Now Hiring: Arts & Culture Associate 

Smart Growth America (SGA) and its Thriving Communities team are looking to recruit an Arts and Culture Associate to support its programming and development. Please send a cover letter and resume to [email protected] with “SGA Arts & Culture Associate” in the subject line. In your cover letter, please indicate how you learned of this job opportunity. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until the position is filled.

Are you interested in the intersection of arts and culture with transportation, transit, land use and development, climate, and thriving communities? Are you eager to use your skills to change government policies in order to achieve better outcomes from federal, regional, and local spending? Smart Growth America is seeking a skilled and motivated individual with knowledge, experience and interest in the role of arts and culture in transportation, land use and development, and climate at the federal, state, or local level.

The ideal arts & culture associate is keenly interested in arts and culture news, especially as it relates to the built environment, is a skilled communicator, and engaged with artists, culture bearers, and designers to shape transportation and urban planning policy toward equitable and sustainable outcomes. They will be detail-oriented and able to juggle multiple projects, deadlines, and timelines. They are a dependable team player who can perform regular duties, but also enterprising and creative self-starters. Candidates must demonstrate an ability to work successfully independently and within a team.

About Smart Growth America

Smart Growth America envisions a country where no matter where you live, or who you are, you can enjoy living in a place that is healthy, prosperous, and resilient.  We empower communities through technical assistance, advocacy, and thought leadership to realize this vision of livable places, healthy people, and shared prosperity.

About Thriving Communities

The Thriving Communities Team, a part of Smart Growth America’s broader Transportation and Thriving Communities Team, works at the intersection of transportation,  public health, and arts and culture, bringing in economic development, fiscal health, land use, racial equity,  and climate resilience.  It houses Smart Growth America staff who work on the National Complete Streets Coalition and our Arts and Culture programs.  Through our work, we serve as a portal to connect communities to each other and to programs across Smart Growth America.

This position will be a part of the Thriving Communities team and will report to the Director of Arts and Culture.


  • Programs and Development Support
    • Coordinate and provide support for Arts & Culture programs and other SGA programs with arts and culture technical assistance, including organizing and planning events, meetings, trainings, and workshops, coordinating project schedules, managing virtual and in-person meeting logistics, serving as the daily point of contact for Arts & Culture partners, and collaborating with them to set meeting dates and logistics.
    • Manage communications and invoicing with partners, scheduling standing meetings, scheduling calls, processing consultant invoices, and other administrative duties as needed.
    • Assist SGA’s fundraising efforts, outreach, and grants management through research, writing, tracking, reporting, communications, meeting coordination, record keeping, and other administrative tasks.
  • Communications and Storytelling
    • Author and contribute content, in coordination with the communications team, for blog posts, newsletters, reports, and resources such as The Scenic Route, grant proposals and reports, and other written resources as needed.
    • Prepare content to support Arts & Culture communications, including building and editing presentations, researching and adapting exercises and activities, creating worksheets, fact sheets, and informational documents, and other resources as needed.
    • Serve as an ambassador for SGA within the industry and related fields; deliver presentations and information to partners about SGA’s thought leadership, advocacy, and technical assistance efforts around arts and culture in transportation, land use, and climate.
  • Research and Analysis
    • Conduct research and analysis of regulations, policies, programs, and projects at the intersection of arts and culture with SGA priorities; summarize and distill such analysis into clear reporting and recommendations for internal and external audiences.
    • Monitor, analyze, and evaluate emerging best practices and trends in addressing transportation, land use, and climate challenges and advancing systems change through arts and culture to better amplify, coordinate, and potentially collaborate with other leading practitioners and innovators in the field.  

Knowledge, skills, and experience


  • A college degree and 1-2 years of work experience.
  • Knowledge of and deep interest in arts and culture, especially socially-engaged or civic art that relates to transportation, land use, planning, and community development, and climate policy, how decisions in those areas are made, and how these policies and decisions impact people and communities.
  • Strong written and verbal ability, research skills, and attention to detail.
  • Ability and desire to connect with leaders, advocates, and practitioners engaged in arts and culture as it relates to transportation, land use and development, and climate policy issues for advocacy purposes.
  • Understanding and experience with political or issue-based organizing;
  • Excellent time management and organization.
  • Good interpersonal skills and comfort working in a collaborative team environment.
  • Ability to work independently with minimal supervision.


  • A background in the intersection of arts and culture or design and transportation, planning or other related fields;
    • Experience working with community-based organizations, communities of color, and artists, culture bearers, and arts and culture organizations;
  • Experience working in fundraising at an issue-based advocacy nonprofit organization;
  • Previous experience in local, regional, state, or federal policy as it relates to our subject matter;
  • Experience working with diverse populations; and
  • Experience or demonstrable commitment in working on issues of equity vis-à-vis arts and culture, transportation, land use and development, climate, and/or livable communities.



Salary commensurate with experience and will range between $52,000-63,000. The successful candidate who would be in consideration for compensation near the top of this range will have more experience and/or at least one of the skills listed as preferred above. SGA has an entrepreneurial and innovative workplace culture where employees work collaboratively to achieve the mission with a focus on equity. SGA offers a generous employee benefits package featuring a fully paid medical plan, optional dental and vision coverage, 401k with a strong employer contribution, employer-paid life and disability insurance, employer-paid transit benefits, three weeks’ vacation in the first year, and 12 paid holidays.

Location and Vaccination

This position is based in Washington, DC. No relocation assistance is being offered at this time. Staff are currently working in the office Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays while working remotely on Mondays and Fridays. SGA requires employees to be vaccinated for COVID-19 and boosted.

To apply

If you possess the desired qualifications, please send a cover letter and resume to [email protected] with “SGA Arts & Culture Associate” in the subject line. In your cover letter, please indicate how you learned of this job opportunity. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until the position is filled.

Equal Opportunity Employment

Equal opportunity and having a diverse staff are fundamental principles at Smart Growth America. Employment and promotional opportunities are based upon individual capabilities and qualifications without regard to race, color, religion, gender, pregnancy, sexual orientation/ preference, age, national origin, marital status, citizenship, disability, veteran status or any other protected characteristic as established under law.


Smart Growth America is committed to building a diverse staff and strongly encourages applications from candidates of color.