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Arts administration ,
submitted by
Kennon Reinard

Manager of Culture & Access (Marwen)

Manager of Culture and Access

Status: Full-time, salaried position (exempt employee)

Benefits: yes

Reports to: Director of Education

Direct reports: Enrollment & Pathways Coordinator, Student & Family Engagement Coordinator, Associate Manager of College & Career Programs

Overview of Position:

Marwen seeks a passionate, equity-focused, youth development leader who believes in the power of young people, community, and the arts to lead efforts for social change. The Manager of Culture & Access is responsible for overseeing all student and family resource programs, ensuring that young people are supported throughout all aspects of their time with Marwen. The ideal candidate will possess a strong asset-based approach to working with young people and families, rooted in deep respect for the cultural wealth of local communities. This dynamic new role provides key leadership across the organization, bringing together the work of College & Career Programs and Student & Family Engagement to design systems and strategies to center to the experiences of young people and their families and deepen Marwen’s creative youth development work.

About Marwen:

Marwen educates and inspires young people. We provide year-round, out-of-school visual arts, college planning, and career development programs to students from nearly every neighborhood in Chicago. The tuition-free programs engage nearly 900 6th- 12th graders annually.

The 8-studio facility is in River North at 833 North Orleans. Teaching artists and education staff utilize the tools of creative youth development to facilitate courses in a wide range of disciplines, including painting, drawing, sculpture, ceramics, photography, animation, fashion design, and mixed media. For more information, visit

Core Responsibilities:

Marwen’s Manager of Culture & Access reports to the Director of Education and works in partnership with the studio programs team. The Manager supports and supervises staff, including the Enrollment & Pathways Coordinator, the Student & Family Engagement Coordinator, and the Associate Manager of College & Career Programs. The ideal candidate is a creative thinker and collaborative leader who believes in developing the leadership and shared vision of their team.

Oversight & Program Development

  • Lead the process of developing organization-wide practices that establish a “culture of welcome” at Marwen for all young people, families, staff, teaching artists, and extended community.
  • Work with the student and family engagement team to refine outreach, registration, and data collection systems with a focus on equity, access, and responsiveness to the unique needs of students and families in Chicago.
  • Intentionally cultivate relationships with Chicago Public Schools, public housing, and community-based organizations in nearby neighborhoods.
  • Collaborate with the college and career team to develop dynamic, relevant, and integrated college and career programs with a focus on youth-driven programming.
  • Partner with the college and career team to support student pathways and transitions focused on post-secondary education and employment opportunities.
  • Support the college and career team to grow new initiatives focused on expanding youth employment at Marwen and deepening outside partnerships.
  • Partner with the teaching and learning team to develop professional learning opportunities that build the capacity and skills of Marwen staff to utilize restorative justice and positive youth development practices.
  • Lead the student and family engagement team to develop and codify Marwen’s community engagement practices.
  • Revise existing program materials to reflect an asset-based approach that centers the power of young people.
  • Collaborate with the education team to develop a process for class observation and feedback.
  • Facilitate weekly student needs check-in meetings and participate in weekly teaching artist needs check-in meetings with education staff.
  • Partner with studio programs team to integrate college and career programming and youth-run workshops into studio coursework.
  • Support the registrar team to create clear systems to communicate student needs, including Individual Education Plans, health concerns, and special considerations to staff, teaching artists, and studio facilitators.
  • Collaborate with the Director of Education to build and maintain partnerships with youth and family support organizations in Chicago to create a referral process, particularly focused on mental health support.

Programmatic Responsibilities

  • Provide a welcoming presence and build relationships consistently during program hours, both in the studio’s with young people and with staff, teaching artists and families
  • Support with problem-solving and student support during program hours
  • Develop and co-facilitate programming with young people & families, community partners, and teaching artists
  • Design & lead new-student orientations for prospective students and families
  • Provide referrals as needed to youth and families, specifically as it pertains to accessing resources related to family, education, employment, and health

Staff Management & Development

  • Directly supervise & mentor three staff
  • Thought-partner with staff to design, develop and plan programs that center young people, their interests, needs and futures
  • Facilitate regular working meetings with the staff team to collaborate and share ideas
  • Work with the Associate Manager of Data & Registration to refine processes for reporting, analyzing, and reflecting on data
  • Manage and oversee budgets for college and career and student and family engagement programs
  • Support the finance and development departments with fundraising efforts when needed

The ideal candidate will have:

  • Strong youth development and/or arts education background working directly with young people, especially young people who identify as youth of color, queer or LGBTQI, newcomers, first-generation immigrants, and neurodivergent
  • Belief in the vital role young people play in social change
  • Minimum 3 years of experience managing a team of people
  • Minimum 5 years of experience working directly with young people and families
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills
  • Exceptional organizational and planning skills
  • Advanced facilitation skills
  • Strong understanding of trauma/healing informed practices
  • Experience implementing restorative justice methodologies
  • Experience designing programming in community-based and/or educational settings
  • Experience facilitating professional development and coaching staff
  • Familiarity with the public school and arts education landscape in Chicago
  • Willingness and ability to work consistent program hours, which include evenings and weekends
  • Willingness and ability to travel occasionally
  • Fluent in Spanish, both verbal and written

Marwen is an equal opportunity employer committed to diversity and equity in the workplace. We strongly encourage those who reflect our communities to apply, including bilingual individuals, LGBTQI and/or people of color. Please send a resume and cover letter to with the subject line “Manager of Culture and Access.” The deadline for submissions is August 23, 2019. No phone calls, please.

Marwen is committed to offering a competitive salary that is commensurate with experience and includes full health benefits, generous PTO and 401k.

Contact Info:
Marwen Careers
Job Type: Permanent
Location: Chicago