Job title: Director, Bag Factory Artists’ Studios
Employer: Fordsburg Artists’ Studios trading as Bag Factory Artists’ Studios
Reports to: Board of Directors
Hours of Work: Full time, 40 hours per week
Contract type: Permanent
Closing date for applications: 19 August 2022 (5pm, SAST)
The Bag Factory is a non-profit contemporary visual art organisation in Newtown, Johannesburg.
With a pioneering 31-year history of providing a supportive infrastructure for artists, the Bag
Factory is unique in combining art making with cultural debate and art exhibitions, thereby creating
a fertile international environment for experimentation, innovation, and cultural dialogue between
creatives in South Africa and the rest of the world. We are affiliated with the international Triangle
We provide studio space to a cross-generational community of Johannesburg based artists and we
host an internationally renowned artist and curatorial residency programme. We support the
development of emerging artists through various programmes including the Cassirer Welz Award,
David Koloane Award, Young Womxn Studio Bursary, and professional skills workshops. We
present regular exhibitions in our gallery, showcasing great art by emerging artists to the wider
public. All our programmes are accompanied by a public programme that encourages greater
understanding of contemporary visual art and stimulates interaction between artists and the local
community. The ultimate overall aim continues to be that the process leads to the creation of new,
high quality and innovative programmes that engage and grow audiences.
In 2020, the Bag Factory secured its future by purchasing the building it has called home for three
decades. The organisation is now embarking on a capital campaign to ensure the sustainability of
the organisation by improving its building and programme facilities. This is a unique opportunity to
join the Bag Factory team during a time of transition and to be a key player in shaping the future of
the Bag Factory’s physical space and creative programmes.
For more information visit our website: www.bagfactoryart.org.za.
Purpose of the job
We are seeking a new Director who can work across partnerships and with the existing team to
ensure effective delivery of the organisation’s creative programme and renewed vision for a
As Director, you will be responsible for the next phase in the Bag Factory’s history, upholding the
core mission and values, reaching out to growing and more diverse audiences and ensuring
financial sustainability of the organisation. The next stage in the evolution of the Bag Factory will
also include fundraising to realise a +R 10 million redesign of the Bag Factory’s building and
establishing a +R 5 million endowment fund for maintenance and core operating costs going
forward. This will be a key aspect of the role.
The successful post holder will need to have a flexible approach to work and strong organisational
skills, with a track record of working closely with visual artists to deliver innovative and inspirational
programmes which engage diverse audiences. To promote the vision and mission of the Bag
Factory, you will cultivate an environment and culture that encourages interaction, exchange of
ideas and views, cooperation, and independence, in which artists can work and develop. You will
have proven relevant arts project management and administrative experience, preferably gained
within a visual arts organisation of equivalent complexity to the Bag Factory.
Main Areas of Responsibility
- Lead on delivery of a strategic long-term vision for the organisation and provide
inspirational artistic leadership.
- Oversee delivery and future development of the Bag Factory's programme.
- Initiate diverse income streams and lead fundraising efforts to support the Bag Factory’s
programmes, operational expenses, and capital campaign for the next phase of the
- Oversee financial management, maintaining sound budgeting, management of cash flow
and successful annual financial audits.
- Develop and oversee implementation of effective marketing and communication strategies
for the Bag Factory and its activities.
- Work effectively with the Board of Directors, reporting quarterly on financial standing and
organisational activities, following board directives, ensuring policies are updated and
communicated, and rules and procedures are adhered to.
- Lead a highly motivated and performing team, with effective development and periodic
- Oversee the day-to-day administration and running of the Bag Factory's studios, ensuring
smooth operation, efficient use of resources and capacity, and encouraging a collaborative
- Oversee building and facilities management, developing a maintenance plan and ensuring
Health and Safety policies are reviewed and implemented.
This Job Description is a guide to the nature of the work required. It is not wholly comprehensive or
Director Person Specification
- Substantial and relevant experience working at a senior level within a contemporary arts
and culture organisation.
- An excellent working knowledge of current arts practice and the contemporary arts sector
within South Africa and internationally, with particular interest in process-led work.
- Extensive experience of fundraising through local/national government, local and
international trusts & foundations, and producing high quality reports to funders.
- Proven experience of preparing, managing, and working within agreed budgets.
- An inclusive leadership style with proven ability to manage and support a team, a good
listener and collaborative team member.
- Proven ability to work independently and to motivate and collaborate with others.
- The ability to represent the Bag Factory and to communicate at all levels with the Board of
Directors, colleagues, artists, partners, sponsors, stakeholders, funding bodies, press and
- Awareness of and proven commitment to best practice in relation to equality of opportunity
and cultural diversity.
- Strong written and verbal communications skills; strong interpersonal and networking skills.
- Willingness to sometimes work irregular hours.
- A relevant tertiary qualification.
- Extensive experience of the processes involved in successfully curating, organising, and
installing exhibitions, commissions, and public events.
- Committed to, and experience with working with artists on the production of new work,
developing audiences for this and prioritising equitable conditions in which works are made
- Experience nurturing relationships with private donors and supporters.
- Experience of working with social media and the web in marketing and communications.
- Experience in developing and applying organisational policies.
Summary of Terms and Conditions of Employment
The position carries a six-month probationary period.
During this time written notice of two weeks must be given by either party.
This post is offered on a full-time contract working 40 hours per week, Monday to Friday. However,
you will have the willingness to travel and to attend out of hours functions, for which time off in lieu
will be given.
Salary will be competitive and commensurate depending on experience.
Annual Leave and Public Holidays
Annual leave is 15 working days per annum. In addition, the Bag Factory offers paid time off for all
public holidays and a three-week office closure over the December period.
How to Apply
- Only applications submitted using the application form will be accepted. Please email your
application to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Please provide a copy of your ID or valid South African work permit.
- Incomplete applications or applications not submitted using the application form will not be
Closing date for applications: 19 August 2022 (5pm, SAST)
Regrettably due to the high number of applications we receive, we will only be able to respond to
those shortlisted for interview. If you have not heard from us within two weeks of the closing date,
please assume that your application has been unsuccessful.
We reserve the right not to fill this position.