- Title: Program Officer, Theater
- Reports to: Senior Program Director, Theater
- Position Type: Exempt, Full-Time
About the New England Foundation for the Arts:
The New England Foundation for the Arts (NEFA) is a 501(c)3 organization with an annual budget of $11.5 million. NEFA invests in artists and communities and fosters equitable access to the arts, enriching the cultural landscape in New England and the nation.
As an organization, NEFA values an equitable, diverse, and inclusive world, which we interpret as all people having fair access to the tools and resources they need to realize creative and community endeavors. We acknowledge structural inequities that have excluded individuals and communities from opportunities based on race, gender, disability, sexual orientation, class, age, and geography and strive to counter those inequities in our work.
NEFA is proud to be an equal opportunity employer, and is invested in creating an equitable and inclusive working environment and organizational culture. We are committed to hiring individuals who share, value, and support these goals, and who reflect the diversity of the communities we serve. NEFA does not discriminate on the basis of race, ethnicity, religion, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, disability, age, veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law.
About the Position:
NEFA’s theater programs support the field of devised theater through grantmaking and field-building collaborations to foster a more vibrant and equitable theater ecosystem in the United States. The programs support the creation and touring of new devised and ensemble work by national theater artists and work to strengthen the capacity of presenters – of all sizes and types – to collaborate with artists, build audiences, and serve communities. The Program Officer, Theater is a steward of programmatic and organizational goals, working closely with constituents as they navigate the grant process, driving communications and promotional efforts that support and enhance the visibility of our programs and services, and providing administrative and logistical support for department activities and events.
This position reports to the Senior Program Director for Theater and works in close coordination with the Program Coordinator. The Program Officer will partner with this team to administer NEFA’s portfolio of theater programs and services including the National Theater Project, managing the program’s community partnerships and supporting its strategic growth. They will also serve as the department’s liaison to NEFA’s communications team, with whom they will coordinate to produce and publish content to NEFA’s website, social media, and other platforms. The position requires excellent communication, compassion and patience when working with constituents, a commitment to advancing equity and justice in the public realm, and an interest in art as a lever for public discourse.
This is a new role which may evolve over time.
Essential Functions - % of Time
Program Facilitation – 45%
- Support all aspects of the grant application and award cycle including maintaining online grant application forms and guidelines (scheduling, editing, testing, and posting), reviewing and monitoring applications, providing technical assistance to applicants and grantees, evaluating and confirming eligibility of applications and reports, creating and distributing panel books, drafting and merging award and decline letters, and processing payments, all in Salesforce or related apps;
- Collaborate with Program Coordinator, Theater, to plan and deliver a panel orientation, two panel meetings and one grantee cohort meeting per year, including travel, catering, and other arrangements; perform advance site visits as needed;
- Plan and facilitate annual regional convening, including curating panels, meeting with regional artists, and other event logistics;
- Collaborate with theater team to develop agendas and facilitate grantee cohort gatherings and panel meetings;
- Assist Senior Program Director in managing and monitoring program budget;
- Contribute to proposals and reports to funders in collaboration with development and finance teams;
- Lead and facilitate special projects and initiatives in support of the program’s growth.
Constituent Relations and Support – 30%
- Respond to constituent inquiries regarding NEFA's Theater programs. Manage firstname.lastname@example.org inbox; triage responses and forward to appropriate staff as needed;
- Lead programmatic partnerships beyond grantmaking – e.g. professional development and field building collaborations;
- Support cross-program collaborations within NEFA to further support artists in their creative process, knowledge sharing and network building in New England and beyond;
- Attend grantee events on behalf of NEFA to bolster program knowledge and visibility and to support constituents;
- Attend national and regional conferences on behalf of the National Theater Project and represent the program at other external events.
Program Communications – 15%
- Drive communications efforts for NEFA’s theater programs; act as primary liaison between the theater and communications teams;
- Enhance the visibility and messaging of the values and impact of NEFA’s theater programs including tracking quantitative and qualitative data from grantee reports. providing testimonials for funder reports, identifying trends that may influence program design or implementation, and generating content for NEFA’s website and blog;
- Lead efforts to reach new grant applicants and build relationships and opportunities with stakeholders across multiple communities; coordinate and promote info sessions and webinars and fostering new partnerships with community partners and others to amplify outreach;
- Draft content and coordinate with content producers (e.g. Senior Program Director or guest bloggers such as grantees) and collaborate with NEFA communications staff;
- Prepare content for communications team for press releases (e.g. grantee announcements) and website updates (e.g. grant program pages and grantee directory updates).
Connecting and Learning – 10%
- Represent the program and organization at conferences, meetings, performances, and other events; report on learning and outcomes;
- Participate in organization-wide convenings and events, planning sessions, and working groups.
Does this position supervise others? No
Works closely with all members of the NEFA staff, especially with the theater and communications teams. Maintain and support positive relationships with a variety of external stakeholders and constituents including grant applicants, grantees, program advisors, funders, partners, and vendors.
The person in this position may be asked to represent the organization at grantee or other events that occur beyond or outside “traditional” business hours.
Financial/Operational Resources Impacted:
Decision Making/Problem Solving:
Drive community partnerships and steer external convenings which advance the program’s mission and objectives; communicate effectively with internal and external program partners, advisors, constituents, and vendors; provide superior constituent support services and technical assistance to all program applicants and participants; contribute to program and departmental planning.
Opportunities for Advancement:
At the beginning of their tenure in the role, staff in Officer/Administrator positions should set performance, development, and skill-building goals with their supervisor based on the expectations of the role and needs of the department. After two (2) years in an Officer/Administrator position, employees who have a proven track record of success in their role, have accomplished or made significant progress toward their performance goals, and have demonstrated steady growth as measured in their annual performance assessments, may be considered for promotion with careful consideration of department conditions.
- 4–8 years of work experience preferably in the arts and/or front-facing constituent/customer support roles;
- Ability to compassionately communicate with constituents, applicants, partners, and other stakeholders;
- Excellent written and verbal communication skills; fluency in languages beyond English a plus;
- Strong organization and planning skills with the ability to advance multiple priorities and processes concurrently;
- Adaptability to new software and virtual workflows; Familiarity with Microsoft Office suite; experience with project management tools, particularly Asana, a plus; experience with Salesforces CRM is a significant plus;
- Ability to work, grow, and thrive within a team-based environment and comfort working with and navigating the dynamics of multiple teams;
- Appreciation for and identification with NEFA’s mission, vision, and values and interest in engaging in work to advance NEFA’s organizational goals, including those centering equity, diversity, intersectionality, and accessibility.
- Familiarity with various theater genres and touring practices and trends;
- Interest in/awareness of the experiences of working artists and communities across New England and nationally;
- Experience contributing to, creating, or editing content for publication, and social media;
- Understanding of systems of oppression in the arts and beyond, and a strong commitment to implementing anti-racist practices.
NEFA is a multi-state organization and an evolving and dynamic workplace. NEFA staff work in a variety of contexts, including in-person in Boston and remotely across New England and New York. For this position we welcome applications from individuals who are interested in working in-person or hybrid schedules and we can accommodate applicants who are interested in telecommuting from anywhere within the six New England states (Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont), New York, or California. Ideally anyone working in this position outside of Boston would be able and willing to travel for occasional on-site training, meetings, and events. Individuals interested in working remotely should be able to point to a history of success working independently with validating references.
Stationary position, occasional lifting (up to 15 lbs.), frequent travel (local, regional, or national, dependent on location, including to events during hours outside 9-5 work hours), reasoning, decision-making, detailed work, communication, organization skills, reading, processing.
All candidates will apply using the application form at nefa.org/about/employment. We ask all candidates to submit a current resume and a cover letter describing their interest in and preparedness for the role, and to respond to a limited set of questions about relevant skills.
The deadline to apply for this position is Monday, May 16. Applications will be reviewed as they are received, and we encourage interested candidates to apply prior to the deadline. Applications received after the deadline may not be reviewed if the existing candidate pool is deemed sufficient. We anticipate sending out requests for initial phone interviews approximately two weeks after the application deadline.