WITS Program Coordinator

Writers in the Schools (WITS) is a literary arts education program of Seattle Arts & Lectures (SAL) that places professional local writers in public schools throughout the Puget Sound region, as well as Seattle Children’s Hospital, for extended creative writing residencies during the typical school day. The mission of WITS is to inspire student and teacher excellence in literacy and the literary arts, and to establish the foundation for a life-long commitment to reading, writing, and creative expression. The WITS Program Coordinator works with the Director of Education (DE) and Program Associate (PA) to implement all WITS and Youth Poet Laureate (YPL) programming, empowering young people to discover their authentic writing and performance voices in WITS classrooms, publications, and on SAL stages.

The WITS Program Coordinator engages with the team and all WITS constituents during the year to celebrate the work of all WITS students throughout the region. They support our Writers-in-Residence, help organize and execute WITS public events and publications, oversee the program evaluations, and are key in executing all of the infrastructure that makes the entire WITS program possible.

The ideal candidate for this position builds relationships quickly and is confident engaging with a wide variety of diverse stakeholders—from students and teachers, to WITS writers and attendees at SAL events. They have a deep understanding and respect for the SAL mission, vision, and values, WITS program goals, and a passion for writing and empowering youth voice. They are a clear communicator who takes the work seriously, but not themselves. This person is detail-oriented amidst many moving deadlines and thrives in a collaborative working environment. They are also an intentional, reflective thinker who navigates relationships with curiosity and generosity.

 

As a predominantly white-led organization, SAL is committed to actively working to dismantle white supremacy culture and institutional racism. We value a diverse workforce and an inclusive culture and are committed to inclusion, diversity, equity, and access in all areas of our work and workplace culture. SAL is an equal opportunity employer. Individuals from all cultures and communities are warmly encouraged to apply. We believe that having a board of directors, staff, interns, and volunteers with diverse backgrounds enables us to better meet our mission, and we strongly encourage applications from people of color and other historically underrepresented and marginalized groups.

 

RESPONSIBILITIES:

Program Support – WITS Schools (30%)

  • Communicate with schools, teachers, and principals about opportunities for attending SAL public events and work with the Box Office to coordinate complimentary tickets.
  • Provide administrative support to the WITS team to implement various program components and maintain accurate and timely records related to school contracts, planning meetings, program evaluation, and contract fulfillment.
  • Distribute and collect student and program surveys throughout the year; oversee data collection & entry.

 

Program Support – WITS Writers (30%)

  • Communicate with WITS Writers-in-Residence about opportunities for attending SAL public events and work with the Box Office to coordinate complimentary tickets.
  • Track and maintain accurate records of WITS Writers-in-Residence contracts, monthly timesheets, residency syllabi, and other related residency materials; maintain up-to-date writer checklist of responsibilities throughout the year.
  • Work with SAL’s Public Programs team to share content on writer events in town for the SAL newsletter and social media channels.
  • Support writers with end-of-residency celebration plans, including chapbooks, online galleries of student work, and more.
  • Assist in the creation and production of internal WITS program materials (surveys, writer handbooks, etc.).
  • Attend and assist at WITS writer meetings and gatherings throughout the year as requested (Including one mandatory annual retreat, four quarterly meetings & Local Voices writer readings, and two community gatherings).
  • Assist in preparation and follow-up for WITS writer meetings by collaborating on content, preparing print-outs and associated materials, taking and distributing meeting notes, and other needs as required.
  • Schedule and oversee WITS master class program in coordination with WITS writers.

 

Student Work Publication and Contests (10%)

  • Co-edit and proofread WITS annual student anthology with DE and PA.
  • Assist PA in the collection, filing, and organization of student work throughout the year.
  • Publicize annual Elaine Wetterauer Writing Contest to WITS partner teachers and writers; collect entries and organize digitally.
  • Read through and discuss Elaine Wetterauer Writing Contest submissions, collaborate with WITS team to determine winners. Contact winners, and prepare digital chapbook of outstanding submissions.
  • Support WITS writers at Seattle Children’s Hospital with the design of a summer chapbook of student work.

Event Production (12%)

  • Assist in the planning & production of WITS Year-End Student Readings and Anthology Book Launch event, including support with family, teacher, and writer communication.
  • Oversee the traveling broadsides poetry and art exhibit throughout the year.
  • Oversee procurement of donations for and assembly of Year-End gift bags for students and writers.

 

Program Support for Youth Poet Laureate (YPL), Summer, and Other Special Programming (10%)

  • Recruit students and manage family communication for readings on SAL stages. Prepare materials for SAL event nights.
  • Track and file YPL applications, and distribute application materials to judging panel.
  • Collaborate and communicate with YPL Mentors as program support, attending YPL meetings and workshops when needed.
  • Act as project manager between YPL, mentors, local book designer (Poetry NW Editions), and NY-based partner organization Urban Word, to successfully ensure the spring publication of the Youth Poet Laureate’s book in May.
  • Administer the set-up of book contracts between YPL and local bookstores.

Other (8%)

  • Assist with program evaluation data collection and integrity throughout data entry process.
  • Assist DE with management of WITS interns and volunteers.
  • Work with DE to coordinate updates to online content for the WITS program on the website, blog, and in e-newsletters.
  • Support SAL’s public programs and fundraising efforts by attending both annual fundraisers, select public SAL events, periodic board meetings, and supporting with WITS development initiatives by attending cultivation and other functions as necessary.
  • This is a small team; we all pitch in to help each other out, and our work is always evolving. The ideal candidate will be flexible and up for the variety of kinds of work that a small non-profit encounters on the day-to-day.

 

INCLUSION, DIVERSITY, EQUITY, & ACCESS:

The WITS Program Coordinator actively participates in SAL’s ongoing efforts to further an organizational culture that supports and reinforces our inclusion, diversity, equity, & access goals. Our 2020-24 Strategic Plan and SAL’s Equity Accountability Report are available on the SAL website under “About.” This commitment and understanding should be demonstrated throughout the performance of the WITS Program Coordinator’s job responsibilities and staff activities.

 

DESIRED QUALIFICATIONS:

 

  • Passion for SAL’s and WITS’ mission and a love of stories and storytelling across all ages.
  • Experience working in an education/arts/nonprofit context.
  • Ability to work independently and as a member of a dynamic, creative, highly collaborative team in an open-office environment. Must be both a self-starter and able to work under direction.
  • Working knowledge of Microsoft Office Suite required.
  • Design, editing, and experience with the Adobe Suite Software a plus.
  • Strong attention to detail and project management skills.
  • Excellent written, oral, and interpersonal skills.
  • Flexible and curious with a sense of humor.
  • A demonstrated commitment to racial equity and social justice.
  • Experience with PowerPoint, database systems (specifically Salesforce), and comfort with Mac OS a plus.
  • Experience working with Puget Sound arts nonprofits and public school communities a plus.

 

ADDITIONAL CONSIDERATIONS:

 

  • Valid driver’s license and access to an automobile for driving to periodic off-site events a plus.
  • Evening/weekend hours required; typically 2-4 times/month September – May.
  • 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.

 

COMPENSATION & BENEFITS:

 

This is a 40 hours/week full-time non-exempt position. Salary range is $38,000-43,000 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 sick, personal, 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.

 

HIRING PROCESS & TIMELINE:

 

  • We will begin scheduling phone interviews the week of September 20.
  • We will begin 45-min zoom or in-person interviews for the week of September 27.
  • Finalists will be invited to a second-round, two-hour interview (comprised of several shorter interviews with different teams), and we will make an offer shortly thereafter.
  • Ideally, the selected candidate will start in mid-October.

TO APPLY:

 

  • Send a resume and cover letter that tells us why this position is a good fit.
  • Submit applications electronically in one PDF document to salhr@lectures.org. The email subject line should be “WITS Program Coordinator.”
  • Open until filled. For best consideration, please submit no later than September 13, 2021.

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

Liz Keenan
Hiring Coordinator
salhr@lectures.org

206.621.2230 x22