Program Manager

Employment Type

: Full-Time


: Information Technology

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Americans for the Arts builds recognition and support for the extraordinary and dynamic value of the arts and serves, advances, and leads the network of organizations and individuals who cultivate, promote, sustain, and support the arts in America. The vision of Americans for the Arts is that the arts are recognized as integral to the lives of all people and essential to healthy, vibrant and equitable communities across the nation. Founded in 1960, Americans for the Arts is the nation's leading nonprofit organization for advancing the arts and arts education. Americans for the Arts has headquarters in Washington, DC and a second office located in New York, NY.


The Local Arts Advancement Department works to create a feeling of relevance and necessity around the arts in America. It does so by cultivating local arts advancement in communities across the country, developing and implementing programs and services that strengthen and validate local arts agencies and the many other individuals and organizations that advance arts, culture, and artists at the local level, and creating opportunities for professional and leadership development, field convenings, and peer networking opportunities. Local Arts Advancement brings to bear Americans for the Arts unique strengths in research, policy, professional development, visibility, advocacy, and strategic partnership in order to provide vital tools, information and resources to advocates, arts professionals and allies on the ground, all in an effort to establish and implement favorable policies benefiting arts organizations, artists and local cultural development across America.


The Equity in Arts Leadership Program Manager works under the supervision of the Vice President of Local Arts Advancement to envision, design, and implement programs to improve the entry, advancement, and leadership opportunities for historically and currently marginalized or underrepresented arts administrators in the arts and culture field. The Program Manager does so by administering current and co-envisioning new programs and services to address a full spectrum from pre-career to senior leadership. Beyond the arts administrators touched by these programs, the Program Manager also creates ripple effect programming for current field leadership and public sector and private sector leaders to drive equity-centered policies and programs that move the arts sector and communities-at-large toward cultural equity. This position will oversee the Equity in Arts Leadership Program Associate and will work closely with members of various teams at Americans for the Arts who are driving field movement towards cultural equity.

Since our founding in 1960 as the National Assembly of Community Arts Agencies, Americans for the Arts has retained a core focus on the deep and persistent role of the arts in every community. Systemic barriers that exist within the U.S. arts field challenge that vision and have kept field leadership from representing the full diversity of the communities in which the field operates. Changing that reality requires interventions at (at least) four core places in the work spectrum:

  1. Creating opportunities for prospective arts administrators from historically and currently underrepresented communities to see arts administration as a viable and exciting possibility for their careers and nurturing that spark with placements inside cultural institutions.
  2. Supporting early-to-mid career leaders from these same communities as they move deeper into the arts administration field in the moments when they come up against systemic prejudices and challenges through both broad-spectrum community building and individualized, deep capacity building for top rising leaders in the field.
  3. Addressing the individuals surrounding rising leaders in the field, including managers, organizational leaders, and public and private sector mentors to raise awareness about systemic bias, privilege, and the conscious and unconscious ways that those in the field can be the best allies and accomplices possible in moving towards cultural equity and positively disrupting inequitable systems.
  4. Engaging board or commission members who, collectively, mind the missions and policies of their organizations and who, by and large, both significantly overrepresent the most privileged slices of their communities and carry significant power in either centering or de-centering equity.

This work is done by a spectrum of people at Americans for the Arts, all with the common understanding that by reinforcing a pathway for leaders from historically underrepresented demographic backgrounds and supporting local arts, public, and private sector staff members, executive leaders, and board members in understanding systemic bias and tackling systems change we can shift the systems and, over time, create leadership that reflects the full breadth of American communities today.

The Equity in Arts Leadership Program Manager works with program leads across the organization to affect local impact and encourage measurement against common, long-term benchmarks for diversification of the field and common, transformative strategies for getting there.


Currently, the main programmatic bodies of work for the Equity in Arts Leadership Program Manager are as follows. As part of their engagement with the position and benchmarks, the Program Manager will be encouraged to think strategically about whether these projects are the correct ones, in the correct format, or if there are other more impactful ways to achieve the goals of the work.

Pre-Career. Impact and support college and post-graduate students as they decide whether and how to enter the arts field through the Diversity and Inclusion in Arts Leadership (DIAL) Internship program. The Program Manager will work with local lead organization staffs to facilitate annual solicitation, selection and placement of interns, local arts agency coordinators, arts organization hosts, and business mentors in the various DIAL communities; develop trainings, toolkits, a standardized evaluation system, and ongoing guidance to local arts agency partners in the DIAL communities, as well as their associated arts organizations and business mentors; and develop a community of practice for local arts agency leaders running similar programs, as well as support materials and trainings to enhance, stabilize, and perpetuate those programs.

Early-to-Mid-Career. In partnership with others in the Local Arts Advancement department, develop (or, in some cases, provide staffing support for) interlocking efforts focused on retention and growth of people traditionally untapped for arts leadership. Current programs in this work area include the Arts and Culture Leaders of Color (ACLC) Fellowship, the ACLC Network, and the ACLC Forum. The Program Manager will be tasked with thinking holistically about how to address career stability and advancement beyond these three areas as well.

Current Leadership. The Program Manager will work with the Vice President of Local Arts Advancement and an advisory team to develop efforts focused on the education and training of existing arts managers, executive leaders, and boards and commissions to create strong allies in the arts, raise awareness of current systemic inequities and individual and organizational biases, and drive the centering of equity in current practice.

In managing the programs related to the three above bodies of work, including DIAL and the ACLC Fellows, the Program Manager will, as appropriate:

  • Oversee the annual solicitation, selection, and placement of interns/fellows, local arts agency coordinators, arts organization hosts, and mentors in the various sites.
  • Develop and, where needed, deploy trainings, toolkits, a standardized evaluation system, and ongoing guidance to local arts agency partners, as well as their associated arts organizations and business mentors.
  • Create evaluative measures to understand the success and impact of the program both immediately and over time, and to assess their continued evolution/existence as the best ways of achieving the strategic goals of the department and organization.
  • DIAL-only:
    • Support local arts agency partners in conducting their duties. In New York City, serve as the local organizing body.
    • Design a local arts agency support strategy to ensure each partner community is striving towards sustainability gradually over 3 years with a goal of being self-sustainable by year 4.
  • ACLC Fellows-only:
    • Oversee curriculum development and training team and oversee their work as they offer a one-year fellowship program for arts administrators of color built around both standard arts management skills and next-generation community and sector leadership skills.

Facilitating Cross-Pollination. Finally, the Program Manager, while not responsible for the cultural equity-related work outcomes of other staff, will facilitate planning and strategy dialogues among various AFTA staff to craft coherent, collaborative goals, strategies, and communications plans related to our ongoing work on cultural equity. This will include:

  • Convening a standing committee of program leads within Americans for the Arts who have programs or services related to cultural equity to identify common goals, timelines, and themes, as well as core stories to communicate, pathways to funding, and strategies for sustainability and evaluation.
  • Implementing a communications strategy in partnership with the Marketing and Communications team to promote Americans for the Arts field-oriented cultural equity work and engage members and field constituents, including web, email and social media content.

Additional Responsibilities

  • Create, disseminate, and analyze evaluation surveys, program recaps, and program impact for internal evaluation and external reporting. Work with Vice President to identify funders for these programs and assist in writing grants and grant reporting.
  • Select, direct, plan, and manage the performance of the Equity in Arts Leadership Program Associate.
  • Develop, in consultation with the Vice President of Local Arts Advancement, the program areas budget and maintain it accordingly with direct staff.
  • Maintain files of intern program communications for grants and track income and expenses
  • Establish networks of program alumni and strategically link them to each other an ongoing American for the Arts initiatives.
  • Network and convene local arts agency leaders with commitment to cultural equity work to advance the learning in the field.


As a Supervisor you are responsible for the performance of your direct-report(s). You should guide, train, support, and motivate your team member(s) to help them accomplish their job-specific goals. As a supervisor it is your responsibility to be knowledgeable of your direct-report(s) responsibilities and know how to get the tasks accomplished in their absence. You should continually work to earn the respect and credibility of your direct-report(s) by building an inclusive and supportive learning environment. As such, building trust with your team members is vital to a healthy work relationship. Specifically, you will:

Performance Management

  • Meet with direct-report(s) on a weekly basis to discuss progress on projects, priorities, and goals
  • Assist direct-report(s) with workflow/bandwidth management, and ensure that direct-report(s) understand their duties and delegated tasks
  • Provide timely and ongoing constructive feedback, including soliciting feedback from colleagues from other departments with whom direct-report(s) collaborate
  • Document progress of individual direct-report(s) goals by administering annual performance review and mid-year review of performance goals in compliance with AFTA s strategic plan
  • Support and assist in planning direct-report(s) professional development activities; assist with finding professional growth opportunities


  • Maintain a safe and healthy work environment by establishing and enforcing organization standards and adhering to legal regulations
  • Develop and update employee job descriptions, as necessary
  • Approve timekeeping records prior to each pay period s deadline


  • Assist direct-reports with ongoing coaching and counseling
  • Provide quick and appropriate resolution of all challenges, discrepancies, and miscommunications
  • Share, support, and carry out decisions made by the organization s management
  • Ensure adherence to Americans for the Arts personnel policies and practices
  • Focus on creating a culture where accountability and fairness are present in every situation
  • Support an innovative workplace that fosters creativity, encourages new ideas, and supports examining different approaches to existing initiatives
  • Recognize the contributions of your direct reports in ways that are meaningful to them


  • A positive attitude and an earnest interest in providing quality customer service to our members, stakeholders, and partners
  • Ability to maintain healthy interpersonal relationships
  • Ability to work with minimal supervision
  • Excellent customer service skills
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills
  • Experience managing social media
  • Interest in, and prior experience related to developing, professional, and leadership development programs.
  • Knowledge of the New York arts scene, U.S. arts ecosystems
  • Project and people management experience, including in peer-to-peer engagement
  • Proven experience in a supervisory or relevant role
  • Related experience in a professional office environment, particularly knowledge and training around diversity, equity, inclusion, and access
  • Strong organizational skills and the ability to handle multiple projects
  • Strong Personal Computer (PC) skills including Microsoft Office (Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint), Internet research experience, a basic knowledge of any Content Management System (CMS) and basic PC troubleshooting

    SALARY: Starting at $65,000.00


    • This position works 37.5 hours per week Monday through Friday around core business hours (10:00 am 4:00 pm ET)
    • Some travel may be required


    Americans for the Arts acknowledges the existence of systemic and structural biases and believes it is necessary to be strategic and intentional in pursuing cultural equity in all aspects of governance, operations, and programming. As an employee, you are expected to:

    • Pursue substantive learning to achieve greater cultural consciousness by attending at least one Americans for the Arts Learning Lab per quarter and/or other professional development opportunities
    • Support adoption of best practices to create a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive work experience for colleagues and external partners
    • Strive to consider the people, places, and cultures that might be missing from your work and look for opportunities to increase inclusivity in all the work you do.
    • Support the mission and vision of Americans for the Arts in all interactions with colleagues, members and stakeholders
    • Encourage colleagues and external stakeholders to advance cultural equity by adhering to the standards outlined in the Staff Values & Behavior Agreement in all interactions


    Americans for the Arts believes that one of its greatest strengths is the rich diversity of its staff.

    We provide equal employment opportunity without regard to race, color, creed, gender and gender identity or expression, age, mental or physical disability, medical condition, including pregnancy and childbirth, religion, national origin, marital status, sexual orientation, ancestry, genetic information, political belief or activity, veteran or military discharge status, or any other basis protected by local, state or federal law and regulations under Title VII.

    The policy applies to all employment practices, including but not limited to recruitment, hiring, training and development, promotion, transfer, termination, layoff, compensation, benefits, social and recreational programs, and all other conditions and privileges of employment in accordance with applicable federal, state, and local laws.

    All employees have the right to work in a workplace that is free of discrimination. Any person who believes they have been subjected to discrimination of any kind should contact their immediate supervisor or the Director of Human Resources. All complaints will be thoroughly investigated and any person violating this policy may be subject to disciplinary action up to and including termination. The law prohibits retaliation against any employee for reporting discrimination or perceived discrimination, or for participating in an investigation of incidents of discrimination or perceived discrimination.


    • Twelve days paid vacation first two years of employment, 15 days in third year and 20 days in fifth year and beyond with the ability to carryover your full years vacation to the following year
    • Twelve sick days per year with the ability to maintain up to 20 days in your accrual balance
    • Three personal days per year
    • Paid Volunteer time off
    • Individual HMO Advantage health insurance, dental and optical with option to upgrade to a PPO or add dependents
    • Healthcare, Dependent Care and Transportation pre-tax flexible spending accounts

    A full list of benefits can be found on our website at:

    Associated topics: chief program officer, cpo, manage, manager, management, monitor, product manager, project manager, relationship manager, task

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