Diego Rivera Fresco Program Manager

San Francisco Art Institute
 San Francisco, CA

Reports to: Chair, Sculpture/Ceramics Department

Status: Exempt, Part-time (28 hours per week, with comprehensive benefits)

In keeping with SFAI’s commitment to diversity and inclusion, we seek equity-minded candidates who represent the diversity of California.


The Diego Rivera Fresco Program Manager is responsible for coordinating a comprehensive project focused on the school’s monumental 1931 Diego Rivera fresco, The Making of a Fresco Showing the Building of a City. The project includes conservation and environmental improvements; public programs and outreach; research, teaching and scholarship; and preserving, arranging and

digitizing archival collections.

Conservation and Environmental Improvements. Responsible for coordinating conservation of the fresco and related surveys, renovations, environmental controls, and exhibition preparation, including, for example, behind the wall conservation, climate control, and gallery lighting. Also responsible for helping to develop conservation-related programming (see below).

Academic Connections and Scholarship. Working closely with SFAI faculty, the Program Manager will also coordinate initiatives such as a graduate student docent and lecture program, fresco and conservation study at SFAI, and exhibitions and public programs tied to Collaborative Practices courses. In addition, the Program Manager will manage communication with advisors to the project and with project partners at other colleges and universities, including relevant departments—such as Latin American Studies and Art History Departments—at University of San Francisco Francisco, University of California Berkeley, San Francisco State University, Stanford University, Mills College, California College of the Arts, UCLA, Williams College, and Rutgers University, among others.

Public Education Programs and Community Outreach. The Program Manager will raise public awareness of the fresco through a variety of programmatic initiatives, including but not limited to written materials in the Diego Rivera Gallery, gallery talks, community-based events designed to expand the audience for the fresco; exhibitions, including those highlighting materials from SFAI’s Library and Archives; conservation-related programming; and partnerships with and outreach to local schools. The Program Manager will support the development and deepening of relationships between SFAI and a range of institutions and individuals to ensure the incorporation of broad perspectives and inclusive and responsive programming.

Library and Archives. The Program Manager will support Library & Archives staff in the processing and digitizing of materials in SFAI’s Library and Archives that relate to the history of the fresco, Rivera’s other commissions in San Francisco, and his influence on public art in the city. Materials include architectural plans, correspondence, images, and audio and visual records, among others.


1. Works closely with the Vice President and Dean of Academic Affairs, Chair, Sculpture/Ceramics Department and other faculty, Library and Archives staff, and Exhibitions and Public Programs staff to ensure communication and coordination among stakeholders.

2. Acts as liaison to conservators and oversees conservation activities and renovation activities, in close consultation with Vice President and Dean of Academic Affairs, Chair, Sculpture/Ceramics Department, and Facilities and Operations Director.

3. Initiates and maintains relationships with colleges and universities and other relevant organizations and individuals to further the project’s goals.

4. Serves as coordinator for Diego Rivera Fresco Advisory Group.

5. Supports and coordinates with Exhibitions and Public Programs staff and Youth Education staff in building relationships in the community and developing and executing programming around the Diego Rivera fresco.

6. Supports Advancement and Marketing staff on activities relating to the fresco, as needed.

7. Participates in meetings and committees as appropriate. Represents the project at outside events as needed and as appropriate.

8. Other duties as defined in consultation with the leadership team, as they may shift and change in the process.


● Degree in a related field, such as Art History, Art, Art Conservation, Visual Culture, Latino Studies, Geography or Anthropology, among others. Masters preferred.

● Outstanding record of good communication skills and partnership development.

● Thorough commitment to and involvement in the fine arts and art education; demonstrated commitment to social justice in an academic, arts education and/or community-based context.

● Excellent management skills and demonstrated experience, including innovative program development and long-range planning.

● Experience with curricular structure.

● Basic knowledge of archival best practices.

● Basic knowledge of art conservation best practices.

● Appreciation of and familiarity with San Francisco cultural community and mural traditions

and context are a plus.

● Bilingual in Spanish preferred.


The Diego Rivera fresco The Making of a Fresco Showing the Building of a City, was commissioned by the school in 1930—one of Rivera’s first three commissions in the United States. For 90 years, the monumental mural has occupied the north wall of what became known as the Diego Rivera Gallery at SFAI’s 800 Chestnut Street campus. Open to the public free of charge, seven days a week, The Making of a Fresco is an attraction for visitors from around the world. The mural operates on multiple levels. The artist’s intent was to create a work at a visual art school that would “contain, technically, all the possibilities of mural painting,” and at the same time celebrate the draftsmen, metal workers, mechanics, iron forgers, sculptors, masons, architects and engineers who contributing to the building of a city.


The San Francisco Art Institute is dedicated to the intrinsic value of art and its vital role in shaping and enriching society and the individual. As a diverse community of working artists and scholars, SFAI provides its students with a rigorous education in the fine arts, and our exhibitions and programs provide audiences of all backgrounds and ages with direct access to artists and ideas that advance our culture, inspiring critical engagement with contemporary art.

Founded in 1871, San Francisco Art Institute is one of the nation’s oldest and most prestigious schools of higher education in contemporary art. Encompassing some of the most significant art movements of the last century, SFAI has historically embodied a spirit of experimentation, risk-taking and inclusiveness. We boast an illustrious list of faculty and alumni in all areas of artistic focus, and our exhibitions, public education programs and research resources connect us to the broader community. Embracing the world we live in, SFAI especially values diversity, collaboration, and connecting knowledge across disciplines. Throughout our history, we have consistently held fast to a core philosophy of fostering creativity and critical thinking in an open, interdisciplinary environment. By providing students and a broad public with direct access to artists and ideas that advance our culture, SFAI serves a local-to-global arts ecology as a generative hub for exchange and transformation—engaging audiences in radical new ways, as well as integrating our adventurous exhibitions and programs into the fabric of Bay Area life and making them visible and accessible to visitors from around the world. SFAI’s exhibition galleries see more than 30,000 local, national and international visitors each year; of note, the Diego Rivera mural on our historic North Beach campus is a popular stop on tourist itineraries.