South African Cultural Observatory

Call For Applications: Vansa Director

BY 15.03.18



Opportunity Description

The Visual Arts Network of South Africa is looking for a versatile and strategic thinker and organiser to lead the organisation, and to consolidate and develop its position as a dynamic and resilient network-based organisation.

VANSA has positioned itself as a support point and knowledge base for contemporary art practice in South Africa, developing strategic interventions that strengthen the overall ecology of the field, working with a diverse network of partners and interests locally, continentally and globally.

Reporting to the VANSA Board of Directors, you will be responsible for managing a core team of 4-5 staff at our national office based in Johannesburg, and an annual budget of R4 – R5 million. Working with this team, you would be responsible for conceptualising, managing and resourcing activities and projects across four programmatic areas, alongside an existing portfolio of activities, projects and partnerships in each area:

  • Communications, Network and Membership Development
  • Professional Support Services
  • Research, Advocacy and Lobbying
  • Decentralisation work supporting arts practice in smaller towns, and peri-urban areas.
  • Special projects concerned with developing new practice, new markets and new audiences for contemporary art

More generally you will be responsible for:

  • Shaping and managing the overall strategic direction of the organisation
  • The development and management of new and existing partnerships
  • Driving the financial strategy of the organisation, and ensuring strong systems are in place for the management of financial resources
  • Directing the research, advocacy and lobbying dimensions of the organisation’s work
  • Providing oversight and direction of marketing, membership/subscription and external communications
  • Organisational development, including the recruitment and development of staff and the development of the governance structure of the organisation

The preferred candidate will need to demonstrate the following based on a combination of experience and qualifications:



  • Knowledge and experience of the contemporary art field in South Africa, Africa and globally (not necessarily confined to visual arts)
  • The capacity to formulate and drive an innovative agenda, and to think strategically and creatively
  • Experience in conceptualising projects, securing partners and raising resources
  • Experience in programme and project management, including planning and report-writing
  • Experience in managing and developing people/teams, and in working with a board or similar structure
  • Experience of managing relationships with partners and funders
  • Experience of working with social media and the web in marketing and communications
  • Experience of financial management and systems
  • Strong written and verbal communications skills; strong interpersonal and networking skills
  • Willingness to sometimes work irregular hours
  • Willingness to travel extensively locally and internationally
  • A drivers license
  • A relevant tertiary qualification


  • Ability to communicate effectively in at least one South African language other than English or Afrikaans
  • Experience in designing and managing research projects
  • Knowledge of the cultural policy landscape in South Africa, and experience of working with/lobbying government
  • Experience in developing and applying organisational policies
  • Work experience in a business/entrepreneurial environment

Starting Salary: R360 000 per annum (cost to organisation), renewable and reviewed annually subject to the financial position of the organisation.

Start Date: 2 May 2018



30 March 2018


How to Apply

Please send a CV and covering letter motivating your suitability for the position, including details for at least two contactable referees to

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