Seeking Applications for Head of Participation and Engagement
Cork Midsummer Festival seeks a Head of Participation and Engagement to deliver high quality participatory arts experiences and lead on activities with the festival team and partners to make an inclusive and accessible festival. This is a senior management and producing role that is designed to lead on all festival produced participation, engagement and access initiatives. This role will work in consultation with the Director to creatively develop strategy and lead on projects, particularly the festival’s involvement in Creative Europe partnership project BE PART: Art Beyond Participation.
Head of Participation and Engagement
Responsible to: Festival Director, Cork Midsummer Festival.
Responsible for: Contract project staff (from time to time) and artists employed to deliver programmes, long term placements and work experience students.
Cork Midsummer Festival (CMF) is an annual multi-disciplinary arts festival that uses the city as its backdrop and inspiration. It provides high-quality arts events, both national and international, for audiences of all ages. Its programme provides opportunities for significant public participation and engagement, supports the development of emerging artists across all artforms, and provides a unique platform for work by local and national artists. CMF is core funded by The Arts Council and Cork City Council.
Participation and Engagement Department
The purpose of the Participation and Engagement department is to deliver high quality participatory arts experiences and lead on activities with the festival team and partners to make an inclusive and accessible festival.
This is a senior management and producing role that is designed to lead on all festival produced participation, engagement and access initiatives. You will be working in consultation with the Director to creatively develop strategy and lead on projects, particularly the festival’s involvement in Creative Europe partnership project BE PART: Art Beyond Participation. You will also work closely with the Festival Manager with regards to financial management and grant administration of participation and engagement funded projects.
Tasks and responsibilities
Strategy, Research and Partnerships
- To work with the Director to deliver a high quality and exciting participation and engagement programme, meeting its strategy objectives and engaging a range of different communities and individuals.
- To keep up to date with changes in local, national and international thinking to ensure that CMF’s Participation and Engagement strategy is in line with key local and national government priorities.
- To ensure CMF’s Participation and Engagement plans are fully integrated, working closely with the Director and festival artists including supporting wider festival participation and engagement activities where relevant.
- To maintain and build strong relationships with arts and cross-sectoral partners regionally and nationally to support the delivery of these activities.
- To oversee effective/impactful monitoring and evaluation of the Participation and Engagement programme.
- To ensure relevant policies, statements and action plans (e.g. Child Protection, Equality, Human Rights) are kept up to date and all relevant team members are made aware of these.
- To develop access initiatives to help the festival be more accessible to as diverse a range of publics as possible.
- To lead on producing all Participation and Engagement activities.
- To work closely with project partners and the festival’s Director on sourcing high quality experienced artists/artistic companies working in the participatory arts field.
- To oversee the logistical and practical elements of any meetings and creative work with participants, such as participant recruitment, venue, materials, etc.
- To ensure any travel, accommodation and other arrangements in relation to the artists (and other project team members) stay are satisfactorily arranged
- To handle, manage and implement all areas of production (non-technical).
- To liaise with project and festival production management for the projects in relation to any technical and health and safety requirements.
- To ensure that all company policies are adhered to such as child protection and health and safety.
- To ensure that all appropriate project paperwork such as media permission forms, license agreements, insurances, etc are in place
Funding and finance
- To take responsibility for setting budgets and monitoring project expenditure against budget targets, working closely with the Festival Manager.
- To fundraise from a range of different sources, including development and delivery of funding applications, bids, presentations and pitches to potential funders where appropriate, in consultation with the Director.
- To satisfactorily report to funders providing accurate written and financial reports to meet their funding and reporting requirements.
- To recruit, where required, any additional production and creative team members for the programme, including interns. This includes working closely with the Festival Manager on developing contracts for such personnel.
- To line manage and supervise any short-term project team members such as assistant producers or project assistants.
- To oversee the marketing and communications for participation and engagement projects, implementing where required, working closely with CMF’s Communications Manager and other relevant contractors.
- To work closely with the festival’s communications department to develop closer understanding and information regarding both our existing and potential audiences.
This role would be suitable for someone with at least 5 years’ experience of devising and delivering high quality participation and engagement activities across a variety of settings, ideally within or with the multi-disciplinary arts sector. They need to have knowledge and understanding of the many different types of participatory practice and best practice of work with a diverse range of publics.
The post-holder will demonstrate excellent leadership and fundraising skills, strong project management and financial acumen, with the ability to build long-lasting relationships both inside and outside the organisation. A good working knowledge of relevant policies and legislation, safeguarding and child protection is essential. The post-holder will need to demonstrate a high level of efficiency and drive to meet the challenging targets as part of a small, busy and friendly team.
Key skills, attributes and experience
- At least 5 years’ experience of working in the arts participation field
- Experience in developing high quality participation & engagement arts programmes, working with artists, cross-sectoral partners and internal colleagues as required
- Experience of producing participatory arts projects with a wide variety of different publics including work with vulnerable people and individuals who may experience barriers to the arts
- Knowledge and understanding of best practice in developing participatory work including the different types of participatory arts practice
- Able to think strategically and plan ahead
- Proven track record in fundraising, particularly successfully raising money from grants and other bodies
- Experience of staff management and development
- Experience of setting, managing and monitoring budgets
- Excellent communication skills, both written and verbal
- Excellent writing skills, with the ability to write copy for funding applications and reports.
- Experience of initiating and developing partnerships
- Ability to work on own initiative and also in a team with flexibility and an ability to prioritise a varied workload
- A high level of computer literacy and willing to learn new software
- Good organisational skills and attention to detail
- Experience of European funding, particularly Creative Europe
- Knowledge of wide range of funding sources
- Experience of developing participation and learning strategies
- Experience of implanting and managing Safeguarding processes
- Knowledge and experience of providing different access supports
- Designing and implementing monitoring and evaluation systems
- Designing and implementing policies
Terms and conditions of employment
Salary range: €36,000 - €41,000, commensurate with experience.
Contract: This is a full-time position and offers a 3 year contract.
Hours: 40 hours per week, normal office hours are 10am – 6pm, Monday – Friday. This position involves working flexible hours where necessary to fulfil the duties of the post, for example, evening and weekend work. It may also involve some travel from time to time in Ireland and overseas.
Benefits Include: Paid annual and sick leave. Training and Development opportunities.
Holidays: 21 days per annum plus Public Holidays.
Disclosure: This post requires disclosure of all criminal record information via the Garda Vetting.
Closing Date for applications: Tuesday, 17 August 2021
To apply for this role, please submit a CV and cover letter to Lorraine Maye at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cork Midsummer Festival is committed to building an inclusive team and particularly welcomes applications from people of different backgrounds who are under-represented within the arts sector.
To download the job description, please click here.