Press Representative for Contemporary Culture and Special Programs

Washington D.C.
Jun 14, 2017
Jul 19, 2017
Full Time

The Press Representative for Contemporary Culture and Special Programs will act as the lead publicist for jazz and contemporary music programs, Hip Hop Culture programming, as well as the Signature Comedy Series and District of Comedy Festival. In addition, the representative will act as publicist for major international festivals, community programs, holiday and special celebrations operated by Performing Arts for Everyone (PAFE). The representative will be responsible for special music programs as assigned.

She/he must have highly effective communication skills (both verbal and written), and be able to move efficiently and resolve conflicts in a public, dynamic, fast-paced, exciting, and high-pressure atmosphere. Duties include promoting each program by creating compelling long and short term press/media strategies, preparing materials for publication, writing press releases and media alerts, coordinating and managing interviews, maintaining appropriate press reports per program, and organizing and managing PR staffing for events under these programs.

The Press Representative for Contemporary Culture and Special Programs reports to the Senior Press Representative, Theater and Education, and is supported by a shared Non-Classical Press Coordinator. The Representative works closely with the non-classical PR team to strategically promote a diverse array of programming featured at the Kennedy Center. As a member of the Public Relations Office, the Representative will also assist the team’s other press representatives with Center-wide initiatives, including high-profile events like the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor, Kennedy Center Honors, and the Spring Gala. She/he will also work closely with theater managers, the Box Office, and other departments and therefore must collaborate well with others.

Duties and Responsibilities:                                                     

15%    Uses superb writing skills to create press releases and media advisories for all for Comedy, Contemporary Culture, Hip Hop, Jazz, International Programs, Special Programs, and PAFE initiatives, including announcements for full series, one-off performances, and annual events.

15%    Fosters and maintains local, national, and international media contacts. Formulates and executes comprehensive press coverage plans for Comedy, Contemporary Culture, Hip Hop, Jazz, International, and Special Programs.

15%    Secures print, radio, TV, and web coverage for artists and/or programmers under these initiatives. Provide advance media training and key messaging to talent and/or programmers.

10%    Engages with artist and record label publicists in promoting for Comedy, Contemporary Culture, Hip Hop, Jazz, and International Programs. Reviews print and audio advertisements and brochure copy for Comedy, Contemporary Culture, Hip Hop, Jazz, International Programs, and Special Programs prior to release to the public.

10%   Track media impressions; produce and distribute organized and time-sensitive press reports.

15%    Drafts and edits biographies and program copy for performances in the Comedy, Contemporary Culture, Hip Hop Jazz, International, and Special Programs. Collaborates with Playbill offices in New York on editing and layout of relevant Kennedy Center program books. Oversees Non-Classical Press Coordinator in the proofing and editing process for relevant program books.

15%    Assists media onsite (including reviewers, photographers, videographers, and crews) during performances, following and enforcing the Kennedy Center’s policies.

5%      Assists on nationally televised productions including the Kennedy Center Honors and Mark Twain Prize for American Humor, as well as other programs as assigned.             


• Performing arts background is a MUST; Hip Hop and/or Jazz background preferred.

• Five or more years of strong experience in public relations.

• Bachelor’s degree required.

• Strong communication skills—both verbal and written.

• Knowledge of editing styles.

• Ability to prioritize and juggle multiple, changing priorities a must.


The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts is a world premier performing arts organization and our nation’s cultural center. Diversity is a critical component of our mission, vision, and values. Our staff exhibits a wide variety of perspectives and experiences which enable us to foster and strengthen an environment of diversity and inclusion.

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