National Director, Turnaround Arts

Washington DC
Oct 30, 2018
Mar 11, 2019
Full Time

The Kennedy Center is searching for an exceptional individual to develop a comprehensive strategy and lead the Turnaround Arts program as the National Director. This position reports directly to the Director of School and Community Programs (SCP) at the Kennedy Center; directly supervises the Turnaround Arts Implementation Director and Program Manager, as well as having oversight of the entire team and external relations contractors.

The Turnaround Arts program utilizes arts education as a tool in school reform for the nation's most underserved public schools, grades PK-8. Through ambitious and strategic arts investments - aimed at impacting every hallway, every classroom, every staff member, and every student in the school - Turnaround Arts fuels whole-school transformation. The program provides tangible arts education resources to each local program partner and school, including arts supplies, musical instruments, school musicals, teacher trainings, and more. Through our framework for school improvement, ongoing coaching, and a focus on the connections between broader school goals and strategic use of the arts, Turnaround Arts schools are making significant gains.

The National Director serves as part of the SCP leadership cabinet and ensures alignment and contribution of Turnaround Arts to the overall SCP strategy and cross-functional workstreams.

The objective of the National Director is to:

  • Plan, develop, and set the vision for Turnaround Arts
  • Collaborate closely with the Implementation Director and Program Manager to develop and execute strategic goals for the program
  • Direct and supervise all external relations efforts, including leveraging high-profile artists, fundraising, and public relations
  • Develop and maintain a national program evaluation
  • Represent Turnaround Arts and the Kennedy Center at national conferences, meetings, site visits, and more

Duties and Responsibilities:

20% National Program Strategy, Leadership, and Vision

    Collaborate with and develop alignment with SCP overall arts education strategy and programming. Plan, develop, and set vision for the Turnaround Arts program Collaborate closely with the Program Manager and Implementation Director to develop and execute strategic goals for the program Focus on sustainability of the national program, advocating for its fidelity
40% External Relations

    Direct and lead all Turnaround Arts external relations efforts, including but not limited to engaging, building relationships with, managing, and leveraging high-profile artists for their work with Turnaround Arts Schools and other Kennedy Center Education programs; collaboratively creating a mutually beneficial program site management plan to promote independence and sustainability; developing a strategy and implementation plan for school and local program site visits; collaborating with the Kennedy Center Development team to create, develop, and manage relationships with national funders to raise visibility and support for Turnaround Arts and other SCP programs; building visibility for the program through various communication strategies, including public relations, media engagements, newsletters, social media, and more; and managing Turnaround Arts talent shows and music videos.
20% National Evaluation

    Develop and maintain a national program evaluation Collaborate with the Kennedy Center's Research and Evaluation department, along with an external contracted evaluator, in this work
10% Site Visits and Technical Assistance

    Provide technical assistance and coaching, both in-person and remotely, to local program partners
5% Public Speaking & Networking

    Serve as liaison and occasional presenter for Turnaround Arts to other national organizations, partners, conferences and more, representing the Kennedy Center
5% Staff and Contractor Management

    Supervise Turnaround Arts staff positions and external contractors.
Other duties as assigned


Should possess a graduate degree or equivalent experience (minimum of ten years) in communications, administration, community organizing, the arts, and/or education.

Must have a working knowledge of arts education and experience managing social change programs, as well as experience in budget management and finance.

Should have proficient writing and editing skills, as well as excellent communication skills.

Must have strong customer service skills and a demonstrated strength in problem solving.

Minimum Skills and/or Knowledge Required:

Detail any specific knowledge, skills, certifications, or abilities needed to perform the job not encompassed in the above categories.

Must have extremely high social intelligence and be equipped to foster and build relationships with high profile artists.

Work Environment

The work environment characteristics described here are representative of those an employee encounters while performing the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

Must be able to work beyond a 40-hour week on a regular basis. Occasional weekend and evening events.

Travel up to 50% may be required.

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. We offer a comprehensive range of benefits including medical, dental and vision insurance, paid vacation and sick leave, and a 403(b) retirement plan.

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