Title:Artist Programs Manager (Grade 19)
Agency:Arizona Commission on the Arts, an agency of the State of Arizona
Location:Phoenix, Arizona
Salary:$50,000 + the State of Arizona’s comprehensive benefits package
Total Openings/Type:1/full-time, 40 hours per week
Apply by: Monday, August 12, 2019

Agency Overview

One of 56 state and jurisdictional arts agencies across the United States, the Arizona Commission on the Arts is a 53-year-old agency of the State of Arizona dedicated to the creative and professional development of Arizona’s arts and culture sector. The Arts Commission is staffed by a small team of professionals, each grounded in arts-based practice, and governed by a fifteen-member board, appointed by the Governor of Arizona.

Position Overview 

The Arizona Commission on the Arts provides a wealth of programs supporting the work of individual artists practicing in diverse creative disciplines across Arizona. The Artist Programs Manager provides thought leadership, conceptual and managerial oversight related to these programs.

Specific programs, services, grants, partnerships, and strategic initiatives under the purview of the Artist Programs Manager include but are not limited to: artist professional development programming, project management for the AZ ArtWorker initiative, the Artist Research and Development grant program, and engagement with international, national, state, regional and community-level arts networks.

In alignment with the Arts Commission’s mission and across the position’s areas of responsibility, the Artist Programs Manager is expected to prioritize ethical engagement and active dialogue with an array of artists, and persistently drive toward increased transparency and a more equitable distribution of resources.

The ideal candidate is a creative, energetic individual who values the agency’s mission and authentic artist and community engagement. The ideal candidate also has experience working alongside artists, arts workers, and community representatives to plan and implement multipart projects, and possesses strong leadership skills, the ability to engage others in productive collaboration, and an interest in ongoing learning.

This position reports to the agency’s Deputy Director.

Instructions – How to Apply

Interested candidates can review the requirements and position responsibilities below. Applications must be submitted via https://azstatejobs.azdoa.gov/. This position’s Job ID is 48574. 

Complete applications include: A) a cover letter not to exceed 2 pages, B) a resume or curriculum vitae, and C) names, titles and contact information for no fewer than 3 professional references. Items A, B and C should be combined and submitted as one PDF. Please include your last name in the PDF file name.

Applications will be accepted through Monday, August 12, 2019. Not all applicants will receive a response. The Arizona Commission on the Arts is an EOE/ADA Reasonable Accommodation Employer. During all phases of the selection process, applicants may request a reasonable accommodation, such as a sign language interpreter or an alternate format, by contacting [email protected] or 602-771-6502

Candidate Requirements

  • The following (or any combination of experience/education that has resulted in comparable knowledge, skills, abilities):
    • Three or more years of artist training and/or professional experience within a nonprofit organization, government agency, tribal entity, educational institution, or other arts and culture sector entity.
    • A Bachelor’s degree in a specific arts discipline, arts administration, social sciences, cultural studies, nonprofit administration, education, liberal arts, or related discipline.
  • Desired qualifications: Willing to travel on occasion. Bilingual (English/Spanish) a plus.

Primary Responsibilities and Estimated Percentage of Time Spent

Overall this position:

  • Collaborates with agency leadership to establish an artist programs agenda, encompassing programs and services, grantmaking, partnerships and strategic initiatives.
  • Develops and implements community-engaged processes to inform related practices, standards, goals, and policies.
  • Collaborates with team members to identify and work to undo inequities in agency practices and distribution of resources.
  • Provides thought partnership around emergent practices in artist-focused services and investments, maintaining knowledge of trends, external resources, and opportunities.

25% Programs and Services

  • Curate, develop, and manage/implement meaningful, equitable, and accessible artist programs, services, events, and resources supporting: 
    • Professional development and opportunities for Arizona artists and artist-focused businesses.
    • Professional development and opportunities tailored to the unique needs of culturally-specific artist communities, particularly those indigenous to the Southwest.
    • Diverse professional, avocational, and emerging artists working in myriad formal and informal artforms and practices;
    • The Arts Commission’s mission, goals, and statewide service area.
  • Counsel, consult with, and provide technical assistance to artists, artist-focused businesses, service organizations, and other relevant stakeholders.
  • Utilize dialogue, feedback, and other data to analyze programs and services, develop and implement methods for improvement.


  • Curate, develop, and manage/implement innovative and integrated artist grant programs promoting equitable, strategic, productive investment.
  • Oversee construction and delivery of clear, accurate, and accessible guidelines, instructions, and other materials for use by applicants, recipients, and review panelists.
  • Develop systems, workshops, and procedures to ensure delivery of responsive, high-quality counsel and technical assistance.
  • Develop and implement logical, efficient grant timelines to encourage staff, stakeholder, and participant success, and to allow procedural and reporting deadlines to be consistently met.
  • Coordinate and facilitate application review processes, including construction of panels and panelist engagement and training, employing best practices related to equity in the panel process.
  • Analyze regulations and laws applicable to artist funding and support.
  • Utilize dialogue, feedback, and other data to analyze grant programs and procedures, develop and implement methods for improvement.

25% | Partnerships and Strategic Initiatives

  • Collaborate with agency leadership to identify, manage, and foster inter-agency, local, state, national, and transborder/international partnerships supporting equitable, strategic, productive artist opportunities.
  • Oversee development and implementation of artist special initiatives, including targeted and large-scale programming initiatives, funding programs, conferences, and public events.
  • Foster productive relationships between local, regional, statewide, and national artist services stakeholders.
  • Cultivate relationships with and support existing artist networks, and where none exist but demonstrable needs persist, initiate/activate networks and partnerships promoting resource-sharing and skills-development.

15% Administration and Supervision

  • Maintain active dialogue with agency communications team to ensure effective promotion and communication related to artist programs and services, grantmaking, partnerships and strategic initiatives. 
  • Contribute to processes leading to timely and successful completion of periodic reports to authorizers.
  • Contribute to appropriate evaluation and assessment systems and procedures to ensure persistent improvements and increased efficiency.
  • Develop and monitor Artist Programs-area budgets in association with Director of Fiscal Operations and Deputy Director.
  • Supervise an Artist Programs Coordinator, as well as contractors and interns working in support of artist programs and services, grantmaking, partnerships and strategic initiatives.

10% │ Other Duties

  • Correspond with constituents and develop sufficient knowledge of agency programs, procedures, and policy in order to respond accurately and comprehensively to requests for information.
  • Provide backup to programs and operations as needed in a small agency.
  • Perform other duties as assigned by supervisor.

Ideal Candidate’s Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities


  • Practices and approaches related to equitable, asset-based public service;
  • Practices and approaches related to (and differences between) diversity, equity, inclusion, and access in arts-based service and engagement;
  • Principles, practices, and techniques related to engagement strategies, intercultural communication, collaborative decision-making, consensus building, and facilitation;
  • Arts and cultural disciplines, policy, history, and trends;
  • Operational structure of the nonprofit sector, nonprofit arts organizations, and other public services;
  • Grantmaking and grantwriting principles, methods, and techniques;


  • Exemplary organizational skills and the ability to prioritize concurrent projects with multiple stakeholders;
  • Exemplary listening, interpersonal communications and creative problem-solving skills;
  • Strong skill/ability to manage, organize and properly document information;
  • Strong skill/ability related to program/project/event management;
  • Strong skill/ability with standard office products and diverse online systems;

Ability to:

  • Build effective relationships with individuals, groups, and communities of diverse backgrounds, perspectives, and cultures;
  • Learn about and navigate operational structures of local, state, tribal, and federal government;
  • Manage competing priority tasks with efficiency and good judgment;
  • Manage collaborative teams with respect and encouragement;
  • Know when to ask for help, advice, and support.