President & CEO

Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp

Twin Lake, MI, 49457

Work Location: In-office

Performing Arts Center

  • Full Time
  • Twin Lake, MI, 49457 (Remote)
  • Work Location: In-office
  • Performing Arts Center
  • $0.00
  • $0.00
  • Hourly Rate (USD$): Competitive & Commensurate with Experience

Website Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp

President & CEO
Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp
Twin Lake, Michigan


Located on a 1,600 acre campus in West Michigan, Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp, Inc. is a well-established, nationally recognized non-profit organization comprised of three major divisions, including a summer school of the arts, an international exchange program, and a classical/jazz/NPR public radio station. Founded in 1966 and currently in its 58th season of operation, the organization annually serves 6,000 students, 35,000 listeners, and thousands of festival attendees with a budget that exceeds $10 million.


While each division of the organization provides a unique pillar of the mission’s foundation, Blue lake Fine Arts Camp’s overarching objective is to create lifelong artists, enthusiasts, and patrons by offering quality arts education for all ages in a diverse and welcoming environment focused on encouragement and growth. The international exchange program aims to bridge cultural understanding through the universal language of the arts, and the public radio station compliments the organization’s goals through community engagement as the voice of the arts in West Michigan.


Camp founder and President Emeritus Fritz Stansell envisioned an arts camp where all students could learn and thrive in a supportive atmosphere. His dream took hold in 1966 with 50 campers and a staff of energetic and hopeful musicians who did everything from cooking the meals and supervising the campers to teaching and leading the ensembles. Over the past fifty-seven years, the camp has grown to incorporate an international exchange program that has escorted thousands of students to perform and create goodwill in many countries worldwide. A public radio station was formed in 1982 to promote classical and jazz music throughout southwestern Michigan. The camp has grown in size and scope, expanding to multiple programs in art, dance, theater, and music. Along the way, an impressive campus formed with performance venues and instructional facilities – both rustic and refined — scattered throughout the 1,600-acre campus.

**Summer Camp

Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp strives to maintain an atmosphere where students who want to learn may do so in an environment which encourages creativity and recognizes the importance of the individual. Students are accepted at whatever their proficiency level may be and are encouraged to grow. Faculty and staff strive to motivate campers and share with them the joy of achievement in the fine arts. Enthusiasm is contagious at Blue Lake as campers discover, learn, experience, and succeed. Within the Summer Camp division, Blue Lake offers the Suzuki Family Camp, Lifelong Arts, Summer Camp for grades 5 – 12, and the Chamber Music for Fun program. The Summer Camp division employs 750 seasonal positions in counseling and health staff, faculty and conductors, and local support staff.

**International Exchange Program

The Blue Lake International Exchange Program seeks to cultivate international understanding among our youth. With the expectation of fostering new friendships through common ground, we aim to create future leaders in all aspects of our society who can help promote peace through a broader appreciation of the world. Since the beginning of the program, Blue Lake International has visited more than 1,700 communities in nineteen different countries. Additionally, Blue Lake has welcomed thousands of visiting European and Asian campers and performing groups as a part of this unique exchange program.

**Public Radio Station

On the air since 1982, Blue Lake Public Radio’s mission is to serve as West Michigan’s voice of the arts, providing the region with the highest quality arts and cultural programming available through its classical, jazz, and NPR news offerings. Broadcast studios are located on the campus of Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp. We broadcast at WBLV 90.3 in Muskegon and WBLU 88.9 in Grand Rapids. Blue Lake Public Radio also streams through an app and online at Blue Lake Public Radio.

**Vision for Future

Emerging from the global pandemic, Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp is well positioned to begin a new chapter in the life of the organization. The future vision for Blue Lake is to expand its reach, scope, and impact through all divisions, working to increase arts accessibility, diversify programs and offerings, develop new revenue streams, grow alumni engagement, and encourage donor support while building strong collaboration with local, regional, and national arts entities.

**Position Summary

The President serves as the Chief Executive Officer for Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp, Inc. The President cultivates collaboration and innovation among administrative and arts leaders to further the mission and ideals of the organization, builds its financial foundation, broadens its reach and impact, and promotes positive growth for the future. The President provides executive leadership to the administrative team through short- and long-term planning, goal setting, disciplined fiscal management, and bringing best practices to all aspects of the operation in order to strategically achieve objectives. Through thoughtful community engagement, the President advocates for increased public awareness of the arts and arts education to ensure that Blue Lake’s growth is supported and that it remains one of the premiere youth arts organizations in the country.


Executive Leadership
• Guide the creation of a new strategic plan to consensus and implementation
• Work with committee members and administration to determine short- and long-term priorities, artistic development and vision, operational goals, and financial strategies
• Reinforce and promote the organization’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion in all aspects of the enterprise
• Empower and support lead administrators and staff to effectively complete responsibilities while holding them accountable for improvement
• Engage publicly with faculty, staff, campers, families, patrons and community
• Serve as Chair of the Executive and Management Committees

Artistic Development
• Serve as primary public liaison for community involvement and connections to arts organizations and other institutional contacts
• Continue to build upon the artistic excellence of Blue Lake by fostering programs that challenge and inspire students and public
• Collaborate with Artistic Director on Arts Program vision and compass, including expansion, development, implementation, and evaluation
• Together with artistic and administrative leadership, ensure recruitment and retention of mission-aligned faculty, staff, and student body. Support them with quality opportunities within an environment that demonstrates their extraordinary value to the institution.

Financial Management
• Enact strategic short- and long-term fiscal planning and disciplined management across the organization
• Inspire alums and friends of the Camp and Int’l Program to support the growth of an endowment, critical to future success of the organization
• Engage with alumni, donors, and granting agencies as the primary representative of Blue Lake
• Participate as lead member of the Financial Oversight Committee

**Qualifications and Characteristics

The next President will bring experience as a proven leader in arts administration, arts education, non-profit setting(s), and financial management with appropriate degree status commensurate with position. The successful candidate will exhibit career-focused artistic credentials with an emphasis on instrumental music and/or arts education. A background in community outreach, development, and fundraising, is desired. The President must be a strong advocate of all arts, have a personal passion for advancing the organization’s mission, and collaborate in raising funds for Blue Lake. Additional desired characteristics are:

• Dynamic, creative, and problem-solving intellect
• A leadership approach that combines warmth and collaboration with decisiveness and resolve
• Demonstrated understanding of managing a multi-million dollar budget in a non-profit setting
• Experience in cultivating philanthropic support, maximizing earned revenues, and financial accountability
• An ability to connect and communicate effectively and transparently with a range of participants: administrators, seasonal employees, students and families, community members, patrons, donors, and the Board of Trustees
• A deep personal and professional commitment to the principles of diversity, equity, and inclusion and the requisite skills to support diversity and increase equity and inclusion across internal and external constituents.
• A leader who is experienced in community relations, politically astute and able to manage the varied demands and expectations of different funders and organizations.
• The ability to articulate vision and strategy as well as the tactical skills to manage the processes necessary for effective implementation
• A leader who works in partnership with a Board of Trustees, advising on key issues and collaborating in realizing a vision for the future
• The ability to regularly travel throughout the region, and be on campus daily during peak season

**Compensation and Benefits

Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp offers an attractive compensation package commensurate with experience. Employee benefits include employer paid medical and dental insurance through Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, employer paid life insurance, short- and long-term disability, an employer funded pension, optional vision coverage and 401-k investments, and paid vacation, sick leave, personal days, and holidays. The position requires in-office work and residence in proximity to campus during summer operation.

**Inquiry and Application

For inquiry and application, contact: Donald Flickinger, Senior Vice President, Chair of Board of Trustees: Email a singular PDF including letter of intent, resume or curriculum vitae, five professional references, and statements of philosophy of arts education, the role of the arts within various communities, and your personal approach to leadership.

Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp values diversity and supports a policy of compliance with applicable laws prohibiting discrimination in employment because of race, color, religion, creed, gender, age, national origin or ancestry, ethnicity, sex (including sexual orientation and gender identity), qualified disabled status, marital status, pregnancy, genetic information, childbirth and related medical conditions, veteran status, and other personal characteristics covered by applicable federal, state, or local law.

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