Program Officer - Arts & Culture (KF)

About The Kresge Foundation

The Kresge Foundation is metro Detroit's largest private, national foundation, with more than $3.5 billion in its endowment, a growing staff of nearly 100 employees and a mission to expand opportunities in America's cities for low-income people. We do this through grant making and social investing nationally in arts & culture, education, environment, health, human services, as well as community development in Detroit. 

The Foundation’s state-of-the-art headquarters is located in Metro Detroit.  The modern LEED Platinum facility is anchored by a 19th century farmhouse and a new expansion that houses both a cafeteria and a convening center. Kresge also operates an office in Detroit’s Midtown district.

The Kresge Foundation offers a competitive total compensation package including health, employer-paid dental and vision, basic life insurance, short- and long-term disability, generous paid time off, and an attractive 401k plan with employer match and a 10% employer contribution.  We also provide breakfast, lunch, and snacks daily for a nominal charge, robust professional development opportunities and tuition reimbursement.  Kresge promotes and supports a healthy and green work environment and encourages intellectual curiosity as we embrace and live out our values of creativity, respect, opportunity, partnership, and stewardship.

Available Position: Program Officer

The Program Officer will report to the Managing Director of Arts and Culture and will work in close partnership with other members of the Arts and Culture Team as well as with other staff across the Kresge Foundation. A spirit of and commitment to the core values of the Kresge Foundation – stewardship, partnership, creativity, respect, and opportunity – is essential. 

The Program Officer will work as part of a creative team charged with building and implementing a bold, entrepreneurial and innovative program aimed to integrate arts, culture and design into community development practices. The Program Officer, along with Team members, will work with public and private sector leaders to support the creation of tools and strategies that inform, equip, and empower decision makers. Moreover, the Program Officer will support the capacity of place-based entities, community leaders, and anchor organizations working to improve life circumstances of low income residents and support new methods for full adoption of Creative Placemaking across sectors.

The Program Officer will provide intellectual support to networks of individuals and organizations working to embed Creative Placemaking theory and practices. This position is based in Troy, Michigan.  

Primary Responsibilities Include:

  • Serves, with other team members, as a thought partner to advance the Arts and Culture Program’s strategy. 
  • Identifies grant and social investment prospects and manages grantee relationships that align with and advance the Arts and Culture Team’s Program strategy. Specific responsibilities include:
    • Identifies and conducts due diligence on grants and social investments that advance the Program's strategies.
    • Assesses the merit of potential grant and social investment opportunities.
    • Monitors an active grants portfolio through review of written materials, conversations by telephone, and in-person site visits.
    • Prepares, with other team members, monthly grant recommendations for approval.
    • Develops, with team members, new methods for grantee learning and evaluation.
    • Leads special initiatives such as grantee cohorts, RFPs and competitions as needed.
  • Represents the Team on external funder and cross-sector collaboratives to achieve the Program’s objectives as needed.
  • Represents the Team on internal Foundation working groups and committees.
  • Performs other duties as assigned. 


  • Strong commitment to the Foundation’s vision and its five values (i.e., stewardship, respect, creativity, partnership, and opportunity) with the ability to demonstrate those values in daily interactions.
  • Minimum of five years of work experience, seven years preferred, in arts, culture, community-engaged design or community development field.
  • Bachelor’s degree in a relevant field of study is required. Master’s degree in a relevant field of study is preferred.
  • Ability to travel (primarily within the U.S.) approximately 25%-35% of work days.
  • Working knowledge of the use of arts, culture or community-engaged design as a comprehensive community development approach in an urban context is preferred.
  • Experience in equitable community development activities – affordable housing, transit oriented development, and social change efforts.
  • Experience in project development and management, budgets and work plans, and negotiation of contracts.
  • Strong verbal and interpersonal communication skills, including the ability to listen well, convey thoughts clearly, and speak in public.
  • High self-awareness and emotional intelligence and ability to work effectively as a member of a dynamic team.
  • Experience using non-grant forms of capital (e.g., debt, equity, and program related investments) in the nonprofit sector is preferred.
  • Experience working in, or in close partnership with, the philanthropic sector is preferred.
  • Personal creativity, a sense of inquisitiveness and intellectual curiosity.
  • A demeanor that demonstrates both confidence and humility.
  • A sense of optimism and humor. 

Please submit a cover letter and updated resume by November 15, 2016 to [email protected]  

The Kresge Foundation is an equal opportunity employer and strongly encourages applications from people of color, persons with disabilities, women and LGBT applicants.

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