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Managing Director

Nuyorican Poets Cafe
New York, United States
Salary Commensurate with experience
Closing date
Dec 4, 2021

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Position Type
Executive, Fundraising, Donor Relations, Grant Seeking, Programs, Community Outreach, Managing Volunteers, Program Administration and Management, Administrative, Arts Administration, Office Administration
Arts, Education
Employment Type
Full Time
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The Nuyorican Poets Cafe seeks an accomplished Managing Director to help guide a period of growth. The ideal candidate will be a consummate fundraiser, an experienced leader and a dynamic ambassador who is comfortable representing the organization to audiences, artists, educators, funders, press, partner organizations and sponsors. 

The Cafe’s longtime Executive Director has accepted an offer to lead another organization; after he transitions to that new position, the position he held at the Cafe will be split into two roles: a Managing Director position and an Artistic Director position.

The Cafe is currently hiring for the Managing Director role.

The Managing Director should be outgoing and confident; a good listener, communicator and team player.

Experience running a busy cultural venue and producing live performances would be particularly valued, as would experience with multi-year budgeting and strategic planning.

The Managing Director will partner with the Artistic Director (who will oversee programming and curatorial activities). Both positions will report to the Board of Directors. Prior experience working with a board will be very helpful for this position.

At least five years of progressively senior arts management experience are required, as are strong fiscal management skills, excellent writing and communication skills, and a notable track record of fundraising from private and public sources.

The Managing Director will need to raise funds for programs in multiple disciplines, and should have working familiarity with several performing arts genres. The ideal candidate should have prior experience asking for and receiving grants and major gifts for programming and operations. 

The ideal candidate will also have experience guiding and motivating administrative staff; working with a range of stakeholders, both within and outside of an organization; and hiring new staff.

Although most of the Cafe’s programming and operations have been conducted remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic, a significant portion of the Managing Director’s work in 2022 and beyond will likely take place onsite; some work will continue to happen remotely.

Some evening and weekend work will be required. The Managing Director will need to attend a number of events on the organization’s behalf.

This is a full-time position; compensation will be commensurate with experience.

Candidates of color and LGBTQIA+ candidates are strongly encouraged to apply; applications from all qualified candidates are welcomed. 

Interested candidates should email a cover letter and resume to:



Since 1973, the Nuyorican Poets Cafe has served as a home for groundbreaking works of poetry, spoken word, music, theater and visual arts. A multicultural, multi-arts institution, the Cafe champions the use of spoken word and poetry to empower Latinx, Black, immigrant, indigenous and LGBTQIA+ artists. Allen Ginsberg called the Cafe "the most integrated place on the planet", the Wall Street Journal wrote that the Cafe is "an antidote to gentrification" that has grown "from a small, volunteer-led venue best known for weekly poetry events to a thriving arts center"; and John Leguizamo says the Cafe "put the street on stage... Made our lives real, our emotions real." Time Out New York recently discussed how the Cafe’s online events have amplified Latinx and Black voices during the pandemic: "The Cafe has found that moving online has offered even more intersectionality than ever before”; and NPR called the Cafe a "wildly diverse venue with socially conscious programming".

The Cafe, founded by Miguel Algarín in his Lower East Side apartment, is considered the intellectual birthplace of the Nuyorican Movement, a cultural and intellectual movement that originated in the late 1960s and early 1970s as a means to validate Puerto Rican experience in the United States, particularly for poor and working-class people who suffered from marginalization, ostracism, and discrimination. Since 1989, the Nuyorican Poets Cafe's name has also been synonymous with the poetry performance art form known as Poetry Slam. The Slam is a lively, crowd-sourced competition that engages a diverse community of artists, spectators and students. The art form of slam poetry was originally popularized at the Cafe, and ours is still the venue most strongly associated with that form in the United States and abroad.

The Cafe holds over 500 low-cost events per year, attracting thousands of attendees to our weekly poetry slam, Latin jazz, and open mic nights, and wide-ranging film, theater, educational and musical events.

Recent press coverage attests to the Cafe’s enduring vitality: Crain's New York Business wrote that the Cafe is exhibiting growth and "stepping further into the spotlight"; USA Today recently recommended the Cafe as one of the top cultural attractions in downtown Manhattan; and New York Magazine named the Cafe one of the “reasons to love New York.”

Learn more about the Nuyorican Poets Cafe at

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