Arts of Life, a 501C3 nonprofit, advances the creative arts community by providing artists with intellectual and developmental disabilities a collective space to expand their practice and strengthen their leadership. Founded in 2000, Arts of Life is realizing its vision of a working, person-centric, artistic community that provides a work environment of equality. Today, we represent over 60 artists at two professional art studio locations in Chicago and Glenview, IL.
The Events Manager is responsible for all virtual and in-person fundraising events, ranging from small, donor receptions to fundraisers for up to 350 guests. Working in close collaboration with the Board and Director of Exhibitions and External Relations, they will facilitate the planning, coordination, and execution of Arts of Life Special Events including our Annual Art Auction Benefit and Annual Paint the Possible BoD event, as well as more general events including, but not limited to the annual Studio Sale, Member Events, Donor Cultivation Events, and Studio Tours. In addition, they act as a liaison to external community fundraising events.
- AofL Culture: Develop a strong sense of belonging that emphasizes radical vulnerability and candor and promotes transparency and collaboration throughout your department.
- Artist Leadership: Ensure artists are key contributors to your department by providing leadership opportunities, and including them in critical relationships and decisions.
- Event Planning & Facilitation: Supports the Exhibitions and Events Team for the Annual Art Benefit and the Board of Directors’ Event Committee for the Paint the Possible. Manage event timelines and budgets. Coordinate venues, food/drink, ticketing, tech components, entertainment, and permits as needed. Partner with the Art Department on graphic design needs, art components, event program content/design, etc. Coordinate volunteer/intern support
- Data & Reporting: Work with the Operations Manager (OM) and Donor Relations Manager (DRM) to ensure accurate data reporting. Provide consistent registration and progress reports pre and post-event to AofL Directors and the EB Event Committee.
- Communication & Promotions: Ensure internal and external event listings are up to date. Carry out accurate and effective communications with attendees pre and post-event. Prepare press releases, handle print/email invites, coordinate general promotions, and update the website as needed. Promptly thank sponsors and donors through acknowledgment letters, emails, and phone calls after events in alignment with AofL’s Acknowledgment timeline.
- Stewardship: Identify & cultivate potential donors through special events and perform follow-ups in partnership with DRM and DDM.
- Sponsorship: Work with the Directors of Development and Exhibitions & External Relations and various committees to solicit event sponsorships and fulfill all sponsor perks. Coordinate with the Communications Contractor to ensure all e-blast and social media acknowledgments are fulfilled. Obtain payments and follow up on pledges made for special events. Promptly follow up on sponsorships, attendees, and auction items.
From time to time, you may be assigned other job-related duties within your scope of practice.
What You’ll Need to be Successful
- Bachelor’s degree or equivalent work experience
- Two plus (2+) years of experience in event planning or equivalent experience
- Experience with arts and/or social services agencies a plus
- Experience working with a team to raise funds upwards of $300-500K
- Ability to work and attend events on evenings and weekends as needed
- Access to reliable transportation to travel off-site
- Ability to lift/carry up to 44 lbs
- Fully vaccinated (2 Pfizer/Moderna or 1 J&J)
Knowledge, skills, and behaviors:
- Project management experience
- Technically proficient with fundraising software
- Ability to create and maintain administrative systems
- Analytical and problem-solving skills
- Advanced knowledge of managing large-scale events. Experience with nonprofit organizations is desirable.
- Demonstrated flexibility and experience working on multiple projects with varying deadlines with a willingness to adapt and work collaboratively
- Exceptional computer skills and the ability to quickly gain proficiency in additional software systems
- Proficiency in MS Word and Google Drive required
- Strong written and verbal communication skills
- Self-motivation, accuracy, attention to detail, and ability to meet deadlines
- Skilled at establishing and cultivating strong relationships with peers, across different levels of the organization, and externally as a representative of the organization
- Experience delegating to and supervising interns or volunteers
- Ability to effectively interface with staff, volunteers, leadership, and community partners,
Compensation & Benefits
- Vision discount program
- FSA (after 12 months of service)
- Generous PTO and sick days
- Parental Leave
- Costco Membership
- Retirement Savings Plan
This is a full-time (40 hours) hybrid on-site/work-from-home position. Generally, a weekday, daytime position with hours approximately from 9 am to 5 pm. However, Arts of Life is an operating art studio, and your hours will fluctuate during events, exhibitions, or other times. Your workload may call for you to work longer days or weekend hours to complete your job duties. You will work together with your supervisor to come up with a schedule that meets your needs and the needs of the studio.
Arts of Life is proud to foster a culture of collaboration and respect. We strive to function under a relatively flat hierarchy, with collective decision-making at the heart of our initiatives. Work is typically done in small teams, and Leadership is enthusiastically accessible to all employees. Work-life balance is highly encouraged, and employees are welcome to use the studio facilities after hours and on weekends.
Arts of Life is firmly committed to building a diverse team that reflects the communities we serve. We value your unique experiences and strongly encourage People of the Global Majority, LGBTQIA+ individuals, women, trans, non-binary people, people with disabilities, system-impacted people, veterans, and people of all ages to apply.