Program Officer - Arts

Job Title

Program Officer - Arts

Job Description

We are looking for a talented individual who wants to join a dynamic team that is working to fundamentally change our world through philanthropy and investing.

Position Summary

Builders Initiative launched a Chicagoland arts portfolio in 2020 aimed to support visual artists and artisans to thrive, and lead the communities they are part of, while boosting access to the arts for the public. This work directly provides resources to artists and artist communities that democratize access to the arts; boosts the value of the arts by the public for the role it plays in advancing societal wellness and justice; and leverages multiple forms of capital to increase pathways to financial security for practicing artists, creatives, and culture workers.  

To support this growing portfolio today, the Builders Initiative is seeking a full time Program Officer to guide, develop, and manage its Chicagoland arts portfolio. Recognizing the long-term inequities in funding to the arts sector and the trust required to do this work well, the ideal candidate will intimately know the Chicagoland arts sector, and have some experience with philanthropic investing.


Role Specific Responsibilities


Preferred Experience and Qualifications

We recognize that people’s lived experiences and motivations for entering the arts sector vary greatly. Given this, we are open to a wide range of experience and education backgrounds.

A successful candidate would likely also:


Other Duties

Please note this position description is not designed to cover or contain a comprehensive listing of activities, duties or responsibilities that are required of the candidate in this position. Duties, responsibilities and activities may evolve or change over time.


About Builders Initiative/Builders Vision

The Builders Initiative (BI) is a philanthropic organization established by a member of the Walton Family and his wife (the “Principals”). BI is the philanthropic arm of Builders Vision (BV), an integrated charitable and investment organization committed to the vision of building a humane and healthy planet.  Collectively BV is focused on four core issue areas: Food & Agriculture, Climate and Energy, Oceans and Communities. This includes supporting a flourishing, democratized arts sector, with a focus on enabling artists to enhance communities through visual arts and storytelling and to lead communities to connect in Chicago and the Rural Midwest.

BV’s mission is shifting markets and minds for good. BI and BV do this by applying a range of tools including grant-making, policy advocacy, strategic communications, impact investing, and direct investing to play three key roles:

  1. Demonstrating economic viability: Showing that sustainable goods and services can be profitable for producers and accessible for consumers;
  2. Building systems: Investing in the “missing pieces” for market development; and
  3. Challenging mental models: Engaging in targeted activities that create new knowledge, change cultural norms, and make the case for change.

Given this variety of tools and roles, BI’s partners include non-profits, researchers, alliances, governments, peer investors and donors, companies, makers, and entrepreneurs committed to a better future. BI current philanthropic investment levels are expected to scale significantly over the next few years. In addition, the foundation expects to deploy substantially more resources in mission-related investments over the coming years.

When appropriate, BI also collaborates with the Walton Family Foundation (WFF) and other individual members of the Walton family to further shared social and environmental goals.


To apply:  Submit your resume and a writing sample from a recent project to Jessica Sporleder at


Builders Vision is an equal opportunity employer and is committed to building and maintaining a culturally diverse workplace. We encourage women, minorities, individuals with disabilities and veterans to apply. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, religion, color, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, status of protected veteran, among other things or status as a qualified individual with a disability.

Basic Qualifications