Fireside conversations at Allotment Soup, photo Maddi Nicholson


Art Gene Projects and Communication Manager


One-year, full-time fixed-term contract with the possibility of extension for a further 3 years (subject to funding)

Based at Art Gene, Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria

Closing 10am Monday, 31 January 2022



Job Description

Art Gene is seeking a Projects and Communication Manager, to join our small, friendly, and award-winning team. Art Gene is an arts charity, and Arts Council England National Portfolio organisation, with a strong focus on working alongside the communities of Barrow and Furness in a participative way.

The role is central to Art Gene’s approach to delivering and developing visionary arts projects that engage people in their social, natural and built environment – projects that are ethical, sustainable and address issues linked to well-being, local history, the environment and climate change.

The successful candidate will work closely with an Artist Founder-Director and will manage a suite of art and engagement projects, studio, gallery and landscape based, which seek to uncover and develop aspiration for social change at a grass-roots level. Demonstrating creativity alongside proven administrative and communication skills, the post-holder will play a critical role in supporting Art Gene’s core programme, as well as ensuring projects delivered in partnership with a range of organisations and funders happen on time and on budget.

This one-year, full-time, fixed-term contract, will be undertaken by an individual who:

  • brings experience of designing, planning, managing, publicising, and delivering arts projects and engagement activity;
  • is an organised self-starter with a strong track record in managing administrative systems;
  • has demonstrable experience of engaging communities both in person and online, in particular producing interesting visual content using Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and WordPress;
  • is enthusiastic about Art Gene’s practice, and equally comfortable working in an office, or studio/gallery space, as outdoors in the landscape.

The Projects and Communication Manager role will be supported by a team led by Art Gene’s artist co-founder directors and including our core administrative and support staff. They will work with the Low Carbon Barrow Engagement and Grants leads, the Futures Business Development Associate, and with our wider creative teams which include freelance associate artists, designers, architects, ecologists and other specialists. The role will be further supported by our local trustees and supporters who have extensive knowledge of the area – the urban landscape, local heritage and the communities who live across Furness – from many different perspectives.

The postholder will work, in part, outdoors, around Barrow and Furness, with schools, , volunteers, community groups and the public, as projects require, supporting artists and colleagues, and also from Art Gene’s ‘Allotment Soup’ Isle of Walney Community Growing Space, as well as in Art Gene’s HQ (the Nan Tait Centre) in Barrow, where there is dedicated office, meeting and gallery space.

The project development and delivery, including events and working with the community, may be outside the nine-to-five culture, including on weekends and evenings. Driving, flexibility, responsiveness and an ability to manage one’s own workload are key to the successful performance of the Projects and Communication Manager. Bespoke training will be provided by Art Gene or by partners as needed.


Role description

  • Work in collaboration with Art Gene artist founders, on all aspects of programme development and delivery, within the Art Gene Building, on the community growing space, or out on site around Barrow and Furness.
  • Work with and support the Art Gene core staff, visiting artists and other associates, to develop agreed projects fully and deliver as required. These might be as varied as artists exhibitions, schools’ workshops, conferences, online events, or community growing with volunteers – a practical, hands-on, adaptable approach will be essential.
  • Attend all planning and delivery meetings as required. Act as a representative for Art Gene and its work.
  • Manage materials and production budgets in collaboration with the Artist founders and administrative staff.
  • Manage volunteers’ contribution to the Isle of Walney Growing Space as required.
  • Proactively manage the website, writing copy on each project as it develops, and on completion.
  • Design (with the artist founders) promotional materials such as flyers (using Adobe Illustrator) and our regular Newsletter (using iConnect); manage printing and distribution.
  • Photograph and/or film each project element, for use on the website, in press releases or funding reports.
  • Produce written copy for press releases and contact the press to ensure coverage for Art Gene’s work.
  • Use the Company’s Facebook, Twitter and Instagram social media accounts, and develop the use of YouTube and Tik Tok, to promote and grow Art Gene’s online audiences.
  • Lead on the collection of data as required for the funders of each project, and to inform future projects.
  • Manage the Company’s GDPR compliance.
  • Manage and deliver the Company’s regular reporting requirements for Arts Council England, including Audience Finder and Julies Bicycle.
  • Produce project evaluation reports, as required, to support individual funders’ reporting needs.
  • Work as part of the team to develop future programme strands, and support future funding applications, including researching suppliers’ quotes.
  • Work within the Company’s health and safety policy. Write a risk assessment for each event, and ensure the health and safety of staff, volunteers and audience is planned and always considered.
  • Undertake general administration linked to core company activities. Undertake any other tasks as required to support the development, delivery, and evaluation of Art Gene projects.


Person specification


  • Education to degree level, or with significant demonstrable experience in the workplace.

Skills and Abilities

  • A self-starter with the ability to initiate, plan, and implement their own workload
  • A friendly, down to earth individual with a can-do attitude, a sense of humour, with good inter-personal and communication skills
  • Able to work in a hands-on manner, flexibly and responsively, to meet the demands of the role and the challenges offered by the pandemic
  • An ability to communicate to different sectors: communities, local government, artists, funding partners and other stakeholders
  • Able to represent Art Gene and funding partners in a professional manner.


  • Initiating, managing and leading projects
  • Managing budgets and risk
  • Planning and writing visually appealing newsletters, web pages and social media posts
  • Collecting and managing data and writing evaluative reports
  • Working successfully in both community and professional contexts, ideally with some experience of working with volunteers
  • Working in the visual arts, design or architecture, or an interest in extending into this area.


  • Project planning and project management tools
  • Social media, email marketing and promotional tools and techniques
  • Engagement methodologies and understanding of current thinking around ‘engaged practice’
  • Budget management
  • Report writing
  • IT systems, preferably Apple Mac, including preparing presentations and using spreadsheets. Knowledge of Illustrator is desirable.
  • Data handling and GDPR compliance, including handling sensitive data, or willingness to learn.
  • Understanding of Arts Council England reporting, or willingness to learn.


  • CRB Checked, Enhanced disclosure (can be applied for after the role is offered)
  • Full driving licence and own vehicle
  • Able to work evenings and weekends as required by the demands of programme.


How to apply

Supply a full C.V. and a letter of application stating how your knowledge and experience, your skills and abilities will bring added value to Art Gene’s team and the Projects and Communication Manager role as specified in this job description by 10am Monday, 31 January 2022.

Please submit applications by email to:

or by post to: Art Gene, Bath Street, Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria, LA14 5TY to arrive no later than the deadline.

Shortlisted applicants will be and invited for interview on Zoom within two weeks of the deadline. Please inform us of any access requirements.





Further Reading