Creative Alternatives: Lead Engagement Artist

Participant artwork, Young New Yorkers
Participant artwork, Young New Yorkers
Participant artwork, Young New Yorkers
Participant artwork, Young New Yorkers


King County is redeveloping the aging Youth Services Center (YSC) in Seattle as the Children and Family Justice Center (CFJC), co-locating juvenile detention facilities, juvenile courts, and other related functions to support court and youth and family services. Using 1% for Art funds and a generous award from the National Endowment for the Arts, 4Culture is seizing this unique opportunity to establish strategies that support the County’s efforts to provide alternatives to incarceration.

In partnership with Juvenile Court and the Department of Adult and Juvenile Detention, we are developing arts-based alternatives to secure detention. A detailed framework for the program, Creative Alternatives [working title], is being established and will be piloted at the YSC in 2015 and continue to evolve at the new CFJC.

Mentor artists, with practices rooted in social engagement, will collaborate with court-involved youth and families to create artworks that are grounded in an understanding of the systemic causes of youth incarceration and amplify youth voice in social transformation.

We are now looking for a Lead Engagement Artist (LEA) to serve as project coordinator and liaison to mentor artists and the Court, facilitating creative partnerships and assisting in the development and implementation of the year-long pilot.

The LEA will work with the Court to identify youth for the project, provide orientations, attend all program sessions, coordinate food for participants, and report on activities to families, Juvenile Probation Counselors, social workers, and other providers. The LEA will also work with community partners and youth providers to ensure the arts curriculum is anti-oppressive, trauma-informed, culturally-responsive, and guided by principles of restorative justice.

Specific roles and responsibilities will include:
• Helping to develop the pilot project scope and mentor artist scopes;
• Participation in the mentor artist selection process;
• Participation in racial and social equity training;
• Attendance at stakeholder advisory board meetings and relevant community meetings;
• Development and maintenance of relationships with stakeholders;
• Identification, recruitment and orientation of youth and families;
• Oversight, support and participation in pilot sessions; and
• Support of the program evaluation.

This opportunity is open to professional teaching artists residing in King County, WA. Qualified applicants will have proven experience working as a teaching artist (preferably with youth who are or have been arrested, adjudicated, suspended or expelled from school, and/or involved with the foster care system).

To learn more, visit our opportunities listings. The deadline to apply is Thursday, July 3, 2014.