Are you passionate about heritage music, tourism and/or Southwest Virginia?  Are you interested in positively contributing to local community economies through partnerships and creative economy programming?  The Crooked Road strives to be a leading voice in Virginia for regional musicians, venues and tourism partners.  Collaborate with The Crooked Road to serve the region to expand programming, education opportunities and economic growth.

Position Summary 

The Crooked Road seeks an Executive Director to manage Virginia’s premier music brand as a place-maker, administrator, ambassador and attractor. This professional is charged by a large and diverse management board with planning, executing and administering complex quasi-governmental tasks creating economic development through traditional music.

As lead staff member, this person coordinates and manages program activities in economic development, traditional music concert promotion, traditional music education and tourism asset development. To develop a work plan, this staffer guides development and implementation of a strategic plan, raises and administers funds, sets and adjusts the organization, including hiring, evaluation, daily activities and termination of staff consistent with best management practices, federal and state human resources law and the organization’s personnel policies.

The Executive Director reports to and provides administrative support to the Board of Directors. Related partners include the Southwest Virginia Cultural Heritage Foundation, regional local governments, major attractions, destination marketers, Virginia Tourism Corporation, the Virginia Tobacco Commission, and other agencies working to grow the economy and positive branding of Southwest Virginia.

Expectations of the Board

The successful executive will have proven managerial and financial management skills and a strong professional background, including past supervisory roles and demonstrated initiative. The candidate will demonstrate an understanding of tourism and economic development through past experience with government, non-profit community development organizations, business development agencies, institutions of higher learning or like organization where developing a variety of public, private and enterprise funding sources is critical to ongoing operations. The manager will develop and consistently use a variety of metrics to demonstrate positive outcomes from Crooked Road initiatives.

A natural team builder, the candidate will be available to work with communities, venues, affiliated partners, tourism organizations, local governments, and appropriate entrepreneurs along The Crooked Road, building consensus to lead restructuring of the regional economy via heritage tourism enterprises and revitalizing localities’ economies through traditional music and creative arts. Successful applicant must be a multi-tasker with who can prioritize, follow through, track, and complete many varied responsibilities across multiple disciplines.

Specific Duties & Expectations

  • Provide leadership, professional and executive support to the organization and its partners.
  • Maintain regular and open communication with the board president and the Executive Board.
  • Structure (and if necessary restructure), define duties for, supervise and provide leadership to staff.
  • Work collaboratively with local, state and federal government officials, tourism, destination marketing and Chamber of Commerce professionals, music venue owners/operators, and musicians and artisans to promote economic and community development opportunities within the project area.
  • Develop an annual business plan resulting in development activities and funding necessary to sustain the organization.
  • Guide the development and implementation of the organization’s strategic vision and plan.
  • Coordinate fund development activities for the organization in collaboration with the Southwest Virginia Cultural Heritage Commission and its partners, providing research, writing and other administrative support to the Development Committee and Board President.
  • Lead development and management of the operating budget, providing budget and financial reports to the Executive Board.
  • Oversee and account for all spending, benefits, assets, liabilities, gifts, donations and royalties.
  • Apply for grants for programs and general operations from public funding sources and private foundations
  • Organize and provide administrative support for the regular meetings of the Executive Board and quarterly meetings of the Board of Directors.  Attend all meetings of each group as well as meetings of standing and ad hoc committees.
  • Develop and place TCR marketing tools under the guidance of the Marketing Committee and in collaboration with the Southwest Virginia Cultural Heritage Commission and its partners.
  • Oversee the development, maintenance and regular content development for the Crooked Road brand website.
  • Oversee development of organizational communication tools including an annual report in collaboration with the Southwest Virginia Cultural Heritage Commission.
  • Coordinate TCR efforts with regional cultural heritage and tourism associations and other non-profit supporting organizations to develop regional music outlets for traditional music throughout the project area.
  • Develop & maintain good working relationships with local governments, venues, destination marketing organizations (DMOs) and partners.
  • Oversee development, implementation, and outcome measurement of TCR educational and outreach programs and activities
  • Gain a comprehensive understanding of the unique attributes of major music venues and work with venues to develop facilities, increase the number of performance dates, hours of operation, and enhance marketing and cross promotional ties with TCR venues under guidance of the Venues Committee.
  • Prepare news releases and act as media liaison for The Crooked Road and its partners in collaboration with the Southwest Virginia Cultural Heritage Commission to promote the regional goals and objectives of the project.
  • Exhibit an enthusiasm for and knowledge of the Southwest Virginia region, its culture and heritage.

Work Environment

The successful candidate is expected to live within the region, within reasonable proximity to the organization’s headquarters at the Southwest Virginia Cultural Center & Marketplace in Abingdon, VA.

The role requires periodic work outside of normal business hours, including nights and weekends, as well as local and regional travel within the 19-county and 4-city region of Southwest Virginia to visit venues, local governments, funders, partners, sponsors and musicians within the region. A valid driver’s license, reliable transportation and personal vehicle liability insurance are essential. The organization provides mileage reimbursement and a monthly phone stipend.

Physical requirements are typical of office work, with the occasional need to lift boxes, set tables and chairs, assemble trade show displays and similar work expected of a tourism and marketing organization.

The Executive Director’s work performance is evaluated by the Executive Committee. The evaluation process provides guidance for work, coaching for improvement and feedback on results, an annual means to outline ongoing strategies, goals and objectives for implementation by the executive director.

This is a full-time position. The salary range for this position is $65,000-$70,000 commensurate with experience.

How to Apply

To apply, please email a cover letter and resume to info@thecrookedroad.org.  Please title your email Executive Director Position.  Applicants may submit an optional video introduction, no longer than 5 minutes, in which they further discuss their goals, background, and interests, plus a cover letter and resume. Applications submitted by 5:00 pm on Friday, June 9 will receive priority consideration, the position will remain open until filled.  Applications will be reviewed as they are received, and The Crooked Road encourages interested candidates to apply prior to the deadline.

About The Crooked Road

The Crooked Road is a marketing, tourism and economic development organization, Virginia’s Heritage Music Trail, both a physical trail for marketing purposes and a region encompassing 19 counties, four cities and 54 towns along the 330-mile route extending from Franklin County in the east to Lee County in the west.

Functioning as a 501c3 not-for-profit limited liability corporation, this public interest body is based at the Southwest Virginia Cultural Center & Marketplace in Abingdon, VA. Each contributing local government and venue has a seat on the governing board, which is itself led by an executive board and its officers. The board forms standing committees and ad hoc committees supporting its work.

To learn more about The Crooked Road, visit www.thecrookedroadva.com.



The Crooked Road’s Heritage Music Fund is to help assist heritage musicians of 19 county, 4 city region of Southwest Virginia with professional projects. The Heritage Music Fund is composed of allotted funds for artist development.


The fund has been established with $2,500 total amount for distribution.  From this, awards will be granted until the fund is exhausted.  The fund will be replenished each year in July, or as designated funding is received. Grant award amounts can vary, so the total number of awards will vary dependent on the requests.  The Crooked Road encourages anyone to apply and it is the desire of The Crooked Road to grant as many awards as possible.


  • 1st tier: SWVA artists can apply for funding assistance for recording and/or professional projects up to $500.
    • The Crooked Road service region encompasses the following counties and cities of the Southwest Virginia region: Bland, Bristol, Buchanan, Carroll, Dickenson, Floyd, Franklin, Galax, Giles, Grayson, Lee, Montgomery, Norton, Patrick, Pulaski, Radford, Russell, Scott, Smyth, Tazewell, Washington, Wise, Wythe.
  • 2nd tier: artists wanting to record a project in SWVA with SWVA musicians and/or industry resources such as recording studios and engineers


This is a one-time grant for eligible professional projects including the following:

  • Recording Projects that occur in SWVA
  • CD design and purchase
  • Livestream Equipment
  • Website Updates
  • Headshot Photos
  • Marketing Needs
  • Professional Development funds to attend applicable seminars, conferences, workshops

More details and full application can be found here: Heritage Music Fund Application Final 8-2021



The Crooked Road is now accepting applications for heritage music artists from the SWVA region to apply to be a part of the Heritage Artist Directory, which will be listed online at the TCR website.  Application here: Heritage Artist Directory Application

Share On Facebook
Share On Twitter
Share On Youtube
Contact us