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Cheekwood Estate & Gardens

Senior Director of Public Programs

Cheekwood Estate & Gardens


Job Summary

Work for one of the most beautiful places in Nashville! Formerly the family home of Mabel and Leslie Cheek, Cheekwood now serves the public as a botanical garden, arboretum, and museum with period rooms and art galleries. Cheekwood’s mission is to stimulate the mind and nurture the spirit, of not only our visitors but our staff as well. 

We are currently seeking a Senior Director of Public Programs to join our team. The Senior Director of Public Programs designs and implements a broad range of programs intended to reach visitors of all ages and abilities, including children, families, and adults. Cheekwood’s public programs provide unique opportunities for visitors to experience our botanical garden, historic home, and museum of art through activities that enrich, educate, and entertain. Candidate should be creative and highly organized with experience in public program planning and logistics. 

Job Responsibilities

Essential Functions & Responsibilities:

Develops, manages, and oversees all aspects of on-site public programs including, but not limited to: 

  • Seasonal Festivals: Cheekwood in Bloom, Summertime at Cheekwood, Cheekwood Harvest, Holiday Lights
  • Thursday Night Out, including weekly concerts and performing arts events
  • Programs enhancing art exhibitions, botanical garden displays, and historic initiatives 
  • Manages the Director of Music and Public Programs Coordinator and Public Programs Coordinator.
  • Works closely with museum, garden, and other education staff to develop and implement public programs, expanding on annual themes, exhibitions, and horticultural seasons. 
  • Oversees all musical performances on the grounds.
  • Along with the Vice President of Education, plans, oversees, and executes the Great Spring Art Hunt, the Exposition of Excellence: Cheekwood Car Show, and cultural celebrations with a focus on music and performing arts activities, including but not limited to Holi, the Black Arts Bash, Japanese Moon Viewing, and El Dia de los Muertos.
  • Oversees program logistics, planning, and execution, including production, set-up, and tear-down. 
  • Utilizes Altru software to schedule programs and create customer registration. 
  • Seeks out community partners, musicians, speakers, etc. to secure participation in public programs. 
  • Maintains public programs calendar, attendance statistics, and evaluation data. 
  • Provides accurate and timely information for marketing and website information.
  • Responsible for managing budget and meeting expense/revenue goals related to public programs.
  • Directs public program team as needed on weekends and after hours. 
  • Actively researches opportunities for public programs. Prepares cost-benefit analysis for presentation at internal meetings; analyzes the effectiveness and cost-benefit of all programs for annual review; outlines annual goals, schedules, & timelines for all on-site public programs.


Bachelor’s degree in arts administration, education, entertainment industry, or related field

Knowledge, Skills, & Abilities 


  • Seven years of experience in programming at an arts organization, museum, live entertainment, or production company
  • Experience managing high-capacity employees, as well as project-based contractors
  • Self-directed and able to manage multiple projects at once. 
  • Able to work varied hours and weekends.
  • Strategic thinking, collaboration, and leadership 
  • Ability to multi-task while working with accuracy with close attention to detail
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills and comfort with public speaking
  • Dedication to serving a mission-driven organization 


  • Knowledge of the local music community is a plus.
  • Horticultural knowledge is a plus.  
  • First aid training is a plus. 

Additional Information


Cheekwood offers a comprehensive array of valuable benefits to full-time team members to protect health, family and way of life including Health Insurance with an HRA, Dental, Vision, Life Insurance (100% paid by Cheekwood), Long Term Disability Insurance (100% paid by Cheekwood), Voluntary Life Insurance, Short Term Disability Insurance, 403b (with a generous employer match offered), Employee Assistance Program, Paid Time Off and 11 Paid Holidays. Aflac products are also available.

Cheekwood is an equal-opportunity employer.

How to Apply

Please apply at: https://cheekwood.org/about/join-our-team


  • Date Posted: April 3, 2024
  • Type: Full-Time
  • Job Function: Educator
  • Service Area: Arts / Culture