Center for Washington Cultural Traditions
Application deadline: 11/15/2018 or until a suitable candidate is found

The Center for Washington Cultural Traditions (CWCT) is a statewide folklife and traditional arts program housed at Humanities Washington and run in partnership with ArtsWA/Washington State Arts Commission. In development since 2016 and formally launched in March 2018, the CWCT is a virtual and programmatic center that conducts research, creates digital media, and produces events in cooperation with cultural organizations, culture bearers, and communities throughout Washington State.

In collaboration with communities statewide, the CWCT Director oversees, designs, and produces programs and projects that support and advance understanding of the living cultural heritage of Washington State.  The Director reports to Humanities Washington’s Executive Director, and works closely with an 8-10 member Advisory Board, ArtsWA’s Executive Director, and both Humanities Washington and ArtsWA staff.  Further, the CWCT Director oversees contracted folklorists and project managers, project interns, and event volunteers.

Programmatic responsibilities

  • Research and fieldwork:Survey and maintain information on existing traditions and activities in the area of folklife and traditional arts. Conduct and supervise fieldwork with community-based organizations, and Washington-based tradition bearers.
  • Public presentations and outreach:Nurture existing and establish new relationships with organizations and individuals involved in folklife and traditional arts. Develop and present public programs showcasing the diversity of heritage-based arts and cultural resources within our state.
  • Support for artists and tradition bearers:Identify and develop methods to encourage and support the ongoing vitality of a wide range of forms of cultural expression in Washington State, in collaboration with partner organizations and communities.

Operational/administrative responsibilities

Work closely with Humanities Washington and ArtsWA staff, as well as the CWCT’s Advisory Board to:

  • Continue, expand, and improve the CWCT’s Heritage Arts Apprenticeship Program.
  • Continue, expand, and improve the CWCT’s ongoing Cultural Traditions Survey.
  • Maintain and expand the CWCT’s digital archive, and develop a plan for its long-term storage and care.
  • Maintain and expand the CWCT’s website and social mediapresence.
  • Maintain and expand the CWCT’s database of resources and activities in Humanities Washington’s database, in collaboration with Humanities Washington’s IT staff and operations.
  • Identify and prioritize needs and opportunities within the state.
  • Implement/fine-tune the CWCT’s inaugural three-year work plan.
  • Develop and implement long-range planning, and identify opportunities to partner closely with strategically aligned arts and heritage organizations.
  • Identify and procure financial resources to support the CWCT’s activities with the support of Humanities Washington and ArtsWA staff and contractors, and assist with grant reports and ongoing requirements of existing contracts.

Desired qualifications and skills

  1. Depth of knowledge and 5+ years of work experience with the training and abilities necessary to:
    • Oversee and conduct ethnographic fieldwork.
    • Manage related media archives.
    • Design and implement public programs related to cultural heritage.
    • Oversee and direct staff, contractors, and volunteers.
    • Write and review grants.
  2. Advanced degree or equivalent experience in public folklore, cultural anthropology, ethnic studies, public humanities, or a related discipline is preferred.
  3. Skilled in program administration with the ability to prioritize projects and manage resources effectively.
  4. Skill in audio recording, video recording, and still photography for publications and archival use.
  5. Proficiency in Microsoft Office (Word, Powerpoint, and Excel).
  6. Proficiency in, or experience with, Photoshop, WordPress, and Salesforce preferred.
  7. Knowledge of cultural traditions maintained/practiced in Washington State is helpful, but not required.

General behavioral competencies

  • Skilled convener, facilitator, collaborator, and networker with proven ability to build and sustain relationships and/or partnerships among diverse constituents and communities.
  • Dynamic and articulate communicator with strong public speaking and communication skills, including social media.
  • Sensitivity to different cultures and a variety of aesthetic systems, as well as the ability to work well with people from a variety of backgrounds and disciplines. Must be responsible and responsive to the Indigenous nations within whose homelands this program takes place, as well as diverse communities including recent refugees, migrant communities, urban Indians, and long-established immigrants in what is today known as Washington State.
  • Ability to travel around the state in support of the CWCT’s work and flexibility to work evenings and weekends (note: compensation or reimbursement will be provided for travel).
  • Self-motivated individual who can work independently.


The CWCT’s main office is at Humanities Washington’s offices in Seattle. The CWCT Director is also provided additional ad hoc office space in Olympia, WA at ArtsWA’s offices as necessary, and will be expected to travel statewide regularly.

Applications will be accepted until November 15 or until a suitable candidate is found. Salary commensurate with experience.

To apply please send:

  • a letter of interest that addresses qualifications,
  • a resume or curriculum vitae,
  • three references (with phone numbers and email addresses), and
  • samples of previous work (audio-visual and/or printed products).

By Mail:Humanities Washington: 130 Nickerson St., Suite 304 / Seattle, WA 98109 / ATTN: CWCT Director Search

By Email: / subject line: CWCT Director Search: (your name)