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Art Shanty Projects: Operations Director

Art Shanty Projects is an artist-driven temporary community exploring the ways in which relatively unregulated public spaces can be used as new and challenging artistic environments to expand the notions of what art can be.  Art Shanty Projects is a non-profit organization dedicated to fostering a creative, supportive, and joyful community both on and off the ice in Minnesota. We accomplish this through art and relationship-building, as well as an ongoing commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility. We expect a culture of work-sharing, accountability, and transparency, as well as effective communication and collaboration. Leadership is non-hierarchical and decision-making is horizontal.

Since 2004 Art Shanty Projects has created joyful winter art experiences for people of all ages. Inspired by pop-up ice fishing villages, artists use the frozen lake as a space to build a temporary community, immersing visitors in a colorful village filled with interactive installations and performances. With few regulations and no building codes — and against intense and unpredictable winter weather conditions — artists of all career stages have the freedom and challenge to create wild and wonderful work that can’t be experienced anywhere else. Together, with tens of thousands of annual visitors, we celebrate, champion, and embrace the extreme winter sport of art making.

Position Overview

The Operations Director is responsible for the administrative operating functions and on-ice logistics of Art Shanty Projects, and is charged with administering all affairs of the organization in cooperation with the Artistic Director and Board. This includes ensuring ongoing programmatic excellence, rigorous program evaluation, and consistent quality of finance and administration, communications, and systems.  

The Operations Director works closely with the Artistic Director to ensure operations and programming are integrated in the support of a vibrant and successful festival. The OD works with Board members to provide support for collaborative projects and ensures everyone has the tools and information necessary. The OD oversees the workflow of the Production Team in collaboration with the Artistic Director and provides monthly reports to the Board. They provide behind-the-scenes work that serves to build a joyous and functioning community on the ice.  

On-Ice Program

  • Hire and and train contracted program personnel in collaboration with Artistic Director and execute contracts as needed
  • Design, select, and source merchandise in coordination with Production Team and Artistic Director
  • Oversees logistics for all aspects of the on-ice program to ensure a smooth running festival
  • Obtains all required permits and insurance for the on-ice event
  • Coordinate evaluation of On-Ice Program for artists, visitors and staff in collaboration with Artistic Director
  • Works outside in potentially extreme winter weather conditions for six consecutive weekends during January and February, approximately 8 hours per day

Ongoing Duties and Responsibilities

Operations and Administration

  • Administration of org email account(s)
  • Contribute to website updates
  • Support development, maintenance, and implementation of organizational policies, procedures, and training
  • Acts as liaison between board and staff
  • Craft written directors reports in collaboration with the Artistic Director in advance of monthly Board meetings to summarize current activity
  • Attend and actively participate in monthly board meetings (4th Tuesdays, occasional workgroup meetings, and annual retreats)
  • Attend weekly directors meetings; co-lead, with Artistic Director, regular staff meetings (seasonal)
  • Oversees the workflow of the Production Team alongside Artistic Director
  • Maintain relationship with Park Board and other partner entities
  • Manages snail mail, as needed (P.O. Box located in NE Minneapolis)
  • Act as accessibility coordinator: update Access Plan annually, respond promptly to any accessibility concerns, ensure ongoing accessibility evaluation and improvement
  • Ensure all decisions made in this role are in alignment with organization’s mission, vision, and values

Finances, Contracts, Development

  • Develop annual budget along with Artistic Director and Finance Workgroup
  • Responsible for cost tracking and adherence to the organization budget
  • Support the Treasurer and bookkeeper by maintaining accurate records and adhering to procedures
  • Execute contracts with selected shanty artists and performers, including collection of appropriate signatures and paperwork prior to pay schedule
  • Maintain grant calendar, manage the writing and editing of grants with support of board and staff
  • Organize, manage, and maintain sponsor relationships and agreements with support from Board and staff
  • Act as an authorized signer for the organization: execute contracts and other agreements, and approve payments for all contracted artists and other personnel
  • Manages membership program data in conjunction with the Production Team


We prioritize transferable skills, whether through life experience, formal and informal education, or other avenues; if you do not have every one of these skills, please still apply.

  • Highly organized with great attention to detail
  • Ability to manage multiple projects, timelines, and overlapping deadlines independently
  • Ability to work collaborative on tasks and projects
  • Enthusiasm about working with and managing people and projects
  • Grant writing, production, and bookkeeping experience appreciated
  • Familiarity with or eagerness to learn Google suite, Quickbooks, Adobe Sign and Acrobat, WordPress, Mailchimp, and Asana

Additional Info

This is a contracted position beginning as early as June 2021 and running through June 2022. Compensation is $30/hour, with an expectation that over the term of the contract the Operations Director will work approximately 600 hours. This position requires varied evening and weekend requirements, as well as the ability to perform duties in winter weather conditions. Send a resume and letter describing your interest in the role in an email to Applications will be accepted on an ongoing basis, and this position will be open until filled.

Art Shanty Projects is deeply committed to social, racial, gender, and economic justice. We strongly encourage people of color, Indigenous folks, LGBTQIA2S+ individuals, and those who are unemployed or underemployed to apply.

PDF copy of Operations Director job description