Cultivator & Executive Director


Seattle, WA

The governing board of LANGSTON seeks a Cultivator & Executive Director who can lead a newly formed, community-conceived and -designed nonprofit arts organization. LANGSTON’s mission is: “To strengthen and advance community through Black arts and culture in service to cultivating Black brilliance.” The successful applicant will assume the leadership of a historically significant organization noted for its longstanding presence and leadership in Seattle’s cultural community. Individuals with a wide variety of experience are encouraged to apply; however, all are expected to demonstrate proficiency in ensuring multigenerational, multidisciplinary programming that is responsive to the needs of the community.

The Role

The successful applicant will have–or agree to rapidly develop–a deep understanding of LANGSTON’s heritage and prominence as the hub of Seattle’s Black cultural community. As the organization’s spokesperson, the individual must be articulate, forward-thinking, and motivated to engage LANGSTON’s various stakeholders in its reimagined future. The successful candidate must have the capacity to: a) effectively network with Seattle-area, regional, and national cultural leaders, including artists; b) provide inspired leadership for an evolving organization; c) have the business acumen to assume the day-to-day management of LANGSTON programs and staff; and d) work in collaboration with the LANGSTON Board of Directors to set organizational priorities and establish and sustain a strategic vision for the organization.

LANGSTON is a re-envisioned version of a historic and treasured Seattle cultural asset. The Cultivator and Executive Director must welcome the opportunity and demonstrate the ability to honor the accomplishments of the organization while putting into place programs, fundraising, and community-building efforts that will result in a vibrant and compelling future. To help accomplish this vision, the governing Board has secured an annual multi-year stream of $400,000 to ignite this effort. This base funding, plus the agreement to use an existing building maintained by the city of Seattle, make it possible to expand the organization over a period of years while building the capacity to expand and sustain funding. In addition, the organization has no financial debt.

The term “Cultivator” has been added to the title of Executive Director in order to articulate the role of the new staff leader. That leader must be an individual who engages the local Black community in a way that listens to and seeks to serve its cultural needs. In addition, the Executive Director is charged with reaching out to access new ideas and support from regional and national endeavors and directing them for use by the local community. These two key functions are those of a “Cultivator.”

Qualities Sought

The successful candidate will demonstrate the following qualities in the areas of organizational management, community relations, programming, and fundraising:

  • The ability to articulate and operationalize a bold new organizational vision
  • The ability to design and oversee the implementation and evaluation of programs rooted in African American artistry and expression
  • The ability to renew, build, fortify, and maintain relationships with key constituencies
  • The ability to identify, negotiate, and manage strategic partnerships
  • The ability to grow, diversify, and sustain financial resources for the organization

Minimum Qualifications

  • Demonstrated ability in cultural production and programming
  • A minimum of five years of management experience
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills
  • Leadership experience in the field of arts and culture preferred


The organization is based in Seattle, Washington.


  • The salary range for this position is $80,000 – $90,000. The selected candidate will be compensated within this range at a level that is commensurate with the experience he or she brings to the position.
  • Health and retirement benefits are provided.
  • A limited relocation allowance is available.

To Apply

  • The deadline for applications is Monday, October 24, 2016. To be considered by the search committee, all materials must be received by the search consultant, WESTAF, by no later than 5:00 p.m. Pacific Time on October 24, 2016.
  • Complete applications will include:
    • A cover letter that addresses the candidate’s qualifications for the position
    • A resume
    • The names and contact information for three references
    • A writing sample of up to three pages in length
    • If applicable, a work sample of a professional achievement in the area of arts and culture such as a program, production, or exhibition managed by the candidate  

Submit application materials in electronic form to [email protected]. Paper applications will not be accepted. Questions about this search and clarification regarding the qualities sought can be directed to the LANGSTON search committee at [email protected].

To download and print a copy of this LANGSTON position announcement click here


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