Director of Programs

City of Asylum Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh, PA, USA



Full time

Jul 29

Reporting to the Executive Director, the Director of Programs will bring to life engaging and original programs (in virtual, hybrid, and real-life formats) that showcase City of Asylum’s mission to build a just community by protecting and celebrating freedom of creative expression. This position is responsible for managing 160+ literary, arts, and humanities programs annually—all free to the public. The Director will curate, identify external subject- matter curators, build sustainable programming partnerships, and manage programming administrative staff.

Our core focus is on global and historically marginalized writers and musicians (including jazz, classical, and world music) and creating opportunities for regional arts partners, writers, and musicians to create and present new work. We also curate and present an annual Jazz Poetry Month and the Pittsburgh International Literary Festival.

Our Alphabet City venue is an informal and dynamically configurable space that includes a restaurant and a bookstore. In addition to artistic merit, our public programs are intended to attract diverse audiences and encourage informal interchange among them. We are also committed to exploring ways to use the internet to create multi-locational and multi- disciplinary programs to enhance access and engage audiences. 

Duties Include:

  • Work with the Executive Director to curate, schedule, and book artists and programming partners who meet our artistic, attendance, and diversity goals.
  • Create and budget a rolling twelve-month programming plan, plus longer-range planning for major festivals.
  • Create new programs that respond to vital issues of the day or opportunities to advance our mission.
  • Administer programming staff (for artist contracting, travel, etc.), outside curators, and budgets.
  • Coordinate production requirements and logistics with the Production Manager.
  • Work with marketing to write and edit event-related copy, including introductory scripts, as well as outreach, preparatory, and marketing materials.
  • Participate in PR planning and interviews.
  • Introduce and moderate 1 -2 programs per week and major festival programs.
  • Assist Director of Development and fiscally sponsored artists with grant applications.
  • Work with marketing to achieve attendance and audience diversity goals.
  • Monitor and report on departmental goals and adjust activities based on results.
  • Maintain artist and partner database and ongoing communications to them.
  • Coordinate literary programs with the bookstore manager.
  • Identify like-minded presenters nationally and internationally with whom to partner. 

Experience, Skills & Qualifications:

  • A demonstrated interest in literature, music, and current events, with both a particular genre of interest and a generalist’s comfort building programs outside your area of expertise.
  • A commitment to presenting and building audiences for writers and artists outside the mainstream—for example, translated and historically marginalized authors, artists with disabilities, and global arts and culture.
  • Prefer 2+ years of programming experience in literature and/or jazz or 5+ years of personal artistic practice with a large rolodex of talent.
  • A keen sense of audience engagement and segmentation; and an understanding of the events, topics, and formats that draw people in.
  • Superior interpersonal, written, and spoken communication skills.
  • An eye for talent, uncovering untold stories, and rising stars.
  • Innovative in ways to build new programs that advance our mission.
  • Effective at working with people from diverse backgrounds, teams, and working styles.
  • Creative in partnering. 


Salary range of $50,000 - $55,000, based on experience. This is an exempt position.


  • Full COVID-19 vaccination by the start of employment.
  • Night, weekend, and daylight work will be required.
  • Commitment to the values of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion. 

How to Apply:

Please send a cover letter and resume to with “Director of Programs” in the subject line. Resume review will start on August 8. Applications will be reviewed until the position is filled. 

Non-discrimination Policy:

City of Asylum Pittsburgh is an Equal Opportunity Employer. We celebrate diversity and are committed to creating an inclusive environment for all employees. It is our policy to be fair and equitable in our relations with our employees and applicants. Recruitment, hiring, placements, transfers and promotions, selection for training opportunities, wage and salary administration, decisions regarding separation from employment, layoffs, returns from layoffs, family care leave, social and recreational programs, and the application of all benefits and policies are based on individual qualifications for the positions being filled, and are also to be administered regardless of race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, age (40 or older), sex, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, marital status, political affiliation, veterans’ status, disabilities (physical and mental), medical condition (including cancer and HIV status), and any other characteristic protected by law.

City of Asylum is committed to results-oriented management aimed at achieving equal employment opportunity and shall apply good faith efforts to seek out, employ, train, and promote women and minority group members. If, because of a disability, you need accommodations in completing this application or to participate in an interview, please contact us at or call 412-435-1110. 

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