Senior Strategist, Arts, Culture and Creative Economy

Posted by City of Cleveland ; Posted on 
Senior Strategist, Arts, Culture and Creative Economy


The City of Cleveland Mayor’s Office is seeking a qualified individual to establish and advance an arts, culture and creative economy (artist entrepreneurs, cultural tourism, studios and galleries, etc.) strategy from within City Hall. The Senior Strategist will lead a strategic planning effort to determine a sustainable infrastructure for the arts at City Hall. This individual will also lead, direct, manage and plan strategic policy initiatives for the City of Cleveland to position the City as a leading world cultural center with enhanced neighborhood vitality.

The Senior Strategist for the Arts, Culture and Creative Economy will cultivate strong relationships with partners from Cleveland City Council, artists and creatives, arts service organizations, public and private sector arts funders, creative sector businesses, non-profit partners and neighborhood organizations, local universities and school districts and many others to help shape and achieve our collective vision.

Ideal Candidate
The ideal candidate for the Senior Strategist, Arts, Culture and Creative Economy is a process- and solutions-oriented, organized and high capacity individual that has worked with creatives in the arts and culture industry. The individual should have a collaborative approach towards decision-making along with comfortability with addressing and resolving conflicting demands and problems across various stakeholders. This person has a passion and understanding of arts policy and either has experience or is a quick learner in City functions such as writing legislation, budgeting and public finance, and municipal governance. A persuasive communicator, the ideal candidate is adept in creating case slides for legislation, policy or fundraising efforts.

Given the majority non-white population in the City of Cleveland, the ideal candidate is adept in issues of racial equity and cultural competency with an action-oriented approach toward eliminating institutional and structural barriers to promote a racially, ethnically and socioeconomically diverse arts community. The Senior Strategist is someone who aligns with the philosophy of the Mayor’s Office and can provide concise, strategic advice with the Mayor, senior management and political staff on sensitive and confidential issues.

Essential Duties & Job Functions

  • Develop and oversee a strategic planning and evaluation effort to understand and recommend appropriate infrastructure for the Arts, Culture and Creative Economy within City Hall
  • Provide strategy and/or tactics to promote creative workforce development, entrepreneurship and creative-sector job creation
  • Identify and pursue ongoing funding opportunities to fund City-led programs or projects
  • Establish a process for how creatives might integrate into public office/departments to innovate and help solve some of our City’s most intractable problems
  • Advise the Mayor on arts, culture and creative economy policy
  • Develop a work plan that promotes arts activity through an analysis of existing policy, creating new legislation and leading cross-departmental initiatives
  • Enhance the City’s artist network and creative ecosystem with a focus on uplifting Black, Indigenous, Hispanic/Latin, Asian American and Pacific Islander, et al.
  • Coordinate large-scale transformative arts initiatives and participate in cohorts related to arts and cities
  • Collaborate with other City departments to develop innovative initiatives that integrate arts and culture with local housing, businesses, City property and parks, and other City assets.
  • Provide leadership and establish effective, collaborative partnerships across City Hall departments, with external arts organizations and other partners
  • Any other projects or duties as assigned

Minimum Requirements 

  • Bachelor’s degree in a related field from an accredited four-year college or university or equivalent combination of education, training and/or experience
  • A minimum of five (5) years of professional experience in the arts and culture sector in public service, creative economy, community, grant making or other contexts
  • An up-to-date vision for the role of the arts and culture in the civic society, public and private sectors and in communities.
  • Demonstrated collaborative leadership skills.
  • Excellent strategic and lateral thinking skills in combination with strong research, analytical and problem solving abilities
  • Ability to set goals, develop strategies, initiate and manage multiple ongoing initiatives and prioritize responsibilities
  • Demonstrated experience with project management or administration
  • Sound judgment and decision-making skills with a track record of results-oriented leadership
  • Ability to perform duties with tact, discretion, and confidentiality
  • Creativity, flexibility and capacity to develop new projects and initiatives
  • Knowledge of standard office procedures, practices, and adept use of technology tools
  • Possess and demonstrate good problem-solving skills and decision-making abilities
  • Highly developed human and public relations and communications skills; excellent speaking, listening, and writing skills with the ability to communicate easily across all levels, including elected officials and community members
  • Ability to build consensus among diverse stakeholders around a clear vision for serving the City and its residents
  • Commitment to social justice, diversity, equity, antiracism and inclusion as guiding principles for the City as a whole, including arts and cultural activities
  • Ability to relate to and work effectively with persons of diverse racial, ethnic, gender, sexual preference or orientation, religious and socioeconomic backgrounds.
  • Understands climate change and integrates environmental and climate justice into strategic planning, approach, and implementation
  • Physical abilities to perform essential job functions with or without reasonable accommodation

Supplemental Information
Preferred Expertise

  • Master’s degree from an accredited college or university in a related field
  • Experience with municipal governance policies, community issues, the political landscape including how to form and maintain coalition efforts
  • Understanding the structures, practices and relationships required to work effectively within city government; demonstrated ability to work across departments and organizations to achieve results
  • Demonstrates a sense of urgency and ability to work expeditiously in a deadline driven environment
  • The Senior Strategist, Arts, Culture and Creative Economy, will be a senior team member in the Office of the Mayor and report to the Chief of Staff and/or the Chief of Staff’s designee.

Click here to apply



Mayor Bibb is committed to fostering a diverse and inclusive workforce, which includes building an environment that respects the individual, promotes innovation, and offers opportunities for all employees to develop to their full potential. A diverse workforce helps the City realize its full potential. The City benefits from the creativity and innovation that results when people with different experiences, perspectives, and cultural backgrounds work together. The Team is committed to providing equal employment opportunities for all individuals regardless of race, color, ancestry, national origin, language, religion, citizenship status, sex, age, marital status, sexual preference or orientation, gender identity/expression, military/veteran status, disability, genetic information, membership in a collective bargaining unit, status with regard to public assistance, or political affiliation.


Please provide salary range, if applicable: $75,000-$105,000