Northeast Historic Film Seeks Executive Director

19 Aug 2014 7:28 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

Northeast Historic Film – Executive Director

The Board of Directors of Northeast Historic Film (NHF) announces an extraordinary opportunity for a dynamic, visionary and accomplished leader who can share our passion for collecting, preserving and sharing significant archival moving images and who is ready to lead the organization into the future. The new Executive Director will build on a 28-year history that has seen NHF become recognized as the premier archive of New England’s moving image heritage.


Since incorporating in 1986, Northeast Historic Film has become one of the most renowned moving image archives in North America.  Our holdings constitute a record of twentieth-century culture: on the factory floor and the farm, in the woods and at sea, at home, and on the streets of towns and cities.

NHF is an independent moving image archives and study center. With the support of many donors, we built a three-story cold storage facility, developed distribution strategies, engaged scholars with an annual symposium now in its fifteenth year, and took responsibility for the history and art of over a thousand families and organizations, opening content to hundreds of thousands of users. 

In 2013, we received The Silver Light Award, the highest honor of the international Association of Moving Image Archivists. NHF’s collections contain 10 million feet of film and more than 8,000 hours of video, a unique and irreplaceable treasure. We have influenced generations with the compelling record of life in New England in productions such as From Stump to Ship: A 1930 Logging Film and the films of Elizabeth Woodman Wrightundefinedworks that would not survive or be used and appreciated without Northeast Historic Film. 

Explore NHF’s moving image collections at

NHF is located in the 1916 Alamo Theatre in Bucksport, Maine. The 125-seat auditorium is a cultural gem for the region with outstanding projection facilities.

Organizational Overview

After 28 years as a founder-led organization, this is an important time of transition for NHFundefinedsetting the stage for an exciting future. Like all other moving image archives, NHF faces a radically changed technological landscape that will require creating digital access to holdings, developing new alliances, and connecting with new audiences. Navigating these changes will require a leader ready to lead the shift to new technologies, develop the business model, and seek expanded avenues of support.

To ready the organization for the next chapter, the NHF Board of Directors launched a Transition Campaign in early 2014 that includes a $350,000 fundraising goal to support the transition. As of early August, over $175,000 in transition funding had been successfully raised from the board, friends, and foundations.

Meanwhile, with the support of a challenge grant from the Stephen and Tabitha King Foundation, community members completed a successful campaign, raising $105,000 to fund the digital conversion of the Alamo Theatre’s projection facilities.

NHF has an operating budget of $524,000 for the current year and a staff of 5.5 FTEs, augmented by interns and volunteers.  NHF has over 250 members and a solid and growing base of support that includes an annual fund of $40,000 (for 2013) and an endowment recently valued at just over $300,000. We have an engaged 10-member Board of Directors with a breadth of experience and national perspective. NHF is a founding member of the Association of Moving Image Archivists and a member of New England Archivists.  

A more complete description of Northeast Historic Film can be found at

Leadership Priorities

As NHF approaches our thirtieth anniversary, we are proud of what we have accomplished and are committed to hiring an Executive Director who is ready to lead NHF to the next level.

The NHF Board of Directors has identified the following priorities for the next Executive Director:

  • Develop financial support by building on existing relationships and expanding the sources of funds.
  • Work with the Board and staff to develop a vision for audiovisual preservation and access in the 21st century. 
  • Deepen understanding of existing and potential audiences. Increase public access to our collections and appreciation for their content.
  • Create a sustainable business model that appropriately monetizes assets. These assets include knowledge, skills, facilities, and collections.
  • Lead a staff capable of implementing a preservation program that serves the longtime security of the collections.
  • Cultivate personal relationships and partnerships with leaders of New England’s educational and cultural community.
  • Develop individual and institutional alliances that result in broader understanding of NHF and commitment to the organization’s sustainability. 
  • Explore the future of the Alamo Theatre in relation to our mission.
  • Position NHF as a clearly-defined brand: we are a unique organization and an essential cultural resource.


To lead NHF requires a comprehensive set of skills and abilities. As the Board considers candidates, the following have been identified as priorities for the successful candidate:

  • Proven fundraising ability and prior success in building fruitful relationships with donors
  • Energy for articulating the organization’s case to inspire staff, donors and partners
  • Appreciation for the key issues of media preservation and the ability to prioritize appropriately
  • Ability to lead a major analog repository to a new position as an archival resource with digital access
  • Experience developing and nurturing partnerships
  • Enthusiasm for New England and for the preservation of regional culture

Minimum requirements include the following:

  • BA or BS
  • 5 or more years of relevant management experience
  • Proven fundraising skills and experience
  • Experience with arts, education and cultural engagement
  • Strong communication skills, including the ability to write clearly and persuasively and connect with diverse audiences
  • Highest level of recommendations from references and peers


Comprehensive benefits package and competitive salary commensurate with experience


NHF’s archives, cinema, and administrative offices are located at the mouth of Penobscot Bay in Bucksport, Maine, with access to Acadia National Park, waterfront and inland recreation, and vibrant coastal communities. We are 30 minutes from Bangor International Airport and 2 hours from Portland.

While it is anticipated that the Executive Director will work out of NHF’s Bucksport office, the Board is open to considering options as we look to the future and explore operational models together.

To Apply

Interested candidates should send a cover letter, résumé, and the names of 3 references (indicating relation to the candidate, phone number, and e-mail address) to Starboard Leadership Consulting at the following

Paper copies may be sent to: Mary Pettegrow, Starboard Leadership Consulting, 84 Harlow Street, Bangor, Maine 04401, but electronic submissions of material are preferred. No phone inquiries, please. Review of applications will begin on October 1, 2014 .


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