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Open Studios & Tannery Arts Center Program Manager

Deadline: Aiming to hire by May 31, 2024.

Schedule: Starting at 30 hours per week, growing to 40 hours on or after November 1, 2024. Salaried, Exempt. Flexible hours, evenings, and weekends as required.

Location: Hybrid with 40% time in Arts Council offices on the Tannery Arts Center campus and/or Watsonville Center for the Arts. Reliable transportation is needed.

Reporting: This position reports to the Deputy Director

Salary & Benefits:

  • $62,000 - $70,000

  • We believe in work-life balance and are committed to keeping the workload in alignment with the actual hours worked

  • Ten vacation days, 12 sick days, 15 paid holidays, and a flexible, family-friendly schedule

  • We provide medical, dental, and vision insurance, covering 100% of the insurance package for employees and 30% dependent coverage.

The Job: This is a new position and an opportunity to contribute to Santa Cruz County’s arts ecosystem. It builds upon decades of work and is a critical part of the Arts Council’s suite of programs. The Open Studios & Tannery Arts Center Program Manager's key role is to build creators’ capacity to create and market their work through events, professional development, community connections, and access to resources. In its 37th year, the Open Studios Art Tour is a county-wide visual arts celebration featuring 300+ artists annually. The Open Studios & Tannery Arts Center Program Manager will support and guide emerging, mid-career, and established artists as they apply to and prepare for the Tour, playing the lead role in all the event’s details and intricacies, collaborating with the Communications team to promote the Tour and its participating artists. The Tannery Arts Center is a first-in-the-nation, interdisciplinary, and multicultural arts campus that provides an accessible, sustainable, and vibrant home for the Arts in Santa Cruz County. The Open Studios & Tannery Arts Center Program Manager curates events, experiences, and spaces that contribute to the Tannery Arts Center as a hub for creativity and connection. This role is a key contributor to internal events like our Annual Party and leads the production of four exhibits at the County Building.


Open Studios Art Tour

  • Lead the Open Studios program, including but not limited to artist application, selection, and professional development activities and managing jury selection and the panel review process

  • Timely and highly detailed management of the collection of artist information and images for the Open Studios Artist Guide, app, and website

  • Curate two Open Studios Preview Exhibits and manage one public reception

  • Provide high-touch, welcoming customer service to Open Studios artist applicants and participants through workshops, one-to-one support, and provision of detailed materials

  • Research, explore, and implement ways to broaden the program’s reach

Tannery Arts Center

  • Organize and produce two annual art markets, ensuring high visibility and success

  • Liaise with leadership, management, and anchor tenants to strengthen relationships and build campus-wide cohesion, including John Stewart Property Management, ArtSpace, City of Santa Cruz, and the Arts Council leadership team

  • Facilitate access to networking, exhibit, sales, and professional development opportunities

  • Support and foster diverse relationships that promote collaboration and connection

  • Serve as the first point of contact for inquiries, calendaring, event equipment, and on-site coordination for tenant and external events in shared spaces, including tenant-led events for First Fridays

  • Produce a monthly Tannery Arts Center public newsletter and manage internal communications channels

County Exhibits & Arts Council Events

  • Facilitate annual County Exhibit selection process and curate four exhibits at the County Government Center, including our Arts Education program’s Youth Art Exhibit

  • Key contributor to Arts Council internal events and celebrations

Program Planning & Administration

  • Develop and manage program plans, budgets, and evaluations

  • Provide data and evaluation outcomes for grant reporting, partners, and stakeholders

  • Publicly represent the Arts Council as Open Studios & Tannery Arts Center Manager

  • Recruit and manage the Open Studios and Tannery Arts Center Committees

  • Collaborate with Development, Communications, and Executive teams to identify funding, sponsorships, and strategic partnerships

Marketing & Communications

  • Collaborate with the Communications team to co-develop plans and budgets to promote the Tannery Arts Center, Open Studios, and County Exhibits

  • Create trusted linkages between participating artists and the Communication team to facilitate vibrant content creation and story-telling

Skills & Experience Preferred

  • Highly familiar with the Google Suite of tools, including Sheets, Slides, Docs, Gmail, and the ability to learn Asana, Zapplication, and other essential program tools

  • Event production, exhibit curation, volunteer management, community organizing, and engagement

  • Comfortable and effective at interacting with a broad variety of people - i.e., artists, constituents, volunteers, donors, government staff, board members, staff, and families

  • Active listener and problem-solver with skills to address community needs effectively

  • Skilled at devising and implementing strategies to reduce barriers and biases and promote equity, diversity, and inclusion.

  • Builds strong, trusted relationships to identify new partners, audiences, and artists

  • Collaborative and creative within a team setting

  • Strategic and consistent in communicating progress and areas of challenge, meeting deadlines, and maintaining open lines of communication across programs and constituencies

  • Strong communication skills that build relationships, encourage feedback, clarify roles, engage stakeholders, and convey program goals

  • Designing and implementing programs, managing budgets, and collecting data to make course corrections and ensure program success

  • Willingness to express points of view, set boundaries, and give and receive feedback with grace and humility

  • Bilingual Spanish-Speaking preferred

Interesting Candidates Will Be:

  • Ready to use their experience in events and program management to ensure the success of these programs

  • Excited to serve as a welcoming, charismatic, and collaborative leader dedicated to fostering the arts and artists' role in community well-being

  • Interested in local politics, policies, and trends that affect the arts, culture, and artists in Santa Cruz County and beyond

  • A lifelong learner who is willing to try new things, ask questions, and challenge assumptions

Who We Are: We nurture and invest in artists, culture, and the arts throughout Santa Cruz County. Serving as a connector between artists, arts networks, government leaders, arts advocates, arts educators, and arts education organizations, we aim to build, support, and sustain a dynamic, responsive, and inclusive arts culture in Santa Cruz County as characterized by:

  • Culturally rich and historically neglected communities are elevated, celebrated, and have a position of power in the arts ecosystem that reflects their cultural assets;

  • Art and artists drive the County's cultural and economic success and well-being;

  • Santa Cruz County residents of all backgrounds are engaged in a continuum of meaningful and relevant arts engagement activities that provoke a greater sense of belonging and

  • BIPOC artists and arts organizations serving the County’s BIPOC community are well-resourced and well-positioned for their essential work.

What It’s Like to Work with Us: We operate a highly collaborative and supportive workplace where staff is self-directed. We all have the opportunity and are expected to contribute not just to our work but also to the strategic direction of the organization. We take responsibility for mistakes and celebrate successes. We live and breathe by our core values: equity, interdependence, creativity, love, and integrity. A sense of humor and compassion are vital to one’s ability to thrive here. We’re an award-winning, Family-Friendly Workplace; we always have plenty of chocolate, snacks, and coffee. Most importantly, we’re all here to be of service to the arts and our community.

And Now For Something Completely Different: The ideal candidate will have most of the skills this announcement outlines. However, if you beautifully fit most, but not all, of the bill, apply anyway. In either case, be direct in your cover letter about your strengths, interests, and fit for this position.

The Arts Council is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Discrimination based on age, disability, sex, race, religion or belief, gender reassignment, marriage/civil partnership, pregnancy/maternity, or sexual orientation is unacceptable. With equity at our core, we actively promote equality of opportunity for all with the right mix of talent, skills, and potential.

Our Hiring Process

  • We will review applications received on or before May 1st on a rolling basis until the position is filled

  • We will begin scheduling and conducting interviews when we identify strong candidates

  • We may ask for some prepared materials relevant to this position

  • Finalists will be invited to a second interview, and an offer will be made shortly after that

  • The selected candidate will work directly with and be mentored by the team transitioning from their current positions.

To apply: Please send your resume and cover letter as a single PDF outlining your interest in and fit for the position to In your cover letter, tell us why this opportunity lights your fire and how your talents and experiences suit the work. Please don’t restate information we’ll find in your resume. Cover letters tell us about what might not be obvious in your resume. Please include one, or you may miss your opportunity to be considered for this job.