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Ceramics Teaching Artist
Position Reports To: Deputy Director
Status: Full-Time, Exempt Employee
Union Project’s Ceramics Teaching Artist (CTA) will plan and teach ceramic programs across a wide range of ages, skill levels, techniques, and venues. In addition to on-site programs at UP, the CTA will teach off-site programs in schools and other venues. The CTA will drive the Wheel Mobile to locations throughout Allegheny County to provide demonstrations and hands-on activities. In addition to teaching, the CTA will participate in studio maintenance and program management.
The CTA is an essential part of the Union Project team, spreading the joy of ceramics, helping people build their ceramic skills and understanding, supporting program growth, upholding UP’s brand, and meeting the organizational goals directed by the Capitalization Plan and fiscal year budget. The CTA will help position UP as a leader in the field of ceramic arts by supporting ceramic learners and emerging artists.
This is an in-person, non-remote position.
Primary Duties and Responsibilities:
Teaching – 50%
- Plan, develop curricula and lesson plans, and teach classes and workshops, custom programs, camps, school programs, residencies, and private workshops with community partners, both on-site at UP and off-site.
- Drive the Wheel Mobile (UP’s mobile clay studio) to locations throughout Allegheny County and provide demonstrations and hands-on learning.
- Transport supplies and ceramics work to and from program sites and Union Project.
- Work with program participants to meet their individual needs by providing technical guidance, offering suggestions, and educating them on the firing timeline and workflow management.
- Maintain a clean environment and perform any necessary set-up and cleanup on- and off-site. Ensure that all attendees clean their areas and tools.
- Develop and document curricula and lesson plans for ceramics programs.
- Act as a representative of Union Project, promoting programs and events, and ensuring all attendees leave with a positive experience.
Studio Maintenance – 25%
- Participate in daily ceramics studio operations, including:
- Firing kilns.
- Maintaining and repairing equipment.
- Monitor and request ceramics materials and supplies.
- Monitor studio procedures and studio functions.
- Mixing glazes and clay.
Program Management – 20%
- Coordinate educational programs.
- Field inquiries, coordinate program details and implementation, update internal calendars, and set program goals.
- Substitute for other teaching artists when needed.
- Ensure ceramics programming is in line with UP’s values and provides quality, enriching arts experiences for students of all ages.
- Manage data intake and data entry within program area – including client data and program data.
- Send invoices, monitor payments, and submit the necessary paperwork to pay any invoices received.
- Work with the Deputy Director to calculate and set program prices.
- Cultivate relationships and partnerships with artists, ceramic organizations, and non-ceramic organizations.
- Collaborate with other staff members to ensure consistent, quality programming throughout the organization. This includes participating in staff meetings, assisting with organizational events (Mother of All Pottery Sales), and facilitating artist participation.
- Work with UP staff and CFO to build and monitor annual budgets.
Other – 5%
- Support marketing efforts by collecting written and visual content for promotional verbiage, post mortems, and impact stories, as well as capturing images for use in e-communications and social media, flyers, mailings, etc.
- Participate in staff meetings as needed. (Staff meetings may take place in person, via phone, or via video chat.)
- Other related duties may be assigned by the Deputy Director or Executive Director.
- At least 3 years of experience working in ceramics.
- At least 3 years of experience working with children in a variety of learning environments, such as classroom, after-school, out-of-school, and camp settings.
- Extensive knowledge of ceramics, including skill in a wide variety of ceramic techniques, advanced wheel-throwing competency, and the ability to fire multiple types of kilns (gas reduction, raku, and wood fire).
- Flexible schedule with the ability to work on evenings and weekends (as needed for programs).
- Ability to lift 50 pounds.
- Must possess or be able to obtain a current PA Child Abuse History Clearance, PA State Police Criminal Record Check, and FBI Criminal Background Check.
- Must possess a valid PA state driver’s license and have access to a vehicle or other transportation for offsite programs.
- Excellent skills in both written and verbal communication. Keen attention to detail.
- Competent knowledge of Microsoft Office and the Google Suite. Ability to learn Sharepoint, Salesforce, and other programs.
- Self-motivated and collaborative. Ability to work both independently and closely with others – staff, contractors, and volunteers – to achieve greater organizational success.
- Positive attitude and ability to adapt to changing environments.
- Commitment to equity and inclusion, engaging diverse communities, cultivating relationships and community building through art.
Preferences (These are not required but are beneficial):
- Experience planning, running, and evaluating educational programs.
- A degree in ceramics and/or arts education.
- An active artistic practice in ceramics.
- Additional experience in other art forms beyond ceramics.
- Experience working with people and communities from a variety of ages, backgrounds, and ceramic skill levels.
- Strong cultural competency and experience with anti-oppression work and attention to culturally relevant pedagogy and restorative justice methods.
Salary and Benefits:
This is a full-time (40 hours per week), exempt, salaried position. The salary range starts at $38,000 a year. Staff are paid via direct deposit. The benefits package for full-time employees includes:
- Eligibility for health, dental, and vision coverage, including a Health Savings Account (HSA) after completion of the initial 90-day introductory period.
- Eligibility for 18 days of Personal Time Off annually (PTO to accrue at 1.5 days per month worked) after completion of the initial 90-day introductory period.
- 11 paid holidays (including 10 set holidays and 1 floating holiday) – UP’s set holidays can be seen listed at https://unionproject.org/visit/.
- Access to UP’s community studio facilities and equipment as well as a shared staff workspace.
To apply, interested parties should apply through JAZZ HR and include:
- Cover letter detailing your goals and interest in the position
- Name, email, and phone number of three professional references
Applicants invited to a second-round interview will also be asked to:
- Provide up to three past lesson plans
- Provide five – ten images of their ceramic work
- Give a wheel throwing demonstration and lesson
Review of applications will begin on October 20, 2023, and continue until the position is filled.
It is important to Union Project’s mission that our programs and events are fully inclusive and that our team is representative of the communities we work within. We strongly encourage people from underrepresented populations to apply.
It is Union Project’s intent to provide equal opportunity for all persons. It is Union Project’s policy that all qualified applicants for employment will be recruited, hired, and assigned on the basis of merit without regard to race, creed, color, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, national origin, or disability. UP employment policies and an inclusion plan have been created and will continue to ensure that all qualified individuals are treated equally with no discrimination in compensation, opportunities for advancement (including promotions and transfers), training and discipline based on race, creed, color, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, national origin, or disability.
About Union Project:
Union Project is a non-profit organization that uses the arts to bridge gaps between communities.
Located in a historic building at the intersection of diverse neighborhoods, since 2001, UP has empowered community members and leveraged the arts to create positive social change. Our primary program offerings are in ceramics, ranging from arts classes for people of all ages and skill levels, to professional development services for artists, to events that bring us all together.
In addition to our ceramics studio, UP is home to 155 community-restored stained glass windows, 35-foot vaulted ceilings, original woodwork, and more than 3,200 square feet of stunning event rental space. We value community, inclusivity, art and artists, collaboration, and joy. We envision a future where, through the arts, everyone is able to transform their lives and communities.