Design Studio Manager

Minneapolis, MN

The Walker Art Center empowers people to experience the transformative possibilities of the art and ideas of our time and to imagine the world in new ways. In our over 125-year history, we have become one of the most celebrated art museums in the country and we are known for our innovative presentations and acclaimed collections of contemporary art across the spectrum of the visual, performing, and media arts.

The Design Studio Manager oversees, supports, and manages the delivery of Walker design and creative projects for the Content and Communications division. This position maintains expert knowledge of all of the elements of the design process from end to end and is the relationship manager between the design studio team and various Walker teams/departments. 

What you get to do 

Oversees the organizational systems and manages all traffic related to design studio projects; design and creative production needs and vendor communications; and inter-departmental communication and information sharing

  • Proactively liaise with internal departments on all project development to ensure clear communication around expectations and timelines.
  • Communicates editorial and production schedules to departmental and institutional partners to ensure expectations and departmental deadlines are met.
  • Proactively partner with internal and external stakeholders to adjust schedules and expectations that will ensure the timely completion of all tasks while maintaining manageable internal workloads.
  • Assist in the coordination of various design curatorial initiatives, media/video production, publishing projects, online projects, catalogues, and special projects
  • Develop and maintain relationships with production vendors, manage all pertinent information, secure competitive bids within established budgets, and when necessary obtain CFO approval to adjust budgets, and manage all payment and reconciliation for work performed.
  • Work with the Head of Content and Communications, Design Director, and Human Resources to plan and facilitate the Design Fellowship recruitment process.
  • Serve as primary point person to respond to external inquiries about the design department and coordinate studio visits and tours. 

Ensures timely delivery of solutions, the Design Studio Manager has a birds-eye view of everything flowing through the studio and functions as the point of contact for all logistical information related to ongoing design projects. This role frequently checks in on progress with individual members of the studio and also acts as a constant liaison with other departments. 

  • Receive design and editorial requests, and manage request logistics to completion while working collaboratively with internal partners to ensure alignment of scope
  • Utilize automated tracking system (Airtable) to schedule production details for all studio projects including marketing-related print and digital campaigns; exhibition-related graphics and didactics; educational initiatives; onsite production needs; marketing campaigns; etc.
  • Assist Managing Content Producer with project budgets; including monitoring project budgets, and providing requested estimates and schedules to ensure projects remain on budget and schedule.
  • Schedule regular and timely Content and Comms meetings as well as meetings with Design Studio staff and the Design Director.
  • Work with leadership to assign projects within the studio
  • Draft and maintain departmental contracts as assigned
  • Oversee project files and records; assist designers in the project archiving process, and retrieve and search for digital files from archives.
  • Maintain studio supplies and maintain equipment. 

Other duties may be assigned and/or the essential functions of the position may change or be changed.


  • 1-3 years prior studio/office manager experience; project management certification or similar experience required
  • Proficiency in using digital scheduling tools such as Airtable or required
  • Demonstrated ability to work with advanced knowledge of Excel spreadsheets, Microsoft Word, and other Office software required
  • Self-guided with excellent time management skills; proven ability to manage multiple projects simultaneously required
  • Detail oriented and highly organized.
  • Ability to problem-solve in a quick and resourceful manner
  • Must possess exceptional interpersonal and communications skills; Demonstrated ability to communicate effectively and work with a wide range of personalities and people across a variety of cultures, generations, and abilities
  • Experience working with the Macintosh computer platform desired
  • Experience with print production and printing practices desired
  • Familiarity with Adobe Creative Suite software (InDesign, Acrobat, Photoshop, Illustrator, Bridge) desired


  • Prolonged periods of sitting at a desk 
  • Ability to occasionally lift 10-25 pounds

Job Specifications 

  • This position is considered full-time, exempt. As an exempt position, it is not eligible for overtime pay. The minimum compensation for this role is $50,000 annually. The Walker offers a wide range of benefits for both part-time and full-time employees. 
  • This position is covered by the American Federation of State, County & Municipal Employees (AFSCME) labor contract.
  • This position is/is not eligible for relocation assistance.
  • All applicants must be eligible to work in the United States without the need for employer sponsorship.
  • The Walker Art Center’s COVID vaccination policy requires staff to be fully vaccinated or to supply a negative test every 6 days. We will consider requests for reasonable accommodations based on disability or sincerely-held religious beliefs.
  • The Walker is committed to being an employer with a staff who, at all job levels, reflects the rich diversity of the communities and audiences we serve. We are dedicated to ensuring inclusion and equity in all our employment practices. We deeply value and welcome all the unique lived experiences in our applicants and encourage anyone meeting the minimum requirements to apply.
  • All positions are open until filled.