Public Programs Assistant

  • Full Time
  • Portland, OR
  • This position has been filled

Website literaryarts Literary Arts

Position: Public Programs Assistant

Category: Full-Time, Regular

Employee type: Salaried, Non-exempt

Reports to: Senior Artistic Director

Work schedule: Mon – Fri, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.; some evenings and weekend hours required

Salary: $42,500–$47,500, depending on experience, plus benefits


Literary Arts is a nonprofit literary organization based in Portland, OR. Our mission is to engage readers, support writers, and inspire the next generation with great literature.

Our programs create opportunities for readers and writers of all ages and backgrounds to engage with stories. We provide programs in concert halls, classrooms, our community space, and on the radio. Literary Arts is committed to remaining a dynamic and responsive organization that will continue to evolve with our community’s needs and deepen our equity work across all our programs.


Literary Arts seeks an enthusiastic, well-organized individual to assist the Public Programs team on a full-time basis. This is an entry-level position which plays a key role in the daily operations of an established and dynamic literary nonprofit organization, offering wide-ranging experiences to a candidate seeking a career in arts administration.

The Public Programs Assistant serves as support to Public Programs, which includes but is not limited to Portland Arts & Lectures and Special Events, Portland Book Festival, and The Archive Project. The Public Programs Assistant supports Literary Arts’ Senior Artistic Director and works with the Production Manager. Duties of the position include administrative support for public programs, including data entry and management; processing applications and surveys; and managing invoices and payments. Responsibilities also include copywriting for various print and digital projects, updating websites, and recording programmatic activities. This position is also responsible for coordinating internal and external meetings, supporting front line customer service duties, and working to engage readers across the work of Literary Arts.

The Public Programs Assistant actively participates in ongoing efforts to further an organizational culture that supports and reinforces the equity, diversity, and inclusion goals of Literary Arts.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities: 

Portland Arts & Lectures and Special Events: (15%)

  • Researching, copywriting, and maintaining and updating website and digital assets.
  • Assisting with production, including day-of production support and other tasks as needed.

Portland Book Festival: (40%)

  • Providing general assistance to the Senior Artistic Director.
  • Assisting in logistical communication with authors and publicists.
  • Copywriting and updating website and digital assets.
  • Processing of book fair applications and book submissions.
  • Support volunteer recruitment and communications.
  • Communicating with and managing logistics for third-party vendors.
  • Other tasks as assigned.

The Archive Project: (30%)

  • Making pre-production notes on raw audio recordings.
  • Working with marketing and broadcast partners for weekly distribution.
  • Copywriting, maintaining, and updating website and digital assets as needed.
  • Maintaining records for recording releases and rights and pursuing new rights to old recordings.
  • As needed, attending events with partner organizations to record.

Other/General (15%)

  • Providing support to the Senior Artistic Director, including managing and prioritizing scheduling and calendar.
  • Coordinating internal staff and council meetings and gatherings.
  • Assisting with tracking and processing invoices.
  • Providing event and customer service support via phone, email, and in person as needed.
  • Other duties as assigned by the Senior Artistic Director.

Skills and Competencies:  

We will consider any combination of relevant work experience, volunteering, education, and transferable skills as qualifying. Please be clear and specific about how your background is relevant.

  • Commitment to literature and its place in our society.
  • Ability to interact positively with people of diverse backgrounds.
  • Excellent communication skills, both written and verbal.
  • Exceptional organizing and project management skills and attention to detail.
  • Strong time management skills, including the ability to set and meet deadlines, manage multiple tasks, and show flexibility with tasks.
  • Discretion in working with highly confidential information.
  • Fluency with Mac and Microsoft business applications, including the Microsoft Office Suite. Familiarity with WordPress, Adobe Acrobat, and Adobe Audition a plus but not required.
  • Experience in event production or related field a plus but not required.


  • Desire to communicate and collaborate with your team and cross-departmentally.
  • Comfortable in an environment that acknowledges, encourages, and celebrates differences.
  • Strong attention to detail.
  • Commitment to the mission of Literary Arts.


Literary Arts acknowledges and celebrates all types of learning: academic, career, and on-the-job training, as well as volunteer and military service. Literary Arts’ goal is to hire and retain individuals who have demonstrated success performing the essential duties of the position and/or who possess the qualities to learn new skills quickly. Experience working with people from diverse racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic backgrounds is strongly recommended for this role.

Job Conditions:  

Office layout is open concept, with three common spaces used for meetings, events, and workshops. Approximately 70% of the workday is spent at an unshared computer workstation. The rest of the time is spent in meetings, events, and performing tasks around the office. This role requires evening work at events approximately 1–2 evenings a month.

Equipment Used:  

MacBook, copier/printer, postage machine, and other standard office equipment. Literary Arts provides an adjustable office chair; a standing desk can be requested.

Physical Demands:  

Concentrated periods of computer keyboarding are required throughout the workweek. Extended periods of sitting are also required for meetings. Some lifting of boxes will be requested. Work is performed in a fast-paced and deadline-driven environment with frequent interruptions and reorganizing of priorities.

Application Information:  

To apply for this position, please submit a resume and cover letter, sent as a single combined PDF file, to [email protected] with the subject line “Public Programs Assistant.” In your cover letter, please describe how you view the importance of diversity and inclusion in the arts.

After you submit your application materials, you will be invited to participate in a voluntary survey. Literary Arts is committed to DEI (Diversity, Equity & Inclusion) initiatives, and data collected from these surveys allows us to measure and show the progress we are making in a concrete way.

Open until filled. First review of applications will be Monday, February 26, 2024. 

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