Program Officer, Arts & Culture

S Brown Consulting LLC

Job Description

Position Title: Program Officer, Arts & Culture

Reports to: Deputy Director

Direct Reports: N/A

FLSA Status: Exempt

Location: Cambridge, MA


 About Wagner Foundation

Wagner Foundation’s vision is a just and robust community where everyone is valued equally and can imagine, shape, pursue, and sustain the lives they wish to lead. In pursuit of this vision, the foundation’s mission is to confront the social and historical disparities that perpetuate injustice. We do this by accompanying organizations aligned with this goal, serving as advocates for change and convening thought leaders. Our focus on health equity and shared prosperity is balanced by a holistic approach which aims to develop and strengthen equitable systems throughout the world. Included in our vision is a belief that art, culture and creativity are vital to personal well-being and a vibrant society. In its efforts, the foundation welcomes creative solutions bringing communities together. It is committed to encouraging visionary individuals, as well as arts organizations that expand cultural access. The willingness to explore, ask questions, and support one another makes new solutions possible, transforming culture in the process.  

We work diligently to understand challenges, work within systems, and balance immediate and long-term needs. This work is built on our organizational values of accompaniment, striving for equality, building trust, conscious listening, creative change, and leading together.

Please visit to learn more about our work, methodology, and values.


The Opportunity

The Program Officer, Arts & Culture is a new position for the foundation and will work in strategic and creative partnership with the Founder, the Deputy Director, and other team members to shape and oversee a portfolio of arts & culture grants. In addition to supporting the grantmaking activities for both current and prospective grantees, the Program Officer will contribute to developing strategy, making connections, building partnerships, and seeking collaboration to support our mission. Because collaboration and knowledge sharing are critical to our internal culture, this position will work closely with the team across portfolios to keep abreast of the broader funding portfolio and seek opportunities to learn from each other’s experiences and strategies.

The ideal candidate is a holistic and strategic thinker with a commitment to confronting issues of social justice. They believe in the power of the arts and artists to drive cultural transformation in communities across the globe. They bring expertise in fields related to the arts with knowledge of the arts ecosystem across the US, including museums and arts non-profits.

Depending on candidate experience, this role will also have the opportunity to either curate exhibitions in the Wagner Foundation gallery space or work with guest curators. In both cases, external registrarial and installation teams would work in partnership to support gallery exhibitions.

Reporting to the Deputy Director, this position is based in Cambridge, MA and requires some domestic travel. Our team values and believes in the power of in-person collaboration. The team currently operates under a hybrid work model, working Tuesday – Thursday in the office and Monday and Friday remotely. This hybrid model is subject to change.


Primary Responsibilities

The specific duties and responsibilities of this position include, but are not limited to, the following areas:


Work with the Founder and Deputy Director to develop arts and culture-related grantmaking strategies in service to the foundation’s mission.
Effectively manage all aspects of the foundation’s arts and culture portfolio, using an accompaniment method of grantmaking, which works in solidarity with grantee partners and collaborates to achieve their goals and objectives.
Perform initial screenings of potential grantee partners, analyze organizational budgets, participate in site visits, and conduct other due diligence as needed.
Articulate the foundation’s mission and priorities to potential grantee partners while evaluating and providing feedback to them.
Work with the Grants & Impact Manager to regularly update GivingData, the foundation’s grants management software, with all grant-related activities.
Collaborate with the team to remain informed on the foundation’s broader funding portfolio and consider opportunities to learn from each other’s work.
Provide regular reports to the Deputy Director with updates on program work and proposal reviews.

Thought Leadership

Represent the foundation, our impact, and our approach in a manner that embodies our core mission.
Attend events, conferences, and community meetings, with occasional speaking roles as appropriate.
Cultivate and maintain relationships with existing and prospective grantee partners as well as peer funders.
Encourage and drive knowledge-sharing and collaboration opportunities amongst grantee partners and amongst peer funders to increase opportunities for learnings and partnerships.
Build visibility for the foundation as well as the work of current grantee partners through strategic communications such as blog posts, social media content, etc.
Collaborate with the larger foundation team to serve as an advocate for mission-aligned issue areas relevant to the work.


Cultivate relationships with our grantee partners that center their mission and needs by leading with trust, transparency, humility, and deep listening.
Identify opportunities to execute the foundation’s “Do, Learn, Share” methodology, which balances immediate action with ongoing study and communication.
Keep up with trends in philanthropy, the nonprofit sector, and developments in the field of visual arts.
Serve as a thought-partner to prospective and current grantee partners and community partners.
Act as a connector and collaborator for grantee partners to other organizations and other funders through a cross-sector and intersectional lens.


Candidate Profile

You will be a strong candidate for the Program Officer, Arts & Culture position if you possess many, though likely not all, of the following attributes and competencies:

A passion for the Wagner Foundation’s mission, a commitment to advancing its goals and embracing its approach
Are a curator or former curator in contemporary visual arts with knowledge of the arts ecosystem across the US, including museums and arts non-profits
Have 5+ years of professional experience, with experience in both contemporary arts and in the philanthropic and/or arts non-profit sectors
Commitment to the highest standards of ethics, integrity, and inclusiveness
Strong project management skills including prioritizing tasks, executing deliverables, and meeting multiple, concurrent deadlines
Knowledge and familiarity with grantmaking processes and procedures is preferred but not required
Outstanding relationship management and interpersonal skills, including experience building strong and collaborative relationships with individuals from a diversity of backgrounds
Demonstrated capacity to take initiative and operate effectively at a strategic as well as a tactical level
Excellent verbal, written and presentation skills required; comfort with making presentations to large audiences as well as leading discussions with smaller audiences
Demonstrated ability to be a productive and collaborative team member who thrives on sharing ideas and receiving feedback in a dynamic environment
Interest, comfort, and strength working in a small, dynamic organization with a start-up orientation
Working knowledge of marketing and social media campaigns/strategies
Willingness and ability to travel domestically
Flexibility, emotional intelligence, positive attitude, enthusiasm, willingness to help others, and a sense of humor
Skilled in Mac operating systems, Microsoft Office, Office 365, OneDrive, Excel, Word, and PowerPoint


Compensation & Benefits

The starting salary range for this role is between $85,000-$110,00. The compensation package includes medical benefits, retirement plan, professional development opportunities, and a generous time off policy.

Wagner Foundation is an equal opportunity employer fully committed to creating an environment and team that represents a variety of backgrounds, perspectives, styles, and experiences. Wagner Foundation does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, disability, age, sexual orientation, military status, veteran status, genetic information, gender identity, or any other characteristic protected by applicable federal, state, or local law. We encourage all to apply because we believe a diversity of voices leads to better discussions, decisions, and outcomes for everyone.
Posted 1 year ago
Cambridge, Massachusetts
Full Time