Job Opportunity: Programme & Outreach Manager, Backwater Artists Group

Job Description Programme & Outreach Manager, 2021


Established in 1990, by artists for artists, Backwater Artists Group is committed to providing affordable, high-quality and well-managed studios for visual artists to ensure support at key stages of their careers. We provide a stable and supportive working environment for visual artists and access to the supports and skills needed to establish, expand and sustain their studio practice.

Our studio complex is located in Cork City Centre and includes 28 studios, a darkroom, an exhibition/project space, a computer room and a woodwork area. We currently support 67 artists through our studios, our darkroom and our network.

Membership of the network presents artists working outside of the studio group, with the opportunity to connect to a well-established artists community in the heart of Cork city. It presents opportunities for artists to meet each other at social, learning or discursive events and to learn from other invited artists and arts professionals. Visibility, promotion, exhibition and residency opportunities are also on offer, as well as discounted rates for specialist workshops and courses run by BAG.

Through our Studio 12 exhibition/project space, we aim to increase collaboration and engagement with the wider artistic community and the general public through exhibitions and outreach events. Studio 12 currently facilitates 4 x 6 week exhibitions per year. In addition to this, a number of short 1-2 week project based events are programmed.

The Role

Backwater Artists Group is currently seeking a Programme and Outreach Manager with a strong commitment to the arts and visual artists. The successful candidate will liaise with the Studio Director to manage and develop an ambitious Visual Arts Programme, Continued Professional Development Programme, a Residency & Exchange Programme and an Outreach Programme for the organisation.

The Programme & Outreach Manager will plan and co-ordinate events and exhibitions both in-house in our Studio 12 Exhibition/Project Space and external sites across Cork City, nationally and internationally.

They will manage and co-ordinate the Backwater Artists Network, including the network’s programme of activities.

They will engage with the surrounding communities and work closely with partners to plan and execute various community projects.

Closing Date for applications 5pm Friday, 10 December 2021. 

Key Tasks

Artistic programme

  • Scheduling and administrating the artistic programme
  • Preparing submission forms and contracts and managing open calls for artistic programme
  • Organising exhibitions, ensuring that artists’ work is presented in the best possible light
  • Proofread and edit all exhibition literature, exhibition descriptions, artists statements and biographies
  • Managing the invigilation of the Studio 12 exhibition/project space as necessary
  • Receiving delivery of artwork and arranging collection
  • Coordinating the de-installing and installing of exhibitions
  • Maintaining the Studio 12 exhibition/project space
  • Sourcing and liaising with curators when needed
  • Contributing to the writing of funding applications relating to the artistic programme where applicable

Backwater Artists Network

  • Scheduling, coordinating and hosting BAN events including seasonal lunches and artist talks
  • Scheduling and coordinating BAN group crits as well as sourcing and liaising with group crit facilitators
  • Maintain excellent communications with members
  • Growing the membership base
  • Coordinating and curating annual BAN group exhibition
  • Review the success of events and activities to inform future planning through surveying network members.

Community Engagement

  • Connect organisation with the surrounding communities through engagement and networking.
  • Maintain a calendar of outreach events and liaise with external partners to plan and execute community and/or festival projects.

Programmes and Residencies

  • The development and coordination of Backwater’s Outreach Programme.
  • The development and coordination of Backwater’s Residency & Exchange Programme.
  • The development and coordination of Backwater’s Continued Professional Development Programme.
  • The development and coordination of a Visiting Curator Programme.


  • Managing Budgets where applicable
  • The Programme & Communications Manager must have a flexible approach to work and  attend events/exhibitions as required.
  • The Programme & Communications Manager may be asked to attend meetings on behalf of the organisations and to serve on boards as the organisations representative, when needed.
  • All other duties as required

Required Education, Skills and Qualifications

  • At least 2 years’ experience in a similar position.
  • A relevant third level qualification.
  • A knowledge of national and international arts practice is required.
  • A knowledge and understanding of curatorial practice is required.
  • Excellent administrative skills.
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills.
  • The ability to work both independently and as part of a team.
  • Excellent time management skills, with the ability to work to deadlines and prioritise tasks.

Bonus Requirements

Experience in the writing of funding proposals


Salary: €16 – €17 per hour depending on experience.

Hours: 2 days per week (14 Hours).


This post is subject to a satisfactory 3-month probationary month.

Place of work

Backwater Artists Group, Wandesford Quay, Cork

To apply:

Please email your CV and a cover letter explaining your interest in the position to  by 5pm on the 10th December, 2021.


10 December 2021: Submission deadline

13 December 2021: Notification of whether you made the shortlist

17 December 2021: Interviews

21 December 2021: Final Selection

24 January 2021: Start Date  - depending on whether a resignation period is required.

Please note your information will be stored in compliance with GDPR requirements and will only be used to assess your eligibility for the available position.