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Senior Program Officer for Arts and Cultural Heritage

Organization: Andrew W. Mellon Foundation
Date Posted: 1/8/2019
City: New York
Location: New York
Country: United States
Primary Category: Public Folklore, Non-Profit

Description & Details

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation ("Foundation") seeks a Senior Program Officer for Arts and Cultural Heritage. The Foundation is a not-for-profit organization that makes grants and supports research in five core program areas: higher education and scholarship in the humanities; scholarly communications; arts and cultural heritage; diversity; and international higher education. Reporting directly to the Executive Vice President for Programs and Research (EVP), the Senior Program Officer (SPO) shapes and directs the Foundation's grantmaking in the arts and in the study and preservation of cultural heritage. The Arts and Cultural Heritage program supports initiatives in the United States and, where appropriate, internationally, in arts and higher education institutions that help build or strengthen the arts ecosystem of the future while conserving its past accomplishments. The program also works with partner organizations to support notable and promising individual artists. In this capacity, the SPO will be the chief architect of the evolving strategic directions for this area of the Foundation's mission. The SPO will oversee, encourage, inspire, and focus program staff in Arts and Cultural Heritage, and serve on a team of program leaders who advise the EVP and the President on broader strategic concerns. The SPO will also contribute actively to various collective activities and special initiatives of the Foundation.

Position Details

The Senior Program Officer for Arts and Cultural Heritage will serve as a strategic thinker on the arts and cultural heritage ecosystem, a respected liaison to the community of visual and performing artists, arts organizations, and institutions of higher education, a senior member of the Foundation's program leadership team, and a source of information and expertise about developments and opportunities in the broad domain of arts and culture across all media and a wide range of participants and communities. He or she will serve as a critical resource to the Foundation leadership and colleagues at the Foundation, providing key support on a variety of initiatives, project management, and communications about the arts and cultural heritage.

The primary responsibilities may include but will not be limited to:

  • Providing intellectual and operational leadership in the Arts and Cultural Heritage program;
  • Maintaining and developing relationships with and across arts organizations and other funders of the sector;
  • Identifying new opportunities to strengthen and promote the role of the arts and artists in American culture and society;
  • Overseeing a team that advances strategic directions for the Foundation and the Arts and Cultural Heritage program; providing advice and counsel by undertaking and overseeing specific research assignments;
  • Tracking priorities within the Arts and Cultural Heritage program;
  • Representing the Foundation externally; presenting talks and writing on matters of strategic concern to the visual and performing arts sector;
  • Connecting the activities of the Arts and Cultural Heritage program to other Mellon Foundation programs and priorities, and partner institutions where appropriate;
  • Organizing meetings, convenings, and conferences to advance the work of the Arts and Cultural Heritage program;
  • Assisting with formal Foundation correspondence and communications including writing, editing, and proofing;
  • At behest of the EVP, leading and directing projects.

Required Skills and Experience:

  • A synthetic thinker;
  • Master's degree or higher in an academic discipline related to the arts, with broad curiosity;
  • Senior-level experience in an arts organization, museum, or institution of higher education;
  • Minimum 10 years professional experience including staff management;
  • Record of leadership in the arts including artistic accomplishment, curatorial production, and/or field-related publication;
  • Exceptional oral and written communications skills including public speaking;
  • Superior influencing, negotiating, and facilitating skills;
  • Superior organizational, project, and resource management skills;
  • Demonstrated ability to work independently and multitask in a fast-paced environment, lead projects, and effectively prioritize time and tasks to regularly produce deliverables of high quality;
  • High level of maturity and empathy; highly developed interpersonal skills;
  • Currency with new media and digital arts discourse;
  • Technological savvy and proficiency in MS Office Suite: Word, Excel, Access, PowerPoint, Visio, and Outlook.

Qualified candidates should submit a resume, cover letter, and salary requirements to: Each response will be considered carefully but only those most qualified for the position will be contacted.

For more information, visit

The Foundation is an equal opportunity employer offering competitive salary, outstanding benefits, and excellent working conditions.


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