Manager of Community Engagement

Chicago Architecture Center

The Chicago Architecture Center is a nonprofit cultural organization with tours, exhibitions, programs, and events for all ages.  Our mission is to inspire people to discover why design matters.  The CAC is the leading organization devoted to celebrating and promoting Chicago as a center of architectural innovation.  As Chicago's forum for the exchange of ideas on urban design, CAC inspires people to participate in the building of vibrant communities and to demand the highest standard in urban design.

CAC seeks to create far-reaching, sustainable, and positive impact on our city by meaningfully engaging diverse communities and neighborhoods in conversations about the built environment. as a primary facilitator of this work, the Community Engagement Manager works closely with the CAC’s youth and adult education teams to develop and deliver programs that lift up Chicago’s diverse neighborhoods, in close partnership with local businesses, non-profit organizations, community-based organizations, government and other key stakeholders. This position plays a leadership role in CAC’s flagship Open House Chicago (OHC) as well as other programs that take place at the Center and in neighborhoods year-round.

The Community Engagement Manager works closely with all CAC Departments and staff to deepen community relationships, strengthen ongoing multi-year neighborhood connections, and ensure broad neighborhood involvement toward an end of learning programs represented and reflected by the community. They will advance the CAC’s role as catalyst for new ideas, and a convener across disciplines and communities.

*CAC employees are temporarily working remotely due to COVID-19*

Duties and Responsibilities

  • Create and implement a plan to cultivate community partnerships that center the voices and experiences of those historically excluded from or underrepresented in public conversations about design and the built environment
  • Develop, manage and foster community partnerships that result in neighborhood-based programming, forming the basis for a year-round Open House Chicago
  • Research and recommend speakers, formats, sites and themes that advance community/neighborhood engagement work; Manage and implement programs in collaboration with adult and youth education teams
  • Identify, remain current in and apply best practices in community engagement in public programs for adults and youth
  • Develop and implement program evaluation tools to analyze and interpret data to improve or strengthen community engagement programs and initiatives
  • Assist in the development, launch and facilitation of a Community Task Force to inform CAC programs
  • Represent the CAC in diverse settings, tailoring messaging to widely varying stakeholders including community & political leaders, neighborhood residents, community-based organizations and young people
  • Serve as liaison between the neighborhood stakeholders and the CAC, ensuring consistent communication and responsiveness to community needs
  • Map current programs to understand neighborhood reach; Recommend geographic areas of focus with associated potential partners
  • Participate in organization-wide and departmental initiatives focused on becoming a more equitable and inclusive institution; promote and support CAC’s Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Accessibility Framework
  • Collaborate with other CAC departments, including Marketing, Development and Operations, to identify and support community engagement and outreach opportunities across the organization
  • Maintain database and maps of current, past and potential OHC sites, including site data information, contacts, descriptions, and attributes for website, event guide and future program development
  • Support fundraising efforts, including developing content for grant proposals and contributing to grant reports.


Education and Experience:

  • Bachelor's degree in related field required, master's degree preferred; Additional years of experience may be substituted for degree requirement
  • Five years of progressively responsible experience in education, community engagement, or a humanities-based field
  • Skilled facilitator with demonstrated experience working with and across diverse communities and multiple perspectives, and a record of work that models inclusive excellence
  • Proven experience working within Chicago communities
  • Project management experience
  • Must be willing and able to travel around the city frequently, work some evenings and weekends

Skills and Attributes:

  • Expansive knowledge of diverse communities within the city of Chicago, with proven networking abilities
  • Must be a strategic thinker with the ability to plan and execute goals and objectives across multiple departments
  • Able to manage outreach in a rapidly changing environment, providing recommendations, strategies and solutions in response to new knowledge or unexpected circumstances
  • Interest in and awareness of architecture, urban planning issues, Chicago history, community organizing and current trends
  • Flexibility, a collaborative attitude, and a sense of humor to adapt to schedule and organizational changes, and unforeseeable circumstances that arise
  • Ease and familiarity with connecting and relating to people of different backgrounds; Ability to communicate in Spanish strongly preferred
  • Commitment to promoting a welcoming and inclusive environment for colleagues, volunteers, and visitors/audience
  • Must have excellent interpersonal and customer service skills and have the ability to establish and maintain effective relationships
  • Clear understanding of multiple communication platforms and proficient use of social media
  • Experience with data gathering and statistics (such as GIS mapping) and visual data analysis software (Tableau, etc.) a plus
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills, including public speaking and media relations
  • Must be highly organized and detail oriented, with strong follow-through and ability to meet deadlines
  • Ability to work successfully in collaborative team environments
Chicago, IL
Due Date: 
Monday, June 28, 2021
Posted by aao on March 30, 2021 - 10:44pm