Artists at Risk Connection (ARC) Regional Representative for Africa (Consultancy)

PEN America
  • Location
    Lagos, Nigeria
  • Sector
    Non Profit
  • Experience
    Mid Career
  • Posted
    Sep 05

Position description

PEN America, a nonprofit organization working at the intersection of literature and human rights, seeks a talented, energetic, and highly organized regional representative in Africa for its Artists at Risk Connection (ARC) program. The regional representative will lend critical regional expertise to the ARC team and develop an active hub in the region, deepen existing regional partnerships and build new ones, and assist in cases of at-risk artists where needed. The ideal candidate will have strong independent project management skills, experience in coalition or network building, and be eager to take on new projects and tackle challenges. This is a remote consultant position based in the region.

At PEN America, ARC safeguards the right to artistic freedom of expression around the world and works to ensure that artists of all disciplines everywhere can live and work without fear. With a global network of 800 organizations providing crucial resources for artists and cultural practitioners at risk, ARC plays the critical role of liaising between threatened artists and the organizations that support them. Since its inception, ARC has assisted more than 500 artists from over 63 countries in receiving direct support, including fellowships and residencies, emergency funding, legal assistance, and advocacy, among other forms of assistance, from partner organizations. ARC also manages the Amani: Africa Creative Defence Network, which brings together organizations from across Africa and the globe, helping to streamline communication, share expertise and insights, pool resources, monitor threats to artistic freedom and creative professionals, and coordinate more effective responses when assisting artists at risk from the region.

The successful candidate will expand ARC’s regional network in Africa, establishing new partners that are diverse, representative, and responsive in the region and deepening our collaboration with existing partners at the local, regional, and international level. The regional representative will also coordinate the Amani network; provide localized expertise to the ARC team and lead local and regional outreach and capacity-building initiatives; engage with regional bodies as needed to push forward ARC’s advocacy goals; support urgent assistance efforts by the ARC team; and increase awareness for ARC within the region while also promoting regional and local opportunities to ARC’s wider network. The regional representative will work closely with the team’s other regional representatives in Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East, as well as the wider ARC team. This position will report to the Senior Manager, International Programs.

This is a consultant role that would be suitable for an individual who is already quite active in their own artistic or human rights community, has a foothold in the arts and cultural sector and/or human rights sector within the region, is interested in developing their own regional network, and is excited about the idea of shaping and initiating a diverse range of important international projects and collaborations. The position requires a minimum one-year commitment.


  • Coordinate the Amani: Africa Creative Defence Network, including organizing and facilitating meetings, ensuring partner engagement, overseeing profile-raising activities, assisting with relevant case work, and expanding the network

  • Plan and execute a second regional workshop that brings together artists, activists, cultural practitioners, lawyers, and others from the region to discuss and strategize around the issue of artistic freedom within the region

  • Strengthen existing support for at-risk artists by connecting ARC and artists at risk to local and regional human right organizations and members of the arts community

  • Support ARC’s referral work locally and regionally by connecting artists in need with local and regional organizations that can support them

  • Identify new resources for artists at risk and initiate coordination and information sharing between organizations that support artists at risk in the region

  • Serve as a resource for the local cultural community by sharing information, advice, and networks that can help persecuted artists access regional resources

  • Conduct region-specific artist and organization safety trainings and develop other capacity-building initiatives, including new specialized trainings and region-specific tip sheets 

  • Provide local and regional expertise to the ARC team, and to ARC and PEN America’s protection teams as needed

  • Help to expand ARC’s presence in Africa through public programming and targeted outreach, among other strategies

  • Support ARC’s outreach and communications efforts relevant to the region

  • Prepare press releases and updates for grant reports pertaining to ARC’s work in the region

  • Represent ARC and PEN America in meetings, panels, and advocacy as needed

  • Provide other assistance to the ARC team as needed


Salary: Compensation for positions outside of the United States vary based on location.


  • At least five years of active experience in the arts and culture and/or human rights field in Africa, preferably with experience in the artistic freedom field

  • A diverse and established network in the human rights and arts fields in Africa

  • Experienced or interested in building collaborations and connections within the countries on the African continent, as well as globally

  • Relevant experience in creating collaborative opportunities

  • Professional level of English, enabling clear and descriptive communication with ARC team by email and in-person discussion

  • Fluency in French, Swahili, or Arabic preferred

  • Strong facility with interpersonal communication and relationship building

  • Track record for independent project management, problem-solving, critical thinking, innovation, creativity, and effectiveness

  • Excellent written and oral communication skills, especially when communicating across different cultures

  • Outstanding organization skills and superb attention to detail

  • Demonstrated analytical skills and report writing experience a plus

  • Experience in outreach and communications or project management a plus

Application instructions

Please submit a cover letter, resume, and unedited writing sample to [email protected]. Use “ARC Africa Regional Representative” and your name as the subject of your email (for example, “ARC Africa Regional Representative  – Jane Doe”). Please also share where you heard about this position in the body of your email. Only complete applications will be reviewed and only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.

PEN America is an equal opportunity employer that does not discriminate in its hiring practices, and in order to build the strongest possible workforce, actively seeks a diverse applicant pool.

No phone calls, please