Director, Marketing and Communications

  • Full Time
  • Chicago
  • March 31, 2023

Website Chicago Humanities Festival


The Chicago Humanities Festival (CHF) presents the most compelling authors, artists, and thinkers of our time, connecting people to the ideas that shape and define us. Insightful, entertaining, and interactive, Festival events are a platform for authors, journalists, scholars, policymakers, and other thought leaders, as well as for artists, actors, musicians, comedians, and cultural figures. Our programs provoke conversations, celebrate creativity, build community and explore the boundaries of contemporary knowledge and culture. CHF values programming that reflects multiple viewpoints and lived experiences, is accessible and inclusive and speaks to diverse audiences. We program across Chicago, bringing people and ideas together in various neighborhoods. CHF seeks to facilitate an engagement with ideas that transcend individual concerns, to enable empathy and connection through shared experiences. We are a hybrid office, working together remotely and in the office; evening and weekend availability is required during festival seasons—more information at


The Director, Marketing and Communications is a key leadership role, serving as Chicago Humanities’ primary brand champion, leading its marketing, communications, and digital strategy to drive audience acquisition and seasonal ticket sales, and audience engagement. Specific responsibilities include: marketing, brand, and communications strategies and platforms; segmented communications strategy; expansive team and partner management; communications (website, print, email, social media, advertising, public relations), onsite and digital branding, videography/photography, audience insights/reporting, and more. Experience leading a high-performing team and using data analytics and audience insights to inform decision making and campaigns are vital, required skills.

Job Responsibilities:

Communications, Content and Brand Strategies

  • Serve as Chicago Humanities’ brand champion, ensuring consistent application of visual identity, brand strategy, and brand voice across all channels and assets—web, social, email, print, on-site, and other platforms
    Create annual communications plans and calendars to support evolving festival and programming schedules and to capitalize on opportune membership and fundraising moments
    Identify strategies to expand and diversify audience and audience engagement moments
    Develop season, series, and special event announcements, communications and media timelines, and campaigns in partnership with programming, public relations, audience experience, and other teams
    Develop marketing/advertising campaigns to drive event ticket sales, including broadcast, print, paid social, and digital media.
    Direct organic and paid social media strategies, supporting creative development to optimize the performance on specific platforms with in-house Social Media Specialist
    Oversee and shape digital content, including video archive, activating archival assets, elevating presenters and partners, and promoting ancillary digital content
    Manage and continually refine comprehensive, segmented email strategies to support attendance and list growth
    Educate and support Board and Staff on appropriate brand voice usage and applications

Digital Platform Management

  • Evaluate CHF website to continually refine site architecture and UX; supervise incremental changes to improve user experience, optimize purchase and donation pathways, and ensure brand consistency, in close cooperation with web development partner
    Maintain portfolio of CHF digital platforms including website, Google Analytics, ticketing CRM, YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, TikTok with the appropriate team support in Marketing, Audience Experience, and IT
    Manage the goals, timelines and budgets, phase and deliverables structure, expectations, and testing of new functionality on website and ticketing platforms to support audience experience, and oversee related internal reporting
    Work with and manage multiple external vendors and partners to achieve complex integration requirements
    Support Digital Marketing Manager’s related work on SEO, Ad Grants, and retargeting campaigns

Strategy, Finance, and Board

  • Help drive the strategic vision for the organization with the senior team and key Board stakeholders, including the consistent application of data-driven decision making in alignment with the Strategic Plan
    Analyze seasonal sales and attendance data, audience research, and other key metrics to support annual/seasonal planning and ongoing programming decisions
    Create, monitor, and forecast annual marketing budget in alignment with organizational objectives
    Devise pricing strategies and seasonal projections to optimize admissions revenue while also meeting access and partnership goals
    Serve as primary lead for seasonal and end-of-year reporting based on metrics set in cooperation with senior leadership
    Co-lead the Board Marketing Committee and manage its meetings, projects, and workflows
    Prepare reports, presentations, and other materials to share analyses with internal and external stakeholders

Team and Relationship Management 

  • Manage, mentor, and support a talented and high-performing team of full-time staff members and full- and part-time contractors
    Serve as marketing contact for bookselling partner and coordinate annual agreements, aspects of book sales and bundles, marketing and communications in close cooperation with programming team and Director of Operations
    Manage media partnerships with local media outlets and media contacts with Publicity Manager
    Develop and manage marketing partnerships with local institutions that align with CHF content and audience objectives
    Manage a number of significant relationships with external vendors and consultants: web developers, videographers, graphic designers, photographers, video producers, strategy consultants, and other professionals
    Provide mentorship and oversight to the Audience Experience Team, especially around ticketing particulars, programming talking points, and audience engagement opportunities


This is a full-time position with a starting salary of $85,000 – $95,000. Benefits include health coverage, dental, vision, 403b (with employer match), life insurance, short and long-term disability, parental leave, commuter spending plan, and accrued time paid time off at the rate of 17 days for this fiscal year. The Festival is also closed for ten observed holidays and allows for one floating religious holiday, in addition to winter break (December 25 through New Year’s Day) as time off.


We work in a hybrid model with two days (at the moment) in the office and other days working remotely. While working remotely, you will have access to a laptop computer and a $25 per pay period ($50/month) stipend to offset home internet and personal phone expenses.

As part of our commitment to providing a healthy and safe workplace, CHF requires employees to provide proof of vaccination against COVID-19 within the first week of employment. If vaccination is not possible, a request for a medical or religious exemption can be made with Human Resources.


The Festival is committed to providing a diverse, equitable, accessible, and inclusive workplace where all employees and volunteers, whatever their gender, race, religion, ethnicity, national origin, age, sexual orientation or identity, education, or disability, feel valued and respected. We are committed to a nondiscriminatory approach and provide equal employment and advancement opportunities in our departments, programs, and policies.  We respect and value diverse life experiences and heritages and ensure that all voices are valued and heard.

Instructions to Apply:

Email your cover letter and resume to by Friday, March 31, 2023.

Please format the subject line: 2023 Director of Marketing and Communications: “[Your Name].”

Candidates who are selected for an interview will be notified via email. No phone calls, please. We look forward to reviewing your materials. Thank you!

To apply for this job please visit

Pay Rate/Range*: $85,000-$95,000