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Programmer (Art-Making and Digital)

  • Organisation:Royal Academy of Arts
  • Location:London, England
  • Salary:£28,000 per annum
  • Contract type:Fixed Term Contract / Full Time

The RA is looking for a new creative Programmer with a passion for the visual arts to join the Public Programmes team. This role will focus on two main strands of the programme for adult audiences: art-making onsite and online courses and our digital programme of events. We are committed to diversity and inclusion at work and welcome applications from people of all backgrounds.

About us
The Royal Academy of Arts is one of the UK’s foremost arts institutions and our vision is to be a clear, strong voice for art and artists. We share a deep commitment to art and a strong belief in the contribution that artists make to the world. We offer a world class exhibition programme, a free Collections display, a public programme of talks, events and courses, workshops and learning for families and young people, and a post-graduate art school.

About this role

The Public Programme aims to inspire and engage adult public audiences through a stimulating programme of courses, classes, in-conversations, talks, discussions and performances that engage with RA exhibitions and Collections, as well as arts and culture more broadly. The programme takes place onsite, in the Clore Learning Centre, the 250-seat Benjamin West Lecture Theatre and other spaces, as well as online, whether through livestreaming of onsite events or virtual courses, talks and discussions.

In this role you will be responsible for programming two key areas of the programme: the art-making onsite courses and classes and the new online programme of art-making courses – both aimed at adult audiences. You will also contribute to the online events programme of talks, In Conversations and discussions. This is an exciting opportunity to be involved in a creative public programme, working with contemporary artists, creators and teachers.

We are currently delivering an ambitious digital project as part of the Bloomberg Digital Accelerator Programme. Part of our Bloomberg funded project is focused on meeting audiences where they are in digital spaces through online events. That means delivering high quality and great online events and reaching the most people possible. Part of this role will be to help deliver this ambitious and exciting programme.

The Public Programme is positioned within the Collections & Learning Department and you will be joining a creative and hard-working team, with a culture of shared, celebrated success and a passion for engaging a wide range of audiences in learning and discussing about art. The role also involves collaborative working with teams across the RA, including exhibitions, collections, digital, marketing, events and AV.

About You

You will have experience of programming art-making courses and an understanding of planning and delivering online events. You will have knowledge of event organisation and coordination in an arts or cultural organisation. You will be organised, hard-working and self-motivated with the ability to prioritise effectively and an attention to detail. You will have excellent communication skills that enable you to build effective working relationships both with internal colleagues and visiting tutors and participants. This role combines creative programming and research, event delivery and administrative duties.

You will be confident with working with different computer packages, in particular PowerPoint and Excel, and online meeting platforms such as Zoom and MS Teams. A flexible approach to work is also essential and you must be available to work occasional evenings and weekends.

You will also have a genuine interest in learning about and exploring different themes and ideas within the visual arts, and a commitment to inviting diverse voices to contribute to the adult learning public programme.

Why join us? 

You will be joining a team who are passionate about what they do, where they work and really care about the success of the people and the organisation. We also offer a variety of benefits (some pretty unique to us!)

  • Agile Working approach, with up to two days working offsite
  • Enhanced Pension Scheme (employer contributions of up to 10% of your salary)
  • Access to all our Exhibitions, in addition to Exhibitions with our reciprocal partners (other cultural institutions across the country)
  • Access to Staff Events held at the RA
  • Enhanced Holiday (25 days, plus an extended Christmas break)
  • Employee Assistance Programme
  • Give as You Earn Scheme to donate to a Charity of your choice
  • Cycle to Work Scheme
  • Discount in our Cafés and Shops
  • Employee Council, where your views can be shared and listened to
  • Employee Choir, Life Drawing Classes and a variety of Employee Clubs, run by employees for employees, from football to crafts.

How to Apply

To apply for this position, candidates must complete the Application Form. For further information about this role, and to find our application form, visit our website at:  

Due to volume of applications if you have not heard anything within 10 days after advert closure, please assume that your application has been unsuccessful on this occasion.

Closing date for applications:        11am Monday 10 October

Interviews likely to be held:              w/c 17 October



Work within the Public Programmes team to provide an innovative and exciting programme of onsite and online art-making courses and classes and online events for adult audiences.


Planning and Delivery

1) To programme and implement the onsite and online practical art courses and classes and contribute to the online events programme at the Royal Academy. Working with the Public Programmes Manager and Head of Public Programmes you will:

  • Contribute high quality research and ideas to identify topics, tutors and speakers relevant for future programming and events with the Public Programmes Team and in line with RA’s wider mission and objectives.
  • Work closely with practical art tutors to develop the courses and new ideas, many of whom are professional artists, sourcing new tutors and first-class teaching staff.

2) Ensure the smooth planning and delivery of the onsite and online courses programme and online events with the support of the Public Programmes Coordinator and Assistant, including:

  • Oversee the planning and preparation for venue set-up; Priava bookings and event sheets, liaising with digital and audio-visual teams and Front of house teams where relevant; making all event associated arrangements; preparing event paperwork
  • Provide a high standard of customer service and a rewarding and enjoyable participant experience for both onsite and online events, with effective event management and participant welcome and support throughout.
  • Pre- and post-course communications with course participants and tutors, ensuring that all participants receive the relevant information ahead of each course and providing a direct contact for all participants at all times. Fielding enquiries and providing further information and recommendations for specific courses (particularly art-making and online courses),
  • Collect participant and tutor/lecturer feedback on practical courses. Contribute to data input, management and analysis of this data and provide regular summary feedback reports and presentation of findings to Public Programmes team.
  • Monitoring of practical materials; oversee update of stock records; ordering of necessary art and other materials, supplies and equipment and efficient management of storage
  • Work with a range of colleagues across the RA to ensure the smooth running of the programme: communicating, informing and updating colleagues on relevant programme activities

3) Line-management duties with weekly individual meetings and regular performance reviews as required by the RA.

4) Control and plan the budget for your events, working closely with Public Programmes Manager and the Finance Department to monitor and conform to budgetary requirements.

5) To support the wider Public Programmes team on other events and courses where appropriate

6) You must be willing to work regular weekends, extended weeks and evenings as and when required

Marketing and promotion

  • Enable the marketing and promotion of the programme including drafting promotional copy and sourcing images, managing website and print contributions, working with the Learning Editor and Producer, Digital, Marketing, Ticketing and Press teams where required.
  • Identify potential new audiences and opportunities to promote all events, including through social media opportunities.
  • Proofread text for all marking materials and other publications, check for accuracy and source, as required and in a timely manner.
  • Collect important data on market and competitors, provide regular updates and analytical reports summarising the market and its trends

Other Duties

  • Prepare reports for Managers, Learning Department, Executive and RA Committees when requested.
  • Represent the team at specific meetings as requested by the Public Programmes Manager and Head of Public Programmes and help keep minutes of internal and external meetings where needed
  • Ensure that Health and Safety policies, procedures and regulations are known, understood and complied with
  • Undertake any other duty which may be reasonably allocated by the Head of Public Programmes and the Public Programmes Manager




  • Demonstratable experience of arts programming
  • Experience of programming art-making courses for adult audiences
  • Experience of online courses or events delivery and good knowledge of online meeting platforms
  • Understanding of art-making practices and art materials
  • Experience of event organisation in an arts or cultural organisation, ideally for a public audience
  • Proven experience of working within set budgets and meeting income targets
  • Strong project management and organisational skills; accurate with meticulous attention to detail
  • An excellent organiser with a calm, methodical and proactive approach to coordinate a public learning programme
  • Ability to work at speed and manage multiple tasks, deadlines and changing priorities
  • A friendly attitude – warm, welcoming and engaging to colleagues, tutors and participants
  • Good administration skills with great attention to detail and a good working knowledge of MS Excel, Word, Outlook and PowerPoint.  Able to learn fundamental functions of systems and software with ease
  • Able to pre-empt problems, find solutions, plan in advance and ability to respond quickly to challenges
  • A demonstrable interest in art-making, sharing knowledge and adult learning
  • A genuine interest in and knowledge of the visual arts
  • A commitment to diversity & inclusion and inviting diverse voices to contribute to the adult learning public programme
  • Must be available to work occasional evenings and weekends

Application Closing Date: Monday 10 October 2022

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