4 February 2022


Opportunity Description

After 15 years of existence VANSA is entering a new stage and embarking on a shared, non-hierarchical leadership structure. This has emerged much like all that VANSA attempts, through consultation, research and development. Over the last few months the Board and senior management have engaged in conversations about sustainability and our work within the sector. Through this model, we hope to lessen the organisation’s dependence on one individual, foster a diversity in voices, skills and perspectives, strengthen and share strategic thinking and decision making capabilities and operate more effectively and efficiently to reach the organisation’s mission.

The Visual Arts Network of South Africa (VANSA) is looking for a versatile strategic thinker, a visionary organiser to co-lead the organisation, in order to consolidate and develop its position as a dynamic and resilient network-based organisation. As the organisation moves toward a new leadership model and restructuring in the new year we are recruiting for a new Managing Director who will work alongside an Operations Director in this experimental two-person leadership structure.

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.

The ideal candidate should have a minimum of 10 years experience working in the creative and cultural sector in South Africa, Africa and the Diaspora.

Reporting to the VANSA Board of Directors, you will be responsible for co-managing a core team of 2-4 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
  • Actively fundraising and developing income generation strategies for 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 
  • Advocacy and lobbying dimensions of the organisation’s work 
  • Providing oversight and strategic direction of marketing, membership/subscription and external
  • Organisational development, including the recruitment and development of staff and the development of the governance structure of the organisation
  • Grow VANSA’s local and international reach through strategic partnerships 

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


  • Experience working in the creative and cultural sector
  • Prior experience fundraising and income generation through a broad range of methods
  • 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 two South African languages other than English
  • 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
  • Prior experience working with VANSA and related programs

Starting Salary Range: 

The annual cost of employment per annum range is R360 000 to R420 000 and will be commensurate with experience and skills-set, renewable and to be reviewed subject to the financial position of the organisation.

Start Date: 

1 March 2022 or as soon as possible thereafter.

How to Apply

Please send a CV and covering letter motivating your suitability for the position, including details for at least two contactable references to submissions@vansa.co.za.