Executive Director

SPACE on Ryder Farm

Brewster, NY

Work Location: In-office


  • Full Time
  • Brewster, NY
  • Work Location: In-office
  • Theater
  • $138,000
  • $165,000

SPACE on Ryder Farm

About the Opportunity

SPACE on Ryder Farm seeks its next Executive Director to lead the organization into a new era: one marked not solely by the return from COVID, but by the opportunity to live and thrive in adherence to the organization’s recent strategic plan, as well as align the financial resources necessary for the organization to support its people and programs in an equitable, sustainable fashion. The Executive Director should be equally comfortable leading high-level vision, advocating on behalf of artists to funders, and collaborating with the farm and culinary team to deliver radical hospitality–though not always all at once!

The ideal candidate will have a love of people and nature, of relationship-building that can build financial support and organizational capacity (and a track record of doing so), and an openness to working in community without the traditional limitations of hierarchy. Every member of the SPACE team has their specific duties and responsibilities but are encouraged to work alongside one another as equals—representing a living embodiment of the organization’s values. The ideal candidate will be galvanized by the opportunity to build philanthropic support for SPACE’s unique and impactful mission and programs, and will relish the opportunity to unify and rally the SPACE stakeholders as they enter this next phase together.

Unmistakably, this is an opportunity to assume this role immediately post-Founder (there has been an Interim Executive Director since Fall 2021 following the Founder’s long-planned departure), and candidates should be clear-eyed about the opportunities and challenges that are presented by this stage in an organization’s trajectory. The Board and Staff are equally clear-eyed about this and have sought outside consulting and counsel to ease this transition and best set up the next Executive Director for success. It will be critical that applicants for this role are not intimidated by an organization in transition; can identify and mobilize the organization’s many strengths among staff, artists, and volunteers; and are comfortable working particularly with a Board of Directors to navigate the dynamic change that naturally comes following Founding Executive leadership.

About SPACE on Ryder Farm

SPACE on Ryder Farm is a nonprofit residency program and organic farm located on the grounds of a 227-year-old family homestead in Putnam County, New York, just an hour north of New York City. SPACE’s mission is to create an environment singular in its ability to invigorate artists and innovators and their work, and to contribute to the sustainability and resourceful preservation of one of the oldest organic family farms on the East Coast. SPACE has hosted Oscar, Tony, and Obie award winners alongside Pulitzer finalists, Guggenheim fellows, and MacArthur geniuses for creative residencies in a rustic, bucolic setting.

SPACE’s artistic philosophy is simple: artists and social activists need the time and space to do what they do best – create. Through signature artistic residency programs, SPACE strives to create a singular environment on Ryder Farm, one that eliminates obstacles to creation. Since SPACE’s founding, 1,500 artists have gone through the residency program and beginning in 2017, the organization has committed to granting 50% of residencies to people of color and other underrepresented voices. In addition to its artist residency model, SPACE’s agricultural programs are dedicated to the idea that access to healthy food is a basic human right.

SPACE on Ryder Farm is a grassroots organization where many team members may be asked to pitch in on other projects within the scope of their abilities and comfort. This is a full-time position working out of SPACE’s Brewster location in Putnam County and our NYC office at Playwrights Horizons Downtown with some flexibility depending on seasonality and work obligations.

Job Description

The Executive Director’s primary responsibilities will be in the following areas:

Organizational Leadership
• Foster a collegial, professional environment where strategy, programming, systems, and communications are well developed and maintained
• Consistently uphold the values of the organization as well as the guiding principles articulated in SPACE’s most recent strategic plan
• Periodically evaluate and refine the vision and mission of the organization as needed to meet changing external and internal dynamics in partnership with the Board of Directors and senior staff; SPACE is a culturally responsive organization, and should/will adapt to the needs and lived experiences of its many stakeholders
• Manage senior staff, acting not only as a supervisor but also as a coach and consensus builder, remaining deeply committed to the values of developing and bringing out the strengths of all of SPACE on Ryder Farm’s people while holding them accountable for their goals and desired outcomes, and to the organization’s commitment to building and growing an equitable institution rooted in anti-racist practices

Fundraising & Board Development
• Lead fundraising efforts and partner with the Chief Development Officer (currently filled on an interim basis), the Board of Directors, and donors to secure and allocate the resources necessary for SPACE to continue to support the depth, breadth and quality of its programs; this includes individual, major gifts, institutional, corporate, and special event fundraising
• Partner with the SPACE on Ryder Farm board in the recruitment, support and development of board members, ensuring the use of best practices in governance and each person’s talents are recognized and leveraged to the fullest; work with each board member to set appropriate and individualized goals for their annual involvement and organizational support

Cultural and Community Engagement
• Share the voice of SPACE on Ryder Farm with the broader community, connecting personally with all stakeholders (residency program participants, staff, and Board members) and representing the organization with local community leaders, external partners, funders and other supporters
• Participate in SPACE’s culture of radical hospitality by joining staff and artists for onsite communal meals during the residency season


The ideal candidate will have the following:

Required (“Must Have”)
• Commitment to SPACE on Ryder Farm’s mission, values, and evolving model
• The desire, passion, and experience necessary to lead an organization through a pe-riod of change that will center on anti-racist approaches to diversity, equity, and inclusion
• Proven track record of effective fundraising (preferably with total annual goals exceeding $1 million) and overseeing a strong financial program
• Cultural and operational dexterity; able to move across a variety of stakeholder groups
• Experience galvanizing staff culture amongst a small, multi-generational team with varying skill sets and lived experiences
• Demonstrated success in juggling multiple projects and competing priorities across multiple teams with attention to detail

Desired (“Nice to Have”)
• Senior level program, administrative, or executive experience
• A deep understanding of and compassion for change management
• Experience operationalizing a vision and strategic plan, continually assessing, monitoring progress, and making adjustments

Not sure you meet 100% of our qualifications? Research shows that men apply for jobs when they fulfill an average of 60% of the criteria. Yet, women and other people who are systematically marginalized tend only to apply if they meet every requirement. If you believe that you could excel in this role, we encourage you to apply.

We are dedicated to considering a broad array of candidates, including those with diverse workplace experiences and backgrounds. So, whether you’re returning to work after a gap in employment, simply looking to transition, or taking the next step in your career path, we will be glad to have you on our radar.

Please use your cover letter to tell us about what you hope to bring to this role.


SPACE on Ryder Farm offers a salary range from $138,000 to $165,000 and a wide variety of benefits, including paid-time-off, a 401K, a health insurance salary match with proof of outside healthcare, and a work-issued computer, etc.

Application Instructions

The search for the Executive Director is being conducted on behalf of SPACE on Ryder Farm by Tom O’Connor Consulting Group, a New York-based executive search and consulting firm specializing in the arts and culture industries.

To apply, visit the online application and submit your materials. Your cover letter should include relevant experience, including any direct experience you’ve had with similar roles and institutions. No phone calls, please.

To apply for this job please visit www.tomocgroup.com.