27 Sep 2023


Director of Arts Education & Partnerships

Washington Performing Arts  →   Washington, District of Columbia, United States


Washington Performing Arts jobs

Job Description

Director of Arts Education & Partnerships
Washington Performing Arts

• Status: Full-time, exempt employee
• Salary: $100,000
• Location: Washington, DC
• Reports to: President & CEO
• Deadline: Apply by Mid-October for best consideration.


About Washington Performing Arts

One of the most established and honored performing arts institutions in America, Washington Performing Arts (WPA) has engaged for more than half a century with artists, audiences, students, and civic life. In venues ranging from concert halls and clubs to public parks, WPA has presented a tremendous range of artists and art forms, from the most distinguished symphony orchestras to both renowned and emerging artists in classical music, gospel music, jazz, culturally-specific music genres, dance, and more.

WPA deeply values its partnerships with local organizations and other arts institutions. Through events online and in myriad performance venues and neighborhoods, it engages international visiting artists in community programs and introduces local artists to wider audiences. WPA places a premium on establishing artists as a continuing presence in the lives of both young people and adults through residencies and education programs.

WPA has a strong history of working in partnership with DC Public Schools (DCPS). Since 1974, with the introduction of the Embassy Adoption Program, to present-day support for students in all of DC’s eight wards, WPA’s arts education programs and partnerships offer a variety of high-quality experiences for young people. WPA retains expert teaching artists to offer in-class instruction and resources for educators through ensembles, concerts, and artist residencies. Outside of the classroom, WPA offers performances and educational opportunities that promote lifelong learning for children, families, and seniors across the region.

WPA has been recognized with a National Medal of Arts and with three Mayor’s Arts Awards from the DC Government. Now approaching 60 years as a driver of the arts in the nation’s capital, WPA remains driven by the motto of its founder, Patrick Hayes: “Everybody in, nobody out.”
Visit www.washingtonperformingarts.org to learn more.


Position Overview

The Director of Arts Education & Partnerships provides strategic leadership and vision for WPA’s arts education programs. The next Director will provide leadership and resource development support to the President & CEO and other organizational leaders, and actively shape the future of arts and education programming while evolving WPA’s signature programs for youth and life-long learners.

WPA is proud of its significant partnership with DCPS, which provides an excellent and diverse array of multi-disciplinary arts experiences for DCPS students of all ages. The Director serves as the primary point of contact for DCPS’ main office, and as a strategic thought partner to the school district to continue to evolve established arts programming and spark new approaches to meet the needs of 21st-century learners, educators, and schools.

WPA has a new five-year strategic plan that sets clear and ambitious goals for programs,
operations, sustainability, and a vision to embody WPA’s founding ethos—Everybody In, Nobody Out—by embedding competencies, objectives, and accountability to mitigate identity-based disparities and advance equity at all levels of the organization. In support of this vision, the next Director will lead programming that centers opportunities for equitable access to the arts.

Key programs under the Director’s purview include:

  • Embassy Adoption Program (EAP): With over 50 embassy partners and global entities, EAP provides immersive cultural education through classroom visits, field trips, capstone presentations, and mini-United Nations simulations to DCPS classrooms.
  • Concerts in Schools (CIS): To make hands-on arts education available to Title 1 Schools in the DC metropolitan area, CIS brings professional, cross-disciplinary artists directly into schools to provide educational and interactive performances for students Pre-K to 12th grade.
  • Capital Arts Partnership (CAP): CAP supports existing instrumental and vocal ensembles in the areas of jazz, string instruments, vocal music, world music, and dance through year-long teaching artist residencies at 10 DCPS schools per year.
  • Capital Arts Spark Music Award: The Spark Award supports music teachers seeking to create new vocal/instrumental ensembles or to strengthen newly developed ensembles. Each year, one school is selected to receive three years of tiered support in the form of instruments and classroom supplies, in-class Teaching Artist support, and professional development to further the development of their new program.
  • DC Keys: In partnership with DCPS, the DC Keys curriculum promotes piano literacy and music composition skills and is made available to all DCPS elementary and middle school music classes.
  • DCPS City-Wide Go-Go Ensemble (formerly Honor Ensemble): In school year 23-24, partnering with DCPS and Growing Brains + Finding Rhythm, WPA is implementing a new Go-Go music-focused secondary school curricular program, including residencies in 10 DCPS middle and high schools, and culminating in a City-Wide Ensemble Workshop Day in spring of 2024.
  • Misbin Family Memorial Chamber Music Competition: Co-presented by Washington Performing Arts and Levine Music, the competition is open to student and adult amateur instrumental chamber music ensembles in the DC metropolitan area. Winners receive cash prizes and public performance opportunities through Washington Performing Arts.
  • Enriching Experiences for Seniors (EES): EES brings interactive performances and workshops led by professional artists in the areas of music, dance, theater, storytelling, and visual arts to senior communities throughout the DC metropolitan area.


Key Responsibilities

The Director serves an essential role in assessing, developing, and refining WPA’s programs and operations as a member of its seven-person senior management team. This management team is responsible for interpreting and executing WPA’s strategic plan, identifying opportunities for cross-departmental collaboration, and ensuring the financial well-being and visibility of the organization. They work closely with the Board of Directors and other key stakeholders to advance these priorities.

The Director manages a six-figure departmental budget and a team of two staff, interns, and a roster of talented teaching artists and faculty members. They report to the President & CEO.

Programmatic Oversight

  • Sustain, refine, and design delivery of high-quality arts education experiences for DC-area students, families, and life-long learners, with a balanced approach to a variety of genres, including music, dance, storytelling, and more.
  • Supervise and evaluate the operations of all school-based programs including Concerts In Schools, Embassy Adoption Program, residencies, ensembles, and competitions.
  • Develop, plan, and evaluate new and existing educational projects and programs.
  • Promote new ideas within the senior management team that advance WPA’s equitable approach to arts education experiences.
  • Initiate and monitor the implementation of new initiatives, including adult education projects, family and family-friendly programs, and other community educational activities.
  • Report on the arts education portfolio at organizational, funder, and board meetings.
  • Direct the advancement of WPA’s teaching artist program including selecting new artists, implementing training programs, and overseeing logistics.
  • Collaborate with WPA’s other senior leaders to integrate education programming within WPA’s presenting season, Mars Arts DC programs, special productions, and gospel music programs.

Partnership Development

  • Collaborate intensively with DCPS stakeholders. Serve as the primary point of contact with DCPS; direct departmental relationships with individual schools and teachers.
  • Represents WPA in public and professional forums, such as panels and conferences.
  • Identify prospective partnerships–institutional and geographically within the Capital region–that advance WPA’s arts education goals and mission.

Departmental Management

  • Supervise departmental team, including hiring, managing performance, and identifying professional development opportunities.
  • Develop and monitor departmental budgets. Maintain fiscal oversight of new initiatives within the board-approved budget.
  • Develop boilerplate and additional text for all education-related contracts, in partnership with general counsel and other staff.
  • Coordinate educational content to be used by the Marketing, Communications, and Creative Media departments.
  • Partner with the Advancement department to develop case-making from a range of constituencies, including foundations, major donors, and governmental contracts.
  • Write content and provide edits for grant proposals, as well as information for final reports, updates, and budgets, as requested.
  • Participate in donor cultivation and solicitation activities with the President & CEO and Advancement department, as requested.


Experience, Skills, and Qualities

While we understand that no single candidate can possess every qualification listed below, the following are priority areas:

  • A demonstrated commitment to publicly accessible arts education, as demonstrated by working with educators, school systems, and/or teaching artists.
  • At least seven years of experience in arts administration. Experience in performing arts; especially music or dance, is highly desired.
  • Experience with public school systems and/or other public/municipal structures.
  • A strong equity perspective, with high levels of emotional intelligence, integrity, cultural sensitivity, and interpersonal skills.
  • High attention to detail, with excellent organizational and project management skills.
  • Experience in organizational management, including budgeting and team supervision.
  • Ability to work cross-culturally; demonstrated comfort working alongside a wide variety of stakeholders, including educators, community members, and major donors.
  • Excellent communication, writing, and verbal skills; comfort presenting about WPA’s programs in a variety of public settings, including meetings, panels, and conferences.
  • Experience working in partnership with fundraising teams to promote programmatic ideas to potential supporters and funders.
  • Available to work evenings and weekends as necessary in support of programming (10% of the position)


The salary for this position is currently budgeted at $100,000, with a generous benefits package including health, dental, and vision insurance, a retirement with employer matching, and paid time off.

Working Location
WPA’s offices are located in downtown DC and employees follow a hybrid work schedule. This position travels frequently around DC, with occasional out-of-town travel for industry events.


Application Process

Washington Performing Arts has retained the services of Good Insight, a national executive search firm serving small nonprofits.
Interested applicants should submit a resume and a cover letter that describes their interest in and qualifications for this role.
Direct confidential inquiries to Carlyn Madden at WPA@good-insight.org.
Upload materials at good-insight.org/careers.

For best consideration, apply by mid-October. Qualified applicants will be contacted on a rolling basis. Early applications are encouraged due to the pace of the search.


Equal Opportunity Employer
Washington Performing Arts subscribes to a policy of Equal Employment Opportunity and will not discriminate against any employee or applicant because of race, age, sex, color, sexual orientation, physical or mental disability, protected veteran status, religion, ancestry or national origin, marital status, genetic information, political affiliation, and gender identity or expression. In addition, the District of Columbia adds protection for marital status, personal appearance, sexual orientation, family responsibilities, matriculation, or political affiliation. Washington Performing Arts’ employment decisions are made based on the needs of the organization and the qualifications of the applicants and employees.


Full-Time Job in Education:
Director of Arts Education & Partnerships
Washington Performing Arts
 Washington, District of Columbia, United States

Job Categories: Education. Job Types: Full-Time. Job Tags: arts education, director, non-profit, and performing arts. States: DC.