Director of Education and Public Programs

Posted on 12/10/2019

Director of Education and Public Programs
Oklahoma Contemporary Arts Center – Application Deadline: Open until filled

Reports To: Artistic Director
Status: Exempt-Salaried

Position Summary
The Director of Education and Public Programs is a key member of the leadership team and contributes to the overall growth of the organization. This position requires a proven leader with experience in an institutional setting – academic and/or cultural. The ideal candidate is prepared to take on significant responsibility at a rapidly growing organization and is adept at mediating the needs of multiple internal and external stakeholders. The Director of Education and Public Programs, under the direction of the Artistic Director, supports Oklahoma Contemporary’s vision as an outward-facing, visitor-centric contemporary arts center.


  • Ensure delivery of relevant, engaging, accessible, diverse and inclusive mission-based experiences, educational programs and activities that broaden the understanding of contemporary art.
  • Work to center Oklahoma Contemporary as a dynamic multidisciplinary space that celebrates visual, performing and literary arts.
  • Create, execute, manage and evaluate programs and initiatives that encourage new, diverse, multigenerational audiences; strengthen and increase participation; and foster active learning and curiosity. Programs and initiatives include, but are not limited to, Studio School (classes and workshops for teens and adults), Public Programs (artist talks, panel conversations, gallery talks, films, performances, daily public tours, Teen Arts Council), Youth and Family Programs (Camp Contemporary, early childhood initiatives, school group visits for grades 3 to 12), Artists-in-Residence and community and university partnerships.
  • Support the development of interpretive materials, website content, visitor publications and curricula for tours and school group visits.
  • Expand and enrich relationships in the community, region and state.
  • Establish programmatic impact goals in advance of implementation that ensure mission and strategic alignment, creative engagement and learning across all demographics. Monitor effectiveness by gathering and analyzing qualitative and quantitative statistics, including attendance and other engagement metrics, for use in evaluation, reports, grants and other funding proposals.
  • Recruit, train, mentor and supervise staff in the Education Department, including four direct reports: Manager of Public Programs and Community Engagement, Manager of Youth and Family Programs, Associate Director of Studio School and Project Manager, Education and Public Programs; a full-time departmental staff of 10 employees and a rotating range of instructors, gallery guides and studio assistants.
  • Develop and manage the Education Department budget, including the tracking of income and expenditures, reporting on its progress throughout the fiscal year to the Executive Director and Artistic Director.
  • Perform other duties as assigned by the Artistic Director.


  • Bachelor's degree in arts education, museum studies, public humanities, cultural studies or related field with five to seven years’ experience required.
  • Master's degree in arts education, arts administration, museum studies, public humanities, cultural studies or related field with three to five years’ experience preferred.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of art and museum education theory and practice, especially current trends in interactive learning technologies, project-based learning, equity and inclusion and visitor-centered experiences.
  • Recognized experience in public speaking and superior organizational, writing and verbal communication skills.
  • Experience developing participatory experiences for adults and children, especially engaging low-income, historically underrepresented and/or culturally diverse populations.
  • Demonstrated project management and evaluation experience.
  • Ability to balance multiple priorities.
  • Ability to work independently as well as part of a team.
  • High level of computer literacy including, MS Office Suite and calendaring.
  • Use of CRM and database systems - experience with Tessitura and Shopify is a plus.
  • Able to meet deadlines and ensure completion of projects on schedule and on budget.
  • Ability to conduct meaningful program evaluations, interpret data and communicate results.
  • Extremely organized, reliable, punctual, accurate and detail-oriented.
  • Integrity, honesty, good judgement.
  • Fluency in Spanish, a plus.
  • This is an exempt, 40-hour/week position that includes benefits. This position typically works Monday through Friday, with weekends and evenings as needed, including frequent Saturdays. Work schedules may require expanded hours and flexibility when needed, and the successful candidate must attend major Oklahoma Contemporary events and programs, as well as all department-related activities.

Limitations and Disclaimer
The above job description is meant to describe the general nature and level of work being performed. It is not intended to be construed as an exhaustive list of all responsibilities, duties and skills required for the position.

Other Requirements and Working Conditions

  • Use of a car required; legally registered and insured for daily use
  • Use of a computer, telephone and printer/copier daily
  • Team environment with frequent group meeting participation
  • Physical requirements: combination of sitting, standing, walking and driving on a frequent basis. Lifting modest weights (up to 30 pounds) may be required occasionally.

To Apply, Please Visit:

Oklahoma Contemporary is proud to be an equal opportunity workplace and is an affirmative action employer. We are committed to equal employment opportunity regardless of race, color, ancestry, religion, sex, national origin, sexual orientation, age, citizenship, marital status, different abilities, gender identity or veteran status.

About Oklahoma Contemporary
Oklahoma Contemporary is an inclusive center for the arts where people of all ages and backgrounds can experience art, encounter new ideas and ignite their creative potential. Through visual art exhibitions, performances, public programs, community-building initiatives, outdoor installations and special events, Oklahoma Contemporary creates opportunities for everyone to come together in celebration of contemporary culture and artistic expression. With year-round classes and seasonal youth camps across multiple disciplines, the arts center’s education programs encourage youth and adults to express their ideas across a variety of media and learn new skills. Oklahoma Contemporary believes that art is for everyone and places accessibility and education at the center of all programming. Admission to exhibitions is always free. Oklahoma Contemporary is a regional 501(c)3 nonprofit organization founded in 1989 by businessman and philanthropist Christian Keesee and Kirkpatrick Foundation Director Marilyn Myers. 

Oklahoma Contemporary strives to demonstrate leadership by modeling excellence and best practices for inclusion, diversity, equity and accessibility. We believe in the power of human creativity and value the opportunities for connection and learning that exist when cultures and communities come together in collaboration and understanding.

We commit to championing policies and practices that value diversity, foster cultural equity and create an accessible and inclusive environment. Oklahoma Contemporary does not discriminate based on race/ethnicity, age, disability, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, socioeconomic status, geography, citizenship status or religion. We recognize our strengths lie in the broad range of people who contribute their time and talents to our mission and are dedicated to creating a safe, inclusive place for them to explore creativity.

About Oklahoma City
In the middle of its third decade of economic and cultural expansion, Oklahoma City is a surprisingly lively and diverse American city. Recent growth has spurred exciting developments in the city’s recreation and nightlife, with the construction of new parks, a streetcar system, bike trails, shops, restaurants, breweries and bars. The construction of Oklahoma Contemporary’s new building in the urban core, opening in March 2020, represents a significant commitment on the part of the city and its inhabitants to a new era in contemporary culture.