Manager, Advancement, Strategic, and Special Events

Washington, DC
Jul 27, 2019
Aug 25, 2019
Full Time
About the Organization:

The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts ("The Kennedy Center") 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.

Mission Statement: As the nation's performing arts center, and a living memorial to President John F. Kennedy, we are a leader for the arts across America and around the world, reaching and connecting with artists, inspiring and educating communities. We welcome all to create, experience, learn about, and engage with the arts.

The Kennedy Center, which opened on September 8, 1971, is located on 17 acres overlooking the Potomac River in Washington, D.C. The Center continues its efforts to fulfill President Kennedy's vision by producing and presenting an unmatched variety of theater and musicals, dance and ballet, orchestral, chamber, jazz, popular, world, and folk music, and multimedia performances for all ages.

Job Description:

The Manager, Advancement, Strategic, and Special Events is responsible for the planning, execution, and management of high-level fundraising and cultivation events at the Kennedy Center, including but not limited to the Kennedy Center Honors, The Mark Twain Prize for American Humor, The Washington National Opera Gala, and the National Symphony Orchestra Season Opening Gala. This position works closely with numerous Kennedy Center committees to plan and execute donor based trips domestically and internationally. The ideal candidate will have experience with event budgeting and management for events with revenue in excess of $2 million. Full understanding of the value of an integrated business structure among marketing, programming, development, public relations and finance is essential.

Incumbent must be able to work independently, prioritize assignments, and work under significant pressure. Most projects under management are time sensitive, involving frequent concurrent deadlines, and have a direct impact on the high-level donor base of the Kennedy Center. Unfailing attention to detail is critical. An eagerness to develop and implement new processes for improving effectiveness in event planning and logistics is extremely important, as is the ability to communicate clearly and handle problematic situations diplomatically.

Duties and Responsibilities:

30% Manage all facets of the event process including planning and implementing timelines, event conception and design, vendor management, expense monitoring and budgeting, invitation and printed materials cultivation, event database management, post event financial reconciliation, and cross-departmental team management. Work with the Marketing, Advertising, Public Relations, and Artistic Programming departments on Center's fundraising and cultivation events to create a comprehensive strategic plan to increase revenue and reduce expense to achieve positive net margins for all events.

30% Maintain space calendar for all private event space within the Center. Coordinate rental functions associated with theater bookings, group sales purchases, and non-Center donor activities assuring that functions meet all requirements of the Center. Work with the Facilities, Production, Catering, and Operations departments to ensure a streamlined experience for clients and guests alike.

20% Create innovative event concepts and unique designs following, adapting and enhancing current and future industry trends. Collaborate with chefs and caterers to develop inspired menus for Center fundraising and cultivation events. Design minute-by-minute activities of events including VIP and guest movement, food and beverage service, traffic flow, and full run of show. Contract with vendors on event design including florists, photographers, musicians, calligraphers, equipment rental companies, etc.

20% With the Director, supervise and develop performance standards for an office of nine; Maintain a healthy, professional and vibrant working relationship within the office and across the institution; Support and cultivate new ideas and creative development of both repeat and new events.

N/A Responds to the needs and requests of Kennedy Center management and staff in a professional and expedient manner, adheres to all employer policies and procedures, and other duties as assigned.

Key Qualifications:
  • You have a Bachelor's degree in a field related to the arts, public relations or special events, or equivalent knowledge and experience.
  • You have a minimum of five or more years' experience in planning fundraising events.
  • You have development and/or financial analysis experience.
  • You have a full appreciation and understanding of evening planning and logistics as it applies to matters of food and beverage services, production services, and other vendor negotiations that are up to Kennedy Center standards.
  • You can work both independently and in a collaborative team environment with ease.
  • You have a flexible schedule and will be available to work for extended hours.

Physical Demands:

While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly required to communicate in person and on the telephone. The employee is frequently required to use hands to finger, handle, or feel in order to operate computer keyboard, office equipment, and other essential tasks. The employee is frequently required to sit, stand, walk, bend, stoop, crouch, and reach with hands and arms. This position infrequently lifts, carries, or otherwise moves and positions objects weighing up to 25 pounds.

Occasional need to move equipment, boxes, supplies from office to event space.

Work Environment:

Fast paced office that values team work and a collaborative effort, working towards a common goal. Vibrant group dynamic. Creative thinking is rewarded.

The noise level in the work environment is normal.

Travel up to 20% annually may be required.


We offer a comprehensive range of benefits to all full-time employees including: Medical, Dental, Vision, Paid Time Off, Paid Sick Leave, and a matching 403(b) Retirement Plan.

Additional benefits include: Commuter Programs, Education Assistance Programs, Social Activities, and other employee discounts and specials.