Program Director, Arts & Culture

Posted by The Cleveland Foundation ; Posted on 
Jobs - DEADLINE :  
Program Director, Arts & Culture


Position:             Regular; Full Time; Exempt

Department:     Program

Reports to:         SVP, Program

Supervises:        Program Manager for Anisfield Wolf, Program Coordinator /Assistant, others assigned


The Program Director leads arts and culture grantmaking and works collaboratively with the SVP of Program, key program staff, foundation partners, and consultants in the research, development, implementation, and evaluation of initiatives, special projects, and programs in arts and culture. They will develop a point of view and strategy embedded in the foundation’s overall strategic direction for grantmaking
and capacity building in the arts sector.

Responsibilities and Expected Outcomes

• Oversee the foundation’s grantmaking strategy in arts and culture. Manage grantmaking applications and write-ups. Meet with prospective grantees and prepare monthly detail-oriented formal evaluations of and recommendations for the Board for funding requests to ensure grants are in alignment with foundation priorities and community needs/opportunities.

• Manage and lead proactive grantmaking/programmatic initiatives as identified or assigned. Work with SVP to participate in and collaborate on various programs and/or special projects including, but not limited to, the Cleveland Foundation Internal Art Program, Arts Education in Cleveland Metropolitan School District, collaboration with the Anisfield Wolf Book Awards, Public Funding for the Arts, and new strategies to strengthen the arts sector post-pandemic.

• Work in partnership with other program directors & officers to develop and implement arts and culture strategic priorities for grantmaking to improve outcomes for the Greater Cleveland community by identifying cross-cutting issues and aligning strategies (i.e., workforce and economic development; youth & social services, neighborhoods, education, and environment).

• Lead and manage the Equity in the Arts Fund.

• Work collaboratively with the advancement team to ensure that donor intent best aligns with community needs in arts and culture and serves as a technical resource for committee-advised funds and/or supporting organizations.

• In addition to assigned staff, manage volunteer committees and advisory groups; collaborate with other funders and entities; design and implement processes and events; define appropriate outcomes; develop effective evaluation methodologies to measure outcomes; etc. Anti-Racism Equity Integrity Leadership Innovation Stewardship Partnership

• Leverage local and national philanthropy as well as other forms of capital, including program-related investments and social impact investments to advance opportunities that promote equitable access to arts and culture.

• Identify opportunities to advance the arts and culture sector in consultation with foundation stakeholders, grantees, and the community and position the foundation for leadership, investment, and impact in identified areas.

• Monitor various sectors to remain abreast of best practices, sector trends, and policy implications shaping arts and culture. Capture and disseminate information and prepare thoughtful research and analyses on a variety of topics and organizations to promote a deeper sense of awareness of art and culture issues impacting Greater Cleveland amongst foundation stakeholders (staff, board, donors, Greater Cleveland community).

• Actively participate in relevant affinity and professional groups to serve as a thought leader and knowledgeable resource on topics related to arts and culture to the community. Provide effective communication to inform the Greater Cleveland area non-profit community through in-person presentations, written work, and online forums.

• Develop collaborative relationships with a diverse cross-section of multi-sector agencies and leaders.

• Provide information and technical assistance to grant seekers concerning grantmaking policies and procedures, additional funding opportunities, and emerging research to ensure a well-informed non-profit community within the region.

• Lead assigned staff with an emphasis on inclusion, engagement, and the ongoing development of each.

Essential Qualifications, Credentials, and Technical Skills required

The successful candidate must possess the following professional qualifications and skills:

• Bachelor’s or master’s degree and five to seven years of experience in the arts and culture and/or nonprofit sector designing, managing, or funding programs with demonstrated accomplishment.

• Background and experience working in the arts, education, and/or similar sectors are extremely desirable (preferably with experience working with youth, arts education, and/or having extensive expertise in at least one creative discipline.)

• Ability to scan large quantities of data and extract relevant themes. Strong analytical skills (financial and programmatic) and the ability to draw conclusions, synthesize information and make sound recommendations.

• Ability to assess proposals for compatibility with the foundation’s strategic and program priorities and/or restricted fund availability.

• Demonstrated commitment to racial equity and inclusion and the ability to work with diverse constituencies and ensure alignment with the foundation’s racial equity and inclusion goals and values.

• Experience working as part of a multidisciplinary team and working effectively with persons and communities from diverse cultural, social, and ethnic backgrounds. The ability to work in a complex environment requires significant collaboration.

• Strong planning and organizational skills, with the ability to think strategically in the design and execution of programs. Anti-Racism Equity Integrity Leadership Innovation Stewardship Partnership

• Demonstrated effectiveness in written and oral communication. The ability to present complex issues to a variety of audiences. Ability to manage sensitive and confidential information tactfully and respectfully.

• Proficient with all MS Office platforms (Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Teams, etc.), online collaboration tools such as Zoom, and knowledge of database software.

• Familiarity with Cleveland and its nonprofit sector.

• Desire to continually acquire new skills and knowledge and share it with colleagues.

• Ability to operate in a fast-paced environment and prioritize work to consistently meet deadlines.

• Multi-lingual desirable, but not required.


The Cleveland Foundation exists to enhance the quality of life for all citizens of Greater Cleveland. The ability to carry out our mission and to foster our commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion can best be pursued in our workforce, grantees, donors, partners, and the governing body are inclusive of individuals of diverse backgrounds, beliefs, and perspectives.

We believe that diversity encompasses, but is not limited to, age, color, education, ethnicity, family or marital status, gender, gender identity or expression, language, national origin, physical and mental abilities or characteristics, political affiliation, race, religion, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, veteran status, and/or other characteristics that make an individual unique.

The Cleveland Foundation is committed to equal employment opportunities for all.


Based on the foundation’s compensation program, the estimated annual salary for this position may be anywhere between $131,000 and $174,000, based on the academic, professional, and community experiences and credentials of a candidate. The foundation offers an exceptional benefits package including medical, dental, vision, identity theft, and life and disability coverage, a comprehensive wellness program, an employee assistance program, a fully vested 403(b) retirement plan, ten paid holidays, and for exempt positions, 15 days of vacation and 12 sick days, prorated the first year of service based on the date of hire.


If you are interested in applying for this position, please submit your resume and cover letter here  by April 30, 2022. We regret that we cannot respond personally to each applicant.

Note: The Cleveland Foundation staff is currently at least two to three days per week in the office as of April 4, 2022. The Cleveland Foundation requires all employees to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and provide valid proof of vaccination unless a documented medical or religious exemption is approved. All information provided will be kept strictly confidential.