On the Boards Seeks a Curatorial Fellow October 2020 – June 2021

On the Boards Seeks a Curatorial Fellow October 2020 – June 2021

On the Boards fosters a space for transformative and critical discourse. Artists’ ideas about racial justice, systemic power, and economic systems have the potential to transform lives, provide succor, and define safe space. On the Boards is also a place for organizing and revolutionizing the way art is made, supported, and viewed. We believe in freedom of expression and honor artistic risk as an essential element of a civil society.

This Curatorial Fellowship idea has been brewing as an idea behind the scenes for some time. Recently, On the Boards worked with Seattle University Masters of Fine Arts in Arts Leadership students Ellen McGivern and Linnea Ingalls as Curatorial Interns. We have also worked with Seattle artists, Eli Steffen and Jordan Macintosh-Hougham, who approached us with interest about project-based internships centered around Northwest New Works Festival and OntheBoards.tv. Dani Tirrell, an artist we commissioned and presented, has worked with us in a
number of different capacities over the years, first as part of the Ambassador Program, a curator of an Open Studio program, and Dani was the co-curator of this year’s Solo: A Festival of Dance. In addition, this past year there were four artists co-curators of our Performance Lab program; KT Kusmaul, Matt Aguayo, HATLO, and Dakota Camacho all co-curated 2019/20 OtB Performance Labs in partnership with On the Boards Curatorial Administrator Charles Smith. As part of this work, we also began a Curatorial Reading Group with Minna Lee and Fiore Grey this
year, and a weekly ART Chat series with all staff where various texts and videos of
performances were discussed. All of this work from these incredible individuals and creative thinkers has led us to this moment, and we deeply thank each of them for their contribution to the organization’s growth and artistic programming.

As an arts organization that is in the process of structural change, On the Boards is committed to the process of intentional institutional restructuring, based on anti-racist analysis. We are implementing structures, policies and practices for our curatorial and artistic directions with inclusive decision-making and other forms of power sharing at various levels of the organization. We see this Curatorial Fellowship as an active part in shaping the organization’s next chapter and helping to contribute to its creative future.

General Information

Status: Temporary part-time, non-exempt (October 2020 – June 2021)
Reports to: Artistic Director
Collaborates: Technical Director, Associate Producer, Production and External Relations teams.
Compensation: $20 an hour / 30 hours a week

Behnke Center for Contemporary Performance
STREET 100 West Roy Street
Seattle, Washington 98119

MAILING PO Box 19515
Seattle, Washington 98109-1515

In collaboration with the Artistic Director, the Fellow is responsible for developing, researching, and realizing performances, public programs, and other events to support and express the artistic vision of the organization and fulfill On the Boards’ mission. The Curatorial Fellow will be able to fully conceive, develop, and implement designated performances, commissioned projects, discursive public programs, and publications for the organization. The Fellow will work in collaboration with the Artistic Director, Associate Producer, and Technical Director to establish the aesthetic values and annual program activities. The Fellow will receive regular mentorship and on-the-job training and be connected to a national and international network of curatorial and producers in the field as part of the role.

The Fellow will have the ability to shape and curate specific performance programs and will learn the responsibilities of development, information flow, and overall management of designated projects. The Fellow will be supported and work collaboratively with the Production team, as well as Audience Services team to ensure artists and audiences receive the intended presentation of all designated performance projects and public programs. The Fellow will work with all On the Boards staff to learn how best to keep them informed of performance developments and assist in the distribution and dissemination of current and upcoming information.

Fellowship Responsibilities:

-Work with On the Boards Curatorial and Production staff to help implement mission and achieve annual program goals.
-Help conceptualize and curate interdisciplinary contemporary performances and discursive programs that fulfill On the Boards’ mission.
-Contribute to organizational conversations about new strategies and ideas for OtB’s future.

Community Leadership:
-The Fellow will have opportunities to become involved in the local arts community by attending art events, participating in cultural discussions, and developing relationships with artists, cultural practitioners, educators, and general art community members.
-The Fellow will have an opportunity to participate in conversations and community building with national and international curators, presenters, and cultural institutions with a view to
commissioning collaborations and exchanges.

-Contributes to the marketing, educational, and development activities of OtB to help maximize, impact of each designated performance projects and public programs.
-Works with Artistic Director, Associate Producer, and Technical Director to develop program budget for Fellow initiatives.
-Oversee administrative duties of curatorial projects, including Performance Lab and other experimental performance programs, and assist Associate Producer with any program coordination.

Organization Description

On the Boards is a 40-year-old arts organization located in Seattle, Washington. The organization owns and operates the Behnke Center for Contemporary Performance, located in Seattle’s Lower Queen Anne neighborhood. The facility includes multiple art and performances spaces, including the 300-seat Merrill Wright Theater, a flexible Studio Theater, and four rented retail spaces.
OtB has repeatedly been the first art center in our region to introduce audiences to the world’s most forward-thinking artists like Spalding Gray, Bebe Miller, Phillipe Quesne, The Wooster Group, Reggie Watts, Gisele Vienne, David Byrne, Laurie Anderson, Pat Graney, Crystal Pite, zoe|juniper, Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker, Dayna Hanson, and Dani Tirrell. This extraordinary roster of artists, among many others have played a vital role in On the Boards’ history, and itsn reputation in the field as one of the best places in the country to develop, perform, and view
contemporary performance.

On the Boards operates with a $1.3 million budget and a staff of 12. Our programming includes regional and international commissions and performance presentations, in addition to new initiatives that center a diversity of artists and ideas. We also run OntheBoards.tv, an online publishing platform for ground-breaking artistic projects and contemporary performances and is used in all 50 states, 157 countries, and by thousands of students at over 125 universities
worldwide. On the Boards has a well-earned reputation for hitting above its weight.

Organization Mission and Values

On the Boards invests in leading contemporary performing artists near and far, and connects them to a diverse range of communities interested in forward-thinking art and ideas. We believe if we are successful in our work that we can grow our field, enrich people’s lives, and contribute to civic and global dialogues.

We value:
• artistic risks while being fiscally responsible;
• leadership in our field and the multiple communities we serve to strategically advance the role contemporary artists play in society;
• racial and social equity, and accountability;
• provocative art as a vehicle to connect people of diverse backgrounds and perspectives;
• our regional creative community as we engage with international artists and peers;
• professional and transparent management.

A Note about On the Boards Workplace Culture

On the Boards honors collaboration, respect, humor, and the humanity of its employees, Board members, and volunteers. We regularly acknowledge that life happens, friends and family are important, and that working in a small non-profit is much better with hard-working colleagues. On the Boards is made up, at every level, of individuals who collaborate to solve organizational challenges, represent our work in the community, and otherwise move our work forward in ways big and small.

On the Boards is committed to becoming an anti-racist organization, and we acknowledge that we have personal, professional, and institutional work to do in order to become more racially just and equitable. We are looking for team members who are excited to work collaboratively to advance anti-racist policies and engage in ongoing learning around that work.


• An interest in contemporary performance art.
• Creativity and the ability to develop original ideas for artistic programming as they relate to OtB’s mission and values.
•Ability to direct communicate artistic ideas to various team members and public audiences.
• Strong project management skills and a passion for problem solving, creative thinking, and resourcefulness.
• Comfortability switching between administrative work and creative idea generating work.
• Capable of working both independently and collaboratively.
Due to COVID-19 health restrictions this job will begin working from home exclusively. Due to typical evening and weekend performance schedules this position may include flexibility in scheduling outside the typical workweek. A balance of possible WFH and in-office flexibility may be discussed even after the COVID-19 restrictions are lifted.


Eligible for generous paid time off including 12 holidays, vacation, and sick leave.
On the Boards is an equal opportunity employer and is committed to a diverse, accessible workplace, and to supporting our staff with ongoing career development opportunities. We are committed to removing barriers to employment that are faced by equity-seeking groups. Our building and offices are ADA accessible and we will make additional workplace and interview accommodations by request. BIPOC, people with disabilities, women, and LGBTQ candidates are strongly encouraged to apply. Must have, or be willing to acquire, legal authorization to work in the United States.

How to Apply

Click to here fill out an application and submit 3 references. A cover letter and resume are not required to apply for this position but any applicant is welcome to submit one to jobs@ontheboards.org with the subject line “Curatorial Fellowship.
This job was posted August 14, 2020, we expect to begin scheduling conversation with candidates in September 2020. This position will be open until filled but the desired start would be October 2020.