Bard College, Red Hook, New York

May 2024

Overview of the Position:

The John Cage Trust (JCT) seeks a dynamic and entrepreneurial Executive Director (ED) who is familiar with the life’s work across media and fields of interest and endeavor of the late American composer, John Cage, as well as his principal associates. The position requires experience in leading and administering a non-profit arts organization, preferably in a role that combines artistic and administrative talents. Candidates must have effective interpersonal skills as well as excellent written and verbal communication skills. Bookkeeping and accounting skills are essential as is an inclination toward innovative fundraising; experience in both undergraduate and graduate teaching is a plus.

The position reports to the John Cage Trust’s Board of Trustees. See About the John Cage Trust.

Prior experience in producing public programs of various kinds, within and beyond the New York City environs, including Bard College, is highly desirable. Any candidate should be prepared to live and work primarily in the Hudson Valley as this position cannot be fulfilled remotely.

MA, PhD, or equivalent academic experience is assumed, although otherwise stellar applicants will be considered.


The Executive Director is responsible for running the John Cage Trust, a certified 501(c)(3) organization, according to best non-profit management practices. The ED’s position requires work in essentially three interrelated areas: administrative, artistic, and archival. While administration is key, maintenance of the extensive JCT archives and oversight of and assistance to visitors is extremely important; visitors can include students and scholars, existing and potential collaborators, performers, curators, and presenters. Interface with the public in various settings is to be expected.

 The JCT is at a moment of dynamic change and growth, and any candidate is expected to be willing and able to enthusiastically meet, create, and fulfill new needs. 

Select components of the requirements of the position:

* Conceives of and initiates development of new projects both on and off campus that continue to expand the activities of the JCT in furtherance of its mission, identifying and negotiating with new and existing partners.

 * Travels as needed to support JCT activities worldwide with the ED serving as a key ambassador of John Cage and the JCT to the global community.

 * Oversees the process of analyzing and negotiating contracts (with legal counsel as needed).

 * Oversees website development and maintenance (with web and technology director).

 * Conceives of and supports initiatives with respect to the Trust’s education efforts, both within and outside of the Bard College academic community.

 * Develops and oversees activities that encourage expansion of the licensing of Cage’s work.

 * Oversees the Trust’s financial records and portfolio (with investment counselors as needed); while general ongoing bookkeeping and annual tax preparation is required, prior investment experience is neither expected nor assumed.

 * Establishes and guides personnel policies and procedures and long-range planning.

 * Liaises with exhibition curators, galleries, museums, and libraries.

 * Works closely with organizations and individuals with whom the JCT maintains active relationships in publishing, archival practices and placements, and licensing.

 * Researches and assesses new acquisitions and secures rights as possible for archives held by the John Cage Trust.

 * Connects people with people and people with materials for successful furtherance of work.

For Further Information: See

For Confidential Consideration: Please contact Laura Kuhn, current Executive Director, by sending your resume, a cover letter (outlining experience with the work of John Cage), and three references to or via mail:

Laura Kuhn, Director
John Cage Trust
1309 Annandale Road
Red Hook, New York 12571

Please note that due to anticipated interest, it may be possible to respond only to those whom the Trustees hope to interview.

Non-Discriminatory Hiring Policy

The John Cage Trust is an equal opportunity employer. We are committed to providing a work environment that promotes diversity, equity, and inclusion. We believe in hiring individuals based on their qualifications, skills, and experience without regard to race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national origin, age, disability, marital status, veteran status, or any other legally protected status.

We comply with all applicable federal, state, and local laws governing nondiscrimination in employment. Our commitment to equal employment opportunity applies to all aspects of the employment relationship, including recruitment, hiring, promotion, transfer, training, working conditions, compensation, and benefits.