Troy, MI

Program Officer – Arts and Culture, The Kresge Foundation

The Organization

The Kresge Foundation is one of the top 20 private philanthropic foundations in the United States and the only one focused exclusively on expanding opportunities for people with low income in American Cities. With a $4.2 billion endowment and a staff of over 100 employees, the foundation deploys grants and social investments across arts and culture, education, environment, health, human services and community development. The foundation’s state-of-the-art headquarters maintains an array of energy-efficient, water-conserving and health-promoting systems. The foundation also operates an office in Detroit’s Midtown district.

Position Overview

 The Arts & Culture Program Officer will support the Arts & Culture Program in nationally positioning culture and creativity as drivers of more just communities. The equitable outcomes we seek to influence through investing in all facets of creative community development include building community power, wealth building and narrative change. These dimensions of community life contribute to social cohesion and collective action, which are necessary pre-conditions for realizing and sustaining equitable change in communities.

The Arts & Culture Program does not oversee the funding programs for Metro Detroit’s artists and arts organizations. These initiatives are an integral part of the Detroit Program’s comprehensive community development program.

The Program Officer will report to the Managing Director and share responsibility for developing and executing all aspects of the Program’s grantmaking and social investing strategies. This position will require the ability to be creative, action-oriented, entrepreneurial, and work in cross-team partnerships with colleagues across and outside of the Foundation. A track record of working in arts for social justice or community development is preferred, and a demonstrated commitment to and experience advancing racial equity and justice is required.

 Primary responsibilities

 Program Strategy Execution

1.          Executes and refines the grantmaking and social investment strategy for the team’s portfolio.

2.          Contributes to the implementation of the team’s overall strategy and program priorities.

3.          Obtains, maintains, and shares a high level of knowledge of the most effective strategies and current thinking in the arts and urban development field – what works and the most effective.

4.          Facilitates internal and external meetings with team members, stakeholders and other partners to design and implement collective efforts.

5.          Prepares agendas, minutes, work plans, background memos, research, and other materials to support the execution of initiatives, internal and external meetings on behalf of the Program team.

6.          Helps to manage engagement with external consultants supporting the team’s programmatic work.

Portfolio Management and Reviews


1.          Participates in funder and cross-sector collaboratives to achieve program objectives as needed.

2.          Performs grant review responsibilities for a combination of sourced and LOI-initiated grants.

3.          Writes memos, less complex strategy papers and straightforward and complex grant write-ups.

4.          As needed, utilizes social investment tools to achieve program objectives.

5.          With other team members, has collective responsibility for reaching annual grant targets.


Research, Evaluation and Learning

1.          Fosters a community of learning and practice among the organizations supported through the equitable Creative Placemaking, including the creative community development, cultural strategy, narrative change, portfolios.

2.          Works with consultants and partners to advance a program or initiative’s learning objectives

3.          Develops grant outcomes and evaluation criteria for one’s own grants; review reports and interprets results.

4.          Contributes to the development of criteria to evaluate the effectiveness of the team portfolio and participates in the evaluation of the results.

5.          Within the team calendar, conducts site visits and takes part in professional development opportunities to keep abreast of new developments in the field.

6.          Participates in research, values its application and contributes to program development within the team.

Contributions to the Field and other Duties

1.          Participates in funder and cross-sector collaboratives to achieve program objectives as needed.

2.          Maintains external involvement with other grantmakers, nonprofit leaders, and public and private sector stakeholders active in urban development- as needed by the team.

3.          Travels to conferences, convenings, and site visits with grantees and funding partners once coronavirus safety measures allow.

4.          Works collaboratively, actively supporting and encouraging all members within the team and across teams.

5.          Demonstrates a strong commitment to the Foundation’s mission and values in daily interactions.

6.          Performs other duties and special projects as requested.



·            Demonstrated commitment to racial equity and social justice.

·            Bachelor’s degree is required. Master’s degree or equivalent experience in a field relevant to arts and culture, community development, public policy, sustainable development, public health, or economic opportunity and mobility is preferred.

·            Minimum of five (5) years of experience and leadership on relevant policy and programmatic issues, including significant experience with demonstrable impact in historically disadvantaged communities.

·            Excellent analytical, writing, verbal, and interpersonal skills.

·            Experience in developing strategies to affect change, including familiarity and experience working with equity concepts and frameworks. Demonstrated ability to prioritize and project manage a diverse workload and execute on strategies.

·            Familiarity and experience working with the nonprofit sector; must have strong interpersonal skills and experience working collaboratively across the nonprofit, philanthropic, private, and public sectors.

·            Must have proven experience building and maintaining strong and productive relationships.

·            Skill in working effectively as a member of a team.

·            Must be willing to travel once coronavirus safety measures allow.

·            Previous grantmaking experience, or experience with foundations, is preferred.

·            Willingness to relocate to the Detroit metropolitan area (at a time mutually determined to be safe given coronavirus concerns).

How To Apply

The application deadline for this position is Midnight EST on March 3, 2022 

Kresge is proud to be an Equal Opportunity employer and strongly encourages applications from people of color, persons with disabilities, women, and LGBTQ+ applicants. We do not discriminate based upon race, religion, color, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, status as a protected veteran, status as an individual with a disability or other applicable legally protected characteristics.

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