Program Coordinator, School & Community Performances

Reports to: Program Director, Education & Engagement

The Program Coordinator, School & Community Performances supports the mission of Urban Gateways to engage young people in arts experiences to inspire creativity and impact social change. This position focuses on all aspects of professional performance-based programs, both in and out of school settings. 

The Program Coordinator, School & Community Performances provides support to the Program Department by not only leading this program area but also working collaboratively with different in-school and community-based programs to play an instrumental role in designing dynamic and engaging arts experiences for our participants.


  • Serve as the primary point person for ongoing touring performances, as well as occasional matinee programs and related performance-based special projects;
  • Coordinate all aspects of touring performances and immersion workshops: scheduling programs, handling changes and cancellations, preparing school/partner paperwork and artist schedules, fee negotiation (when necessary), and other related duties;
  • Act as the main contact for the touring artist roster of approximately 35 groups/artists annually;
  • Collaborate across Program Staff to connect performances and instructional programs to innovate in-school program offerings;
  • Works with Senior Program staff to develop and implement new program models or components to deepen student/audience experience with professional performances, workshops, and other program models;
  • Alongside Program Manager, Artist Development, lead artist recruitment and onboarding for new touring artists including supporting program development, as well as the annual agreement process for returning artists
  • Conduct site visits to observe and support artists and their program development, provide regular feedback to artists to support growth;
  • Work with Program Staff on the design and implementation of professional development opportunities for artists (touring and otherwise);
  • In collaboration with Program Staff, design and plan matinee performance programs (off-site field trip opportunities) when applicable;
  • Support efforts from the Communications Department to promote and showcase performance programs, including helping to coordinate performances for events, arranging documentation site visits, and collecting information for the website and print collateral;
  • Work closely with Finance and Adminstration on systems for administrative tasks including contracting and invoicing, scheduling, site follow up, and data entry;
  • Perform other administrative and departmental duties as necessary.


  • 2+ years experience in the arts education or performing arts fields, ideally with a passion for arts programming;
  • Strong organizational skills and attention to detail; 
  • Ability to prioritize and manage numerous tasks and projects while maintaining a positive attitude 
  • Experience performing in schools/educational settings or coordinating outreach performances a plus;
  • Must be a team player while being able to work independently;
  • Demonstrated experience in one or more performing arts disciplines (dance, music, theater) with a working knowledge of the Chicago performing arts scene;
  • Strong interpersonal, oral and written communication skills;
  • Experience and/or ability to work and interact effectively with a diverse, multicultural audience;
  • Bachelor’s degree in the arts and/or education or a related field or equivalent experience;
  • Access to reliable transportation to visit programs throughout the area;
  • Microsoft Office and Google Suite experience; Salesforce and video editing experience a plus.

Additional Information

Salary Information: Salary range in the mid $30s commensurate with experience. Urban Gateways offers paid individual health and dental insurance, and other employee benefits.

The administrative staff is located within our program site in West Town. Please be comfortable with an open office floor plan and sharing space with program participants.

To apply please email Tarah Ortiz Durnbaugh, Program Director at No phone calls, please.

About Urban Gateways

Urban Gateways engages young people in arts experiences to inspire creativity and impact social change. The organization works to overcome social and economic barriers for youth to access Chicago’s artistic and cultural vitality, fostering a more creative and artistically responsive society. Urban Gateways was founded in 1961 to connect youth to the city’s many arts and culture institutions as a vital tool for personal growth and expanded opportunities. Urban Gateways works across the metro area and in nearly every Chicago ward, with concentrated efforts in South and West side communities. In FY19, Urban Gateways joined Enrich Chicago, a collaborative of Chicagoland arts and philanthropic organizations committed to ending racism and systemic oppression in the arts sector. As part of this work, every Urban Gateways staff member is participating in the Understanding Systemic Racism training as a vital strategy for more responsibly engaging youth and communities of color and disrupting the inequitable systems impacting them. The organization’s initiatives reach over 90,000 participants across 250 locations annually.