The New England Foundation for the Arts (NEFA) is a 501(c)3 organization with an annual budget of $11.25 million. NEFA invests in artists and communities and fosters equitable access to the arts, enriching the cultural landscape in New England and the nation.
As an organization, NEFA values an equitable, diverse, and inclusive world, which we interpret as all people having fair access to the tools and resources they need to realize creative and community endeavors. We acknowledge structural inequities have excluded individuals and communities from opportunities based on race, gender, disability, sexual orientation, class, age, and geography and strive to counter those inequities in our work.
NEFA is proud to be an equal opportunity employer and is invested in creating an equitable and inclusive working environment and organizational culture. We are committed to hiring individuals who share, value, and support these goals, and who reflect the diversity of the communities we serve. NEFA does not discriminate on the basis of race, ethnicity, religion, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, disability, age, veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law.
About the Position
The Program Manager, Regional Grants and Initiatives, manages and implements all aspects of NEFA’s suite of programs, services, and initiatives that build the capacity of New England artists and arts organizations through grantmaking, professional development, partnerships, and network building.
These initiatives include grant programs, New England States Touring (NEST) and New England Presenter Travel Fund, the Idea Swap, an annual convening of artists and presenters from across the region, and other special or one-time projects. In addition, the Program Manager will lead the launch and implementation of two new multi-year initiatives in collaboration with the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), The Wallace Foundation, and NEFA’s fellow Regional Arts Organizations (RAOs). These new grant programs will support arts organizations founded by and for communities of color to achieve greater organizational resilience in the face of strategic challenges through investment of funding, network building, and technical assistance.
The Program Manager is a skilled and effective communicator and is able and willing to work effectively and compassionately with a wide variety of people and communities. The Program Manager manages, develops, and implements program processes in alignment with NEFA’s core values and will be a leader in promoting, evaluating, and enhancing NEFA’s commitments to equity, diversity, inclusion, and accessibility in program and grantmaking practices.
The Program Manager reports to and partners with the Senior Program Director and will collaborate with the Program Coordinator, New England Presenting & Touring. The Program Manager will help recruit for a new role to support their work coordinating New England partnerships and initiatives. They will also work closely with NEFA’s communications staff to develop program messaging and content for print and digital materials.
This is a new role which may evolve over time.
Essential Functions – % of Time
Program Management 35%
- Lead the launch and implementation of two new grant initiatives supporting arts organizations founded by and for communities of color, including program design, funding criteria, applications, program policies, and approval of grantee reports;
- Supervise grant processing for regional grantmaking, including online application forms, preparation of grant review materials, grantee contracts, and grant evaluations;
- Plan and facilitate program panel meetings with Senior Program Director, support the facilitation and execution of panel meetings, prepare panelists for grant review process, and provide feedback to applicants;
- Manage event planning for the annual Idea Swap, including collaboration with other staff;
- Develop and steward programmatic partnerships with and between funders, collaborators, and grantees to support professional development and field building;
- Collaborate on strategic program planning, program evaluation, and opportunities to enhance program impact in New England including efforts to expand and diversify the pool of potential applicants and partners; manage the work relationships with consultants and partners in these areas;
- Track and evaluate program impact for funder reports and program-based research.
Program Communications 25%
- Drive communication and messaging efforts for the department’s regional grants and initiatives; serve as primary liaison to NEFA’s internal communications team;
- Develop web and print content for the annual Idea Swap, including event page, e-blasts, program materials, blog, and social media;
- Develop and post content related to regional grantmaking and partnerships for the NEFA website, social media accounts, and blog;
- Provide regular progress reports to funders;
- Connect program knowledge with program advisors and constituents.
- Coordinate and collaborate with other program staff to ensure alignment of strategies to support New England artists and organizations.
Constituent Support & External Relations 20%
- Respond to phone and email inquiries from constituents, cultivating meaningful relationships in the region and field;
- Represent the program and NEFA at conferences, meetings, performances, and other events to bolster program knowledge and visibility and to grow and develop relationships with constituents; report on learning and outcomes;
- Maintain strong, collaborative relationships with funders and regional and national partners;
- Troubleshoot and resolve grant program or constituent-related issues
- Participate in the recruitment of a coordinator level position to support work related to New England partnerships and initiatives;
- Supervise and mentor program coordinator; establish and engage in regular individual supervision;
- Work with supervisee to develop short and long-term goals and conduct annual performance evaluation around those goals with consideration of professional development.
Connecting & Learning 10%
- Represent the program and organization at conferences, meetings, performances, and other events; report on learning and outcomes;
- Participate in organization-wide convenings and events, planning sessions, and working groups.
Does this position supervise others?
Yes; one (1) future full-time staff member to be confirmed and hired summer 2023.
Build and maintain relationships and strategic partnerships with a variety of external constituents including grant applicants, grantees, program advisors, event participants, event vendors, funders, and NEFA staff. In particular, develop and maintain collaborative partnerships with contacts at the NEA, The Wallace Foundation, and fellow RAOs throughout the launch, implementation, and ongoing work of NEFA’s new regional programs. Cultivate a cohort of grantees made up of arts organizations founded by and for communities of color and connect them to contacts, networks, and resources that support their professional development and organizational capacity. Engage in and support program planning and evaluation activities with team members, program partners, consultants, and constituents.
The Program Manager will work with other NEFA program areas to support alignment in the organization’s strategies to serve New England artists and organizations while also identifying opportunities for internal collaboration and coordination.
The person in this position may be asked to represent the organization at events that occur beyond or outside “traditional” business hours.
Financial/Operational Resources Impacted
Decision Making/Problem Solving
Steer program design, implementation, and communication efforts which advance program goals to support organizations founded by and for communities of color. Communicate effectively with internal and external program partners and stakeholders. Provide superior constituent support services and technical assistance to external constituents.
Analyze current program processes to develop and implement new procedures and guidelines; serve as a partner to Senior Program Director and other staff in program planning, budgeting, and evaluation. Coordinate planning for convenings, workshops, meetings, and other events.
The starting salary for manager level positions at NEFA is $71,000.
Opportunities for Advancement
At the beginning of their tenure in the role, staff in manager level positions should set performance, development, and skill-building goals with their supervisor based on the expectations of the position and needs of the department. After three (3) years in a manager level position, employees who have a proven track record of success in their role, have accomplished or made significant progress toward their performance goals and have demonstrated steady growth as measured in their annual performance assessments, may be considered for promotion to Senior Manager.
- 8 – 10 years of work experience preferably within an arts organization, partnering closely with arts organizations, and/or developing and coordinating networks;
- Knowledge of/familiarity with management and operations of nonprofit arts organizations;
- Personal and/or professional familiarity with New England’s geographic and social communities, especially organizations embedded in, deeply connected to, and serving communities of color in the region;
- Understanding of systems of oppression in the arts and beyond, and a strong commitment to implementing anti-racist practices;
- Strong project management, organizational, and planning skills with the ability to anticipate, initiate, and advance multiple priorities and projects concurrently;
- Ability to work both independently and collaboratively with demonstrated experience in building relationships and partnerships;
- Experience with planning and executing events and meetings;
- Excellent written and verbal communication skills; fluency in languages beyond English a plus;
- Adaptability to new software and virtual workflows; Familiarity with Microsoft Office suite; experience with Salesforces CRM is a significant plus;
- Ability to work, grow, and thrive within a team-based environment and comfort working with and navigating the dynamics of multiple teams;
- Appreciation for and identification with NEFA’s mission, vision, and values and interest in engaging in work to advance NEFA’s organizational goals, including those centering equity, diversity, intersectionality, and accessibility.
- Ability to represent NEFA at events and meetings, some of which occur at night, on the weekends, and throughout New England; must have the interest and ability to travel multiple times per year, including to rural communities
- Valid driver’s license required.
- Experience contributing to, creating, or editing content for publication, and social media;
- Past work as a team lead or supervisor;
- Comfort with public speaking and meeting facilitation.
- Familiarity with current discourse around trust-based and other models of grantmaking and philanthropic relationships a significant plus.
NEFA is a multi-state organization and an evolving and dynamic workplace. NEFA staff work in a variety of contexts, including in-person in Boston and remotely across New England and New York. For this position we welcome applications from individuals who are interested in working in-person or hybrid schedules who currently, or will, reside in any of the six New England states upon hire. The selected candidate will be expected to work in person at the NEFA office at least one (1) day per month to attend in-person team meetings.
Stationary position, occasional lifting (up to 15 lbs.), frequent travel (local/regional, including to events during hours outside 9-5 work hours), reasoning, decision-making, detailed work, communication, organization skills, reading, processing, synthesizing, analyzing.
All candidates will apply using the application form at nefa.org/about/employment. We ask all candidates to submit a current resume and a cover letter describing their interest in and preparedness for the role, and to respond to a limited set of questions about relevant skills. Contact information to request accessibility accommodations to participate in the application or hiring process is listed on the webpage above.
The deadline to apply for this position is Friday, March 10, 2023. Applications will be reviewed as they are received, and we encourage interested candidates to apply prior to the deadline. Applications received after the deadline may not be reviewed if the existing candidate pool is deemed sufficient. Requests for initial phone interviews will go out approximately one week after the application deadline.
NEFA's most recent strategic plan names equity, diversity, inclusion, and accessibility as one of the organization's primary values and strategic objectives. As part of this work, NEFA has invested in building more equitable compensation practices, expanding access to professional development and growth, evolving program and grantmaking practices to ensure events and applications are more accessible, external advisors have a wider breadth of experience and knowledge, and grants and investments in artists are prioritizing sustainability of practice, among many other efforts.