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Local Festival Manager

Jackson, MS



About us

The National Folk Festival is coming to Jackson in 2025, continuing a 90-year tradition of celebrating the roots, richness, and variety of American culture through music, dance, traditional craft, and food. The National Folk Festival will feature more than 30 performing groups on five to seven stages with continuous music and dance performances, as well as children's activities, a folk arts marketplace, regional and culturally diverse foods, and more. The FREE, three-day festival is expected to draw visitors from across the nation.

About the Role

The National Folk Festival is seeking a seasoned candidate to serve as our Local Festival Manager—a complex and exciting 40-hour-a-week (up to 3 ½ years) role that requires significant experience in management, large-event planning, fundraising, and marketing. Also crucial is a belief in this endeavor and a desire to be an integral part of the effort to establish this community-building event in Jackson.

At the highest level, the Local Festival Manager will work closely with the City of Jackson and the festival producer, the National Council for the Traditional Arts (NCTA), to ensure that the National Folk Festival’s residency in Jackson is highly successful. This is a regular, 40-hour-a-week role, with long days and nights required leading up to and during the festival.

Title: Local Festival Manager
Classification: National Folk Festival (Contractual)
Compensation Range: $50,000 – $55,000
Location: Jackson, Mississippi


Specific Duties and Responsibilities

  • Prepare for and facilitate Executive Committee meetings and coordinate other committee meetings

  • Serve as primary liaison and point of contact with the NCTA

  • As needed, represent the festival both at speaking engagements and with the press

  • Ensure local participation in and support of the festival through targeted community outreach

  • Contract services in consultation with the NCTA and the City of Jackson

  • Organize and participate in planning meetings with the NCTA, the City, and other local partners

  • Work with the NCTA to implement plans for event and site services, as well as support systems for the festival

  • Assist in coordinating the fundraising effort for the festival

  • Work with NCTA, the City, and the Executive Committee to develop fundraising materials

  • Manage corporate sponsor relationships on a day-to-day basis as assigned

  • Write grant proposals and administer grants/reports as needed

  • Manage annual festival budget, track expenses and revenue, and provide regular updates to NCTA and Executive Committee before and after the festival

  • Supervise the execution of a marketing plan with the NCTA, the City, the marketing committee, and graphic/web designers to include TV, radio, print, and social media opportunities, as well as an on-site public audience survey during the festival

  • Help to develop the official program and site guide, fundraising materials, advertising materials, etc.

  • Work with local media for pre-event and on-site publicity and coordinate press conferences and interviews before and during the festival

  • Work with the Executive Committee to recruit a Volunteer Coordinator, other area coordinators (Marketplace, Food Vendor, Family Area, Merchandise, etc.), and other committee members as needed

  • Supervise the Festival Coordinator and other support staff as needed.

  • Supervise seasonal staff; oversee committees and volunteers

  • Work with NCTA staff to maintain communication with festival host hotel

  • Serve as point of contact with local schools to arrange school outreach, as appropriate

  • Coordinate an American Sign Language interpretation plan, schedule, and other accessibility plans as desired

  • Operate in a manner consistent with maintaining 501(c)(3) status

  • Other duties, as assigned

Required Education and Experience

  • Personal qualities of integrity, honor, credibility, and dedication to the festival’s mission

  • Bachelor’s degree or higher or equivalent work experience

  • Five or more years of professional experience in festival management or event planning or experience in an equivalent field

  • In-depth experience in marketing and fundraising

  • Successful applicant will be detail-oriented, have excellent communication skills, and be able to multitask, delegate, meet tight deadlines, and problem-solve in a fast-paced environment

  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office Suite

  • Ability to effectively manage relationships and communication while working with multiple partners and stakeholders

  • Valid State of Mississippi Driver’s License.

  • Must live within a 50-mile radius of Downtown Jackson 

Physical Requirements

  • Work requires no unusual demand for physical effort.

  • Work environment involves everyday risks or discomforts that require normal safety precautions typical of such places as offices or meeting and training rooms, e.g., use of safe work-place practices with office equipment, avoidance of trips and falls, and observance of fire and building safety regulations.


The above job description is not intended as, nor should it be construed as, exhaustive of all responsibilities, skills, efforts, or working conditions associated with this job.

Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable qualified individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions of this job.

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