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Program Officer, Arts and Culture

Department: Programs

Reports To: Director, Arts and Culture

FLSA Classification: Exempt    FTE: 1

Supervises: None

Hybrid Schedule (subject to change): In office Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday.  Remote work on Monday and Friday.

Position Budgeted: $75,000.00 to $85,000.00

Position Summary:

The Program Officer, Arts and Culture works with and assists the Director, Arts and Culture to advance the Foundation’s grantmaking, strategies, and initiatives in the Arts. The Foundation’s Arts and Culture strategy aims to strengthen and support the region’s cultural sector through convening, advocacy, research and grantmaking. At present, Arts and Culture grantmaking supports individual artists and organization; resources the advocacy and arts service portions of the sector that serve as critical infrastructure; invests in building a culture of public art; and supports continued efforts to foreground racial and cultural equity in the arts sector. As a key partner to the Director, this position requires an individual who has knowledge of and a passion for the arts and the community.   In this position the Program Officer supports, manages, and/or implements internal and external grantmaking, research, convening, events, and handles other activities and administrative responsibilities as required.

The Program Officer will join the Boston Foundation at a time of exciting change, with a strategic planning process underway. This is also a critical and uniquely challenging moment for the arts sector given tremendous losses incurred during the ongoing pandemic, and a major focus for the immediate future will be on supporting a just and equitable recovery in the sector.

Essential Functions:

  • Works with the Director, while using a racial equity lens, on the development, implementation and evaluation of strategies and investments in Arts and Culture to ensure success and community impact;
  • Develops and maintains positive, trusting relationships within the arts and culture community and across other industry sectors, and serves as a resource and connector for members of the community;
  • Implements and manages portions of participatory grantmaking and other processes to ensure shared decision-making and meaningful involvement in strategy development and implementation by those in the community and those most impacted by systems of oppression;
  • Manages all external consultants engaged by the Arts and Culture strategy, including development of scopes of work, regular meetings, and overseeing deliverables;
  • Develops and maintains familiarity with current activities and issues in the arts and the Greater Boston community; 
  • Participates in the Foundation’s grantmaking by implementing key aspects of the due diligence process and conducting research for strategy papers and memos;
  • Tracks and reports on the implementation, goals, and impact of grantmaking, special initiatives, and funder collaborations;
  • Coordinates and/or manages research projects and other initiatives;  
  • Serves as key liaison to internal and external partners and others in a variety of settings;
  • Prepares various written materials on a timely basis, including grant proposal summaries, board materials, correspondence, meeting minutes, strategy updates, reports, and memos;
  • Undertakes special projects, including coordinating and/or supporting conferences, forums, and meetings in collaboration with other departments as required;
  • Participates in various other Program Department activities as needed; and
  • Manages current calendars and appointments for the Arts team and performs administrative tasks as required.

Other Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Individuals assigned to this position may perform other duties as assigned.


Preparation, Knowledge, Previous Experience:

  • Bachelors degree or equivalent relevant experience required; and/or
  • 5-7 years of professional work experience in the arts and/or a related field, which may include philanthropy, nonprofit management, community engagement, or creative practice.

Skills, Abilities, Competencies:

  • Ability, skill and experience as a change maker, with a deep curiosity and commitment to exploring all the ways to grow the Arts and culture ecosystem: big ideas, new ways, new methodologies;
  • Centers care for others with an urgency to be an active resource for creatives and all current and potential partners in the Arts and Culture work;
  • Risk taker that utilizes creative autonomy in problem solving and innovating; 
  • A resourceful self-starter able to handle multiple, simultaneous projects and work independently to organize and manage complex projects while meeting tight deadlines;
  • Highly detail oriented, and able to juggle multiple deadlines for multiple stakeholders;
  • Experience developing authentic relationships and working with a range of stakeholders, as well as a desire to forge an atmosphere of partnership and trust with the Foundation’s numerous grantees;
  • Knowledge of Boston neighborhoods and nonprofits is strongly preferred;
  • Familiarity with nonprofit budgets and financial documents such as audits and the IRS Form 990; 
  • Understanding of the Foundation’s mission and a commitment to values of diversity, equity and inclusion; 
  • Demonstrated skills in planning, organizing and implementing complex activities; 
  • Participative work style, able to lead, coordinate, and/or work as part of a team; 
  • A creative thinker with strong problem-solving skills;
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills;
  • Mature interpersonal style, able to receive constructive feedback and interact well with a diverse range of people; and 
  • Strong computer skills including the ability to use Microsoft Office Word, Excel, and Power Point and learn new programs.

Working Conditions & Physical Demands:

  • Ability to work on-site and remotely as required;
  • Ability to work at workstation for long periods of time;
  • Ability to use a computer keyboard for long periods of time;  and
  • Ability to carry between 10 to 20 lbs. on occasion. 

The content is intended to describe the general nature and level of work being performed by persons assigned to this job.  It is not intended to constitute an exhaustive list of all responsibilities and duties required.

External and internal applicants, as well as position incumbents, who are or become disabled as defined under the Americans with Disabilities Act or applicable state law, must be able to perform the essential functions of the job (including those listed above) either with or without reasonable accommodation.  Reasonable accommodation, if any, will be determined by management in consultation with the employee on a case-by-case basis.

This job description is intended to be general and may be revised from time to time.  At management’s discretion, the employee may be assigned different or additional duties from time to time.