Director of Special Productions & Initiatives – Washington Performing Arts

Washington Performing Arts – Washington, DC 20005

$90,000 – $95,000 a year

Department: Special Productions & Initiatives

Title of Immediate Supervisor: President & CEO

Best Consideration Date: February 2020

Target Hiring Period: Spring 2020

Date Posted: Dec 25, 2019

Washington Performing Arts invites applications and nominations for the role of Director of Special Productions and Initiatives. The Director of Special Productions and Initiatives will be a dynamic and creative thinker; one whose focus will be simultaneously on the D.C. creative community and the programs developed at Washington Performing Arts intended for a national platform. The Director will report to the President & CEO and is a member of the 7-person leadership team of Washington Performing Arts. Through this strategic programming and organizational developmentrole, the Director will lead the creation and execution of key “unique-to-Washington Performing Arts” events, initiatives, residencies, and partnerships including those that are a combination of large-scale, culturally specific, collaborative, and topical or commemorative. Such events are distinguished by their rich creative content, diverse funding and revenue sources, and wide-ranging impact, both programmatically and financially.

About Washington Performing Arts:

Washington Performing Arts nourishes communities throughout the region by partnering with local organizations and other arts institutions, staging concerts and arts activities in the neighborhoods, involving internationally known main stage performers in community programs, and presenting locally based artists to a wider audience. The organization places a premium on establishing artists as a continuing presence in the lives of both young people and adults through sustained residencies and educational programs. Washington Performing Arts’ achievements have been recognized with a National Medal of Arts and with two Mayor’s Arts Awards from the D.C. Government. As the organization embarks upon its next half-century with the goals of expanding its commitment to excellence and rededicating itself to Patrick Hayes’ founding motto: “Everybody in, nobody out,” Washington Performing Arts seeks to engage and employ the nation’s most qualified candidate for the role of Director of Special Productions and Initiatives.

Organizational Diversity:

Washington Performing Arts prizes the diversity of the organization, at every level; from programmatic content to composition of its board and staff, and is continually striving to better diversify its staff.

The Opportunity:
The role of Director of Special Productions and Initiatives was created in 2017 to continue the organization’s rich history of performing arts presentation, community engagement and cultural awareness through a wide array of collaborative programming, partnerships and community-focused events and activities. The two key components are: Special Productions and Mars Arts D.C.

Special Productions and Initiatives are distinguished by rich creative content shared across varied platforms, development of diverse funding sources, and wide-ranging programmatic impact. The Director will plan and activate production, budgeting, partnership development, and promotion with internal and external stakeholders. The Director will work as a thought-partner with the organization’s CEO and peers in programming and leadership, ensuring that WPA’s special productions receive a wide base of institutional support and amplify the organization’s mission and brand. In addition, the Director will be the primary staff contact for WPA’s Producer Council, led by Board members and key constituents. For examples of Special Productions (past, present, and future),

Mars Arts D.C. (a partnership with Mars, Inc.) is Washington Performing Arts’ signature community engagement program, now in its 6th year. Through this program, WPA connects visiting and DC-based artists through impactful collaborations, residencies, and programming in communities across the city. Mars Arts D.C. provides a platform for identifying and building new audiences, genres, and programming distribution outlets (audio/video recording, touring, co-producing). For further information on Mars Arts D.C.,

The Position:

The position provides leadership in the following areas:

  • Develop and Produce Special Productions
  • Manage and Curate Mars Arts, D.C.
  • Participate as a member of the 7-person Senior Staff leadership team at Washington Performing Arts
  • Oversight of dedicated intern and contractors
  • Partnership with civic, philanthropic, and arts organizations throughout D.C.
  • Represent WPA at public events and in media as required
  • Staff leadership for Producer Council; attendance at Board and Executive Committee meetings
  • Programmatic case-making for proposals
  • Creation of program metrics to support evaluation and case-making


  • Bachelor’s Degree in a related field from an accredited college/university with 10 years of professional work experience
  • Senior leadership experience within a non-profit and/or commercial arts institution
  • Experience working with boards of directors and other engaged stakeholders
  • Knowledge of diverse art forms (NB: Washington Performing Arts prioritizes music and dance)
  • Strong collaborative, relationship/consensus-building experience
  • Persuasive written and oral communication and presentation skills
  • A proven track record of advancing, executing, producing, and evaluating projects requiring collaboration, budget management, board engagement, and bottom-line responsibility
  • Experience developing new revenue streams (beyond the current scope of contributed revenue and ticket sales)

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Master’s degree in a related field
  • Intellectual property management and distribution
  • Confidence working in an entrepreneurial environment
  • Experience working in diverse, urban settings
  • Experience in governance and management
  • Knowledge of D.C. region and arts community


Send resume and cover letter. Please note: Applications without a cover letter will not be considered.

Best Consideration Date: February 29, 2020.

Diversity Statement

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. Minorities, Women, Protected Veterans and Individuals with Disabilities are encouraged to apply.

Job Type: Full-time

Salary: $90,000.00 to $95,000.00 /year


  • Bachelor’s (Required)


  • Washington, DC (Preferred)

Application Question:

  • Did you include a cover letter with your application? Applications without a cover letter will NOT be considered.


  • Health insurance
  • Dental insurance
  • Retirement plan
  • Paid time off
  • Parental leave
  • Other