Recess is Seeking an Artist Social Worker

Recess seeks a part-time teaching artist who is a licensed social worker to work alongside our Assembly program youth, offering group and individual counseling and integrating art and mental health wellness within all program activities to nurture greater self-reliance, empowerment, and long-term success.

About Recess: Recess partners with artists to build a more just and equitable creative community. By welcoming radical thinkers to imagine and shape networks of resilience and safety, Recess defines and advances the possibilities of contemporary art. For more information visit

About Assembly: Founded in 2016, Assembly offers system-impacted young people aged 18-26 an inroad to art and connections to working artists, while serving as an alternative to incarceration and its intersecting systems of oppression. The curriculum empowers young people to take charge of their own life story and envision a future through art. The program diverts both misdemeanor and felony charges and in 2020 expanded to include a peer-to-peer referral model.

The Assembly curriculum and program structure is rooted in creative reimagination and is trauma-informed, taking components from cognitive psychology and the behavioral sciences. By creating this position, Recess wishes to take a radical step toward further opening access to creative thinking, emotional awareness, healing, and empowerment.

The Artist Social Worker will serve as a key member of the Recess ecosystem, weaving together the arts, mental health wellness and individual assessment into the overall practice of the Assembly program. The Artist Social Worker will, therefore, actively build lesson plans that offer space for our creative community (including youth, artists and staff) to share, process, and support each other, while having ties to community resources and a strong referral network for extended services.

Responsibilities include but are not limited to:

  • Develop trauma-informed arts-based activities and projects that offer a creative starting point to coping and critical thinking skills 
  • Advocate for and develop plans to improve participants’ well-being
  • Research and refer participants to community resources
  • Approach trust-building with compassion and patience
  • Provide ongoing individual and group counseling and therapeutic support as needed
  • Refer participants to doctors, therapists and medical professionals for diagnosis and treatment, as needed
  • Cultivate a holistic culture of mental health wellness by instituting a knowledge base and trauma-informed practices into organizational structures


  • Passion for art, social justice, wellness, arts administration, youth development, and innovative strategies;
  • Strong collaborative work ethic and relationship skills (working with staff colleagues, artists, youth participants, Board, funders, and partners);
  • At least 3 years arts administration and/or non-profit experience; plus 3-5 years experience in clinical social work
  • Ability to apply a racial justice and equity lense to social work  
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills; 
  • Flexibility and strong ability to manage projects independently and with others;
  • Ability to multitask, problem-solve, and prioritize well;   
  • Part time, Thursday through Saturday and occasional evenings as related to events and programs; 
  • Strong referral network in NYC a plus;
  • Clinical social worker license a plus;
  • Computer and online literacy and strong working skills in Microsoft Office, Google Drive; working knowledge of Adobe Creative Suite and crm database systems a plus;
  • Relevant lived experience a plus

Reports to Co-Directors
Salary: Recess universal salary: 40k at 20 hrs/per week (with opportunities for growth). Includes health, dental, vision benefits; 401K plan.
Position start date: October 2022
Schedule: Negotiable. Recommended: Thursdays to Saturdays; occasional events and programs outside regular hours

Application Instructions: Submit a cover letter, resume, and three references as a combined pdf by email to with the subject line “Artist Social Worker”; Applications due 9/12/22.

Recess is an equal opportunity employer and considers all candidates for employment regardless of age, color, sex, gender identity or expression, disability, national origin, ethnicity, race, religion, veteran status, housing status, socioeconomic status, sexual orientation, marital status, pregnancy, genetic information, or previous homelessness or legal system involvement.
Note: Statistics show that individuals coming from historically excluded or oppressed groups apply to jobs only if they meet every qualification. Recess invites you to skew that statistic. Applicants rarely meet 100% of the qualifications. We look forward to hearing from you.