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McKnight has earned national recognition for fostering a culture of collaboration, innovation, and inclusiveness that empowers our diverse teams to achieve our shared mission.

The Foundation offers a high-trust, high-performing workplace culture that encourages continuous learning and improvement across a wide array of program interests. Our staff enjoy excellent benefits and appreciate the chance to take on meaningful work alongside caring, talented colleagues in a beautiful location.

Job Openings

Arts & Culture Program Officer
Close Date: 05/20/2022
Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States - 55401

The McKnight Foundation is seeking a proven, confident program officer with a passion and vision for catalyzing the creativity, power, and leadership of Minnesota working artists and culture bearers. The ideal candidate will be energized by working in a dynamic, changing environment and willing to dig in and "roll up their sleeves" when necessary.

Reporting to the Program Director of Arts & Culture, the program officer will maintain and develop relationships with grantee partners and intermediary funders, manage significant grant portfolios, and actively collaborate with McKnight programs, investments, and operations teams to advance and strengthen the creativity, power, and leadership of Minnesota's working artists and culture bearers to maximize their contributions toward a more just, abundant, and vibrant world where people and planet thrive.

Reporting Relationships

The Program Officer will report to the Program Director, Arts & Culture. In addition, this role will have opportunities to collaborate with staff members in other amplifying functions day-to-day, including other program teams, Impact Investing, Integration, Grants & Information Management, Learning, and Communications.

Key Responsibilities

The Arts & Culture Program Officer is responsible for the following:

Strategic Program Implementation

  • Develop and implement strategies to strengthen the efficacy and power of artists and culture bearers in Minnesota.
  • Work within and across program teams, review letters of inquiry and grant requests, make funding recommendations, and share reports for team and board approval.
  • Participate in grants administration by composing and processing grant-related documents and correspondence in a timely manner.

Provide expertise on "supports" artists and culture bearers need to thrive, particularly lifting up artists who have been historically underrepresented and under-supported and increase overall support for artists and culture bearers who work to advance justice.

  • Measure and communicate progress, incorporating knowledge and learning in program activities.
  • Maintain tracking mechanisms to monitor the progress of grantee portfolio.

Foster and nurture relationships with community partners.

  • Represent the Foundation in the community.
  • Nurture and maintain positive relationships with the grantee partners and community members with an emphasis on cultivating intersectional, multi-racial, and cross community-connections.
  • Manage and organize grantee convenings within areas of mutual interest and importance.
  • Foster working relationships among nonprofits, policymakers, funders, governmental partners, and others to strengthen the field of work and connect across fields of work locally and nationally.
  • Participate and attend community meetings and convenings.

Engage in Foundation-wide activities.

  • Attend and actively participate in team meetings, staff meetings, retreats, and other cross- foundation meetings and events.
  • Work with the program director and program teams to ensure that strategies align with the mission and program priorities established by the McKnight Foundation board.

Advance Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

  • Support coalition, institution, and field-building to advance DEI within the local, statewide, and national arts sector, McKnight, philanthropy, and community.
  • Model behavior to ensure grantmaking principles and practices align with Foundation values and operating principles.


  • Knowledge of the breadth of the arts ecosystem in urban and rural Minnesota, including small, midsized, and major arts organizations.
  • Knowledge and relationships with artists and leaders of arts organizations.
  • Experience shaping strategy in partnership with senior leadership and other program officers with the ability to translate strategy into priorities and goals.
  • A thorough understanding of how to leverage best practices in collaboration to achieve program alignment across an organization.
  • A comprehensive understanding of program development, systems, and networking.
  • The ability to take on new opportunities and tough challenges with a sense of urgency and enthusiasm. And the ability to manage ambiguity and operate effectively when things are not certain, or the way forward is not clear.

Foundation-wide competencies

  • Collaborates, Communicates Effectively, Manages Complexity, Builds Networks, Being Resilient, Drives Results, Brings a Strategic Mindset, and Instills Trust.


Minimum Education and Experience

  • Bachelor's degree and a minimum of five years related full-time professional work experience in a foundation, nonprofit, or government field or a combination of equivalent education and experience.
  • Experience and interest in the intersection of the arts and other aspects of community life; in providing resource guidance and service to individuals/organizations in the field; working with board of directors, preferably a family board; and experience dispersing resources to nonprofits through direct grantmaking, re-granting, or a similar process is ideal.

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities

  • Knowledge of governance, operations, finances, and capacity of nonprofit organizations.
  • Skilled in managing complex programs involving cross-organization collaborations.
  • Ability to work collaboratively and respectfully with a variety of people and groups, particularly nonprofit organizations, community leaders, nongovernmental organizations, and research institutions or universities.
  • Ability to analyze, question, and identify key issues and use data to support conclusions.
  • Ability to view issues and challenges from multiple dimensions and apply intellectual energy and creativity.
  • Ability to prepare clearly written summaries and analysis.
  • Ability to handle confidential subject matter and materials with care and respect.
  • Ability to communicate delicate news with sensitivity and clarity.
  • Ability to effectively navigate conflict, working across differences.
  • Ability to engage others and influence outcomes.
  • Skill in working with groups and bringing groups with diverse views to consensus.
  • Ability to communicate effectively interpersonally and in groups.
  • Ability to prioritize competing assignments and meet deadlines.
  • Ability to communicate effectively verbally and in writing.

This opportunity is a full-time, exempt position based in Minneapolis. The position salary range is $111,600 - $117,800.

For the protection of everyone entering our spaces, as of January 1, 2022, McKnight Foundation requires all employees, contractors, and vendors entering McKnight offices to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 or have a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours of entering our space. All new hires will be asked to comply with the vaccine policy.

Applications will be accepted through Friday, May 20, at 5:00 pm Central Time.

The McKnight Foundation is an equal opportunity employer and proudly values diversity.
We encourage candidates of all backgrounds to apply.

The above statements are not intended to encompass all functions and qualifications of the position, rather, they are intended to provide a general framework of the requirements of the position. Job incumbents may be required to perform other functions not specifically addressed in this description.

Please note: The Foundation does not maintain employment or internship information about our grantees or other organizations. We also do not accept or respond to unsolicited job inquiries or résumés.