Oklahoma Arts Council

Oklahoma City , OK

Cultural Development Director

Oklahoma Arts Council
Oklahoma City, OK Full-time
Posted on February 28, 2019

The Oklahoma Arts Council is the official state agency for the support and development of the arts in Oklahoma. The Council provides grants and services to support opportunities for Oklahomans to create, perform, or attend arts activities; raise public awareness about the value of the arts to the economic, educational, and cultural life of Oklahoma; and foster education through the arts.

Position Summary

The Cultural Development Director will play a lead role in guiding the Oklahoma Arts Council's continued work to expand the reach of our services and resources to all Oklahoma communities, with special emphasis on rural, underresourced, underrepresented, and culturally diverse communities. As the Oklahoma Arts Council works to strengthen and rejuvenate its efforts in Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Accessibility, the Cultural Development Director will help provide research data, identify needs, resources, and opportunities, and will work with staff to devise a plan for actionable goals for increasing our service to all Oklahoma citizens and communities. The Cultural Development Director reports directly to the Assistant Director. The Cultural Development Director collaborates and works closely with the Assistant Director and Community Arts Director and is part of the agency's professional development and community arts outreach efforts of the agency.

The essential functions of this position include, but are not limited to: Grants Management:

  • Identify eligible grant applicants and promote grant opportunities, particularly in rural and underresourced communities. The Cultural Development Director will contact representatives from rural and underresourced communities including mayors, city council, city managers, economic development managers, artists, chamber directors, among others, to meet with and encourage applications from rural and underrepresented communities and populations.
  • Review all Small Grant applications, Major Grant (MGS) and Organizational Support (OS) grant applications. Score applications and provide constructive feedback for applicants. Responsible for reviewing MGS and OS grant applications and final reports on a semi-annual, annual or biennial basis. 
  • Provide technical assistance regarding OAC grant guidelines and application process to rural and/or underserved organizations through telephone calls, emails, site visits, workshops, and through all forms of correspondence.
  • Serve as a staff panelist for the monthly small grant support review process and as a lead panelist for projects that are designated or assigned to Cultural Development.
  • Advise grant applicants on quality program development on DEI and Accessibility.
  • Provide assistance and feedback to grant applicants on their grant applications.
  • Conduct regular site visits to assess agency-supported arts programs across the state.
  • Review final reports and make recommendations for all arts program projects as assigned.
  • Work with OAC Grants Director to ensure the grants panel process, including panel recruitment and selection, is equitable and includes representation from geographically and culturally diverse communities and voices. Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion:
  • Spearhead OAC's plan for leveraging the agency's resources to create more equitable practices in grantmaking and public service, both internally and externally.
  • Responsible for researching local and national trends, resources, and opportunities that can benefit OAC and Oklahoma schools, communities and organizations and for sharing that information with other staff members. 
  • Responsible for researching best practices and policies for the development of agency policies that influence agency grants and services in the areas of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) and Accessibility. Other areas of agency policy may be included as determined by agency leadership in accordance with the agency's strategic plan. 
  • In conjunction with Deputy Director, incorporate professional development and skill-enhancing opportunities and resources to staff through staff meetings and other avenues for DEI and Accessibility
  • Develop, implement, and maintain initiatives addressing Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion for the Oklahoma Arts Council staff, board, and constituents, including statewide organizations.
  • Conduct and compile arts-based research pertinent to DEI initiatives and identify areas of improvement for OAC programs and services. 
  • Develop strategies for OAC staff and board to address current and future goals for increasing DEI in operations. 
  • Work with OAC staff on all programs and events to ensure DEI best practices are being addressed and followed. 
  • Research, develop, and implement strategies for increased consideration of DEI best practices in OAC grantmaking. 
  • Evaluate grant data to identify and address possibilities for increased DEI awareness and practice for rural and underresourced communities and individuals. 
  • Work with OAC constituents, including arts organizations, to provide information and education resources to ensure DEI best practices are being addressed and followed in arts programming around the state. 
  • Collaborate and advise Director of Marketing and Communications and Web/Publications Director on website and technology efforts through the DEI and Accessibility lenses.
  • Spearhead racial equity audits of all agency website, publications, applications, and other platforms of media and communication to identify and remove barriers.
  • Serve as Tribal Liaison to Native American Nations, organizations, communities, and governmental entities.


  • Responsible for advising OAC staff on best practices on accessibility in program development in all areas of the agency's grants and programs. 
  • Collaborate with agency staff on grants and program development on accessibility
  • Provide technical assistance to grantees and compile resources. 
  • Establish an Access Advisory Committee to advise and assist efforts to ensure accessibility. 
  • Convene staff, teaching artists, and grantees for inclusive accessibility training's.
  • Review web accessibility and update Accessibility webpage on the OAC website. 
  • Seek out individuals with disabilities to serve as grant panelists.
  • Develop cultural accessibility checklist that can be incorporated into the grants system.
  • Work with staff to ensure convenings, meetings and all grants and programs are accessible. 
  • Highlight model programs that serve people with disabilities, arts and aging and other accessibility efforts for the agency and the sector. 
  • Review and update access policy and create an access statement for the agency.
  • Serve as the agency's Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Coordinator for the State of Oklahoma as well as the Accessibility Coordinator for the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) to oversee cultural accessibility and Section 504/ADA compliance, including completing federal reporting requirements and working with staff and constituents to follow federal regulations in all arts and grant-related programming.
  • Develop tools and provide resources, training, and guidance to constituents and grantees to ensure ADA compliance.
  • Support Grants Director and program staff with accessibility and Section 504/ADA compliance in OAC grantmaking.
  • Attend and provide training for accessibility and Section 504/ADA compliance.
  • Complete Section 504 Self Evaluation Plan.
  • Develop and implement the agency's access plan and 504/ADA grievance procedure.

Research, Data Collection, and Evaluation:

  • Responsible for presenting regular reports to the OAC Leadership team to support the development, delivery, and assessment of the agency's strategic plan as well as reports to all staff on statewide demographics, statistics, and recommendations for strategies that will increase OAC's relevancy and reach. 
  • Identify recent trends and changes in how OAC investment in communities across the state have been leveraged and accessed over the last ten years. Analyze and evaluate grant data and work with organizations and communities on project development, service to rural and underresourced communities, and sustainability.
  • Work directly with OAC Grants Director and program staff in developing a comprehensive system to identify greatest needs and opportunities for OAC support for agency grantmaking.
  • Work collaboratively with agency program directors to analyze data on department-led grants and services.
  • Responsible for advising on the grants process, the application requirements, and the review process and making recommendations on how the agency can reduce barriers for funding underresourced communities. 
  • Advise and determine short-term and long-term goals that OAC can implement to increase our reach to diverse and isolated communities, schools, artists, and individuals.
  • Create a system for on-going evaluation that tracks the progress of intentional outreach to underserved communities.
  • Provide expertise on grants and program evaluation and data collection from grantees, constituents to equip leadership and staff with data-driven decision-making tools.

Program Oversight and Support: 

  • Responsible for developing, leading, and managing the newly established Folk, Traditional and Cultural Heritage Program.
  • Work under supervision of the Assistant Director and in collaboration with the Community Arts Director to share various responsibilities necessary for organizing and facilitating OAC's outreach programs and professional development services. These include, but are not limited to: Leadership Arts, the Oklahoma Arts Conference, the Cultural District Initiative, and outreach services to rural or underresourced communities.
  • Develop and manage program department and project budget(s) in compliance with OAC's Program Budget Management. Characteristics
  • Knowledge of arts and arts programming
  • Experience with budget development and program facilitation
  • Possesses strong, proven organizational and administrative skills, and has the ability to plan, set goals and objectives, and follow through
  • Demonstrates effective oral and written communication skills including public speaking
  • Demonstrates effective management skills including flexibility, good listening skills, creative thinking, project oversight, attention to detail, adherence to timelines
  • Must be able to handle unforeseen events quickly, calmly, and in a professional manner
  • Promotes and encourages team approaches to problem solving 
  • Establishes and maintains positive professional working relationships within and outside the agency
  • Thorough knowledge and experience in the principles, methods and practices of leadership, arts management, public policy development, planning and supervision
  • Knowledge of public agencies and the political process. Knowledge of state and federal laws, rules and regulations pertaining to the operation of the agency
  • Knowledge and experience in developing long range and strategic plans
  • Attentive to detail and committed to excellence in all aspects of work Qualifications
  • Graduation from an accredited four-year college or university with a degree in art, arts administration, nonprofit management, public administration, business, sociology, or a cultural resource related field; Master's degree preferred
  • Minimum of three (3) years of experience in the arts and cultural, nonprofit, community development, public administration, social service, or creative sector, or an equivalent combination of education and/or experience
  • Work with rural populations and/or culturally diverse populations a plus
  • Bilingual, Spanish-speaker a plus
  • Proficient Microsoft Office skills required
  • FileMaker Pro or equivalent knowledge preferred 

Travel to occasional meetings or events required. Attendance may be required at occasional evening or weekend meetings or events. Compensation and Benefits Salary is capped at $51,000/year. This is a full-time, exempt, unclassified state position with retirement and health insurance benefits, including health, dental, life and disability insurance for the employee and partially paid health insurance for dependents as well as an option to participate in the State's retirement program.

The Oklahoma Arts Council is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

It is the policy of OAC to prohibit unlawful discrimination and to provide equal employment opportunities to employees and applicants, without regard to political or religious opinion or affiliation, race, color, sex, national origin, ancestry, age, disability, genetic information, veteran status, or any other reason prohibited by law. It is the policy of OAC to provide equal opportunity in employment, advancement and other conditions of employment to all qualified applicants and employees. It is the intent of OAC to fully comply with all applicable state and federal equal opportunity and non-discrimination laws and regulations.