakhurst Garden that is part of the Oakhurst Home; 14 outdoor sculptures/ architectural elements; a section of the White River Greenway—a connecting loop to downtown and the regional Cardinal Greenway; the six-acre Nature Area; and a small apple orchard. The Orchard Shop, adjacent to the Center Building, is as much a destination shopping site as it is a museum store. In the fall, it is famous for the sale of apples and fresh-pressed cider, both of which are integral to the history of the Minnetrista site.
In addition to the many educational and interactive programs and events, Minnetrista serves as a leased venue for private and corporate receptions, events, retreats, and meetings. The hospitality department provides select catering services for these events as well as for such Minnetrista programs as “Tea & Talk” and “Faerie Tea Party.”
During the community planning process that resulted in the first Muncie Action Plan in 2010, Minnetrista was listed in the top three community assets alongside Ball State University, and IU Health-Ball Memorial Hospital. In 2020 and 2022 respectively the museum was honored with History in Leadership Awards from the American Association for State and Local History for their original museum theatre piece, In My Hands, In My Heart, and their unique history exhibit, Bob Ross Experience. In 2021, Minnetrista was awarded the Arts Leader award through the biennial Mayor’s Arts Awards program.
Established in 1988, with significant support from the Ball Brothers Foundation and the George and Frances Ball Foundation, Minnetrista has had three decades of growth and community support, especially under the 17-year term of President & CEO Betty Brewer, a nationally active figure who is retiring. These two Ball family foundations, along with the Edmund and Virginia Ball Foundation, remain significant benefactors for the site while encouraging Minnetrista to develop additional community giving.
Learn more at https://www.minnetrista.net/.