Manager of Programs and Engagement

American Folk Art Museum

Organization Description: 
Since 1961, the American Folk Art Museum has been the leading institution shaping the understanding of art by the self-taught through its exhibitions, publications, and educational programs. As a center of scholarship, it showcases the creativity of individuals whose singular talents have been refined through personal experience rather than formal artistic training. Its collection includes more than eight thousand works of art from four centuries and nearly every continent—from compelling portraits and dazzling quilts to powerful works by living artists in a variety of mediums.

Position Description:
The Manager of Programs and Engagement conceptualizes, implements, and evaluates public programs for adult audiences, including lectures, conversations, panels, symposia, studio visits and workshops. Inclusive and engaging programs play a critical role in situating the museum as platform for creativity and innovation and a welcoming resource for the museum’s broad and diverse publics. Working closely with the Curatorial Department and Director of Learning and Engagement, the Manager of Programs and Engagement aligns speakers and program content with the museum’s mission and exhibition themes and topics. Collaborates with Director of Learning and Engagement to generate respective long and short-term department goals.

Reports to:
Director of Learning and Engagement

Job Requirements & Responsibilities:
Program Responsibilities
• Curates robust roster of engaging and inclusive Public Programs both onsite and online, researching and identifying diverse speakers, artists, instructors, themes, and topics, and shaping a vision and strategy for public programs that promotes the mission of AFAM, while maintain connections to the Museum’s communities and growing new audiences.
• Organizes both large and small-scale interactive programs, including lectures, workshops, and symposia, for a variety of adult audiences that include both specialized art and history communities as well as the general museum-going public.
• Introduce programs, moderate Q&A, and facilitate discussions as needed.
• Manages two music programs, Jazz+Wednesdays (bi-weekly) and Free Music Fridays (monthly) supervising staff, program outreach, and execution.
• Coordinates three annual programs, the Visionary Award Ceremony, the Anne Hill Blanchard Uncommon Artists Lecture, and the Elizabeth and Irwin Warren Folk Art Symposium.
• Collaborates with museum departments to strategically promote, support, and execute programs that position AFAM as a lively forum and center for public engagement, connection, and exchange.
• Assists Curatorial team with exhibition interpretation; reviewing and editing wall text and labels.
• Oversees all aspects of program planning, administration, and implementation, including program budgeting and supervising program staff and interns.
• Partners with external organizations to conduct co-sponsored programs and engage in cross-promotion.
• Keeps informed of and identifies trends and relevant topics and approaches in contemporary culture, focusing on art history, self-taught art, folk art, art education, and equity and inclusion, create dynamic forums via programming to explore these developments
• Represents the American Folk Art Museum in the broader arts and cultural community with the goals of raising the Museum’s profile and developing strong partnerships for program collaboration.
• Active in the fields of museum education and public programming, participates in professional conferences and networks, and seeks opportunities to present American Folk Art Museum initiatives. 
• Contributes to learning theory for museum and art education, gaining recognition for this work through professional contacts, publications, and associations.

Administrative Responsibilities
• Oversees all aspects of program planning, administration, and implementation, including program budgeting and supervising program staff and interns.
• Designs and administers program evaluation, administering standardized post-program audience survey sent for each program, tracking and analyzing data and providing reports on attendance trends and demographics to Director of Education, Museum Director, and Grants Manager. 
• Writes copy and selects images for all adult public program promotion and outreach, including monthly eblasts and social media posts, as well as conducting targeted outreach via personalized emails and Eventbrite eblasts, establishing strategic schedule for program outreach and promotion with colleagues in External Relations.
• Coordinates program invitations, outreach, and execution with exhibition curators, Museum Director, and Director of Learning and Engagement.
• Manages annual Public Programs budget and consistently reports data to the Director of Learning and Engagement.
• Consults with the museum’s Publication department to develop program brochures and other printed matter, and drafts all printed and web copy descriptions for public programs.
• Manages all administrative details related to execution of Public Programs, including seeking bids, hiring, and supervising contractors. 
• Manages all post-production for Public Programs, including production and editing of program recording videos and reviewing and editing video captions for accuracy.
• Manages documentation of and reports on Public Programs, creating a comprehensive and accurate archive of attendance, speakers, and audience responses for departmental, public access, and institutional purposes.
• Liaises with Board of Trustees as a member of Learning and Engagement Committee and in program promotion and support.
• Collaborates with Development staff to fundraise for Public Programs.
• Supervises and mentors Spring intern as part of the Museum Careers Internship program in partnership with LaGuardia Community College, providing opportunities for professional development.

Diversity, Equity, Access, and Inclusion Responsibilities
• Participates in Museum’s Diversity, Equity, Access, and Inclusion Taskforce.
• Keeps informed of and engages in best practices for organizing diverse, equitable, and inclusive Public Programs.
• Commits to Diversity, Equity, Accessibility and Inclusion in all aspects of audience engagement, speaker engagement, mentorship support, and program development.
• Amplifies perspectives of artists, scholars, and thought leaders of color, women, and LGBTQ+ individuals.
• Joins AFAM colleagues in initiatives to increase accessibility of museum spaces, programs, and online and onsite learning.

Candidate Qualifications:
• Conversant in the fields of traditional folk art and contemporary self-taught art from the United States and abroad. It is essential that applicants have a genuine interest in and dedication to this material, or are highly motivated to learn about artists and topics related to this exciting and growing field.
• Bachelor’s degree with a background in art history, American studies, or museum education.
• 2-3 years experience designing adult public programming (including virtual formats) and learning experiences that engage a broad public at a cultural institution. 
• Proven record of intentional thinking, creative visioning, and leadership.
• Solid understanding of art history, educational theory and practice.
• Strong written and verbal communication skills, including the ability to communicate with a variety of audiences.
• Excellent interpersonal skills, a good sense of humor, and the ability to work well both independently and in close collaboration with colleagues and within the community.

Position Type:

Union Status:

FLSA Status:

Salary or Compensation:

Organization or Project Website:

Application Info:
*This position has great flexibility. The role is partially remote; the ideal candidate must be based in the NYC metro area, although candidates based elsewhere will be considered.

How to Apply
Send cover letter and CV to: with the position title in the subject line. The position will be open until filled. Please, no phone calls.

The American Folk Art Museum is committed to attracting and retaining diverse staff, while working to build and sustain an equitable and inclusive work environment where cultural diversity is celebrated and valued.

Equal Opportunity Employer
The American Folk Art Museum provides equal opportunity to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, creed, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, ancestry, age, mental or physical disability, pregnancy, alienage or citizenship status, marital status or domestic partner status, genetic information, genetic predisposition or carrier status, gender identity, HIV status, military status and any other category protected by law in all employment decisions, including but not limited to recruitment, hiring, compensation, training and apprenticeship, promotion, upgrading, demotion, downgrading, transfer, lay-off and termination, and all other terms and conditions of employment.