Mass Cultural Council

10 St. James Ave., 3rd floor
Boston, MA 02116

Date Posted:
January 10, 2018

Eastern Massachusetts



Community Initiative Program Officer


Mass Cultural Council promotes excellence, education, diversity, and inclusion in the arts, humanities, and sciences to foster a rich cultural life for Massachusetts through a wide range of grants, initiatives, and advocacy. We work with partners in government, the cultural community, and across sectors, to increase public and private investment in the arts, humanities, and sciences. Mass Cultural Council, the state’s arts agency, is seeking an individual for the position of Program Officer in its Community Initiative. 

This position is an integral part of the Mass Cultural Council’s Community team in all of its work. The Mass Cultural Council is looking for a person with significant experience in the field of grantmaking, or a municipal environment, or a cultural organization. 

Initially, the Program Officer will report to the Program Manager of the Cultural Districts Initiative (part of the Community Initiative) and serve as the primary contact for Cultural District in the following 12 regions: North-Central Massachusetts, Martha's Vineyard, Greater Boston, Nantucket Island, Plymouth County, Greater Springfield, Cape Cod, Franklin County, Greater Merrimack Valley, Hampshire County, Metro West, and Southeastern Mass/Bristol County. Over time, the workload will change and a flexible attitude is crucial.


  • Administer services and programs for cultural districts with growing responsibility
  • Respond to inquiries from applicants, municipal officials, and constituents.
  • Work to support smooth administration of the Cultural District Initiative on the local level.
  • Promote a regional approach to support the Community Initiative.
  • Work collaboratively with the Local Cultural Council and Festivals Program staff in assigned regions.
  • Provide support to cities and towns engaged in Cultural Compacts in assigned regions
  • Other responsibilities as assigned

Specific Duties

Duty 1: Cultural District Initiative Administration

  • Provide outreach and support for the development of a cultural district during the designation process and the administration involved to assigned regions.
  • Provide resources, trainings, samples, and materials to assigned regions.
  • Provide in-person support at site visits, basic trainings, receptions etc. in the state.
  • Liaise with Council’s database manager re: database management, reporting etc. as required.
  • Provide administrative support for designated districts.

Duty 2: Online Administration

  • Liaise with Mass Cultural Council’s Communications Department on online application, grant making and reporting.
  • Provide resources, trainings, samples, and materials to support online application process.

Duty 3: Content Development – Communications

  • Acts as the point person for the Community Initiative, in liaison with the Community team managers, for the development of content and communications strategy.
  • Review and analyze application data for stories, case making, advocacy purposes across all Community Initiative programs including local cultural councils (LCC), Festivals and Cultural Districts, and working with LCC staff managing volunteer relationships.
  • Collects content for Community newsletter and other communications.

Duty 4: Cultural District Engagement

  • Research and develop relevant resources for cultural districts.
  • Assist with the design and development of cultural district events, activities and convening’s working with LCC team member who manages events.
  • Researches and tracks best practices to share with the cultural district community and Local Cultural Council members.
  • Researches and tracks best practice to share with other Mass Cultural Council departments.
  • Liaise with LCC Program Officers and Manager on topics of relevance to the Community Initiative i.e. management, grant making, program evaluation, data collection, public art, municipal relations, asset mapping and so on.
  • Promotes other Mass Cultural Council programs and initiatives to cultural districts.
  • Helps in the planning and implementation of Mass Cultural Council Institute.

In addition, the Program Officer will provide support in the following three areas:

Grant making (Writ Large)

  • Research, develop and disseminate best practices on the topic of grantmaking
  • Research statistics, trends and data for grant proposals and community advocacy for the Community Initiative
  • Research new funding opportunities on a local, state, and federal level

Grant making (Programmatic)

  • Maintain grant compliance and reporting, including outcome measurement and grant budgets—taking responsibility for meeting high standards of effectiveness, timeliness, and completeness.
  • Monitor and maintain the funder and investor reporting schedules and requirements.
    Track progress toward organizational and programmatic outcomes and goals
  • Develop and monitor grant contracts and reimbursements in liaison with Mass Cultural Council’s contracts management staff.
  • Develop and maintain library of grant support documents

Arts, Culture and Rural Communities

    • Research the relationship of arts and culture to rural life in Massachusetts
    • Capture and share the stories of unique work by artists in rural Massachusetts communities
    • Work with Local Cultural Council team to identify stories to share with constituents.

Starting Date: March 1, 2018 or as soon as possible thereafter


Bachelor’s Degree and at least 8 years relevant work experience required. Occasional nights and weekends required; willingness to travel in state (driver’s license required).

Required Skills:

  • Ability to successfully build relationships with a variety of constituents.
  • Strong writing and communication skills - public speaking, interpersonal, diplomacy, and negotiation.
  • Research and data management experience.
  • Demonstrated success providing customer or constituent support.
  • Strong administrative, organizational, and time management skills.
  • Strong work ethic, sense of humor, and team player attitude all essential.
  • Ability to manage detail under deadline pressure.
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Word/Excel/Access.

Relevant Experience: Successful candidates will have at least 8 years of experience in some combination of the following areas as related to the skills above mentioned. Please address these specifically in your letter of interest.

  • Municipal government
  • Cultural organization
  • Arts administration
  • Grantmaking and grants management
How To Apply:
Applicants should provide:
  1. A letter of interest
  2. A résumé

Email materials to with the subject line “Community Program Officer Search”.
Please attach letter of interest and resume as one Word or PDF document. Do not send materials as text within an email. You may address your letter of interest to “Community Program Officer Search Committee”.
Apply by:
January 24, 2018
Mid-60’s; Commensurate with experience; excellent benefits package. Union position.
About this Organization:

Mass Cultural Council is a state agency that promotes excellence, inclusion, education, and diversity in the arts, humanities, and sciences to foster a rich cultural life for all Massachusetts residents and contributes to the vitality of our communities and economy.

The Agency pursues this mission through a wide range of grants, initiatives, and advocacy for artists, communities, organizations, and schools.

We believe in the power of culture. Working through the arts, humanities, and sciences, culture is a dynamic force for enriching communities, growing the economy, increasing accessibility, and fostering individual creativity. Culture is intrinsically valuable and unique in its ability to lift the human spirit.

We recognize the essential role that a rich cultural life plays in communities and the lives of individuals. To invest in our cultural life is to invest in our shared future.