Chautauqua Institution

  • EDUC: Assistant to the Director of Literary Arts

    Job Locations US-NY-Chautauqua
    Posted Date 3 weeks ago(4/4/2019 11:44 AM)
    # of Openings
    Education: Literary Arts
  • Overview

    The pre-eminent expression of lifelong learning in the United States, Chautauqua Institution comes alive each summer with a unique mix of fine and performing arts, lectures, interfaith worship and programs, and recreational activities. Over the course of nine weeks, more than 100,000 people visit Chautauqua and participate in programs, classes and community events for all ages — all within the beautiful setting of a historic lakeside village. As a community, we celebrate, encourage and study the arts and treat them as integral to all of learning, and we convene the critical conversations of the day to advance understanding through civil dialogue.


    This assistant will work behind the scenes and at the second floor reception desk of the Literary Arts Center at Alumni Hall to ensure that all literary arts communication with staff, registered students, community members and guest authors is accurate, swift, professional and welcoming.

    The Literary Arts Center at Alumni Hall
    is the hub of Chautauqua Literary Arts activity on the grounds and has multiple specific stakeholders, including the Chautauqua Writers’ Center, the CLSC Veranda (a bookstore) and the Alumni Association of the CLSC. The assistant to the director will sometimes be the first person any visitor encounters when entering the building, especially if they’ve arrived through the rear entrance, but often visitors have been directed upstairs by front desk reception staff. This person must be friendly, courteous and willing to make all visitors feel welcome. This position is a part of the Department of Education, and the immediate supervisor for reception desk work is the building host/manager, while the immediate supervisor for email, phone and print communication is the director of literary arts. This assistant will work alongside Literary Arts staff and interns, 4-5 days/week (20 hours), as coordinated with the Building Manager.


    Hours for the position – 20-25 hrs/week. This position is primarily for weekday mornings (8am-11am) and weekday afternoons (12:45pm-3:45pm). Occasional substitutions as needed.


    • Prepare the second floor of the building for the day. Post signage, turn on the lights and any devices, unlock the desk/display, check the voice mailbox, etc.
    • Greet persons who come through the second floor hallway entrance and/or who come to the desk.
    • Answer the phone and direct the call and/or answer any question the caller may have. Field email messages identified for reply by the director of literary arts.
    • Answer any questions visitors may have. (And if you cannot answer, make a note to find the answer.)
    • Direct people to classrooms, meetings, gatherings, restrooms, etc.
    • Take and record the dues for the Chautauqua Literary and Scientific Circle and the Chautauqua Literary Arts Friends (CLAF), as well as RSVPs for special events.
    • Conduct and record all sales of books, merchandise and/or tickets to special events (sometimes over the phone).
    • Keep track of office supplies and sales items at the desk. When running low, alert the building host/manager.
    • Tally the daily cash receipts sheet and leave/deliver for recording by CLAF and the CLSC Veranda manager.
    • Assist people who request help submitting work to a CLAF contest/program.
    • Lock up the desk/display at the end of all shifts, secure devices and receipts, etc.
    • Potential for poster/flyer design, printing and posting in designated locations each week.
    • Other duties the building host/manager or director of literary arts may ask on behalf of CLAF or the CLSC Veranda.


    • Hospitality experience preferred, welcoming demeanor
    • Basic computer and math skills
    • Record-keeping experience 
    • Strong professional writing (email) experience preferred
    • Basic flyer/poster design skills preferred


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