PROGRAM MANAGER, PART-TIME (Residential Programs)

To apply, please send your cover letter and resume to with the position title in the subject line.

Position Summary.

The Program Manager (PM) is the administrative leader of a residential program and is responsible for ensuring that all organizational and program goals are met. The PM maintains communication between program staff, facility staff and Storycatchers’ administrative team. They support the program Artistic Lead in developing training plans for teaching artists in their program, advocate for the program needs and enforce company policies. They have a fiduciary responsibility to keep the program running within budget and collaborates with key staff to create a safe, nurturing and structured environment that allows for optimal youth interest and personal development.

This position requires a decisive leader who thrives in a dynamic, unpredictable environment and sincerely believes that regardless of background or personal history, we should never give up on people.

A successful Program Manager will have a performance background with proven leadership, project management and prior experience managing a team.  Additionally, the program manager needs to demonstrate collaborative skills and be able to be a role model for others, especially in stressful situations. This individual must work successfully with all persons in the organization without regard to ethnicity, religion, age, national origin, physical challenge, sexual orientation, or gender.

This position requires in person and on-site attendance in a secure partner facility.

Job Duties and Expectations.

  • Administrative
    • Execute the program within the budget provided by the Director of Arts Education Programs.
    • Maintain trust and confidence of the facility and program staff.
    • Keep all relevant program staff updated with important company information.
    • Ensure that the program has the resources needed to succeed by managing supplies for program sessions, performances, and special events, including printouts, writing utensils, snacks, equipment, and reception supplies.
    • Perform performance reviews or check-ins of each reporting staff member.
    • Schedule and lead weekly program meetings; manage program calendar.
    • Complete the Daily Activity Report and other reports in a timely, accurate fashion.
    • Ensure that all participant timesheets are accurate and submitted on time.
    • Create and maintain the program calendar.
    • Attend all Manager Meetings, All-Staff Meetings, and Staff Trainings.
    • Proactively assess the quality of program content, its results and effectiveness and communicate needs and opportunities with Storycatchers leadership team.
    • Lead the setup of the program session/rehearsal space.
    • Be prepared to share or write about youth stories for external communications.
    • Be available for and attend all program sessions in-person, on site at Illinois Youth Center – Chicago.
    • Equitably communicate and enforce company policies.
    • Other duties as assigned.
  • Artistic
    • Create and maintain a safe and trauma-informed environment for all program staff and participants.
    • Assist the Artistic Lead in implementing their daily agenda.
    • Assist in managing classroom behavior, mediations, de-escalations and other youth interactions as requested.
    • Be a writing coach for youth as requested by the Artistic Lead.

Essential Skills and Qualifications.

  • Bachelor’s degree
  • Project management experience
  • Experience managing teams
  • Must pass a background check
  • Valid driver’s license
  • Experience managing theatrical productions or events
  • Extensive experience working with youth who have a history of trauma
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office
  • Familiarity with the criminal justice system a plus
  • Ability to work in person

Essential Attributes.

  • Self-starter and team player with a positive mindset toward immediate responsibilities and urgent tasks; ability to balance short-term and long-term responsibilities.
  • Have persistence with a positive attitude.
  • Be willing to respectfully accept and apply feedback.
  • Be innovative and forward thinking about how to move the mission forward.
  • Able to accommodate a flexible, changing schedule.
  • Be level-headed and able to process challenges and/or volatile situations effectively.
  • Be patient, yet decisive.
  • Have “thick skin” and the ability to always see the best in people.

Required Availability and Compensation.

  • Part-time position: average of 12 hours per week. 
  • Schedule and location is based on individual program:
    • Firewriters, IYC- Chicago, 136 N Western Ave: Tuesday/Thursday 3:30-6:30p
    • Temporary Lockdown, Cook County Juvenile Temporary Detention Center, 1100 S Hamilton Ave: Monday/Wednesday/Friday 5-7p
  • Paid hourly, we compensate for program time and assigned off-site prep time including curriculum planning, staff meetings, and required trainings.

About Storycatchers Theatre.

Storycatchers Theatre guides young people to transform their traumatic experiences into powerful musical theatre, developing the courage and vision to become leaders and mentors. By creating support for youth within the criminal justice system, Storycatchers prepares them to change their lives and emerge successfully from court involvement. We dedicate all our resources to meet the complex needs of adolescents and young adults who have become involved in the justice system. We have worked with young people in the Illinois juvenile justice system since 1990, developing and refining a nationally recognized, award-winning, trauma-informed creative youth development methodology. We conduct year-round residential programs in three separate juvenile justice facilities and offer a post-release performing arts jobs program, Changing Voices, to young people navigating reentry to Chicago.

We are a collaborative organization that believes in committing to each other as well as the youth we serve. We implement a uniquely effective arts education model that helps marginalized young people develop the capacity to envision and pursue meaningful futures. We believe in second chances.

Our Core Values.

  1. We commit to each other. We hold strong to our own integrity, beliefs, and actions. We care for each other, acknowledging our traumas and joys, challenges, and celebrations. We show up in the face of adversity; and with our shared trust, inspire others to realize the true measure of bravery in moving forward together.
  2. We commit to our community. We strive to create a place of safety and resource for young people. We do this by connecting with allies who share our values and understand what can be accomplished with a network of support. Through this collaborative vision, we provide young people with the stability that is necessary for meaningful growth. ​
  3. We respect that everyone has a unique story. We see each person’s story as a remarkable gift. We value the diversity of our staff and youth’s unique perspectives and their impact on our collaborative process. This allows us to expand boundaries and create innovative solutions to address challenges that often seem unconquerable.
  4. We believe that youth can be the authors of their own lives. By letting the youth voices guide our work, we develop a common language, build trust, and give them tools to unlock their potential. We affirm their lived experience and use the power of applause, positive reinforcement, and public acknowledgment to create a lasting sense of personal value for our entire  Storycatchers community.
  5. We are innovative. We believe that paired together, creativity and purpose are the keys to tackling  the  complex  challenges  confronting  youth. We explore and play, using our values to test boundaries and discover solutions that transcend traditional ideas and rules. We combine ingenuity and resources in extraordinary ways to develop art and the facility to make real change.