Program Director Employment Opportunity

After 17 years of committed work for the Twin Cities arts community, Greg Nielsen is leaving MRAC for new opportunities. This opens up his position and we are now recruiting applicants to be considered for the role of Program Director to work with applicants in the Arts Activities Support and Community Arts grant programs. More information about Greg’s departure and how you can wish him well are forthcoming; he has been an integral part of this organization and the arts landscape for so long this will be a significant change for him and us here at MRAC.

Program Director Job Posting

Closing Date: September 10, 2018
Title: Program Director
Reports To: Executive Director
Percent Time: 100%
Status: Full-time, exempt, eligible for benefits
Salary: $52,000-$55,000 commensurate with experience

MRAC welcomes current qualified employees and applicants to apply for this position regardless of their race, color, religion, creed, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, marital status, national origin, status as a documented alien, or status as a qualified individual with a disability or protected veteran.

Organization Summary: The MRAC is a nonprofit organization serving formal and informal groups with annual arts programming expenses of less than $400,000, and artists in Anoka, Carver, Dakota, Hennepin, Ramsey, Scott, and Washington counties. The MRAC is one of eleven regional arts councils throughout the state of Minnesota. The regional arts councils are funded by an appropriation from the Minnesota Legislature, the Legacy Amendment Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund, and by The McKnight Foundation.

MRAC’s mission is to increase access to the arts in 7-county metropolitan area communities by providing information, organizational support, and grants. It is MRAC’s vision that artists, arts organizations, and arts activities thrive; that art is integrated into the fabric and identity of every community; and that public value of the arts is understood, acknowledged, and acted upon by community members, leaders, and policy makers. The organization’s goals are to:

  • Provide grant applicants and other constituents with clear, thorough, prompt, and respectful service and assistance
  • Maintain transparent decision-making processes and accessible public information
  • Serve constituents with programs and services that reflect MRAC’s mission and achieve its vision

Position Summary: The primary purpose of the Program Director position is to develop, deliver, and evaluate programs and services designed to provide project grant support to constituent arts organizations in the 7-county metropolitan area. This Program Director’s responsibilities are assigned geographically, with primary accountability for assessing needs and delivering programs and services to: Anoka, Carver, Dakota, Ramsey, Scott, and Washington counties.  Specific program accountability may vary from year to year depending on constituent and/or organizational needs; and may include special projects or one-time initiatives.


1. Primary assigned annual grant programs for applicant groups in Anoka, Carver, Dakota, Ramsey, Scott, and Washington counties (70%)

  • Arts Activities Support – deadlines: July & April; approx. 125 applications per year
  • Community Arts – deadlines: October & January; approx. 100 applications per year
  • Provide backup for Program Director for Hennepin county.

A. Plan, program, deliver, administer, and evaluate services to assigned annual program and accountability areas. This includes, but is not limited to:

  • Improving programs as needed
  • Ongoing review of program guidelines
  • Program outreach
  • Organize and teach Application Workshops
  • Provide one-on-one grant writing assistance and feedback
  • Review applications for eligibility and completeness
  • Assist in panel recruitment
  • Lead panelist orientation sessions
  • Panel facilitation and support
  • Coordinate Board Panel Liaison reading selections and provide support to board members throughout the panel process.

B. Provide support to Program Director for Hennepin county, by reviewing grant applications and facilitating panel meetings.

C. Plan, forecast, and manage expenses within program budgets.

D. Maintain spreadsheet, calendar, and database for project tracking and management.

2. Advocacy (10)%
A. Participate in opportunities to promote the arts and artists to students, the general public, public officials, legislators, and others as deemed important and necessary, including annual Arts Advocacy Day, and Big Check events.
B. Possess and expand personal and organizational knowledge of small arts organizations, community groups, and individual artists involved in or interested in initiating arts programming throughout the 7-county metro region, specifically those groups who are constituents of the director’s specific geographic and programmatic accountability areas.
C. Identify and nurture relationships with constituents. Be available to constituents within their own communities as well as through office-based services.
D. Facilitate connections between community resources and constituents that will enhance constituent knowledge, experience, growth, leadership, and/or capacity.

3. Planning/Evaluation (10)%
A. Engage in planning and evaluation activities on behalf of MRAC to ensure that programs and services continue to serve the needs of constituents.
B. Assist constituents in fully utilizing MRAC’s programs and services with emphasis on the director’s specific assigned areas.

  • Understand the developmental, organizational, and programmatic needs of constituent groups and artists to ensure MRAC’s programs and services are relevant and effective.
  • Work as part of a staff team to ensure that MRAC programs and service areas are well planned, organized, and implemented to achieve MRAC’s mandate, mission, and organizational goals.
  • Communicate to staff in regards to the trends and issues of the field to help guide MRAC’s grant-making policies and procedures.

C. Prepare and present preliminary and final grant round activity reports for MRAC staff and board of directors including presenting at board meetings. Review final funding recommendations for each grant fund before board approval with Executive Director.

  • Prepare grant round activity reports for staff and board of directors
  • Prepare funder report
  • Overall program evaluation

4. Other Related Duties as Assigned (10)%
A. Participate in and assist facilitating monthly Racial Equity Task Force meetings and other ad hoc committees as assigned.
B. Participate in strategic planning meetings, and development of work plan to implement strategic plan.
C. Provide backup to receptionist to answer phones.
D. Participate in weekly staff meetings.

Qualifications: This is an extraordinary opportunity for an individual to grow and further develop a proven program. The nature of problems encountered in this position are varied situations that require significant analysis or interpretation; general precedents and practices used, but may be modified. Outcomes are monitored by supervisor/manager; incumbent follows precedents and procedures, sets priorities, and organizes work within general guidelines.

Required Skills, Knowledge and Ability

  • Bachelor’s degree and at least three years program or organizational management experience in an arts, nonprofit, academic, or business environment, or an equivalent combination of education and/or experience to total seven years.
  • Paid or volunteer experience in three or more of the following areas: finance and operations, development, strategic planning, audience development, arts education, arts production or presentation, communications, volunteer management, and/or board relations.
  • Computer proficiency, including use of email, database, spreadsheet, presentation, word processing, calendaring, google research, and web page applications.
  • Ability to effectively communicate both verbal and written thoughts, ideas, and facts. Writes and presents information in a clear, concise, and accurate way.
  • Ability to be facilitative, not proscriptive, in style – nimble in working with groups of many styles at various stages of development.
  • Experience working with diverse communities. Demonstrated respect for cultural inclusion, commitment to racial equity, the ability to be objective and supportive, a strong commitment to client service and relations are essential.
  • Experience managing a budget, with ability to interpret written and financial information, and analyze data to support conclusions.
  • Ability to read high volume of materials.

Preferred Skills, Knowledge and Ability

  • Courses or advanced degree in business, arts administration, arts education, nonprofit or grants management.
  • Knowledge of, or experience in a variety of artistic disciplines.
  • Experience in developing and presenting training.
  • Project management skills.
  • Prior experience serving on a grants panel or administering grant programs.
  • Computer experience with Excel, Foundant, Filemaker Pro, Keynote, Word, WordPress, Acrobat, Google email, research, and calendar.
  • Experience in managing budgets between $680,000 and $1,500,000.

To apply:  Interested candidates should send a cover letter, resume, and contact information for three professional references to Becky Franklin, at by September 10, 2018.

The position will remain open until filled.
*Note: all finalists will be required to undergo a successful  background screening prior to being hired

Download the job description here: MRAC Program Director Job Description 2018

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