We apply the same egalitarian standards for all those who serve MacDowell in a staff, volunteer, or representative capacity.

Financial and Benefits Administrator 


MacDowell, America’s first multidisciplinary artist residency program, seeks an experienced Financial and Benefits Administrator (FBA) for a full-time position (32-40 hrs/wk) in its Peterborough, NH office. As one of three team members working in a high-volume finance office, the FBA is responsible for general ledger maintenance and departmental reporting, payroll administration tasks, and ensuring adherence to generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) and the organization’s accounting controls and procedures. The FBA administers employee benefits enrollments, changes and compliance in collaboration with our third-party administrator.


  • Maintain cash receipts, payables, payroll and fixed asset sub-ledgers: importing and posting activity, creating allocation and adjusting journal entries, verifying classification accuracy, and reconciling balance sheet accounts 
  • In collaboration with Development staff, review, post, and reconcile donation data, and maintain restricted gift accounting in accordance with applicable policies 
  • Prepare quarterly expense detail and budget-to-actual reports for senior staff and department heads; provide budget-to-actual, account classification, and other data support, as needed 
  • Assist Finance Director with preparation of monthly financial statements, year-end audit, and annual budget 
  • In collaboration with third-party administrators: administer employee benefits enrollments, employee status change and termination documentation, and maintain all benefits-related files; assist senior staff with periodic benefits analysis 
  • In collaboration with third-party administrators and MacDowell Director of Internal Communications and Human Engagement, facilitate educational materials or workshop sessions explaining benefits to eligible staff 
  • Maintain files and manage claims vis a vis commercial liability, auto, and workers compensation 
  • Provide back-up for other Finance Staff member’s duties during vacation & sick absences


  • Bachelors in Accounting and 3+ years of relevant professional experience, or equivalent (5+ years nonprofit accounting experience preferred); including basic experience administering benefits, payroll, and accounts payable processes 
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Excel and Financial Edge or similar fund accounting software required; comfort with office IT and software system administration and troubleshooting preferred 
  • Excellent oral/written communication skills; ability to handle confidential and time-sensitive information with a warm, customer-service orientation 
  • Attention to detail and ability to solve problems independently 
  • Alignment with MacDowell’s organizational values 
  • 5+ years nonprofit accounting experience preferred 
  • Arts/humanities appreciation a plus

Physical Requirements

  • Ability to sit or stand at a computer work station for up to 40 hours/week  
  • Ability to maintain physical records and files by bending, reaching, and occasionally lifting up to 10 pounds 
  • Ability to communicate effectively with staff members and other stakeholders by email, phone, virtually and in person


$27-$38/hour, depending on experience and final responsibility list; full-time, exempt, based in New Hampshire office with some remote work flexibility; benefits include health and dental insurance; life and short-term disability insurance; medical and dependent care flexible spending accounts; 403(b) retirement; paid family leave; and generous paid time off.


Peterborough, NH


Email cover letter and CV to: employment@macdowell.org by December 13, 2022. We will begin reviewing applications in mid-December and hope to fill the position for a February 1, 2023 start date.

Executive Director


MacDowell has engaged Management Consultants for the Arts to facilitate the search for the Executive Director and the full position profile and information on the application process can be found at: https://mcaonline.com/searches/executive-director-macdowell

MacDowell welcomes applications from strong leaders committed to nurturing artists – including composers, writers, theater makers, architects, filmmakers, visual, and interdisciplinary artists – to serve as the organization’s Executive Director. The Executive Director is the senior staff leader and public face of the renowned artist residency located in Peterborough, New Hampshire, and of its office and event space in New York City (the position is based in N.Y.C. with frequent travel to N.H.). Chief among the incoming ED’s responsibilities will be to develop existing and new avenues of support and to communicate a clear vision of MacDowell’s future while honoring its historical success. Artistic engagement and the removal of barriers to the creative process are at the core of MacDowell’s mission, and the Executive Director should be interested in representing those values through a genuine commitment to diversity, equity, access, and inclusion. The Executive Director will be a clear communicator, strategic thinker, and skilled manager who builds relationships based on trust, follow-through, and a strong work ethic. Mastery of any artistic discipline is not required by the incoming Executive Director; instead, the new leader should be driven by cultural curiosity and open to lifelong learning about the artistic and social landscape. This skilled individual will succeed in shepherding the organization into the future by listening, connecting, responding, and then activating plans that are deeply collaborative.

The mission of MacDowell is “to nurture the arts by offering talented individuals an inspiring residential environment in which to produce enduring works of the creative imagination.”

Since its founding in 1907 as a haven for artists to have uninterrupted time and space to explore the act of creation, MacDowell has placed the support of artists at the center of all its efforts. While the means and methods of artistic expression and creation have changed over the years, MacDowell’s commitment to providing access and clearing obstructions to the creative process has not wavered.

The origins of MacDowell are rooted in a great love story. In 1896, composer Edward MacDowell and his wife Marian, a pianist, bought a 450-acre farm in Peterborough where they spent summers working in peaceful surroundings. It was in Peterborough that Edward, arguably America’s first great composer, said he produced more and better music than anywhere else. Not long after — falling prematurely and gravely ill — Edward conveyed to his wife that he wished to give other artists the same opportunity for creative experience under which he had thrived. Before his death in 1908, Marian set about fulfilling his wish of making a community on their New Hampshire property where artists could work in ideal conditions, in a place of inspiring beauty, and in the stimulating company of peers. Although Edward lived to see the first Fellows arrive at what was then known as The MacDowell Colony (read MacDowell’s announcement about dropping the word “colony” from its name and this reflection from MacDowell Fellow and playwright Mashuq Mushtaq Deen), it was under Marian’s leadership that support increased, most of the 32 studios on the New Hampshire grounds were built, and the artistic program grew and flourished. Until her death in 1956, Marian MacDowell traveled tirelessly across the country, giving lecture-recitals to raise funds for its operation and preservation and to further public awareness about MacDowell’s mission.

Those beginnings led to an artistic residency that has served as a national model for artist support. Artists at MacDowell are known as Fellows; they are selected through an open application process that includes peer artist panel reviews. Fellows are invited for multi-week residencies year-round on the New Hampshire property. They are provided exclusive use of one of 32 artist studios, along with all meals and living accommodations. Over the years, MacDowell has welcomed over 8,000 artists, with a list of notable Fellows including James Baldwin, Leonard Bernstein, Audre Lorde, Louise Erdrich, Ta-Nehisi Coates, Faith Ringgold, Laura Poitras, and Thornton Wilder (who used Peterborough as his inspiration for “Our Town”’s Grover’s Corners setting).

While the Fellows experience is firmly rooted in Peterborough, MacDowell has a significant presence in New York City with a new office and meeting space in Chelsea. MacDowell has 59 staff members who work collectively to support artists, operations, and events. The 46-member Board of Directors (half of whom are artists) is currently led by noted historian Nell Painter as Chairperson and Andrew Senchak as President. The annual operating budget is approximately $5.5 million and is derived from contributed revenue and annual draws from MacDowell’s $37 million Endowment.


The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and important discussions about social justice have profoundly influenced MacDowell. Over the past two years, Board, Staff and, on numerous occasions, groups of artists, convened to have serious discussions around diversity, equity, inclusion, and access and how MacDowell could continue to evolve to serve its broadest constituency. The MacDowell Board has done significant work on governance review and values assessment over the past two years, and the new Executive Director will come into an environment where the organization possesses renewed clarity around those and other organizational considerations. All of MacDowell’s revenue is derived through contributed support. Today, pursuing growth and operational improvement in the face of a volatile economic environment are at the center of ongoing planning discussions, all rooted in how MacDowell can best support artists.

The Executive Director will have the opportunity to bring new ideas and fresh perspective to the following organizational priorities:

  • Identify new sources of infrastructure support for MacDowell’s transformative artist residencies.
  • Continue to meet the ideal of MacDowell as a supportive and open space for artists of all backgrounds and disciplines by honoring the values of access, equity, and inclusion and centering the constant care of a safe and nurturing environment for a diverse group of artists, staff, and volunteers.
  • Lead a communicative and collaborative organizational culture rooted in a commitment to MacDowell’s values.
  • Continue to explore changes and challenges brought on by pandemic related disruptions, both for artists and for Staff and Board members.

A shared belief in the potential for constant improvement is part of the ongoing discussion of MacDowell’s future. The transition to a new executive leader will herald a time of renewed evaluation, discernment, and thoughtful change.


The Executive Director is the senior leader of the organization reporting directly to MacDowell’s Board of Directors through the President of the Board. The priorities for leadership for the Executive Director include:

Executive Leadership
As an inspirational leader and manager, the Executive Director will:

  • Thoughtfully work with MacDowell’s Board and Staff to ensure effective and responsible management of operations and create alignment around short and long-term goals.
  • Set the tone for a collaborative, respectful, nurturing and transparent style of management in which active communication and feedback are encouraged and recognized.
  • Build strong partnerships between Staff in New Hampshire and New York and bring the two communities together on remote and in-person projects.
  • Engage with Board members, particularly in fundraising, governance, and oversight.
  • Be the thought leader and architect of strategic plans to strengthen MacDowell.

Resource Development and Management
Focused on the continuing development of resources, the Executive Director will:

  • Passionately make the case for support for MacDowell to individuals, foundations, government agencies, and as-yet-undiscovered philanthropic funding sources
  • Lead the annual budgeting process, focused on a sustainable approach to the reliance on MacDowell’s endowment.
  • Oversee the management and administration of MacDowell’s financial resources in collaboration with Board and Staff leadership.
  • Approach financial planning as the structural guideline to how MacDowell accomplishes its visionary work.

Cultural Advocacy
With a sense of curiosity and a great love of culture and arts, the Executive Director will:

  • Maintain and develop new relationships with cultural leaders and artistic figures, including those who can sit on MacDowell’s residency selection panels.
  • Participate in discussions with leaders of peer organizations.
  • Create a model of cultural leadership characterized by eradicating barriers for creative artists.

Communications and Access
Centering clarity and openness, the Executive Director will:

  • Serve as MacDowell’s principal ambassador and spokesperson, taking a contemporary approach to Marian MacDowell’s national outreach effort.
  • Ensure that MacDowell’s commitment to values around diversity, equity, inclusion, and access are a constant thread in all future plans and discussions.
  • Foster relations with the New Hampshire community surrounding MacDowell and empower the local team to build such relationships.
  • Value the art of listening and reflective communication in all aspects of leadership.


MacDowell also believes the following traits and characteristics are important considerations for its next Executive Director:

  • A measured confidence earned from lessons learned from past successes as well as failures.
  • A skill for engaging with others in healthy debate and elevated conversation.
  • Humility and an openness to coaching and mentorship.
  • A sense of joy and optimism.
  • Curiosity about the world and new and different ideas.
  • A deep intrinsic love of not just the arts, but artists and their importance in our society.


The annual salary range for the Executive Director role at MacDowell ranges from $210,000 to $240,000 and includes a full benefit package commensurate with other organizations of its size. MacDowell hopes to make its decision by the end of 2022 with the chosen candidate transitioning into the position shortly thereafter. The Executive Director position is intended to be based in New York City and make periodic visits to the Peterborough physical location of the MacDowell residency.


The position is based in New York (Chelsea) with frequent travel to Peterborough, New Hampshire.


Jonathan West and Shruti Adhar are the team from MCA facilitating this search. Interested and qualified candidates should submit the following items for consideration:

  • A current resumé
  • Cover letter (no more than 1 ½ pages)
  • Four professional references
  • Salary expectation

All documents should be in .pdf format and have the candidate’s name as part of the file name. Submissions should be made through Management Consultants for the Arts’ website at: https://www.mcaonline.com/searches/executive-director-macdowell

Equal Opportunity Statement

MacDowell is committed to diversity and inclusion, and a more equitable arts and cultural sector. Our work requires a team that together represents a diversity of perspectives and lived experiences. In our offices in Chelsea, New York and Peterborough, New Hampshire, we aim to create workplaces where a mix of talented people can do their best work and bring out the best in each other.  Black, Indigenous, people of color (BIPOC), and individuals from populations underrepresented in the arts and nonprofits are strongly encouraged to apply.

MacDowell is an equal opportunity employer. We do not discriminate based upon race, religion, color, national origin, sex (including pregnancy, childbirth, reproductive health decisions, or related medical conditions), sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, age, status as a protected veteran, status as an individual with a disability, genetic information, political views or activity, or other applicable legally protected characteristics.