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Manager, Arts & Social Practice
Manager, Arts & Social Practice
Obama Foundation
Post Date: 23 Feb 2024


About The Obama Foundation

At the Obama Foundation, we are guided by a core belief: that ordinary people working together can change history. Our mission is to inspire those people to take action, empower them to change their world for the better, and connect them so they can achieve more together than they can alone.

We were founded by community organizers, so when we seek change, we do it by bringing people together.

That approach begins at home, on the South Side of Chicago, where we are building the Obama Presidential Center. The Center represents a historic opportunity for Chicago: a chance to build a world-class museum and public gathering space that celebrates our nation’s first African American President and First Lady, steps away from where he began his career, where she was raised, and where—together—they made their home.

But that approach extends to all our work, whether it’s holding leadership training sessions in communities throughout the U.S., bringing local leaders together in countries around the world, working to support the global education of girls, or ensuring young men of color have pathways to opportunity.

As President Obama has said, “we cannot solve the challenges of our time unless we solve them together.” So join us.

For more information, please visit www.obama.org.


Chicago; Hybrid | 2-3 days per week in office required

Purpose of the Role

The Manager of Arts & Social Practice Programs, Obama Presidential Center (OPC), will play a key role in shaping and implementing the preview and inaugural arts programming at the Center. The Manager will advance program concepts; collaborate with external and internal program partners; and support a variety of arts-related initiatives including events, fundraising, and communications. Informed by cutting-edge museum and equity-based social practice, the Manager will work collaboratively to develop and implement impactful visual, music/performing, and media arts-related programs to attract, engage, and serve diverse audiences. The Manager should have a strong background in engaging a variety of audiences, including teens and/or young adults, in dynamic cultural programming that advances participation, trust, and pathways for engagement in our societies.

The Manager will join the OPC Programming Team and report to the Curator of Public Programs, Director. The Manager will work closely with the OPC Museum Director, OPC Operations, Museum Curatorial, Education, Program Operations, External Affairs, and the Public Engagement team to develop a suite of Arts & Social Practice Programs that align with the OPC Arts Plan spanning the visual, performing (music), literary, and media arts fields.

Program planning will include arts partnership development and management, program budgeting and expense tracking, communications and marketing materials briefings, digital translation and scale, audience cultivation, measurement and evaluation, reporting, and implementation plans.

In the timeframe leading up to the OPC opening (late 2025), the Manager will pilot arts programs and collaborate with colleagues to test, measure, and iterate on the program concepts.

Core Job Responsibilities

  • Advance a robust series of community art and social practice programs for young creatives and adults (both pre-opening and on an ongoing basis), on campus and throughout the city. Implement programs in partnership with internal curatorial, public engagement, events, external affairs (creative, communications, digital, marketing), and operations teams, as well as external program partners.
  • Develop and launch an art tour curriculum/guide, in collaboration with the OPC Museum and Visitor Experience teams.
  • Project manage all elements of arts programs including planning, meeting administration, partnership development, program budgeting, measurement and evaluation reporting, digital translation, marketing and communications planning, accessibility, legal policies and procedures, talent management, vendors, and more.
  • Advise on, maintain, and collaborate with external arts programming partners.
  • Prepare arts programming-related development and grant proposal materials to support fundraising efforts for the OPC.
  • Support the Curator of Public Programs and other special events as needed.

Key Deliverables / Outcomes

  • Implementation and management of the OPC Arts Plan programs, which support the overall strategic goals of the OPC.
  • Update and modify the arts programming plan on an annual basis, in context of the overall OPC Programming Strategy.
  • Effectively manage the budget to ensure that all program milestones are achieved on time and on budget.
  • Launch compelling and impactful arts public and educational programs and pre-opening arts activation activities.
  • Build meaningful and collaborative partnerships with community organizations and peer arts institutions locally, nationally, and internationally.

Required Qualifications

  • Professional track record of arts programming with a wide range of knowledge and enthusiasm for visual, music/performing, and media arts. A working knowledge of career exposure/development programming fields, entrepreneurship education, and social practice. Experience with public art is a plus.
  • Demonstrated excellence in and an innovative approach to conceiving and implementing arts programs both place-based and digital for cultural organizations, creative companies, and/or educational institutions.
  • A deep understanding of arts, cultural, entertainment, and tech trends in both physical and digital settings.
  • Experience working with high profile talent, both emerging and established.
  • Exceptional project manager with demonstrated organizational ability and experience creating and maintaining budgets and project schedules; ability to communicate and partner with colleagues to achieve objectives and meet deadlines.
  • Exceptional communication skills, both verbal and written, with program participants, partners, talent, and donors.
  • Ability to work evenings and weekends on program and event days.

The salary range for this role is between $87,020 and $108,775.

Don’t check off every box in the requirements listed above? Please apply anyway! Studies have shown that marginalized communities – such as women, LGBTQ+ and people of color – are less likely to apply to jobs unless they meet every single qualification. The Obama Foundation is dedicated to building an inclusive, diverse, equitable, and accessible workplace that fosters a sense of belonging – so if you’re excited about this role but your past experience doesn’t align perfectly with every qualification in the job description, we encourage you to still consider submitting an application. You may be just the right candidate for this role or another one of our openings!

In the interest of employee health and safety during the pendency of the COVID-19 global pandemic, the Obama Foundation is requiring that all prospective employees present proof that they are fully-vaccinated against COVID-19, or seek a reasonable accommodation for religious or medical reasons, prior to their first day of employment.

Equal Opportunity Employer

The Foundation is committed to creating a diverse work environment and is proud to be an equal opportunity employer. The Foundation does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, gender identity, religion, sexual orientation, age, disability, parental status, veteran status, or any other protected status under applicable laws. We encourage individuals of all backgrounds to apply. If you are a qualified candidate with a disability, please e-mail us at [email protected] if you require a reasonable accommodation to complete this application.


Chicago, USA

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