Fathomers is a recently reorganized and re-launched 501(c)3 with a 20-year history of producing groundbreaking contemporary art projects. Generously funded by a single donor to this point, we now aim to expand and diversify our contributed income stream in order to bolster and scale programs, exhibitions, operations and special projects. To this end, we seek a highly motivated and experienced professional to join our dynamic team as a Development Specialist, focus on major gifts.

The position offers an opportunity to author an innovative development program designed to enact long-term sustainability and maximum growth potential within the organization. The successful candidate will work closely with the Executive Director and Board to identify and implement strategies for securing high-level support—in the forms of both financial and intellectual capital—particularly from donors and institutions committed to creative, scientific and technological advancement.


  • Design and implement a robust fundraising strategy to solicit and secure $10,000+ restricted and unrestricted gifts. Cultivate and steward relationships with key figures in the arts, the sciences, technology and other fields.
  • Develop pipeline of 200-250 prospects and donors. Collaborate with ED and Board to identify and cultivate 40-60 key figures from the pipeline to be invited to join Fathomers’ highest donor circle. Strategically enlist Board and principal staff in prospect identification and donor stewardship when appropriate.

  • Collaborate with principal staff to develop, position and execute a private retreat/conference with presentations from key thinkers in a range of fields. Plan and execute additional fundraising and engagement activities and events.

  • Collaborate with principal staff to produce collateral development-related materials, and prepare and present development-related planning and reporting materials for principal staff and Board.

  • Oversee the production of major gift documentation. Maintain accurate and complete records of donor contacts and correspondence in database, and work with staff to ensure donor acknowledgement and distribution of receipts.


  • Proven track record of nonprofit development success, preferably related to the arts, with at least two years operations in Los Angeles. Proven track record of securing gifts of $10,000 or more.  

  • Demonstrable experience in cultivating and maintaining relationships with high-level philanthropists and donors in and around Los Angeles County.

  • Close knowledge of the role of contemporary art within the cultural landscape, and ease in understanding and articulating Fathomers’ unique position therein.

  • Superior written and verbal communication and interpersonal skills. Ability to exercise sound judgment, ethical decision-making and reliable discretion.

  • Proficiency in Word, Excel, PowerPoint and fundraising software.

This is imagined as a part-time position, but terms are negotiable and can be tailored to the successful candidate’s strengths and interests. Salary commensurate with experience.

Regional and occasional other travel. Evening and weekend work is regularly required.    


To apply, please send a 1- to 2-page cover letter outlining your interest in the position, a résumé, and names and contact information for three professional references to yes@fathomers.org. Applications will be accepted electronically only and reviewed on a rolling basis until the position is filled.

Fathomers is an Equal Opportunity Employer. All qualified applicants shall receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, age, sex, sexual orientation, physical or mental disability, veteran status, status as a whistleblower, or any other basis prohibited by applicable law.


On June 28, at NeueHouse Hollywood, Fathomers co-presented Science Speed Dating—7 top scientists giving 7-minute talks on their latest developments and game-changing work—with the Science and Entertainment Exchange (a National Academy of Arts and Sciences program) and the Museum of Imagined Futures.

Fathomers enlisted as presenters two visionary thinkers who commingle fields of science and art: Tahir Hemphill, data sculptor and rap researcher; and Phil Ross, aforementioned inventor and founder of MycoWorks.

Tahir’s “Hip-Hop Word Count” database collects information from the lyrics of hundreds of thousands of rap songs since 1979, permitting language analysis related to, for example, syntax, sentiment, and rhyme. As a hip-hop corpus, it forms the basic text for the Rap Research Lab, an educational curriculum and youth program founded by Tahir—and for his own artistic practice, as well. In his latest project, Maximum Distance. Minimum Displacement, Tahir isolates geographic data specific to 12 artists, converts that data into a system of geo-coordinates, and then uses those coordinates to direct the movements of an industrial robot arm, ultimately producing abstract sculptural forms. Commissioned by California College of the Arts, in San Francisco, the show runs September 5 through October 14 at CCA’s Hubbell Street Galleries.


Salon's Noah Charney ponders funding for the arts in a Trump administration. Switzer weighs in: “What’s needed now isn’t more artwork that feeds the market ... We need work that tears down walls and trespasses across boundaries — work that truly changes us, and reminds us who we can be on our best days."


Credit: Getty/Alex Wong/Mireia Triguero Roura


A double dose of hometown love for Grand Arts and P&P via CJ Janovy, at KCUR, and James Martin, for KC Studio. "Problems and Provocations provides powerful testimony," writes Martin, "that when an organization truly possesses the will and the resources to say yes to artists, amazing things can happen.”



On the International Sculpture Center blog, Jan Garden Castro revisits a 2002 interaction with Grand Arts — and advocates for the vision it set forth: "I didn’t realize until I read this book how messy and blindly optimistic Grand Arts was to commission work as revolutionary as Cronin’s Memorial and Sanford Biggers’ Blossom ... Problems and Provocations offers a free-thinking model for artists and arts foundations — one far beyond support money and/or space."


Rosemarie Fiore, process view, Scrambler Drawing, 2004. Acrylic on vinyl, 60 x 60 ft.

On Mycotecture: Breakfast with Phil Ross

Wednesday, Nov. 2
9-10:30 a.m., at NeueHouse Hollywood

As an artist, Philip Ross has exhibited work at the Venice Biennale of Architecture, MoMA and the Museum of Jurassic Technology; as a bioengineering scholar at Stanford University, he’s working to develop an internet of biological things. He’s also co-founder and CTO of MycoWorks, a start-up that turns mycelium (the threadlike, vegetative part of mushrooms) into building bricks and leather – where he’s poised to revolutionize the materials industry with his carbon-neutral, chemical-free, organic, biodegradable and fully sustainable designs. Join us for this casual breakfast discussion presented by Fathomers, a philanthropic research institute dedicated to reshaping the realm of the possible, and hear why fungus is the future. 
RSVP is required and space is limited.

Contact yes@fathomers.org to inquire about availability. 


Mycoworks, "Fungus Brick". Fungal mycelium. Image courtesy of Mycoworks.


"How, then,” asks Alina Cohen for Los Angeles Review of Books, "does a group of people who facilitated the purchase of an amusement park ride, wrangled with the State Department and the Federal Reserve, and created their own dictionary launch a book and reinvigorate the tired panel discussion format?” She came to our New York book launch last month to find out


Photography by Donald Stahl. Image courtesy of Red Bull Studios New York.

Fun Problems with Smart People

A book opening!

To mark the launch of Problems and Provocations: Grand Arts 1995-2015, transcendental tour guide Timothy “Speed” Levitch leads a dynamic cruise through creative practice, as artists, writers, and thinkers from Grand Arts’ constellation take the stage to puzzle out problems of risk, magic, pleasure, ghosts, and what comes after art. Come find us in NY and KC! 

To celebrate the coincidence of P&P’s publication and TOTAL PROOF: The GALA Committee 1995-1997 — which has been getting some attention of late — our New York episode takes place at Red Bull Studios, amid the re-staging of a project Grand Arts helped produce nearly twenty years ago. 

Guest appearances by Mel Chin, Michael Jones McKean, Maria Buszek, Emily Roysdon, John Salvest, Rosemarie Fiore, Filip Noterdaeme, Christophe Thompson and Stephen Lichty, and an exclusive multiple by Spurse.

7-9 p.m. Oct. 17, 2016
(doors at 6:30 p.m.) 
Red Bull Studios New York

RSVP here. Updates via Facebook

Our KC stop takes place at Atkins Auditorium, as part of the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art’s celebration of Diwali, Festival of Lights. 

Guest appearances by Anthony Baab, John Salvest, Cody Critcheloe, Frank Shaw, Mary Kay, Megan Mantia, J. Ashley Miller, Shannon Michalski, Neal Wilson, Charlie Mylie and Jarrett Mellenbruch, and an exclusive multiple by Spurse — as well as special guests from the GA staff, including April Pugh, Summer Farrar, and Natasha Karsk.

5:30-7 p.m. Oct. 20, 2016
Atkins Auditorium, at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art

Event page here



If you're headed to the 2016 Alliance for Artist Communities Conference, in Portland, check out this Friday break-out session!  

At the Outer Limits of Artmaking
Friday, October 7
11:15 a.m.-12:45 p.m.

Some creative projects require complex support structures beyond the essential elements of time, space and funding. Enter programs like Fathomers (formerly Grand Arts) and Autodesk’s Pier 9 AiR Program - which are uniquely poised to meet impossible ideas with access to new technology, specialized equipment and intensive production support. Hear from artists and residency leaders about the projects that took them to unusual places and explore what it means to support artistic experimentation on a grand scale.

Paolo Salvagione | Artist
Vanessa Sigurdson | Artist in Residence (AIR) Program Manager, Autodesk - Pier 9
Stacy Switzer | Curator + Executive Director, Fathomers
Noah Weinstein | Senior Creative Programs Manager, Autodesk - Pier 9



Vice’s culture platform Creators considers Grand Arts’ legacy, in advance of Problems and Provocations' September publication. "Grand Arts served as a platform for discovery as well as production,” writes Kat Herriman. "More radical than many of its peers, the progressive institution opened their umbrella, welcoming initiatives pertaining to science, technology and social justice underneath.” 


Filip Noterdaeme, Florence Coyote, 2006. Photo: Russell Gera

De-extinction & Donuts

Breakfast with Andrew Torrance
Wednesday, June 29
9:30-10:30 a.m., at NeueHouse Hollywood

If you resurrect a woolly mammoth and it falls in Pershing Square, who is liable for the damage? Join Andrew Torrance, an expert in the cutting-edge field of biolaw, to find out. With a PhD in biology from Harvard University and a JD from Harvard Law School, Torrance conducts groundbreaking research in intellectual property and the right to innovate as a professor at the University of Kansas School of Law and a visiting scientist at MIT. In this casual breakfast discussion presented by Fathomers, a philanthropic research institute dedicated to reshaping the realm of the possible, Torrance will cover the how and why of de-extinction—a lab experiment no longer limited to science fiction movies—and share stories of his current adventures in reviving the great auk.

RSVP is required and space is limited.

Contact yes@fathomers.org to inquire about availability.