Managing Director

Website literaryarts Literary Arts

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Employee Type: Salaried, Exempt

Reports to: Executive Director

Salary: $120,000/year plus comprehensive benefits

Literary Arts is looking for an exceptional individual to join our team as Managing Director, overseeing all internal operations and retail activity. Literary Arts is in the middle of a transformational, once-in-generation project that will grow and reshape the organization for generations to come. The project includes opening a new 14,000 square foot facility (716 SE Grand Ave) that will serve as our headquarters and launching a new writers residency program in a separate facility. The successful candidate will have the opportunity to shape and build a new department for the organization, including evaluating current systems, and building facility and retail management systems.


Literary Arts is a community-based nonprofit arts organization located in Portland, Oregon. Our mission is to engage readers, support writers, and inspire the next generation with great literature.

Our programs create opportunities for readers and writers of all ages and walks of life to engage with stories. We provide programs in concert halls, classrooms, our community space, and on the radio. Literary Arts is committed to remaining a dynamic and responsive organization that will continue to evolve with our community’s needs and deepen our equity work across all our programs.

The Position:

The Managing Director should have strong executive leadership skills, a demonstrated love and passion for the arts, a demonstrated commitment to DEI, and an entrepreneurial spirit. The Managing Director will report to the Executive Director and oversee the internal operations and retail side of the organization. This involves working closely with the executive leadership team to ensure that we are achieving our strategic, financial, and organizational goals. They will ensure that we are operating our building efficiently and equitably, that we have the systems and training in place to ensure that our employees have what they need to thrive, that our goals and planning are exciting and achievable, and that our staff culture is collaborative and healthy. The Managing Director will also work with staff and our partners to think creatively about building out our new retail space, activating the newly remodeled facility into a vibrant community gathering place and a profitable bookstore/cafe.

The Managing Director currently has five direct reports that oversee the Bookstore, Cafe, Operations, Finance, and Data services. There will also be contractors who will oversee Security, Custodial, and IT. This role is responsible for overseeing and managing the operations of Literary Arts in close partnership with the Executive Director.

We encourage BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and people of color), members of the LGBTQ+ community, people with disabilities, and other communities historically underrepresented in arts administration spaces to apply. We actively seek diversity, equity, and inclusivity because the excellence of our work and the value of its impact depend on them. We strive to create an environment where the different perspectives we bring to our work are valued as much as the work we produce.



  • As a member of our senior leadership team, working with the senior team and board to ensure that Literary Arts is on mission, a fair and equitable workplace, financially sustainable, and artistically dynamic.
  • Work in close coordination with the Executive Director to ensure smooth operations, coordinated across the entire organization.

Financial and Strategic Planning

  • Responsible for ensuring organizational evaluation and reporting, both for tracking program effectiveness and impact, audience demographics, and other important metrics. (There is a staff member who has primary responsibility for gathering and tracking data and metrics that this position oversees.)
  • Lead work with program directors, Bookstore Manager and Café Manager, and other appropriate staff to ensure sustainability of new programming and functions.
  • Be an active partner to the Executive Director and Sr. Director of Finance in overall financial planning and oversight.

People and Culture

  • Oversight of employee relations, in collaboration with our provider Xenium, the Associate Director of Operations, and the Sr. Director of Finance.
  • Responsible for maintaining clear, consistent internal communications within the organization.
  • Responsible for ensuring employment policies, practices, benefits, and compensation packages are fair and equitable.
  • Responsible, in collaboration with leadership team, for ensuring ongoing anti-racism, intersectional anti-bias, and DEI training.

Operations, Administration

  • Provide oversight and leadership for overall facilities management, IT/AV, security, and space usage. Working with staff and external contractors to ensure space is safe and healthy, major systems are well maintained, and that we are inclusive and welcoming.
  • Oversight of insurance plans and risk analysis.


  • Oversee retail operations with Bookstore and Cafe, including fostering a welcoming space for all.
  • Work with Bookstore Manager to meet retail sales goals with a long-term objective of creating a strong and profitable retail arm of Literary Arts.
  • Oversee the cross-department collaboration between Marketing and Bookstore Managers to ensure successful mission-driven outcomes.
  • Coordinate with program directors on artistic programming in the new building’s public spaces, balancing retail activity with mission-driven activities that do not have direct financial benefit.
  • Coordinate with the Sr. Artistic Director to ensure book sales at offsite events including at the concert hall and the Portland Book Festival.


We acknowledge that there may be exceptional candidates who may not fulfill all these criteria, and we are aware that you might offer valuable insights, experiences, and skill sets that we haven’t considered. If this resonates with you, we encourage you to submit your application and share your story with us.

  • 4+ years of experience in a senior management or director level leadership role with proven track record of success in financial/strategic planning and operations, preferably at a nonprofit
  • Experience with the operational side of managing a business (IT/safety/systems/people/finance)
  • Experience with facilities management
  • Comfortable with utilizing contemporary HR policies and practices for the benefit of people and culture
  • Some experience with (and enthusiasm for) retail, especially bookstore and coffee shop
  • Passion for creating inclusive communities and for DEI work
  • Excellent analytical and problem-solving skills
  • Ability to lead across diverse teams
  • Experience with staff training and professional development

Job Conditions:

Benefits: Literary Arts currently pays for health, dental, and vision coverage for each full-time employee, and offers a 401K program with employer match. Literary Arts also fully pays for short- and long-term disability insurance. All full-time employees begin with three weeks of paid vacation time, which increases to five weeks after five years of employment. We also provide three additional paid personal days off, in addition to observing approximately 12 paid holidays. As a registered nonprofit, the organization qualifies for public service loan forgiveness. Information on additional benefits is available upon request.

Office Layout is an open concept, between two common spaces used for meetings, events, and workshops. The Project’s new facility will also be open concept, with flexible meeting rooms and hoteling workstations.

Equipment Used: Mac laptop, copier/printer, postage machine, and other standard office equipment. Literary Arts provides an adjustable office chair; a standing desk can be requested.

Physical Demands: Long periods of sitting are required at the computer or in meetings. Some concentrated periods of computer keyboarding may be required throughout the work week. However, this position does accommodate breaks from sitting as needed. Lifting and moving of boxes is required; boxes in excess of 25 pounds should be lifted with assistance.

To apply, please submit your resume and cover letter explaining why you are interested and how you are qualified for the role of Managing Director to with the subject line “Managing Director.” Applications will be accepted through May 17, 2024.

After you submit your application materials, you will be invited to participate in a voluntary survey. Literary Arts is committed to creating a diverse, inclusive, and equitable environment for our employees and volunteers, and data collected from these surveys allows us to measure and show the progress we are making in a concrete way. We welcome applicants from diverse backgrounds and experiences.

For more information about Literary Arts, visit

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