Now hiring: Executive Director. Become part of the Pattern!

Woodland Pattern Executive Director Job Announcement

Woodland Pattern Book Center is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to the discovery, cultivation and presentation of contemporary literature and the arts. Operating for 40 years, we are internationally recognized for promoting a lifetime practice of reading and writing, providing a forum and resource for regional writers and artists, and engaging diverse audiences for contemporary literature through innovative approaches to multi-arts programming. Our office, bookstore, and gallery/performance space are located in Milwaukee, Wisconsin’s Riverwest neighborhood.

The Executive Director is responsible for leading and directing the organization, including the full range of business operations, creative programming, community relations, and fundraising. Currently, the E.D. manages an annual budget of approximately $400,000 and staff of four employees who together oversee Woodland Pattern’s programming, administration and fundraising. Programming includes over 70 events annually, including readings, music performances, and film screenings.


The duties and responsibilities for the executive director are fourfold:

  • Fund development and community relations: cultivating and sustaining financial stability for the organization while appealing to and enchanting Milwaukee’s literary community and residents of the Riverwest neighborhood
  • Administrative leadership: working alongside the Board of Directors to ensure consistent adherence to Woodland Pattern’s mission and strategy
  • Operations: the day-to-day nuts and bolts of running Woodland Pattern, including overseeing staff, facility management, and budgetary matters
  • Program leadership: working closely with staff and partner groups to design programming strategies that yoke to our mission and vision


Required experience includes a Bachelor’s degree or equivalent life experience, five years in or in support of nonprofit organizations, a robust background in fundraising (including grant-writing, donor development, and individual giving), and experience managing employees. Past management of an arts organization is preferred.

We are seeking a diplomatic and tactful candidate who has a deep appreciation of poetry, literature, and art; who is comfortable and effective at approaching and collaborating with partner groups and organizations; and who effuses a sense of humor.

Compensation package includes salary, health benefits, and paid time off.  Please submit your résumé, cover letter, salary requirements, and the names of two references by October 16 to or by mail to 720 E. Locust St, Milwaukee WI, 53212 ATTN: Executive Director Search Committee. Please direct your references to the email address above. For questions, contact Jessi Carnes at 414-263-5001.