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Folk & Traditional Arts Program Director

Organization: Mississippi Arts Commission
Date Posted: 11/12/2013
Date Needed: 12/15/2013
City: Jackson
Location: Mississippi
Country: United States
Primary Category: Public Folklore, State Government
Salary: $35,993.00 yearly
Type of Position: Full-Time
Education Requirement: Master's
Experience Requirement: 1-2 years

Description & Details

The Mississippi Arts Commission (MAC) is the state’s official arts granting and service agency. Based in Jackson, Mississippi, MAC is an independent state agency governed by a fifteen person board. MAC has a long history of providing grants and services to Mississippi’s traditional artists and the organizations that support them. MAC is currently seeking a Folk and Traditional Arts Program Director. This is a full-time, permanent position. The Folk Arts staff person manages grants to organizations and individuals, as well as a number of special initiatives.

The annual starting salary for the position is $35,993. The position also includes, including personal and medical leave, participation in the state employee retirement plan, and health insurance.

Position Duties:

  • Coordinate the Folk and Traditional Arts grants programs, including grants to organizations and individual artists. This includes recruiting and providing technical assistance to applicants, overseeing review panels, conducting site visits, processing grant files (including final reports), and providing assistance to other MAC staff in administering and overseeing active grants.
  • Work with other MAC Program Directors to provide general information and assistance on the agency’s grant programs and services to Mississippi residents.
  • Recruit folk and traditional artists for inclusion in general MAC programs and initiatives, including the Artist Roster, the Governor’s Awards, artist training workshops, and other agency-wide programs and initiatives.
  • Manage MAC’s participation in the National Endowment for the Arts’ folk and traditional arts initiatives, including the Folk Arts Infrastructure Initiative and the National Heritage Awards program.
  • Research potential regional and national initiatives or honors in which Mississippi traditional artists can be included.
  • Develop and manage new statewide initiatives that work to increase the knowledge and visibility of the traditional arts in Mississippi.
  • Maintain and update MAC’s folklife related websites.
  • Maintain the existing partnerships with other state agencies and service organizations currently managed by the Folk and Traditional Arts Program. Search for new potential collaborations with other agencies and organizations.
  • Assist other MAC staff members with agency-wide initiatives, including the Governor’s Awards, the agency radio program, and other special programs.
  • Serve as a resource on the traditional arts in Mississippi. This could include making public presentations on the traditional arts, serving on advisory committees on folk arts-related initiatives, and providing requested information on specific traditional art forms.
  • Work in partnership with MAC’s Arts in Education and Whole Schools Directors to provide traditional arts resources for arts education initiatives.
  • Monitor current trends and activities by Mississippi traditional artists.
  • Serve as a representative of MAC by giving presentations on the agency’s overall mission and programs.

Required Experience:

  • An advanced (masters or higher) degree in folklore, ethnomusicology, anthropology, southern studies or a related field
  • Demonstrated fieldwork experience working with traditional artists or a folk group. Applicant should have competency with documentary equipment, including audio and/or video recording equipment and photography.
  • Working knowledge of standard office environment computer programs, including word processing, spreadsheet, database, and others
  • At least two years of administrative experience
  • Demonstrated writing and editing skills, focused on creating documents for a general readership
  • Experience working in a team-based environment

Non-Required but Desirable Skills:

  • Experience in web development
  • Extensive experience working in traditional communities (proven experience working in ethnic or minority communities)
  • Project management experience
  • Spanish language speaking and writing proficiency

Please send a cover letter, resume and a list of three references (with full contact information) to no later than December 5, 2013. Applicants must also apply for the position through the "Job Seekers” section of Mississippi State Personnel Board’s website ( The position is listed as "Branch Director I” (based in Hinds County) in the listings on the site.

How to Apply / Contact

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