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Arts & Culture Visiting Fellow

American Planning Association
Chicago, IL
United States
Professional Areas: 
Community Engagement
Public/Nonprofit Administration
Regional Planning
Urban Design
Other topics
Experience Level: 
AICP Certification: 
Not required

The Arts and Culture Visiting Fellow, a full-time independent contractor, will be a critical resource for a grant-funded initiative to strengthen the work of APA's member-led Arts and Planning Interest Group (APIG). Thanks to the generous support of the Kresge Foundation, the Arts and Culture Visiting Fellow will work for two years for a term starting in spring of 2020 to expand upon the mission of APIG and strengthen the presence of art, culture, equity and creative placemaking in APA's national programming and within allied professions. The Fellow's work will also help create strong links between grassroots cultural practitioners and planning professionals. The Visiting Fellow will build upon four years of engaging a cross-sector network of planners, visual and performing artists and cultural organizations to catalyze a more focused, urgent and multifaceted effort to acknowledge arts, cultural placemaking, and placekeeping as a major component of planning and community development.

The person in this role will collaborate with a network of individuals across the organization, including a variety of staff and member volunteers in APA components (such as Divisions and Chapters) to ensure high-quality work is being achieved in a timely manner. This individual must be creative, innovative and analytical with a community-oriented mindset. They should be an excellent collaborator, communicator and risk-taker, and bring to the position a unique understanding of how to build more equitable outcomes at the intersection of planning, arts and culture.

The Visiting Fellow would be a contractor to APA and would be required to submit monthly invoices for work performed. The person in this role can expect ongoing support and structured feedback via periodic meetings with APA staff and the APIG advisory committee. The Fellow is encouraged to utilize APA's network of internal departments, Chapters, Divisions and Interest Groups to advance their work. This person will have unrestricted access to APA research materials, including PAS reports, KnowledgeBase collections, policy guides and office library assets. Applicants working remotely will be requested to travel to APA's Chicago or DC offices for several in-person meetings over the course of the fellowship.


Member Outreach and Engagement

  • Analyze and evaluate baseline metrics for APIG's current membership, work plan and goals
  • Manage content creation, member outreach and communications, educational resources and program development that builds upon APIG's work plan and mission.
  • Develop, learn from, inform, and enhance communications campaigns focused on arts and culture for APA members, as well as non-members working at the intersection of art, culture, equity, community development, and planning.
  • Build strategic and meaningful partnerships with allied organizations and arts and culture networks not previously associated with the field of planning.

National and Regional Programming

  • Contribute to and oversee a social event to coincide with the 2020 National Planning Conference in Houston, TX
  • Contribute to and oversee a mobile program to coincide with the 2020 National Planning Conference in Houston, TX
  • Align new and existing content with APIG's programs and objectives, planning the channels that will be used, and coordinating distribution, to effectively drive engagement
  • Act as the point of contact for the conception, content development, and execution of an Arts and Planning Regional Tour to take place in 2021, which will solicit interest from planners within APA's various Electoral Regions to participate in a half-day workshop which facilitates dialogue and shared learning between planning departments and local arts organizations.
  • Lead initial planning efforts for an APIG Social during the 2021 National Planning Conference in Boston, MA.

The Visiting Fellow's progress will be measured by evaluating the implementation and quality of social events, outreach strategies, education-based work products, demographic trends of APIG members and leaders, and the breadth of partnerships with artists and arts organizations, and the extent to which arts and culture have expanded into APA's National Planning Conference and catalog of resources.


Applicants need not have a formal background in rural, city or regional planning, but must demonstrate experience in the arts and/or the public, nonprofit, civic or social sectors.

  • Bachelor's degree required. Minimum of 3-5 years of planning, arts management, community development, community organizing and/or project management experience desired.
  • Excellent organizational and analytical skills with the ability to coordinate multiple projects simultaneously required.
  • Strong interpersonal and creative oral and written communication skills with a customer service orientation necessary. Essential to be up to date with Microsoft Office, social media technologies and communications trends.
  • Ability to simultaneously master a diverse workload and meet deadlines in a timely manner.
  • Demonstrated ability to effectively develop and manage strong and productive working relationships with internal and external partners.
  • Excellent analytical, writing, verbal and social skills; leadership and good judgment.
  • Ability to take initiative, work independently and with a team, and make sound decisions.

Please send a resume and letter of interest to [email protected]. Applicants are strongly encouraged to use the letter of interest to describe a specific project they have been a part of which bridges the gap between arts, culture and planning.


APIG is working across disciplines to embolden not just artists but a wide array of historically marginalized people, ensuring that people of all skills, backgrounds, abilities and viewpoints are empowered to join the decision-making processes which impact the places they live. By bridging the gap between planners and artists, musicians and other culture bearers, APIG is creating a more equitable future for both professions. Women, people of color and indigenous descent, veterans, people with disabilities, those formerly incarcerated, trans and nonbinary people, and members of the LGBTQ community are strongly encouraged to apply for this position. Salary commensurate with experience. Applications will be accepted until January 31st, 2020.

Published on:
December 10, 2019 - 2:10pm
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