Culture Program Director (TJF)

Summary

The Joyce Foundation is seeking a Culture Program Director to lead and manage the $2 million annual racial-equity-centered Culture grantmaking portfolio, including the highly-esteemed Joyce Awards, and serve as a convenor around and advocate for racial equity in the arts in Chicago and throughout the Great Lakes region. 

This position reports to the Vice President of Programs and Strategy and supervises a program assistant.  It will be based in the Foundation’s offices in downtown Chicago as soon as they safely re-open and will be a remote-work position during standard business hours in the meantime.  This is a full-time position with excellent benefits. Alternately, the Foundation is open to an 80% arrangement with benefits for a candidate who prefers a reduced schedule. In either case, the candidate must be able to attend exhibitions and performances during evenings and weekends in Chicago (once they resume safely) as part of their engagement with current and prospective grantees.

About the Joyce Foundation

Established in 1948, the Joyce Foundation invests in policies to advance racial equity and economic mobility for the next generation in the Great Lakes region (Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin). With over $1 billion in assets, the Foundation distributes $50 million in grants annually to organizations that take creative, evidence-informed action for broad, systemic change in five areas: Education & Economic Mobility, Environment, Gun Violence Prevention & Justice Reform, Democracy, and Culture. It has a current staff of nearly 30 and is governed by an 11-member board of directors.

Major Responsibilities

Advancing the Culture Program Strategy

Advancing the Culture Program strategy by monitoring the field; staying abreast of local, regional, and national trends; and collaborating with grantees, peers, and allies.

Racial Equity in the Arts Grantmaking in Chicago

Overseeing a grantmaking portfolio of nearly $2 million to arts and cultural organizations in Chicago, many of which are organizations led by and rooted in black, indigenous, and other communities of color. 

The grantmaking process includes:

  • Building and nurturing relationships with current and prospective grantees
  • Soliciting letters of inquiry and proposals consistent with the program strategy, reviewing and evaluating proposals, conducting further assessments through site visits, and attending exhibitions and performances
  • Preparing written recommendations for and making oral presentations to the Foundation’s leadership and board of directors
  • Monitoring grants for fulfillment of contract requirements and legal compliance
  • Collaborating with the Communications team to highlight the work of Culture grantees

Overseeing the Joyce Awards

The Foundation annually conducts the Joyce Awards, making approximately four grants to collaborations between artists of color and arts, cultural, and community organizations in Chicago, Cleveland, Detroit, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, and Minneapolis-St. Paul.

The Joyce Awards process, overseen by the Culture Program Director, includes:

  • Conducting outreach to and serving as a resource for potential applicants
  • Reviewing letters of inquiry and providing feedback for applicants to submit full proposals
  • Building a national jury of artists and arts leaders and facilitating jury review of proposals
  • Conducting final due diligence for jury-recommended proposals
  • Preparing written recommendations for and making oral presentations to the Foundation’s leadership and board of directors
  • Collaborating with the Communications team on Joyce Award-related announcements

Advocating for Racial Equity in the Arts in Chicago and the Great Lakes

Beyond grantmaking, the Culture Program Director serves as a convenor around and advocate for racial equity in the arts by organizing talks, panels, and events highlighting the work of grantees, often in conjunction with grantees and other funders, in Chicago, throughout the Great Lakes, and nationally in arts, nonprofit, government, philanthropy, and policy-making networks.

 

Qualifications

 

  • A minimum of 8 years experience in the arts, including as (but not limited to) an arts advocate, artist, arts administrator, arts professional, arts organization board member, arts funder, and/or teaching artist
  • Deep understanding of the cultural heritage and diversity of Chicago and working knowledge of artists, arts organizations, and the arts ecosystem in Chicago
  • Demonstrated commitment to racial equity through work, volunteer, and/or service experience and strong analysis of the barriers to racial equity in the arts
  • Strong strategic, analytic, and communications skills, including the ability to formulate strategy, write clearly and succinctly under time pressure, and craft and deliver presentations for a variety of audiences
  • Demonstrated effectiveness in developing networks and productive working relationships with diverse constituencies in the arts sector
  • A. degree required. An advanced degree is preferred.
  • Grantmaking experience and/or experience administering an award or fellowship process is preferred but not required.
  • Experience supervising staff and consultants is preferred but not required.

The Joyce Foundation is an Equal Opportunity Employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, creed, color, gender, gender identity, gender expression, age, ethnicity, national origin, immigration status, sexual orientation, religion, disability, height, weight, veteran status, or marital status.

To apply

To apply for this position, please complete and submit this application form by 11:59pm CT on Wednesday, August 26, 2020. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis. Those submitted sooner will be given priority consideration.

In addition to requesting contact information, the application form will ask you to upload your resume and an arts-related writing sample with the option to share the URL for your LInkedIn profile, if you have one. 

Additionally, the application will ask you to respond briefly to the following questions instead of submitting a cover letter:

  1. What interests you about this position? (up to 750 characters, or about 150 words)
  2. Please describe your knowledge of arts in Chicago and the role(s) that you serve in or have served in including (but not limited to) advocate, artist, arts administrator, arts policy maker, arts professional, arts board member, arts funder, and/or teaching artist. (up to 1000 characters, or about 200 words)
  3. How have you demonstrated a commitment to racial equity through your work, volunteer, and/or service experience thus far? Please describe. (up to 1000 characters, or about 200 words)
  4. What do you think are the most formidable barriers to racial equity in the arts? (up to 750 characters, or about 150 words)
  5. Please describe any experience you have with grantmaking and/or administering fellowship or award selection processes. (up to 750 characters, or about 150 words)

Please note that we will review your responses to these questions prior to looking at your resume.

First-round interviews for this position will begin in September with subsequent rounds in October and November. Ideally, the selected candidate will begin in December 2020 or January 2021, at the latest.

Questions can be directed to Dr. Masum Momaya (she/her), a consultant for the Joyce Foundation’s Culture Program, at masummomaya@gmail.com.

 

 


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