Executive Director at Coyote Central / Employment

August 31, 2023

Organization Name: Coyote Central

Organization Location: Seattle, WA

Type: Employment

Fee: Free


Since 1986, Coyote Central has worked to spark creativity in young people, putting tools in their hands to build skills and forge their own futures. As Coyote Central enters its next phase of growth, we are excited to be seeking nominations and applications for our next Executive Director to help lead us through a new season of growth, exploration, and opportunity!

The Executive Director will foster and implement an equity-centered strategic direction for the next phase of Coyote Central’s work, leading efforts to strengthen our alignment to our values, streamline our internal processes, support our amazing programs and staff, and discern how Coyote Central’s programming model may continue to adapt and grow in its next iteration. Reporting directly to the Board of Directors, the Executive Director will lead and collaborate with a dynamic team of staff and teaching artists, strengthening relationships and centering joy with our young people and broader community. For instructions on how to apply, please see details at the end of this posting.

Coyote Central reflects the characteristics of its namesake animal: curiosity, tenacity, resourcefulness, and a love of the unexplored. Our vision is an equitable world powered by curiosity, creativity, and collaboration. Our aspirational values include:

– Youth in the Driver’s Seat
– Fearless Exploration
– Realizing Potential
– Experts and Beginners Side by Side
– Magnetic Connections
– Having Fun

Fueled by the initial vision of our co-founders, Coyote Central has grown from a network of home-based courses serving 13 young people to a robust community-centered arts nonprofit, with nearly 50 teaching artists providing programming to over 1,500 students per year. We provide an incredible variety of courses, driven largely by the interests of our students. On any given day this summer, you can stop by Coyote Central and see young people practicing and learning Welding, Bike Repair, Photography, Acting, Creative Writing, Ceramics and so much more. The heart of Coyote Central is in our connection to one another, and particularly the amazing young people who are at the center of those connections.

After more than a decade of significant growth, Coyote Central purchased our second campus in Lake City, just as the COVID-19 pandemic shifted us to virtual programming. This growth challenge and the global pandemic also coincided with the planned retirement of our co-founder, as well as our long-time Executive Director. Recently, Coyote Central made the difficult decision to hibernate our North campus while we discern our next steps and potential staffing model for expansion.

Following a period of interim leadership, transition, self-reflection, and stabilization, Coyote Central’s board and staff have begun to set a vision for the future. Despite the challenges of this time of transition, we have returned to in-person classes, our public art mural projects have resumed, and demand for our classes is exceptionally strong.

Building on this momentum, the new Executive Director will have an opportunity to partner with us to:
– Clarify and implement our core values and commitment to anti-racism and equity;
– Design and implement an equity-centered strategic plan and approach to expansion for the next phase of Coyote Central’s impact;
– Lead efforts to strengthen and streamline our internal processes, fund development, budgeting, and financial planning and reporting;
– Support our staff in delivering the dynamic programming that Coyote Central is known for.

Equity & Anti-Racism Values
Coyote Central is committed to creating an equitable and inclusive environment where every person can be accepted as their whole self. Our equity and anti-racism efforts are supported by our Equity & Inclusion Task Force (EITF), made up of students, caregivers, teaching artists, board, and staff; and our Youth Advisory Board (YAB).

From its conception, Coyote Central has sought to prioritize access to high quality arts exploration for every young person in our community. Our class pricing and pay-what-you-can model aims to increase opportunities for those furthest from justice to engage with transformative arts experiences.

As an organization, we are more courageously acknowledging the areas where we need to grow in authentically engaging in anti-racism and equity practices. This includes opportunities to better strengthen, clarify, and align our values, particularly between the board and the staff.

Your Team
Our next Executive Director will collaboratively lead and support our small-but-mighty team at Coyote Central, drawing on the individual strengths and talents of each team member. Our staff deeply love and care for both our organization and the young people who bring it to life. Each member of our team is passionate about equity, the arts, and youth programming, and they are eager for a leader who can continue to foster a culture of collaboration, care, and celebration.

Reporting directly to the Board of Directors, the Executive Director will provide leadership to fulfill Coyote Central’s mission. Specifically, the Executive Director will lead in the following capacities:

Organizational Culture & Alignment to Equity and Anti-Racism Values
– Serve as the lead steward of Coyote Central’s culture by working to implement our values and center our relationships with one another.
– Facilitate the increased alignment of the board and staff in Coyote Central’s commitment to, and fulfillment of, our equity and anti-racism values in all programs, policies, and communication.
– Foster a culture of belonging, care, and appreciation at all levels of the organization.

Vision & Strategic Development
– In collaboration with the board, staff, and youth, design, articulate and implement a strategic direction and growth plan that reflects Coyote Central’s values and strengths.
– Provide consistent and visionary leadership to help sustain and grow Coyote Central’s capacity and impact, adapting as new opportunities and challenges arise.

Operational Refinement & Implementation
– Assess, refine, and strengthen organizational infrastructure and systems to support Coyote Central’s impact and fidelity to our mission, including (but not limited to) the development of human resources policies, performance evaluation systems, pay parity guidelines, compliance protocols, and enhanced internal financial controls.
– In collaboration with the Finance & Administration Director, ensure the overall operational health of the organization, including continuous system and program monitoring, community feedback, and organizational policy development.

Staff Management & Program Collaboration
– Directly oversee and work collegially with all Coyote Central staff and teaching artists, supporting their individual and collective talents in service of our shared mission.
– Nurture and provide coaching for the professional development of staff through regular check-ins, the development of annual work plans, and informal and formal performance reviews tied to the strategic goals of the organization.
– Recruit and hire additional team members as needed to successfully support the strategic goals and mission of the organization.
– Collaborate closely with the Program Director to ensure consistent program quality and adaptive program evaluation.

Financial Management
– Partner with the Director of Finance & Administration to conduct regular budget analysis and provide quarterly financial reports to the Board of Directors.
– Lead long-term financial planning, including program budgets, capital budgets, and development of the annual operating budget in collaboration with the Board of Directors.
– Oversee financial reporting and accounting practices to ensure necessary compliance standards.

Community Engagement & Fund Development
– Serve as a key spokesperson and representative for Coyote Central’s mission in the broader community, with media, and at events, working to promote and enhance our impact.
– Collaborate closely with Development staff to design and implement an annual fund development plan and goals, working to align this plan with the principles of Community Centric Fundraising (CCF).
– Initiate, maintain, and nurture year-round philanthropic, organizational, and individual donor cultivation to ensure that Coyote Central can continue to provide accessible programming, regardless of a family’s ability to pay.
– Garner and nurture opportunities for collaboration and partnership in the larger Seattle nonprofit, educational, and artistic ecosystem that benefit young people’s artistic exploration.

Board Development & Engagement
– Foster effective communication, values alignment, role clarity, and shared accountability with the Board of Directors, working collaboratively to design and implement Coyote Central’s strategic direction.
– Serve as the key liaison between Board and staff, providing timely updates on relevant program, finance, fundraising, human resources, and equity-centered activities.
– Support the continued diversification and strengthening of the Board of Directors by assisting with recruitment, onboarding and engagement of Board members as key thought partners and advisors.

At Coyote Central, we know that our impact is only possible because of our collective imagination and expertise. We honor and expect that our next Executive Director will bring both strengths and opportunities for growth into this role. In that spirit, we seek candidates who reflect a majority (but not all) of the following attributes, skills, and experiences:
– Deep passion for and commitment to Coyote Central’s belief in the power of young people’s creativity and artistic expression.
– Demonstrated commitment to learning and advancing anti-racism, LGBTQ+-inclusivity, and anti-oppression practices in relationships and across teams.
– Pragmatic and systematized operational skills, including experience using data-driven decision making, forecasting, and analysis.
– Capacity to lead an organization through a strategic visioning and planning process, working in partnership to translate that vision into clearly defined goals and work plans.
– Experience managing collaborative team structures while providing clear professional development support and evaluation tied to strategic goals.
– Humility, self-awareness and vulnerability. Comfort and relational ease in building trust and engaging with our diverse community: young people, caregivers, staff, board, and donors.
– Demonstrated zeal for learning and creativity, coupled with willingness to make mistakes and ask for help when needed.
– Regarded as trustworthy, genuine, and sincere by those impacted by your past work.
– Previous nonprofit Executive Director or Program Director experience is preferred.
– Expertise in financial management and planning; Experience managing an organization budget of at least $800,000 preferred.
– Proven ability to fundraise in creative, community-centric ways.
– Significant understanding of and direct experience in Board Governance is appreciated.
– Strong values-centered orientation and the ability to foster equitable organizational cultures infused with joy and appreciation.
– Broad knowledge of and relationships within Seattle’s larger nonprofit, youth development, educational, and artistic ecosystem.
– Flexibility to work some nights and weekends.

Data show that women and Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) candidates often hesitate to apply for a job because they feel they do not meet all of the qualifications listed. This position description is meant to be a general overview; if you feel passionate about our efforts and believe that you have the skills to contribute to the continued impact of Coyote Central, we want to hear from you!

This position is full-time, exempt (40 hours/week). Salary range is $105-$120k dependent on experience. Benefits include medical, vision, and dental insurance; paid holidays, PTO, community service leave; 2% direct retirement contribution, and a professional development stipend.

To apply, please send a cover letter and resume to FutureED@coyotecentral.org. This position is open until filled. Final candidate selection is planned for late August; Applicants are encouraged to submit materials as soon as possible. For more information, visit: https://coyotecentral.org/-join-the-team

Coyote Central is proud to be an equal opportunity employer that values diversity at all levels. All qualified candidates will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, creed, color, national origin, sex, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, disability, honorably discharged veteran or military status, or any other protected class.


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