Principal Arts & Culture Planner

Principal Arts & Culture Planner

  • Full Time
  • Boston

Website Metropolitan Area Planning Council

The Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC) seeks a Principal Arts & Culture Planner to develop and supervise planning projects that advance the agency’s priorities in this field: building municipal capacity to work with artists and support the creative and cultural economy, integrating arts and culture into initiatives that promote healthy communities and climate resiliency, and promoting a more welcoming and inclusive region through arts, culture, and heritage. The Principal Planner will also help to evaluate and improve state laws, regulations, policies, and programs in alignment with the priorities identified in MetroCommon2050, the regional land use and policy plan adopted in November 2021.    

The Principal Planner will report to the Director of Arts and Culture, who oversees a six-person team. MAPC’s Arts & Culture Department is one of the first efforts nationwide to advance arts, culture and heritage to build a more sustainable and equitable future through regional planning.  

About MAPC:

MAPC is the Regional Planning Agency (RPA) serving the people who live and work in metropolitan Boston. We promote sustainable development, regional collaboration, equity throughout Metro Boston, and climate mitigation and resilience.  We are guided by our regional plan, MetroCommon2050: Shaping the Region Together. MAPC’s staff includes approximately 100 full-time employees located in downtown Boston in a transit-accessible and bike-friendly office. 

MAPC has a hybrid schedule, combining time in the office with remote work. Employees must reside within a commutable distance from MAPC’s Boston office.   

MAPC strongly supports the professional development of each staff person, believing their growth to be consistent with the best interests of MAPC and the region. We encourage all our staff to develop new ideas to make MAPC’s planning and policy work more relevant and impactful, and to adapt to changing times. 

This is an opportunity to work in a dynamic, interdisciplinary, and innovative environment with professionals who are committed to building a more sustainable and equitable future for everyone who lives and works in Greater Boston. For more information about MAPC or MetroCommon2050, please visit   


Responsibilities (including but not limited to)

  • Collaborate with Director to lead department’s portfolio of work, including:
    • Supervise budgeting, work planning, project management, and evaluation for department projects and initiatives;
    • Manage several of the department’s projects each year, including projects with multiple clients or complex stakeholder dynamics;
    • Provide guidance and mentorship to department staff on project management, cultural planning, engagement, and facilitation;
  • Facilitate experimentation and knowledge sharing among staff on strategies for cultural inclusion, equity and justice in land use planning and community development practice, including inclusive engagement, to address legacies of injustice;
  • Provide guidance to staff in development of workshops and trainings on arts, culture, heritage, and related topics for planners, community developers, community organizers, volunteer boards and committees, and artists;
  • Manage partnerships with state agencies and municipal staff and leaders to improve state and municipal laws, regulations, policies, and programs that can help artists and culture-bearers to thrive;
  • Cultivate relationships with external collaborators whose work is aligned with the mission and values of the department and agency;
  • Guide documentation of department projects, tools, and lessons to be shared on our communications platforms, including the department website and newsletter, and the MAPC Arts & Planning Toolkit;
  • Guide staff in drafting local zoning, permitting procedures, programs, and funding strategies that can advance artistic and cultural expression through the establishment and growth of businesses, institutions, creative workspaces, artist-friendly housing, and public art;
  • Improve the collection and management of arts, culture, and heritage data to incorporate arts and culture assets and outcomes into regional planning and policy making and to increase equitable access and representation in the arts and culture sector; 
  • Integrate arts and culture into other local and regional planning projects, including the agency’s implementation of MetroCommon2050;
  • Expand the visibility and impact of MAPC’s arts and culture planning and creative community development work through attendance and presentations at local, regional, and national, events and conferences; and
  • Conduct other activities as assigned to implement the work plan of the Arts & Culture Department and more broadly, to advance the goals of MetroCommon2050.

Evening events, occasional weekend events, and local travel are a responsibility for this position. MAPC does not require that you have a vehicle; however, you must have a valid driver’s license and/or the ability to arrange transportation to meetings in different parts of the region. MAPC provides support for travel, including a Zipcar account and BlueBikes membership.

Candidates should have a Bachelor’s degree and a minimum of eight (8) years of relevant professional and/or academic experience in any of the following areas: community development, urban planning, public history, humanities, arts administration, or other closely related disciplines; OR a Master’s degree with a major in one of these fields and a minimum of six (6) years of relevant professional experience. Preference will be given to candidates whose interests and background combine arts and culture with another area of expertise related to urban/regional planning or community development. 

Successful candidates for this position will demonstrate all or most of the following:

  • Experience leading professional arts and culture planning projects, such as arts-based community development, cultural planning, economic development, and asset mapping, for clients such as local governments, universities, or arts and culture stakeholders, showing advancement to progressively more complex projects over time;
  • Knowledge of or experience with creative placemaking, public art, and/or social practice art/socially engaged art; including awareness of key challenges and tensions related to representation, gentrification, and displacement;
  • Demonstrated ability to work effectively with community-based groups, communities of color, and artists and arts organizations, as well as other key stakeholders including elected and appointed government officials and staff; 
  • Project management experience, including strong organizational skills and attention to detail, ability to prepare work plans and budgets, ability to manage project timelines, meet deadlines and work within budget limits, and ability to supervise cross-functional project teams to produce relevant project content;
  • Strong verbal and written presentation and communications skills, including the ability to facilitate meetings and articulate planning and policy issues to a wide variety of audiences; 
  • Ability to work collaboratively with colleagues across disciplines and external partners in a range of settings, including diverse urban neighborhoods in cities, suburban centers, and/or small or rural communities;
  • Demonstrated ability to conduct and synthesize research, including working with qualitative or quantitative data, to inform cultural planning, policy development and creative community development practice;
  • Skills in graphic design or web design; experience with software and platforms such as WordPress, Illustrator, Photoshop, InDesign, or social media platforms; and
  • Knowledge of federal, state and local land use or arts and culture policy issues, laws, regulations, and programs.

Per MAPC COVID-19 Vaccine Policy, all employees must be fully vaccinated. This position will require the selected candidate to show proof of full vaccination against COVID-19, including up to date boosters. MAPC will consider reasonable accommodation to those individuals who are unable to be vaccinated consistent with federal, state, and local law.  

Compensation and Benefits: 
The salary ranges from $85,000 – $95,000, depending on qualifications and experience. This is a full-time exempt position. MAPC offers excellent Massachusetts state employee benefits as well as a flexible, supportive, and family-friendly work environment and a commitment to continued professional development. 

How to Apply: 
Apply online at The position is open until filled, and applications are reviewed on a rolling basis. Interested candidates should submit a cover letter and resume. Candidates selected to interview will be asked to submit three (3) references plus a sample of relevant writing or work product. Candidates must have legal authorization to work in the USA and a valid driver’s license and/or the ability to arrange transportation to meetings in different parts of the region. MAPC participates in E-Verify, which is a federal program that helps us to determine work eligibility in the United States.

MAPC is an Equal Opportunity. We believe that a staff with a range of perspectives, experiences, and skillsets strengthens our work. We are committed to building a more equitable workplace that allows staff with diverse backgrounds and identities to thrive, grow, and lead. For more information on MAPC’s culture of equity, see our Equity at MAPC page.

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