Virginia’s Crooked Road seeks new Executive Director

The Crooked Road, Virginia’s Heritage Music Trail has only been active for a decade and a half, but people in the southwestern part of the state have already seen and felt its impact. It’s especially true among musicians, artists, and artisans in the region, and those who appreciate their craft.

The idea percolated up in the first years of the new century, that the folk arts and music of the Appalachians might serve as an effective tourist draw and help the many smaller mountain communities who had suffered economically from the changing market, and jobs that had left the area. Under the vision of the late Joe Wilson, public officials, arts organizations, and business groups cooperated to get the project started, which now manages a major, multi-location festival every summer, as well as ongoing events throughout the 19 counties that encompass the Crooked Road project.

Their official descriptions reads…

Founded in 2003, The Crooked Road is a marketing, tourism and economic development organization, Virginia’s Heritage Music Trail, both a physical trail for marketing purposes and a region encompassing 19 counties, four cities and 54 towns along the 330-mile route extending from Franklin County in the east to Lee County in the west. Functioning as a 501C3 not-for-profit limited liability corporation, this public interest body is based at the Southwest Virginia Cultural Heritage Center in Abingdon, VA. Each contributing local government and venue has a seat on the governing board, which is itself led by an executive board and its officers. The board forms standing committees and ad hoc committees supporting its work.

As they head into 2020, The Crooked Road is searching for a new Executive Director, to replace Jack Hinshelwood who has left the organization after 9 years to return to work as an environmental engineer with the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality. This is not an easy position to fill, as the job requires skill and experience with fundraising, managing a staff, working with municipal and governmental offices, plus a deep knowledge and familiarity with traditional mountain music, bluegrass and old time music and culture, and economic development.

The job posting on their web site describes the specific duties of the Executive Director as:

  • Provide leadership, professional and executive support to the organization and its partners.
  • Maintain regular and open communication with the board president and the Executive Board.
  • Structure (and if necessary restructure), define duties for, supervise and provide leadership to staff.
  • Work collaboratively with local, state and federal government officials, tourism, destination marketing and Chamber of Commerce professionals, music venue owners/operators, and musicians and artisans to promote economic and community development opportunities within the project area.
  • Develop an annual business plan resulting in development activities and funding necessary to sustain the organization.
  • Guide the development and implementation of the organization’s strategic vision and plan.
  • Coordinate fund development activities for the organization in collaboration with the Southwest Virginia Cultural Heritage Commission and its partners, providing research, writing and other administrative support to the Development Committee and Board President.
  • Lead development and management of the operating budget, providing budget and financial reports to the Executive Board.
  • Oversee and account for all spending, benefits, assets, liabilities, gifts, donations and royalties.
  • Apply for grants for programs and general operations from public funding sources and private foundations
  • Organize and provide administrative support for the regular meetings of the Executive Board and quarterly meetings of the Board of Directors. Attend all meetings of each group as well as meetings of standing and ad hoc committees.
  • Develop and place TCR marketing tools under the guidance of the Marketing Committee and in collaboration with the Southwest Virginia Cultural Heritage Commission and its partners.
  • Oversee the development, maintenance and regular content development for the Crooked Road brand website.
  • Oversee development of organizational communication tools including an annual report in collaboration with the Southwest Virginia Cultural Heritage Commission.
  • Coordinate TCR efforts with regional cultural heritage and tourism associations and other non-profit supporting organizations to develop regional music outlets for traditional music throughout the project area.
  • Develop & maintain good working relationships with local governments, venues, destination marketing organizations (DMOs) and partners.
  • Oversee development, implementation, and outcome measurement of TCR educational and outreach programs and activities
  • Gain a comprehensive understanding of the unique attributes of major music venues and work with venues to develop facilities, increase the number of performance dates, hours of operation, and enhance marketing and cross promotional ties with TCR venues under guidance of the Venues Committee.
  • Prepare news releases and act as media liaison for The Crooked Road and its partners in collaboration with the Southwest Virginia Cultural Heritage Commission to promote the regional goals and objectives of the project.
  • Exhibit an enthusiasm for and knowledge of the Southwest Virginia region, its culture and heritage.

If this sort of challenge suits the next phase of your life, and you have experience administering and fundraising for arts organizations and non-profits, The Crooked Road, invites interested candidates to send a letter of interest, with a resume and qualifications, to:

Larry Yates
PO Box 278
Haysi, VA 24256

Share this:

About the Author

John Lawless

John had served as primary author and editor for The Bluegrass Blog from its launch in 2006 until being folded into Bluegrass Today in September of 2011. He continues in that capacity here, managing a strong team of columnists and correspondents.