Italian Street Painting Marin–Executive Director–Completed

Congratulations to Kevin Marlatt and ISPM for the successful conclusion of this search.

View PDF: Italian Street Painting Marin Executive Director Position Description

Italian Street Painting Marin

Executive Director

Position Description


Painter Executive Search is supporting Italian Street Painting Marin in a search for an entrepreneurial Executive Director to direct their growth and ensure this high-quality, community event continues to flourish in years to come.

Italian Street Painting Marin (ISPM) showcases the fine art of street painting during an annual two-day event in late June in San Rafael, California. The event invites over 100 regional and international Madonnari (chalk artists) to transform the streets with their works. The popular event has drawn as many as 10,000 annual visitors who enjoy watching the artists work, listening to music and relaxing in the food grotto. Children are encouraged to participate by adding their chalk work to Children’s Avenue. The event showcases the art form and provides a unique opportunity to interact with artists fostering an engaging interaction for art lovers of all ages.

The Executive Director is responsible for ensuring this much-loved event retains its charm and quality while growing its attendance, participation and impact. The event is dependent upon a deeply-committed and capable group of volunteers. Working effectively with volunteers–encouraging, supporting and cultivating their commitment will be an important part of this role.


Italian Street Painting Marin, is a community outreach program of EveryLife Foundation for Rare Diseases (ELF), a 501c3 headquartered in Marin County, California. ELF is dedicated to accelerating biotech innovation for rare disease treatments through science-driven public policy and believes that bridging science and the arts enhances health, inspires hope, and changes lives. Each year a portion of the ISPM event proceeds are granted to fund arts education for students in the community.


The Executive Director (ED) is the primary leader and fundraiser of Italian Street Painting Marin and is responsible for implementing and achieving the strategic goals and objectives for the organization. The ED, in collaboration with others, sets and executes the overall strategic direction and has responsibility for the organization’s financial and operational health. Working with a small staff and a host of long-time volunteers, the ED is expected to grow the organization and ensure its long term sustainability and health. The ED will need vision and passion to articulate the potential of this event and the emotional intelligence to attract, train and support the efforts of volunteers to be successful.


The Executive Director reports to a Governing Board of four longtime volunteers and supporters who meet quarterly to review and support the work of the event. As a program of ELF, deepening connections to the primary work of the EveryLife Foundation and collaborating to further align programs is welcome.

The priorities for the Executive Director in the next twelve months include:


  • Learn all of the operational and administrative requirements for the annual event and assess the long-term needs of the organization in order to form a growth strategy to ensure the event’s long term sustainability; in collaboration, review the mission and vision of the organization given its unique relationship to the EveryLife Foundation for Rare Diseases;
  • Develop and implement a community engagement plan which results in increased funding and volunteer participation;
  • Continue to develop and foster strong collaborative relationships between the Artistic Advisors, Executive Team and Governing Board, as well as others, which will enable the execution of a more fully articulated vision for the organization and increase the resources to support it.

There are currently 4 members of the ISPM’s Governing Board who together with the Executive Director will set the strategic direction for ISPM. This Governing Board is responsible for overseeing the legal and financial management of the organization and will serve as advisors as the mission and vision of the organization continues to evolve. Additionally, the ED is supported by staff and an Executive Team of dedicated volunteers who lead key aspects of operational planning and execution of the event. The founders, along with several longtime volunteers and artists, serve as Artistic Advisors and support the development of the event’s annual theme and provide a bridge to the arts community. A large and dedicated group of enthusiastic volunteers participate in a broad range of roles throughout the event including ticketing, food and product sales, entertainment venues as well as many hours involved with set up and take down. Over 200 volunteers provided their time to the event last June.

ISPM currently has a small staff of 2 part-time Directors who are responsible for operations and programs. The staff of ISPM primarily work remotely, but the Executive Director has an office co-located within the EveryLife Foundation offices in Novato, CA. Accounting support is provided by ELF. This is a small organization where the ED is expected to be very hands-on. Comfort with office technology particularly proficiency in basic office administration software and desktop design software is important. The budget for the event is small with approximately a third of its operating revenue earned during the event from ticket, food and merchandize sales. The remaining revenue needs are provided through corporate sponsorships, in-kind donations and individual contributions. The event is managed conservatively and has accumulated a small cash reserve. Each year the event funds grants to support some aspect of youth engagement in the arts as part of its mission. Grants amounts and direction have been reviewed annually. This full-time paid directorship represents a significant investment in the organization by a major funder who has committed to fund the transition from its founders to a self-sustaining operation over the next few years. Fueled by the passion of the founders, the event has become a local tradition. Its future will be built with equal passion and the support of a broader and deeper collaborative engagement with the community and the establishment of a clear mission and vision for the organization.


The original San Rafael street painting festival, a program of Youth in Arts, was founded by Sue and Joe Carlomagno who wanted to share this captivating art form with the San Francisco Bay Area, and raise funds for Youth in Arts programs. With Sue as Festival Director, and Joe, the Technical Director, and a team of dedicated volunteers, Youth in Arts introduced the first street painting festival in 1994. The festival was an immediate success drawing thousands of attendees, and continued until 2010 when Youth in Arts discontinued the festival.

With the help and support of EveryLife Foundation for Rare Diseases and the community, and a small team of passionate volunteers, Sue and Joe Carlomagno introduced Italian Street Painting Marin to the public with a new street painting event in 2013. This fee-based event featuring local, national, and internationally recognized artists regularly draws over 6,000 paid visitors. Celebrating its fourth year, Italian Street Painting Marin will showcase the Eternal City of Rome at Ciao Bella Roma June 25-26, 2016.

Although the event is sometimes focused on a stated theme, the core of the event is the working artists and the infectious creativity that emerges through their chalk works. The tradition of the Madonnari is an old one, dating back to the 16th Century. But it wasn’t until 1973 that the first street painting event premiered in Italy, the birthplace of the art form. Celebrations of the art have seen increased popularity in the last decade and now events celebrating street painting can be found around the country.

Executive Director


Leadership and Strategy

  • Together with the Governing Board and Executive Team, craft strategic and operational goals;
  • Be a spokesperson for the organization; grow the ISPM’s visibility in the community and build enthusiasm for the event and awareness for ELF;
  • Ensure that the Governing Board is regularly and accurately informed of progress toward goals, overall financial condition and bring forth issues of importance to the operations and strategy of the organization for consideration;
  • Work to strengthen the number and engagement of volunteers, including developing partnerships with other organizations and groups;
  • Help solicit, motivate, and oversee the management of key event volunteers and consultants;
  • Work closely with Governing Board, Founders and Artistic Advisors, and Executive Team including the Program Director, and Operations Director to create each year’s annual event concept, design, and communications strategy;
  • Work with the Founders and Artistic Advisors to ensure strong and positive relationships with artists and facilitates their continued support of ISPM;
  • Develop and foster warm and positive relationships with community, business and civic leaders who participate in the success of the event;
  • Explore and expand the relationship with ELF including potential co-branding opportunities and program alignment;
  • Represent ISPM at ELF board and/or staff meetings, as required.

Fundraising and Advocacy

  • Be the chief advocate and external face of ISPM; effectively represent the organization throughout the community and with all who contribute to the success of the event;
  • Actively participate in fundraising including growing support through sponsorship, individual and corporate donors—both cash and in-kind, and build the development of foundation relationships to support program and operational goals;
  • Secure major donors, ensure that donors feel appreciated and engaged in ISPM;
  • Ensure effective communications with all donors and sponsors; set standards for recognition and stewardship of gifts;
  • Oversee the annual fund-raising campaign, event in-kind donor solicitation, and earned income programs, including product development and membership programs.

Internal Leadership and Operational Management

  • Recruit, nurture and challenge qualified and motivated professional staff; delegate specific responsibilities with appropriate authority and establish accountability; ensure that performance evaluations provide clear feedback and effective review ; foster open communications;
  • Provide leadership in developing programmatic, organizational and financial plans with the Governing Board, Executive Team, ISPM staff and together, carry out plans and policies;
  • Review, update, and oversee the strategic plan and ISPM general timeline;
  • Periodically analyze and evaluate current programs and activities for efficiency and effectiveness;
  • Work with the ELF accounting team and the Operations Director to produce accurate financial statements; manage and oversee expenditures, approve budgets, and maintain full awareness of all ISPM financial records;
  • Oversee all public relations and marketing tasks, including the production of all organization and program communications and marketing collateral;
  • Together with the Operations Director, ensure that the ISPM’s day-to-day operations and programs are smoothly and effectively administered; oversee updating of website, databases, technology, and office equipment;
  • Secure and manage ISPM operations consultants — accountant, publicist, graphic designer and branding specialists, IT professional, and website, database, and email hosts;
  • Monitor and ensure organizational transparency and compliance with California statutes and IRS regulations governing non-profit corporations;
  • Work with Program Director and Operations Director to develop and update staff and volunteer job descriptions.



A successful Executive Director candidate will likely have:

  • A passion for bringing high quality art to the community;
  • Experience effectively leading an organization of similar size and complexity;
  • Demonstrated success in increasing financial support for a project or organization;
  • Evidence of developing and implementing effective strategy–a visionary with the ability to plan and execute in ways that encourage cooperation;
  • A history of working well with volunteers; ability to encourage deeper participation and effectively utilizing their time and talents;
  • Demonstrated leadership—including well-developed staff and project management skills and the ability to delegate tasks effectively;
  • A history of strong collaboration; someone who actively seeks strategic partnerships and develops effective relationships;
  • Experience as the face of an organization; strong interpersonal skills; superb oral and written communication skills, able to present ideas clearly and persuasively;
  • Experience working well under pressure; able to adapt to changing situations and priorities; exercises good judgment; able to hear and value alternate opinions and make informed decisions;
  • Strong financial and organizational management skills; a track record of managing on time and on budget;
  • Experience with effective marketing and communications, particularly in strategies and tactics that result in increases in attendance and support;
  • Marin County resident ideal—able to forge a strong connection with the Marin community;
  • Proficiency in software supporting office administration, including: Microsoft Office Suite, and Filemaker; expertise in Joomla, InDesign, Photoshop, and Illustrator or similar programs a plus.


  • A team builder with both vision and strong management skills; one who can motivate and direct diverse partners while establishing accountability and shared success;
  • Emotionally mature, someone who truly enjoys working with people;
  • Someone who highlights and supports the successes of others, can easily share the spotlight and celebrate shared accomplishments;
  • Builds effective and lasting relationships;
  • Unflappable; a good planner who responds clearly and gracefully to the unexpected;
  • Solutions-oriented with attention to detail; pragmatic with an eye to the future;
  • A good listener and strategist; comfortable receiving input from many sources while retaining the ability to act decisively when required;
  • A hard worker; a ‘doer’ with a willingness to work hands-on with a high energy level;
  • Resourceful—able to bring the resources of others to collective work and build broad engagement;
  • Exercises high ethical standards.

This position is a full time role with a competitive salary and benefits package.

For additional details or to submit your experience for review, please contact;

Nancy Painter

(415) 202- 6240