Small Press Traffic

a semicolon with a green bottom and a yellow top, made to look like a dandelion.

Job Opportunity: Executive Director

Title: Executive Director
Reports to: Board of Directors
Classification: Exempt

Location: Remote, in the Bay Area. 

Small Press Traffic has a fully remote office, with a mailbox at CCA and archive materials at Et al. gallery in the Mission. The director will be expected to check mail regularly and spend a few hours per week at the archives, as well as attend and host in-person events, primarily on evenings and weekends.

Compensation: The salary range for this position is $75,000 to $80,000, commensurate with experience, and includes up to 70% employer-covered health benefit coverage, with 15 days paid time off plus federal holidays. 

Preferred Start Date: August 1, 2024

How to Apply: Email cover letter and resume to Applications are rolling until the position is filled. First round of interviews will take place in early May. Small Press Traffic is an equal opportunity employer. Applicants from populations underrepresented in the arts are strongly encouraged to apply. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, ability, age, or veteran status.


Small Press Traffic is a Bay Area seedbed for poets who push boundaries in the arts. We present programs, publications, and curatorial opportunities with an ethos of radical inclusivity. Committed to this mission since 1974, SPT highlights diverse, multidisciplinary, and intergenerational practitioners in our public programs, and prioritizes equity, accessibility, and collaboration in our working model. 

Small Press Traffic is in an exciting period of growth as it passes its half-century milestone. For fifty years, SPT has maintained its commitment to supporting underserved poets and remained a grassroots and community-centered organization. Its budget over the past couple of decades has averaged about $60,000, with one paid staff member and occasional interns. In the past three years, SPT has quadrupled its annual operating budget to close to $250,000, thanks to an increase in major grants and individual gifts. We have been able to steadily increase the director’s salary commensurate with budget growth, and to offer staff rates closer to market rate, while maintaining a firm commitment to paying all presenting poets and artists above the base W.A.G.E. standard. 

Building on this momentum, the incoming director will contribute to SPT’s rich history, expand staff and programs, improve infrastructural stability, and continue to grow the organization sustainably.


The executive director will extend SPT’s enduring record of excellence in programming and reputation, ensure that the quality and range of artistic programming aligns with the organization’s mission and history, and is attentive and responsive to community feedback. 

A strong candidate will be imaginative and visionary in their approach to guiding the organization. They will be grounded in an understanding of and appreciation for the history and legacy of Small Press Traffic and Bay Area poetry; hold a willingness to hear and respond to community feedback; maintain productive relationships across a broad spectrum of poets/artists, partner organizations, funders, staff, and board; think expansively in their curatorial vision and strategically in their approach to community arts leadership; and possess professional experience in nonprofit administration, development, programming, and communications. 


Artistic Direction 

  • In collaboration with staff, outside curators, community members, and partners, design and implement literary and multi-disciplinary programming, including live events, workshops, digital content, and other forms of artistic presentation and preservation. 
  • Lead archive and preservation project in collaboration with consultant, project manager, and a team of archive workers.
  • Assess program efficacy, reach, and impact on an ongoing basis. 


  • Develop and execute an annual fundraising strategy that secures the funding needed to maintain or exceed current staff pay and thoughtfully expand programming. The annual budget for the organization is currently close to $250,000 and depends on successful fundraising from both individual and institutional funders. 
  • Fund development work includes: a) Cultivating and stewarding major donors and potential funders; b) Spearheading seasonal appeals and special fundraising and cultivation events; c) Grant preparation and reporting, with support from a contract grant writer.

Operations and Financial Management

  • Prepare an annual budget for board approval; manage revenues and expenses to maintain financial stability. 
  • Ensure timely payments to staff, contractors, and vendors. 
  • Oversee the annual tax filings and financial reporting.
  • Manage day-to-day bookkeeping or contract with an external bookkeeper.
  • Maintain database, filing systems, IT updates, and supplies.

Staff Management

  • Lead a fully remote team, including 2-3 PT staff and numerous contractors.
  • Foster a safe and inclusive work environment that stresses creativity, community building, teamwork, and accountability.
  • Maintain clear and equitable job roles, responsibilities, and pay structures; and conduct annual employee reviews. 


  • Develop strong, positive working relationships with a national board of directors, keeping the board informed of progress, developments, and significant events at quarterly board meetings and committee meetings.
  • Collaborate with the board to recruit and onboard new board members.


We know there are candidates who may not have all of the qualifications listed below,  but who have other applicable and transferable skills and experience. If that’s you, we encourage you to apply and tell us about yourself. Though the work of leading a small, grassroots community nonprofit comes with challenges, the rewards are immeasurable. A strong candidate will be motivated by the nature of this work and find value in it. 

  • Demonstrated leadership experience, preferably at least 5 years in a nonprofit arts organization, or comparable experience.
  • Knowledge of poetry and the literary arts community, preferably within the Bay Area and/or experimental writing communities.
  • Facility for interacting with and building rapport amongst a culturally diverse community of audiences and artists.
  • Experience successfully raising funds from public and/or private sources.
  • Basic fiscal acumen (budget generation, understanding of cash flow, etc.) or strong willingness to learn. 
  • Highly organized with the ability to think both strategically and work in the weeds.
  • Excellent written, verbal, and presentation skills.

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