Tennessee Arts Commission seeks Traditional Arts Specialist

JOB ANNOUNCEMENT: The Tennessee Arts Commission seeks a full-time Traditional Arts Specialist. Under the supervision of the Director of Folklife, this person will work to cultivate the arts for the benefit of all Tennesseans with a focus on sustaining and documenting Tennessee’s traditional art forms and artists, especially within underserved communities. The Traditional Arts Specialist manages grants, programming, research, and training workshops associated with traditional artists and organizations, cultural preservation and sustainability, and traditional arts infrastructure development. This is a state government Executive Service position.

Key Responsibilities:

1. Collaborates in agency work to identify, document and promote Tennessee’s folklife and traditional art forms, especially within underserved cultural communities, by conducting outreach efforts and documentary fieldwork; cultivating relationships with traditional artists and organizations; and developing arts infrastructure and strategic partnerships.

2. Coordinates community scholars and fieldwork training workshops, including the recruitment of participants and the development of curriculum, budget and scheduling.

3. Manages annual grants to organizations across the state producing traditional arts projects and participates in agency-wide grants allocation and management duties.

4. Provides content advice and technical assistance to organizations, traditional artists, researchers and communities creating traditional arts programs, surveys, documentation projects, festivals, concerts, heritage activities, exhibits, publications and related projects.

5. Generates public support for and awareness of traditional arts through facilitation of meetings and conferences, as well as through the creation of online, audio, video, written and other communications content.

6. Represents the Commission at local, state, regional and national meetings.

7. Acts creatively as part of the Commission team to identify and implement strategies to further the cultivation of the arts for the benefit of all Tennesseans.

Minimum Qualifications:

Master’s Degree in Folklore, Public History, Ethnomusicology or a related field, and significant professional experience in public folklore work (fieldwork documentation and cultural surveys, public programming and interpretation, and related arts administration or non-profit management) is desired. Bachelor’s Degree and 3 years’ experience in arts administration and/or nonprofit management required. Pertinent graduate coursework may substitute for required experience up to 2 years

Skills and Knowledge Required:

Has a broad base of knowledge, expertise and experience related to traditional and ethnic cultures and art forms found in the Southeastern United States and Tennessee, in particular

Advanced fieldwork skills and experience in photography, audio recording, interviewing and archiving are desired

Experience with grants and budget management, apprenticeship programs, and community scholars programs is desired

Expertise and fieldwork experiences that are complimentary to current Folklife Program staff are desired

Spanish speaking proficiency is preferred

Understanding of state and national policy and research trends in the traditional arts and folklife, professional development for artists, and nonprofit management is desired

Exceptional organizational skills, attention to detail, and ability to communicate clearly to diverse audiences in both oral and written presentations

Ability to work independently, manage multiple priorities and complete projects successfully

Licensed to operate a motor vehicle and available for travel

Knowledge and ability to utilize office equipment and software including Microsoft Office

Other: Salary based on experience.  First step of range: $38,460. Works in a non-smoking office in downtown Nashville. To apply: Please submit your resume and cover letter to  The first review of applications will begin on February 28, 2019. Applications will be accepted until the position is filled.

Pursuant to the State of Tennessee’s Workplace Discrimination and Harassment policy, the State is firmly committed to the principle of fair and equal employment opportunities for its citizens and strives to protect the rights and opportunities of all people to seek, obtain, and hold employment without being subjected to illegal discrimination and harassment in the workplace. It is the State’s policy to provide an environment free of discrimination and harassment of an individual because of that person’s race, color, national origin, age (40 and over), sex, pregnancy, religion, creed, disability, veteran’s status or any other category protected by state and/or federal civil rights laws.