Public Engagement Associate

Seattle, WA
Full Time
Mid Level

OVERVIEW:  As a member of the Public Engagement team, the Public Engagement Associate will enhance the Seattle Art Museum’s (SAM) mission to connect with diverse communities by coordinating public programs, community partnerships, and art resources. This role is focused on the museum’s Free First Thursday evening program, a monthly downtown event that engages visitors with SAM’s galleries through talks, tours, performances, and other interpretive activities. Additionally, the associate will provide administrative support to the Education & Public Engagement division. Please note, that this position is grant-funded through October 2026 with the possibility of becoming permanent. 


Seattle Art Museum is committed to equity, diversity, and inclusion.  Qualified individuals who bring diverse perspectives to the workplace are especially encouraged to apply.



REPORTS TO:  Associate Director, Public Engagement

COMPENSATION: $52,600 - $54,600


  1. Lead Programming for Free Thursdays:
  • Plan, coordinate, and execute the museum's monthly "Free Thursdays" evening series, which includes organizing gallery talks, tours, performances, and other interpretive activities to engage visitors with SAM’s galleries. 
  1. Event Coordination and Support:
  • Collaborate with the public engagement team to plan and coordinate other programs related to SAM’s downtown collection and co-planned events such as  REMIX and Legendary Children. 
  • Recruit, schedule, and support teaching artists, temporary staff, performers, and event volunteers working with public engagement programs.
  • Provide comprehensive logistical and administrative support for public programs, including managing event setup and breakdown, coordinating with internal and external stakeholders, ensuring all program materials and resources are prepared and available, and troubleshooting any issues that arise during events.
  1. Community Outreach, Engagement, and Partnerships: 
  • Cultivate and maintain relationships with local organizations, cultural workers, non-profit partners, artists, and educational entities to build strong community partnerships.
  •  Serve as the main contact for community partnership inquiries and communications related to public programs.
  • Develop outreach and programming strategies to increase participation and engagement in the Free First Thursday program.   
  1. Administration
  • Support the Education & Public Engagement Division by reserving spaces, tracking statistics, planning meetings and retreats, processing reports and credit cards, and coordinating with Operations and Events teams.
  • Collaborate with Marketing and other departments on promotional activities related to public engagement programs. Assist with writing, editing, and proofreading promotional materials, and submit request forms for communications.
  • Work with the public engagement team to compile and analyze statistics on attendance, revenue, and expenses for divisional records and reports.
  • Coordinate volunteer requests for public engagement programs. 
  1. Other Responsibilities:
  • Undertake additional duties as requested or as needed by the museum. 


  • Bachelor’s degree in art administration, art education, art history, education, nonprofit leadership, or a related field, or equivalent combination of education and experience preferred.
  • Demonstrated interest in Seattle’s contemporary artist communities including performance, music, literary, and visual art, and the local organizations that serve and support them.
  • Demonstrated commitment to racial equity work.
  • 1-3 years of programming and/or administrative experience in an arts or cultural organization.
  • Excellent interpersonal, written, and oral communication skills; ability to communicate effectively in writing, in person, and over the phone.
  • Demonstrated proficiency with and accuracy in using MS Office products, including Word, Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint and Access and other related software applications.
  • Demonstrated ability to work independently and as part of a team; flexible, responsive, and communicative when working across teams and organizations. 
  • Ability to prioritize tasks, manage multiple projects simultaneously, and work well under pressure; excellent time management, problem-solving, and analytic skills.
  • Maintain work schedule that includes evening and weekend hours as necessary.
  • Ability to work accurately with close attention to detail and maintain the confidentiality of sensitive information.
  • Ability to adhere to Museum policies and to support management decisions in a positive, professional manner.



Position requires some evening, early morning, and weekend work to participate in Museum programs and activities. Work environments range from indoor climate-controlled spaces with light background noise to outdoor non-climate-controlled areas with higher noise levels.



Sitting/Standing/Walking:  Approximately 50% of time is spent seated while working at a desk. Balance of time (approximately 50%) is spent standing or moving around the work area, the galleries and around the city.

Speaking/Hearing:  Clear diction and acute hearing are necessary for effective communication with donors, members, the public, and co-workers.

Lifting/Carrying/Pushing/Pulling:  The ability to lift and carry up to twenty pounds is necessary for moving material and equipment for events.

Vision:  Corrected vision close to 20/20 is necessary to effectively use the computer screens.

Stooping/Kneeling:  The ability to stoop and kneel is necessary for accessing files.

Reaching/Handling:  Good manual dexterity is necessary for computer keyboard use and for retrieving and working with appropriate paperwork, equipment, and supplies.


The Seattle Art Museum will consider reasonable accommodations for applicants with disabilities to perform the essential functions/duties of this position. Please contact the Human Resource Department for additional information.


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