Open Call: Bag Factory Artists’ Studios: is looking for a Programmes Manager to join its team

Closing date for applications: 22 September 2023 at 5 pm SAST

How to Apply

  • Only applications submitted using the online form will be accepted.
  • You will be asked to upload the following documents:
  • Single PDF file no bigger than 1MB: One-page motivation letter & CV, including references (max. 2-3 pages)
  • Copy of your ID or valid South African work permit
  • Incomplete applications or applications submitted via email will not be considered.

Regrettably, due to the high number of applications we receive, we will only be able to respond to those shortlisted for interview. If you have not heard from us within two weeks of the closing date please assume that your application has been unsuccessful.

We reserve the right not to fill this position.

Job Description and Person Specification

Purpose of the job

Working closely with Bag Factory artists, staff and the community, the Programmes Manager is responsible for overseeing the delivery of creative programming and fundraising at the Bag Factory, while also supporting the Director in realising the organisation’s renewed vision for a sustainable future.

The post holder will need to have a flexible approach to work and strong organisational skills with a track record of working closely with visual artists to deliver innovative and inspirational programmes which engage diverse audiences. You will have proven relevant arts project management and administrative experience, preferably gained within a visual arts organisation of equivalent complexity to the Bag Factory. Curatorial experience and knowledge are required to support the delivery of the Bag Factory’s creative programming.

Reports to the Bag Factory Artists' Studios Managing Director.

Programme Development

  • The programme of exhibitions, projects and artists is in place for this year, but we need someone with attention to detail and the ambition to bring it to life
  • You will work with the Director to develop and create exciting, inspiring visual art programmes for this, next year and beyond
  • Work with the Director to identify and apply for programme funding that will support the Bag Factory’s programming aims and objectives
  • Support the Director with researching potential funding sources, developing fundraising strategies and delivering fundraising events for the sustainability of the Bag Factory

Programmes Management

  • Deliver all activities on time, within agreed budgets, and to a high standard
  • Accurately manage and report on associated programme funding (narrative and financial)
  • Undertake duties with an awareness of the need to promote cost-effective and efficient management
  • To prepare written (and in some cases financial) progress reports on the implementation of programmes and their successful execution with the aim of using these to report to the Board and the relevant funders
  • Monitor the application process, selection and participation of artists in the Bag Factory’s various programmes; communicate with applicants and keep a record of applications
  • Provide administrative support to international visiting artists, assisting with travel arrangements, visa applications, developing itineraries and facilitating their residencies while at the Bag Factory
  • Coordinate operations and technical production of exhibitions taking place in the Bag Factory gallery space and off-site


  • Oversee day-to-day operations of the Bag Factory, including communication with artists, contractors, and visitors
  • Serve as “Acting Director” when necessary
  • Ensure all front-of-house areas are presentable and welcoming
  • Liaise with gallery visitors and guests
  • Actively seek to implement the Bag Factory’s Equal opportunities policies, financial procedures and health and safety policies
  • Contribute to and participate in a collaborative working environment, including weekly team discussions and other conversations
  • Support with the design of communication content for social and other media (must have skills in graphic design)
  • Support the operational team with general administration

This Job Description is a guide to the nature of the work required. It is not wholly comprehensive or restrictive. 

Programmes Manager Person Specification


  • BA Hons/MA degree in a contemporary art-related field (Art History, Visual Studies, Curatorial Studies, Museum Studies, Fine Art, etc.);
  • Minimum 3 years experience working for arts and cultural organisations, preferably visual arts, and be capable of working alongside artists and curators;
  • Excellent project planning skills and effective, efficient time management and organisational skills. (To be well organised and methodical, with the ability to manage workload and priorities autonomously)
  • Demonstrable curatorial experience as well as research, writing, editing skills and publishing knowledge;
  • Experience in exhibition conceptualisation, implementation, management and logistics;
  • Demonstrable experience with fundraising and proposal writing;
  • Demonstrable experience managing and reporting on project budgets;
  • Proficiency and experience in appropriate computer packages, i.e. MS Packages, Excel, and Design programs;
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills;
  • Proactive and confident in using initiative;
  • High attention to detail and ability to think creatively;
  • Professional, good interpersonal skills, reliable and works well with a wide range of people;
  • The ability to respond positively to pressure and take a flexible approach to change;
  • Demonstrable presentation skills
  • To have a curious, globally-minded and enthusiastic nature;
  • Critical thinking and decision-making;
  • Proactive, entrepreneurial and hands-on 


  • Experience in managing staff/teams
  • Knowledge of the local and national contemporary visual art landscape
  • Interest in contemporary visual art and curatorial practices, with a strong interest in international artists and debates, particularly outside Western parameters;
  • Has a keen eye and attention to detail.

Terms and conditions

  • 12 Months contract with a commencement date of early October 2023
  • Remuneration: R 20 000.00 per month (cost to company)
  • The role will require full-time commitment (5 days a week, Mon-Fri, 9am-5pm)
  • Probation period: 3 months