Music Education Grants Program Officer
Position: Music Education Grants Program
Duration: April 2021 – September 2023; 30-month position
Salary range: $80,000/yr.
Black, indigenous and people of color (BIPOC) especially encouraged to apply
About Chorus America:
Chorus America is the advocacy, research, and leadership development organization that advances the choral field. Our mission is to empower singing ensembles to create vibrant communities and effect meaningful change. We support and serve choral conductors, administrators, board members, and singers with tools, training, peer networking, and access so that choruses are better able to contribute to their communities. Chorus America serves more than 6,000 choruses, individuals, businesses, and organizations with a wide array of programs, publications, research, and professional services. These services strengthen their ability to build strong organizations that foster quality choral performances and leverage the unique characteristics of choral/group singing to build community.
Chorus America’s commitment to access, diversity, equity, and inclusion (ADEI) is central to our mission and organization, focusing on racial justice in the choral field. When Chorus America was founded over 40 years ago, its mission was to serve professional choruses and uphold standards that centered on Western European musical traditions. Our organization still reflects this history. As we continue to take meaningful action steps (More information can be found here: ADEI Update), we also recognize that we have much to do to ensure that Chorus America represents and serves the vibrant diversity of the choral field and lives up to our current mission.
Chorus America is governed by a diverse board, currently comprising 38 accomplished arts leaders from across North America, of whom 30% identify as Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC). The executive staff is headquartered in Washington, DC.
The Chorus America Music Education Grant Program: Goal and Purpose:
The goal of this inaugural, $2 million regranting program is to support the academic, social, and emotional development of students, especially those who are under-resourced, in grades K - 9 through accessible, standards-based choral music education. Choral music education has important attributes that make it particularly powerful. It is an inherently accessible and cost-effective form of arts education because everyone carries their own instrument—the voice—within them. It is grounded in words, as well as music, and conveys messages and meaning, which promotes comprehension and literacy. From discovering folk traditions and ethnic singing traditions, to singing about social justice and civil rights, choral music provides a powerful means of cultural and historical expression.
Chorus America is creating an equity-based regranting program to support community chorus/school collaborations. These grants to choruses will leverage choral singing and music literacy to promote non-arts and cross-cultural learning, while upholding the principles of diversity, inclusion, equity, and access. This program will serve as a learning grant for both Chorus America and the foundation, and our strong intent is to build upon the lessons learned and seek continued funding to extend the program into the future.
Chorus America seeks a program officer with experience in music education and creative youth development practice to help launch the inaugural Choral Music Education Regranting program. Funded through a $2 million, 30-month grant, the program will begin April 1, 2021 and end September 30, 2023, and will support partnerships between community-based choruses and K-9 teachers, music educators in schools, and/or other teaching artists. These two-year grants will be awarded across four major geographic regions to help expand music education access for under-resourced youth and will be centered on racial equity, inclusion, and cross-cultural learning.
At the end of the grant period, the successful program officer will have:
- led the development and management of an equitable grant award process
- created strong relationships with chorus leaders and/or teaching artists in communities in a variety of geographic areas, and especially including rural and BIPOC communities
- developed community of practice cohort learning among the grantees
- managed a thorough evaluation and reporting process, which positions the program for future growth and continued success
This position reports to the President and CEO. Chorus America provides full-time employees with medical, dental, vision, short- and long-term disability, life insurance, and paid time off. In addition, we offer the opportunity to work remotely from anywhere in the United States.
Program Leadership and Relationship Management
- Serve as program lead for development and implementation: This position works closely with Chorus America staff members, particularly department directors and the CEO.
- Design and guide planning meetings with staff, consultants, and community advisors to create and execute plans for the grant program and develop granting and assessment criteria for use in program guidelines and communications.
- Oversee the associate director of development in day-to-day grant process management, i.e., supporting grant review panelist process, communications with and support for applicants and, ultimately, the grantees throughout the entire program. Advise on organization of materials, management of disbursements and documentation.
- With CEO and other staff, represent Chorus America in building relationships with communities and various stakeholders, e.g., recruiting and serving partners, advisors, applicants, and grantees. Ensure that leaders of the communities to be funded are meaningfully involved at the outset of the program. Implement strategies to seek input and build or strengthen relationships with prospective applicants.
Granting Process Development and Implementation
- Lead the development of guidelines and related support materials for a two-phase application process. Guideline elements may include eligibility, review criteria/rubrics, definitions, and questions to be asked (including those that would effectively address equity measures).
- Working with staff and community advisors, ensure that grant process supports Chorus America’s goals of racial equity and inclusion. This may include researching best practices, arranging expert input, analyzing potential participation barriers, and developing communications.
Grant Program Execution/Evaluation
- In partnership with the Director of Finance, manage approved project budget and provide input, including allocations, and any adjustments. Coordinate with Chorus America finance office to ensure timely processing and tracking of payments and reporting to ensure compliance and oversight of funds, as required by funder.
- Develop a series of Community of Practice cohort learning sessions comprising the grant awardees, both online and/or in person at the 2022 and 2023 Chorus America Annual Conferences. Together with CEO, represent project at professional meetings, including presentations.
- Assist in designing and conducting program evaluation for internal use and reporting to funder: coordinate consultant input as appropriate, and oversee quantitative and qualitative data collection, as appropriate.
- With communications staff, ensure production of video featuring project highlights and other communications to share program impact with field. Support communications and development staff in structuring and writing required interim and final reports on program results for funder and Board of Directors.
- Experienced grant maker (minimum of 3 years’ experience), eager to implement an equitable grant award process
- Passion for and experience in managing equity-specific programs focused on in-school and/or out-of-school creative youth development: appreciation for the role of music education in this work. Experience working in rural communities preferred
- Bachelor’s degree in music education, arts administration, social services, or liberal arts - four years of related community arts education experience may substitute for a degree
- Commitment to advancing diversity, equity, access, and inclusion, particularly for BIPOC students and artists
- Choral music experience preferred but not required
- Comfortable in multi-cultural and cross-cultural settings
- Strong leadership presence – internally and externally. Demonstrable success in managing and serving on teams
- Exceptional communications skills – strong active listening skills, constructive verbal and written skills, strong public presentation skills
- Proficiency in Spanish beneficial, but not required
- Highly organized with strong administrative skills (proficiency in Microsoft suite)
- Available for travel for site visits and two Chorus America annual Conferences
- Willing to work occasional nights and weekends as may be required for grantee support and project oversight
Submit the following materials to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line “Your name + Grant Program Officer”:
- Cover letter demonstrating interest and ability to perform the job responsibilities outlined above
- Resume demonstrating experience and education
- Two writing samples solely authored by the candidate that are relevant to grant-making work
Materials will be reviewed on a first come first serve basis with priority given to applications received by March 19, 2021.
Chorus America is a registered 501(c)3 not for profit organization and an equal opportunity employer. ADEI is a critical component of our mission, vision, and values. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, creed, religion, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, age, marital status, mental or physical disability, pregnancy, military or veteran status, or any other basis prohibited by state or federal law.