Director of Youth Programs / Employment

July 17, 2022

Organization Name: Seattle Arts & Lectures

Organization Location: Seattle, WA

Type: Employment

Fee: free


Organization Overview:

Mission: Seattle Arts & Lectures cultivates transformative experiences through story and language with readers and writers of all generations.

We invite you to join our fun, book-loving, social justice-driven team of 12 to fulfill the mission of SAL as our Director of Youth Programs. Our youth programs include Writers in the Schools (WITS) and the Seattle Youth Poet Laureate (YPL) program. WITS matches local, professional writers with public school classrooms to inspire K-12 students to discover the power of their creative voices as they develop lifelong writing skills. Our YPL program elevates the powerful voices of local youth poets committed to community engagement, education, and equity in our region. These two programs also intersect with our public literary events which bring the most talented and thought-provoking writers of our times to speak about their work and inspire introspection, connection, and conversation in our community.

SAL offers thoughtfully curated experiences through programs that are intergenerational in nature, bolstering both emerging and established literary artists, and inviting change and new perspectives in our audience. We believe these activities are essential to continuously and courageously revitalize equity, justice, and belonging. Our work both internally and externally is guided by our core values: belonging, racial equity, transparency and trust, curiosity, and joy.

SAL values a diverse workforce and an inclusive culture in all areas of our work and culture. SAL is an equal opportunity employer. Individuals from all cultures and communities are warmly encouraged to apply. Strong candidates will bring a diverse set of skills, characteristics, and experiences, both professional and lived. SAL focuses on a holistic view of potential candidates and understanding that no single candidate will offer every desired skill and characteristic. The following offers an aspirational view of the ideal candidate profile, and we encourage applications from candidates with a wide range of experiences and backgrounds.

Position Overview:

The Director of Youth Programs will join a talented cohort of Writers-in-Residence, two Youth Programs staff, and nine other SAL staff members to lead programs that inspire young people all around our region to develop and share their authentic writing voices. The Director of Youth Programs works in collaboration with the WITS Program Manager, WITS Program Coordinator, the Executive Director, and the rest of the SAL team to direct and oversee all aspects of the WITS and YPL programs. This position reports to and works closely with the Executive Director and is part of the Director-level group that collectively leads the organization.


All staff actively participate in SAL’s ongoing efforts to become an anti-racist organization and embody an organizational culture that supports and reinforces our inclusion, diversity, equity, & access goals. Our 2020-24 Strategic Plan and SAL’s Equity Accountability Reports are available on the SAL website under “About.” This commitment and understanding should be demonstrated throughout the performance of the Director of Youth Program’s job responsibilities and staff activities, particularly when in community and school settings.


Organization-wide Staff & Leadership Participation, Fundraising & Public Program Support (20%)

• Execute SAL’s strategic plan and plan for the next phase of activity and growth for our youth programming

• Participate in the leadership team of SAL and organization-wide strategic planning efforts

• Attend monthly board meetings and committee meetings as necessary

• Work with Development team on fundraising and grant applications and reports in support of the WITS & YPL programs

• Work with Public Programs team to curate various elements of public programming that intersects with schools, including writing contests, student readers, and SAL speaker school visits

• Participate in SAL’s public programs and fundraising events; assist in general office duties, all staff gatherings and trainings, and other related functions as necessary

Youth Programs General Oversight, Promotion, & National Participation (20%)

• Manage the WITS Program Manager, WITS Program Coordinator, Writers-in-Residence, and support the WITS Program Manager in supervising and managing WITS apprentices, interns, & volunteers

• Create and manage Youth Programs budget(s)

• Stay abreast of national and local education trends and issues; connect with key individuals at the district level; connect with education staff at peer organizations to share learning and best practices

• Participate in and/or spearhead outreach efforts, including messaging for website, blog, press releases, social media, school and literary communities, and community arts partnerships

• Work with the national Writers in the Schools Alliance (WITSA) in a leadership role, leading the regional cohort of WITS programs and contributing to the national growth of WITS

WITS Program Management (50%)

• Hire, train, and support a diverse, committed, and engaged cohort of Writers-in-Residence with a focus on commitment to anti-racist pedagogy, practice, and leadership, disability justice and educational access

• Maintain a high level of service and integrity for the 25+ sites in the WITS program and recruit new schools/sites to participate in the program; support classroom teachers and assist with the development of learning goals and syllabi for each residency

• Maintain accurate program quality data for 25+ WITS sites; assess efficacy and impact of all programs and sub-programs; work with external evaluation experts to gather and report program data throughout the year

• Work with Program Manager, Program Coordinator, and WITS Writer cohort gather, publish and celebrate student work through an annual publication, student reading, chapbooks and broadsides projects

• Organize & host celebrations such as the WITS Year-End readings, WITS writer meetings, and WITS writer readings

Youth Poet Laureate Program Management (10%)

• Oversee and promote the Seattle Youth Poet Laureate program and support the WITS Program Coordinator in program implementation including organizing public speaking, readings, and media opportunities

• Oversee and support the WITS Program Coordinator and YPL mentors in the development, publication, and promotion of the YPL book of poetry


• A passion for SAL’s mission, values, and programs

• A commitment to racial equity and social justice

• Minimum five years of experience working in education and/or arts administration

• Knowledge of K-12 education, arts education, and creative writing

• Program and people management experience with a people-first approach

• Experience using metrics and data collection to ensure, improve, and communicate our impact

• Interest and ability to work as part of a highly collaborative team in an open-plan office and in a hybrid work environment

• Ability, experience, & knowledge to lead and inspire our writers-in-residence and provide meaningful feedback to support their teaching

• Passionate and effective storyteller for a variety of audiences

• An understanding of public school culture and the ability to effectively and warmly communicate in written and verbal form, as well as in-person with principals, teachers, administrators, parents, and PTSAs

• Diplomacy, a sense of humor, a curious big picture thinker with a keen eye for details

• Outstanding organizational and time management skills; ability to multi-task

• Flexible and improvisational approach to problem-solving

• Experience developing and managing budgets a plus

• Experience with fundraising, grant preparation and/or outreach a plus

• Proficiency with Mac platforms a plus


• Valid driver’s license and automobile (daily driving is required in and around the Seattle area to our partner schools)

• Evening/weekend hours required (typically 3 to 5 times per month, September to June).

• Openness to a dog-friendly work space.

• Note: Seattle Arts & Lectures is a fully vaccinated office and all medically eligible new staff members will be asked to provide proof of vaccination.


This is a 40 hours/week full-time exempt position. Salary range is $75,000 – 82,000 per year (commensurate with experience and qualifications) with a robust benefits package, including:

• Generous paid time off, including 20 vacation days/year starting your second year (15 days in year one), as well as wellness time, 3 personal days, and holidays

• 100% of medical, vision, and dental insurance, long-term disability, and group life insurance covered, including an Employee Assistance Program

• 403(b) retirement plan pre-tax distribution with a 3% gross salary match funded by SAL

• Flex time as appropriate

• Hybrid/remote schedule as appropriate with a laptop and support for some home office equipment

• Support and budget for professional development and growth


• We will begin scheduling phone interviews in late July and begin in-person interviews in early August.

• Finalists will be invited to a second-round of interviews with SAL’s departmental teams, and we will make an offer shortly thereafter.

• Ideally, the selected candidate will begin in early September. The WITS Writer Retreat is currently planned for Thursday, September 15th and attendance at this retreat would be ideal.


• Send a resume and cover letter that tells us why this position is a good fit. Resumes submitted without a cover letter will not be considered.

• Submit applications electronically in one PDF document to The email subject line should be “SAL Director of Youth Programs.”

• Open until filled. For best consideration, please submit no later than 9 p.m. on July 17, 2022.

Contact Information for inquiries related to this position (email preferred):

Liz Keenan
Hiring Coordinator
206.621.2230 x22

Opportunity Website