Job: Office of the Arts Harvard


The Associate Director for Programming supports and furthers the mission of the Office for the Arts at Harvard (OFA) and the University’s commitment to the arts by administering programs and initiatives in both the extracurricular and academic realms. At its core the OFA is dedicated to cultivating meaning through the arts in a liberal arts environment. Its programs and services primarily serve students and faculty, but also staff and the public. That is, it is not a presenting series per se.

Reporting to the OFA’s Director, the Associate Director for Programming also initiates collaborations with faculty, students, and staff and other departments at the University, as well as with educational and cultural institutions in the Greater Boston area. The position requires both creative and hands-on approaches, using programming innovation to develop new possibilities for the practice of art-making at all skill levels and meaningful interactions among visiting artists, students, and faculty. Will determine allocations of resources within these areas. Supervises non-exempt staff and a student employee.


Visiting Artist Programs. Responsible for ensuring delivery of exceptional programs, including developing, managing, and overseeing complex, high profile events. Manages Learning From Performers, the OFA’s flagship visiting artist program; Wintersession programming featuring alumni/ae and nonaffiliated artists, and contributes to jazz programming in collaboration with the Harvard Bands. Works with OFA Director and other staff to develop programming; produces and promotes events, including for the annual ARTS FIRST festival. Develops and manages project strategy and plans, including scheduling, identification of risk, contingencies, and allocation of resources and budget.

Communications/Branding. Responsible for development and implementation of communications strategy, media relations, and outreach activities for OFA. Oversees brand awareness and editorial tone by focusing on accurately delivering the OFA’s messages to specific audiences in compelling ways. Writes and edits copy for website, press releases and other collateral. Provides innovative leadership and ensures the communications strategy and goals are effective.

Special Projects/Collaborations/Convening. Works closely with the Director to develop innovative initiatives, and strategies around current program. Produces special projects sponsored by the OFA and those co-sponsored with/initiated by academic and other university departments and units, and also student groups. Also works with key collaborators external to Harvard, including Greater Boston arts organizations.

Arts in the Houses.Works with Faculty Deans, administrators, arts tutors and students to develop and facilitate arts programming in the undergraduate residences “Houses.” Advises on House facilities use and best practices.

Recording Archive. Responsible for the OFA’s collection of audio and visual material. Includes seeking permissions from artists and students for recordings of OFA events. Makes judgments about use of recorded material in relation to artists’ copyright agreements with the OFA. Evaluates the collection (how it is catalogued and accessed, and condition of materials) in consultation with Harvard librarians and conservators. This may include hiring a contractor to oversee the upgrade of the collection. (An OFA program associate coordinates the receipt of recordings and submission to Harvard Archives). Supervises staff who develop online transmission of recordings to further the OFA’s educational and promotional objectives.

Supervises non-exempt staff: Interviews, hires, coaches, and conducts annual performance reviews. Instructs on Department goals, style, tone, and practice. Assigns projects, guides work, edits materials prepared by non-exempt staff. Also supervises 1 student employee.

Basic Qualifications:

  • BA, BFA, or BM degree required
  • Broad knowledge of diverse artists and arts disciplines with deep knowledge of 1-2 art forms (e.g. music, theater, dance, film—or other visual art)
  • 5+ years of professional experience in the arts and education
  • Significant experience with event planning, presentation, and arts production
  • Demonstrated experience with professional written communications skills
  • Ability to work independently as well as collaboratively in a dynamic environment
  • Experience with project budget management

Additional Qualifications: 

  • MA or MFA preferred
  • Demonstrated marketing and communications experience, including professional writing and working with social media, graphic designers and the media
  • Demonstrated organizational, administrative and communications skills
  • Proficiency with Microsoft Office Suite, including Excel. Proficiency with Filemaker Pro or other databases a plus.

Other Information: 

All Finalists will be required to submit a writing sample.

The Associate Director for Programming must be a self-starter: an innovator whose commitment to the arts and arts education translates into programs that enhance learning and spark creative thinking for students and the Harvard community. Personal characteristics also include:

  • A friendly personality with outstanding interpersonal skills.
  • Demonstrated ability to prioritize competing goals; excellent judgment and follow-through.
  • The highest level of professionalism, and personal and professional integrity; attention to issues of confidentiality and privacy.
  • An entrepreneurial spirit and record of finding and capturing opportunities to ensure significant, positive outcomes; substantial experience leading small teams effectively and building relationships with teammates possessing differing levels of expertise.
  • Demonstrated capacity to develop and maintain effective working relationships with individuals and organizations reflecting different identities, perspectives and experiences.

The Office for the Arts at Harvard (OFA), a unit of Harvard College within the Faculty of Art and Sciences, supports student engagement in the arts and integrates the arts into University life. Through its programs and services, the OFA teaches and mentors, fosters student art making, connects students to accomplished artists, commissions new work, and partners with local, national, and international constituencies. By supporting the development of students as artists and cultural stewards, the OFA works to enrich society and shape communities in which the arts are a vital part of life. The Core Values are Creative Thinking, Integrity, Service, and Respect for Ideas.

The mission of Harvard College is to educate the citizens and citizen-leaders for our society. We do this through our commitment to the transformative power of a liberal arts and sciences education.