Associate Program Officer - Arts and Culture (TKF)

The Kresge Foundation’s Arts and Culture Team has an immediate opening for an Associate Program Officer.

About the Foundation

The Kresge Foundation is one of the top 20 private foundations in the United States and the only one focused exclusively on expanding opportunities for people with low income in American Cities. With a $3.8 billion endowment and a staff of over 100 employees, the foundation deploys grants and social investments across arts and culture, education, environment, health, human services and community development. The foundation’s state-of-the-art headquarters maintains an array of energy-efficient, water-conserving and health-promoting systems. The foundation also operates an office in Detroit’s Midtown district.

About the position

The Associate Program Officer will support the work of the national Arts & Culture program team to evaluate grant applications, manage and monitor a suite of grants, and assist with select bodies of work associated with the program’s strategic priorities.

The Arts & Culture program strategy seeks to position culture and creativity as drivers of more just communities. The program strategy exclusively supports equitable creative placemaking, a creative approach to community development and planning that fully integrates arts, culture and community-engaged design. The program pursues this strategy through three focus areas:

  • Increase creative capacity to shape healthier neighborhoods
  • Catalyze creative change in ecosystems
  • Strengthen the equitable creative placemaking field

All Kresge programs and practices share the goals of expanding opportunity, decreasing poverty, and increasing social and economic mobility in America’s cities. 

Primary responsibilities

Supports the national arts & culture program strategy:

  1. Contributes to the program’s strategy development and implementation outside of the Detroit arts portfolio.
  2. Shares collective responsibility for achieving the program’s strategic objectives.
  3. Supports the creation of strategy documents such as board materials, board advisory committee materials, and working group materials.
  4. Obtains, maintains, and shares knowledge of the current thinking in field - serving as a subject matter advisor externally and internally at Kresge.

Performs project & program management:

  1. Works with members of the team to develop grantee engagement efforts such as cohort and initiative trainings, research projects, and knowledge exchange.
  2. Oversees the program’s initiative and grantee services platforms including:
  3. Organizing strategic objectives and associated work plans for grantee convenings and related engagement efforts.
  4. Assisting in the coordination of logistics for convenings and meetings.
  5. Coordinating content for team newsletter and external communications.
  6. Maintaining positive working relationships with key partners.
  7. Supporting processes for external requests for proposals and open calls for grant applications including RFP development, publication, review and communications.

Conducts grant reviews and serves as point of contact for grantees:

  1. Manages a portfolio of select grants across the country including cohorts, initiatives and place-based work in cities.
  2. Performs end-to-end grant review responsibilities for a combination of sourced and unsolicited applications.
  3. Supports the approval and non-approval processes.
  4. Develops knowledge of program-related investment (PRI) and innovative capital tools to achieve program objectives.

Contributes to research, evaluation and learning:

  1. Works with team members and the Managing Director to develop grant outcomes and evaluation criteria for one's own grants; reviews reports and interprets results for the broader team.
  2. Conducts site visits and participates in professional development opportunities.
  3. Conducts research and contributes to initiative development within the team.

Performs other duties to support foundation and program objectives:

  1. Demonstrates a strong commitment to the foundation’s mission and values in daily interactions.
  2. Demonstrates a strong commitment to pragmatically champion equitable creative placemaking as an approach to community development and planning.
  3. Works collaboratively - actively supporting and encouraging all members within the team and across teams.
  4. Represents the foundation publicly, sharing program approaches and grant making outcomes.
  5. Participates in funder and cross-sector collaboratives to achieve program objectives as necessary.
  6. Serves as liaison to other Kresge departments.
  7. Participates in internal working groups.
  8. Conducts other duties and special projects as requested.


  • Bachelor’s degree is required; completion of a master’s degree is preferred.
  • Three years of relevant work experience.
  • Previous experience in community organizing, arts, culture or community-engaged design, project management, strategy (for-profit, non-profit or public sector) or operations is preferred.
  • Demonstrated interest in the public, nonprofit, civic or social sectors.
  • Ability to simultaneously master a diverse workload and meet deadlines in a timely manner.
  • Demonstrated ability to effectively develop and manage strong and productive working relationships with internal and external partners.
  • Previous experience synthesizing large amounts of information and the ability to execute on strategies.
  • Demonstrated leadership potential.
  • Excellent analytical, writing, and verbal skills.
  • Strong social skills and experience working on and across teams, functions or sectors.
  • Demonstrated maturity and good judgment.
  • Ability to take the initiative, work independently and with a team, make sound decisions and craft support for recommendations.
  • Must be willing to travel extensively. Local, regional and national travel requirements vary by quarter.


To Apply

Please apply online using this link:

The application deadline is midnight EST August 31st, 2019

The Kresge Foundation, an Equal Opportunity Employer, seeks to reach a broad and diverse candidate pool when filling vacant positions. We strongly encourage applications from people with diverse backgrounds because we believe that the foundation and its work benefit from the various perspectives and talents of a diverse staff. We do not discriminate based upon race, religion, color, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, status as a protected veteran, status as an individual with a disability or other applicable legally protected characteristics.


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