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Job Summary

UMS is seeking a dynamic and outgoing arts professional to develop and implement its community-based education and engagement activities.  Duties include: building community relationships and programs through the arts (focusing on specific cultural communities as identified in the ECE strategic plan); developing arts education programs for adult learners and general audiences (artist Q&As, pre-show talks, interactive lobby experiences, etc.); supporting UMS’s diversity, equity, and inclusion goals across the entire ECE program (including K-12 and University programs); designing and implementing artist residencies with a range of UMS’s visiting artists; and serving as lead producer for approximately 1-2 of UMS’s main stage live performances annually. The ideal candidate will have a passion for community building through the arts; be an expert at sensitively and respectfully developing relationships across diverse communities; possess superb administrative and project management skills; and be an advocate for diversity, equity, and inclusion in the arts.

In January 2017, the Education & Community Engagement department began a new 3-year strategic plan. One focus of the strategic plan that will be embedded in this position is reactivating and establishing new, long-term, strategic partnerships within the Arab/Arab-American and Black/African-American communities. Community development and social justice provide core animating ethics of UMS’s education and community engagement work. We believe the performing arts are a valuable asset in furthering action around diversity, equity, and inclusion both on campus and in the community. 



Relationship Building

Effectively establish and maintain working relationships with leaders in the cultural communities of Southeastern Michigan (especially as indicated in the ECE strategic plan), UMS’s adult learning communities, key collaborators from the University of Michigan, and with community organizations that support UMS’s goals around diversity, equity, and inclusion. Collaborate with community leaders and community organizations in designing programs that meet the needs of both UMS and the community.

Program Development

Work with the Director of Education & Community Engagement to develop community-based initiatives that are responsive to the needs of community groups. Weave these programs together with UMS’s artistic presentations.

Seek out and cultivate relationships with “expert” content creators and facilitators from the University and community-at-large.  Facilitate dialogue with potential collaborators, community leaders, and content creators/artists about program content, and provide support and direction towards UMS’s program objectives. 

Develop and implement adult learning programs, such as You Can Dance, UMS Night School, pre-performance talks/lectures, and post-performance Q&As.

Work with the event leads to determine artist availability and/or capacity to participate in education and community engagement activities. 

Support the development and implementation of residency activities with the U-M School of Music, Theatre & Dance.  Collaborate with the UMS Campus Engagement Specialist in making connections between the university and the community-at-large. Collaborate with the UMS Education Coordinator in building community relationships that support UMS’s goals to reach underserved youth. Follow industry trends in audience engagement and creative learning, and apply innovative strategies in connecting UMS with the community. Provide general support to the full range of programs and initiatives of the entire UMS Education & Community Engagement Department (K-12, University, Community).


Provide administrative support to the Director of Education and Community Engagement as assigned (clerical tasks, scheduling, etc.).

Act as project manager for all community-based initiatives, including logistics planning and coordination, on-site event management, budgeting and financial reconciliation, etc. Write and deliver letters of agreement and contract addenda for contractors/artists engaged in Education and Community Engagement activities. Work with finance department to issue honoraria and fees to artists and guest content creators/facilitators.  Plan and communicate event logistics and staffing plans to PEP Pod team; meet with marketing and development staff to share program information; host artists and community leaders in various settings. Participate in Programming-Education-Production Pod weekly administrative meetings and work collaboratively to support and staff pod-related projects. Evaluate community engagement efforts through survey creation and distribution; track event participation through Tessitura system.


Serve occasionally as a lead producer of UMS mainstage live performances as part of the work shared by all PEP (Programming, Education, Production) Pod members, taking lead responsibility for the successful implementation of the given event or residency.  Duties include: contract, process, and disseminate all legal agreements between UMS and artist; advance show with road management; build and manage production schedule and assess all staffing needs; work with the Director of Education & Community Engagement to explore and facilitate program activities; coordinate with the UMS Production Director to plan and implement all technical and production needs for the event or residency.

Required Qualifications*

Minimum Requirements:

  • Proven experience working with culturally diverse communities
  • 2-4 years experience in event planning and cultural engagement
  • Knowledge of the performing arts and/or B.A. or B.F.A. in performing arts/humanities
  • Ability to work independently, and take projects from conception to completion
  • Innovative thinking, adaptability, and comfort with supporting new ideas/projects
  • Familiarity with email marketing, Facebook, twitter, blog content creation, etc.
  • Strong knowledge of standard office software including Excel, Word, Powerpoint, and Google tools
  • Position requires driving to various locations on and off campus to meet with program stakeholders and manage events
  • Position routinely moves equipment and supplies weighing up to 50 pounds to various locations for events
  • Position requires frequent onsite event management required, often during evenings and weekends

Additional Information

About UMS: Housed on the campus of the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, UMS is one of the oldest performing arts presenters in the country, committed to connecting audiences with performing artists from around the world in uncommon and engaging experiences. With a program steeped in music, dance, and theater, UMS contributes to a vibrant cultural community by presenting approximately 60-75 performances and over 100 free educational activities each season. UMS also commissions new work, sponsors artist residencies, and organizes collaborative projects with local, national, and international partners. UMS was selected as one of the 2014 recipients of the National Medal of Arts, the nation’s highest public artistic honor, awarded annually by the president of the United States at the White House to those who have “demonstrated a lifetime of creative excellence,” according to the National Endowment for the Arts, which oversees the selection process. For more information on UMS visit:

This position lives within the Programming, Education, and Production pod of UMS and reports directly to the Director of Education & Community Engagement (ECE). The UMS Education & Community Engagement program makes the performing arts accessible to everyone, and helps individuals make relevant, inspiring, and transformational connections between the performing arts and life.

Programming, Education, and Production initiatives at UMS are realized by employing an ethos of teamwork. All team members, whether they be senior staff or new employees, are expected to manage unique job responsibilities which contribute to the overall competency of the group. Working together to successfully affect all UMS presentations, either as a team leader or a supporting staff member is of paramount importance.

Application Deadline

Job openings are posted for a minimum of seven calendar days. This job may be removed from posting boards and filled anytime after the minimum posting period has ended.

U-M EEO/AA Statement

The University of Michigan is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer.