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ArtsWA (the WA State Arts Commission) is hiring. Communications Director.

Posted by ArtsWA ; Posted on 
Jobs: Full Time - DEADLINE :  
ArtsWA (the WA State Arts Commission) is hiring. Communications Director.




This position is assigned to our Olympia location; however, most positions are currently teleworking daily due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Work hours are typically 8 a.m. – 5 p.m., Monday – Friday. Alternative and telework options are available.

**Special Note: We encourage everyone to apply, but please note that currently ARTSWA is unable to accommodate relocation reimbursements.

Who we are:
The mission of the Washington State Arts Commission, also known as ArtsWA, is to be a catalyst for the arts, advancing the role of the arts in the lives of individuals and communities throughout the state. We have a particular interest in serving diverse populations and increasing equity and access in the arts. Interested candidates are encouraged to visit our website to gain insight into the agency’s mission and strategic plan.

What you will be doing:
In addition to supervising the Communications Consultant 2 position, you will plan, develop, and implement extensive information and public relations communication plans/activities based on the internal and external needs and goals of the agency. You will also serve as ArtsWA’s public records officer and legislative liaison, with responsibility for tracking bills and advising agency staff and board on key issues.

In concert with executive management, you will establish communications priorities, identify communication needs, and develop/facilitate products, or projects to address those needs. You will serve as the agency contact for media, the communications manager will field all inquiries, work with subject matter experts on talking points, information requests, and set timelines for responses as well as manage communication’s assets such as photos, videos, audio files, and archives. You will be managing agency publications, newsletters, website, press releases, and social media presence as well as produce tools such as charts, graphs, briefing papers, and surveys to assist staff and commissioners in performing their jobs more effectively.

You will also conduct and coordinate research and evaluation of legislation, briefing papers, and industry surveys; facilitate the communication needs of agency programs; manage budgets; respond to and track public requests for information according to the Washington State Public Records Act; serve as Legislative liaison and is responsible for tracking and reporting on legislation that affects the agency and the arts and cultural sector in the state; manage contract for graphics design services; develop crisis and risk communication strategies; develop policies for the agency’s web presence; manage requests for public information; evaluates effectiveness of implemented communications strategies.

Who we are looking for:
The work you will do requires strong attention to details and the ability to manage multiple overlapping projects and deadlines. You must understand the importance of adhering to deadlines. You must appreciate the importance of relationship building as you will be interacting with a diversity of constituents, partners, and stakeholders across the state.

Why YOU would be interested in this position:
Your work will help provide information and support for agency activities focused on the arts, cultural and creative economy sectors of Washington State.

Because we are a small agency, you will have opportunities to develop, grow, and become deeply involved in ArtsWA’s mission and vision. We work hard and enjoy what we do, while maintaining pride in our work. We are busy year-round.

If this position fits your experience and you would like a job with a variety of duties and projects to hone your skills, we encourage you to apply.

In short, you will be responsible for the agency’s communications, marketing and customer relations policy and implementation. You will support the agency’s mission by developing and implementing effective communications of services and opportunities available to constituents; surveying the arts sector stage to provide director and staff with a deeper understanding of the needs of the state to inform program development; and ensure internal and external communications are clear, using an equity lens.

Your primary responsibilities are to develop and enforce agency branding standards, provide graphic, photographic, video and web design services, manage digital platforms and serve as content creator for web properties and other digital communication platforms. As the agency’s contact for media, you will field all inquiries, work with subject matter experts on talking points, information requests, and set timelines for responses. You will develop and implement media campaigns for special projects as well as support media needs during board meetings and advise the board on interactions with the Legislature.

Some of what you will enjoy doing includes:

  • Provides leadership, vision and direction on the agency’s high-level communication strategy
  • Serves as the agency’s brand manager, develops and implements brand guidelines ensuring a consistent brand
  • Ensures compliance with graphic standards throughout the agency; ensures compliance with all state and federal law
  • Develops policy and strategy for, creates, and manages agency publications, newsletters, websites, press releases, and social media presence
  • Advises agency director, staff, commission on public information strategies; develops key messages; and coordinates information dissemination with appropriate local, state and federal officials
  • Produces tools such as charts, graphs, briefing papers, and surveys to provide staff and commissioners with communications tools to perform their jobs more effectively
  • Develops, conducts, and coordinates agency research and evaluation for strategic planning surveys and other surveys as directed by the Agency Director
  • Facilitates the communication needs of agency programs including granting and other opportunities for constituents, and produces a monthly newsletter
  • Researches, negotiates, and manages contracts for graphics design services
  • Develops policies for the agency’s web presence
  • Manages agency communications assets, such as photos, videos, audio files and archives
  • Evaluates effectiveness of implemented communications strategies and develops improvement policies
  • Advises the director on needed resources, assets, and people to meet future communications needs and challenges
  • Develops crisis and risk communication strategies
  • Develops media campaigns and manages special events and projects for the agency, including the annual Governor’s Arts and Heritage Awards, Poetry Out Loud annual competition, the agency’s Annual Report, and other programs
  • Works with the non-profit organization, Humanities Washington, to help promote and market co-supported programs, such as the Washington State Poet Laureate program and the Center for Washington Cultural Traditions
  • Serves as legislative liaison and is responsible for tracking and reporting on legislation that affects the agency and the arts and cultural sector in the state; coordinates research and evaluation of legislation and develops applicable briefing papers

Responds to and tracks public requests for information according to the Washington State Public Records Act


A Bachelor’s degree in communications, public relations, journalism or closely allied field, policy development,
At least five (5) years of professional experience in communications, journalism, public relations or related experience

NOTE: Combination of equivalent experience and education may be substituted for educational requirement


  • Two years of experience using communications hardware and software in a business setting, such as Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Premiere, Indesign, audio and video equipment, and digital cameras
  • Five years of experience of written and oral communication skills including the ability to interpret legislation, write speeches, briefing papers, or reports
  • Five years working in communications and professional understanding of professional media practices. This will include managing a website and generating web and social media content in a professional setting
  • Experience can be gained concurrently
  • High level communications skills
  • Attention to detail: Proofreading, editing, layout for print and online
  • Communicating complex facts to a broad audience; written, oral, and on-line presentations
  • Proficiency in crafting messages for varied audiences


  • Familiarity with the state and/or federal legislative process
  • Knowledge of the arts or arts administration
  • Five or more years managing a website and generating web content in a professional setting
  • Experience using social networking technologies in a professional setting
  • Three or more years of experience in crisis communications and strategic planning
  • Five or more years of project management experience, including building and monitoring a budget
  • Knowledge of new technologies including online meetings tools, social media, webinars, online survey tools, and data collection/analysis
  • Advanced understanding of desktop publishing and graphic design concepts
  • Master’s degree in communications, public relations, journalism or closely allied field
  • Professional communications experience in management or arts administration
  • Knowledge of Washington State government
  • Ability to interpret and analyze narrative, budget and statistical information and to convey such information effectively to various audiences using written, graphic and oral communication
  • Research and information gathering
  • Media relations
  • Proficiency and experience with print and web publishing platforms
  • Experience as an agency spokesperson
  • Some graphic design and desktop publishing experience.
  • Strategic thinking and planning
  • Advanced program management skills Negotiation and dispute resolution
  • Managing public perception and risk management
  • Managing all public records requests
  • Conducting public meetings, public process, state ethics laws and standards; working with a commission/board of directors; the decision-making structures of the state’s institutions
  • Grant-writing to state and federal agencies

Supplemental Information

Please provide the following documents in order to be considered; failure to do so may result in you not being considered for the position:

  • A letter of interest, describing how you meet the qualifications for this position as outlined in the job posting;
  • A current resume, detailing experience and education; and
  • A current list of at least three (3) professional references with current contact information (attached or available to provide at the time of interview)

NOTE: By submitting these materials, you are indicating that all information is true and correct. The state may verify information. Any untruthful or misleading information is cause for removal from the applicant pool or dismissal if employed. A resume will not substitute for completing the “duties summary” section of the application. Please do not refer to resume for detail, or your application may be disqualified.

Condition of Employment:
COVID Vaccination Requirement: Per Governor Inslee’s Proclamation 21-14(Download PDF reader), state employees must be fully vaccinated no later than October 18, 2021, as a condition of employment. Being fully vaccinated means that an individual is at least two weeks past their final dose of an authorized COVID-19 vaccine regimen. If you are a selected candidate, you will be required to provide proof of vaccination. You may request an accommodation if you are unable to meet the requirement due to a medical or religious necessity.

Opportunity for All:
The Washington State Arts Commission celebrates our differences and we are committed to a workplace that supports equal opportunity employment and inclusion regardless of race, creed, color, national origin, citizenship or immigration status, marital status, families with children (including pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions), sex, sexual orientation, gender identity diversity, age, status as a protected veteran, honorably discharged veteran or military status, status as an individual with the presence of any sensory, mental, or physical disability or the use of a trained dog guide or service animal by a person with disabilities or other applicable legally protected characteristics. We will also consider qualified applicants with criminal histories, consistent with applicable federal, state and local laws.

You are welcome to include the name and pronoun you would like to be referred to in your materials and we will honor this as you interact with our organization.

Contact Information:
Applicants who are deaf or hard of hearing may call through the Washington Relay Service by dialing 7-1-1 or 1-800-833-6388.

For questions about this recruitment or to request a reasonable accommodation in the application process, contact Angie Anderson at (360) 407-8446 or email