California Arts Council

State of California

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Public Art Director
City of San Jose Office of Cultural Affairs

San Jose, CA

The City of San José is seeking a proven leader to serve as Public Art Director for its Office of Cultural Affairs Department.

The City of San Jose Office of Cultural Affairs (OCA) is seeking a proven, visionary leader to serve as Public Art Director. The new Public Art Director will lead an innovative and award-winning program in the 10th largest U.S. city, known as the Capital of Silicon Valley. The director will be a key member of the OCA senior management team.

Stewarding over 250 works of art, the San Jose Public Art Program is guided by a public art master plan called Public Art NEXT!  The City of San Jose has a 1% for art ordinance, in which 1% of eligible City capital improvement project costs are set aside for public art. The program is highly regarded for its innovative work at the intersection of art and technology, while being reflective of San Jose’s diversity and rich history.

In addition to capital projects, the program includes a City Hall exhibition program, collection maintenance, interagency contracts for public art services, and other creative placemaking efforts. 

The Position

The Public Art Director is responsible for leading the public art program. This includes planning, administering and evaluating arts programs and projects, as well as managing public art projects. The director will work closely with interdepartmental leadership and the community to realize the vision for public art in San Jose.

This position will supervise Senior Arts Programs Coordinators and other related staff as well as perform as an individual contributor. The Public Art Director reports to and receives direction from the Director of Cultural Affairs/Deputy Director of Economic Development.

Selected General Responsibilities

  • Seeks to advance San José’s cultural life in alignment with the goals of Cultural Connection: San José’s Cultural Plan for 2011-2020 and Public Art NEXT!  
  • In partnership with stakeholders, develops the Public Art Five Year Capital Improvement Project Work Plan. Works with staff and stakeholders to develop scope and approach to projects, envisioning how public art can support community goals.
  • Manages public art projects, integrating temporary and capital improvement projects into the public realm.
  • Manages the public art program budget.
  • Supervises public art staff.
  • Serves as the primary liaison to the Public Art Committee.
  • Develops and administers contracts and agreements.
  • Coordinates projects within specific arts program categories including: project predevelopment; budget development and monitoring; scheduling;  artist/vendor selection as needed; contract negotiations and monitoring; outreach, communications and marketing; and reporting.
  • Identifies grant, fundraising, and partnership opportunities. Develops grant proposals. Manages grant administration and reporting.
  • Develops and recommends policies, guidelines and procedures. 
  • Prepares memos, analyses and written/verbal reports on programs for City Council, City leadership, Arts Commission, and Public Art Committee.
  • Supports the operations and services of the OCA, performing other duties of a similar nature or level.

Ideal Candidate

The ideal candidate will be a detail-oriented individuals with the necessary initiative, flexibility and creativity to succeed in a team-oriented, fast-paced and high-volume work environment. A high level of professionalism, excellent customer service skills, and a strong work ethic are sought. Knowledge of trends and best practices in public art along with experience in program and budget management are highly desired.  Strong skills including diplomacy, excellent written and oral communications and political awareness are needed.

Minimum Education and Experience: Bachelor’s Degree in related field such as Arts, Public Administration, Public Art Studies or Architecture and four (4) years of experience administering arts programs for community entities. A Master’s Degree in a related field is preferred, and can be substituted for one year of the required experience.

Compensation and Benefits 

The current salary range for the Public Art Director is $80,112 to $122,383. The actual salary will depend on the qualifications and experience of the individual selected. Classified as a Senior Executive Analyst with a working title of Public Art Director, this is a full-time position with benefits.

The City provides an excellent array of benefits, including:

  • Retirement – Competitive defined benefit retirement plan with full reciprocity with CalPERS; defined contribution plan available as an option.
  •  Health Insurance – The City contributes 85% towards the premium of the lowest cost plan. There are several plan options.
  • Dental Insurance – The City contributes 100% of the premium of the lowest priced plan for dental coverage.
  • Personal Time – Vacation is accrued initially at the rate of three weeks per year with amounts increasing up to five weeks after 15 years of service.
  • Executive Leave of up to 40 hours may be granted annually.
  • Sick Leave is accrued at the rate of 8 hours per month.
  • Holidays – The City observes 14 paid holidays annually.
  • Deferred Compensation – The City offers an optional 457 Plan.
  • Flexible Spending Accounts – The City participates in Dependent Care Assistance and Medical Reimbursement Programs.
  • Insurance – The City provides a term life policy equal to two times annual salary. Long- term disability and AD&D plans are optional.

For more information on employee benefits, visit the City’s benefits Website:

Application and Selection Process

To be considered for this exciting career opportunity, please apply to the City of San Jose online at  The application will include job specific questions.

The final filing date for this position is Friday, August 12, 2016 at 11:59pm PST. Interviews are tentatively scheduled for late August 2016.



Deadline: 08-12-2016

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