PEN America, a nonprofit organization working at the intersection of literature and human rights, seeks an enterprising and determined senior manager to drive forward our work protecting artists at risk around the world. The role will develop a new emergency grantmaking initiative through the Artists at Risk Connection (ARC) program and expand PEN America’s protection programs for individuals in peril because of their creative expression. The ideal candidate will have the vision, expertise, and program management skills to shape ARC’s protection efforts, collaborating with the ARC team and the PEN/Barbey Freedom to Write Center. The role requires experience working with individuals at risk or otherwise vulnerable communities, and a demonstrated commitment to the arts and human rights internationally. This is a new full-time position expected to be based at PEN America’s New York office. The position reports to the Director, Artists at Risk Connection.
At PEN America, ARC safeguards the right to artistic freedom of expression around the world and works to ensure that artists of all disciplines everywhere can live and work without fear. With a global network of 800 organizations providing crucial resources for artists and cultural practitioners at risk, ARC plays the critical role of liaising between threatened artists and the organizations that support them. Since its inception, ARC has assisted more than 500 artists from over 63 countries in receiving direct support, including fellowships and residencies, emergency funding, legal assistance, and advocacy, among other forms of assistance, from partner organizations. In April 2022, in response to the war in Ukraine, ARC launched an emergency fund dedicated to Ukrainian visual artists.
The Artists at Risk Connection’s Senior Manager will develop and manage ARC’s protection work to successfully connect artists with the support they need, including through ARC’s new emergency fund. In this capacity, the individual will be responsible for the day-to-day supervision and oversight of two protection assistants and various protection activities, along with program administration and budget management. The senior manager will work closely with the PEN/Barbey Freedom to Write Center team and the ARC’s regional representatives, as well as our regional protection networks, such as Amani: Africa Creative Defence Network and PAR (Protección de Artists en Riesgo), the protection network for artists-at-risk in Latin America and the Caribbean.
Work with individuals at risk is often demanding and requires resilience, determination, and resourcefulness. This role is a strong fit for professionals whose commitment to human rights and free expression leads them to derive satisfaction from surmounting hurdles, celebrating wins, and persevering through the inevitable stresses in a complex and intense field. This work can also be exceptionally rewarding, offering the opportunity to have a real and tangible impact on the lives of at-risk artists, and the incumbent will have the opportunity to build professional expertise and networks while expanding and developing our protection initiatives, including a substantial emergency grant program; engaging in and spearheading coalitions among partner organizations; and conducting national and international outreach to artists and partner organizations.
Please submit a cover letter, resume, unedited writing sample, and the contact information for three references. Please submit the entire application to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please use “ARC Senior Manager, Protection Programs” and your name as the subject of your email (for example, “ARC Senior Manager, Protection Programs – Jane Doe”). Only complete applications will be reviewed and only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.
PEN America is an equal opportunity employer that does not discriminate in its hiring practices, and in order to build the strongest possible workforce, actively seeks a diverse applicant pool.
No phone calls, please.
PEN America stands at the intersection of literature and human rights to protect free expression in the United States and worldwide. We champion the freedom to write, recognizing the power of the word to transform the world. Our mission is to unite writers and their allies to celebrate creative expression and defend the liberties that make it possible.