31 Jul 2012
Washington Performing Arts Society
15 Sep 2012
The Washington Performing Arts Society, internationally recognized as a leader in performing arts presenting, welcomes nominations and applications for the position of President.
Established in 1965 in the Nation’s Capital by the legendary impresario Patrick Hayes, Washington Performing Arts Society (WPAS) has created profound opportunities for connecting the community to artists, both in education and performance, for more than four decades. Today WPAS is considered one of the country’s leading presenters of the performing arts. Neale Perl, who has served as President since 2002, has announced his intention to step down with the appointment of his successor in 2013.
The mission of the Washington Performing Arts Society is threefold: 1) to provide the Washington community with performing arts presentations of the highest quality and of varied content and tradition; 2) to support and nurture performing artists and their art forms; and 3) to provide lifelong learning opportunities through arts education, youth involvement, and community partnerships.
WPAS presents more than 60 performances annually of classical music, world music, jazz, modern and traditional dance, contemporary and popular work in a variety of spaces throughout the Washington metropolitan area. Performers include world renowned orchestras and soloists as well as emerging artists. Venues include the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, The Music Center at Strathmore, the Harman Center for the Arts, Sixth and I Historic Synagogue, The Lincoln Theatre, The Warner Theatre, People’s Congregational Church, Baird Auditorium of the National Museum of Natural History, and George Washington University’s Lisner Auditorium. Music in the Country brings solo recitals and chamber music concerts to audiences in intimate settings in rural Virginia.
WPAS’s education and community initiatives give people of all ages a wide range of opportunities to learn about and participate in the performing arts. Programs for young people offer a continuum of experiences: from one time performances by teaching artists in the Concerts in Schools program to ongoing instruction in gospel, jazz, step dancing, and strings as part of The Capital Arts Initiative with DC Public Schools during the school year and the WPAS Performing Arts Academy during the summer. Performance and competition opportunities, as well as student tickets to main stage concerts, enhance these programs. The WPAS Children of the Gospel Choir has performed in various venues in the city including the White House, just as the acclaimed WPAS Men and Women of the Gospel Choir has inspired audiences throughout the city for more than two decades. Other offerings for adults have included master classes, professional development for teachers and teaching artists, enriching experiences for seniors, pre-concert talks, and lecture/demonstration concerts.
Utilizing the unique resources of the nation’s capital, The Embassy Adoption Program pairs 50 embassies with 5th and 6th grade classes, providing opportunities for unique cross-cultural learning experiences.
The Washington Performing Arts Society is governed by a 50-member Board of Directors and has an administrative staff of 37. The FY 2012 operating budget is $8.1 million. WPAS offices are located in downtown Washington, DC.
The next President will take leadership of WPAS at an exciting time of transition and growth. Building on an exceptional legacy, the President will have the opportunity to broaden the vision, programming, and reach of one of the nation’s leading performing arts presenters. The President will inspire, engage, and energize a wide range of stakeholders in implementing a bold strategic plan as the organization embraces innovation and pursues new levels of excellence in artistic achievement, education, and community engagement. The President will enjoy the benefit of multiple venues in which to present the finest in classical, jazz, world, and traditional music and dance, while introducing new artists and ensembles and expanding the boundaries for performing arts presentations in the Nation’s Capital.
The next President of WPAS will be able to fully exploit the many opportunities to integrate education with main stage programming. S/he will join an organization that values education, promotes life-long learning, and has a deep commitment to audiences of diverse ages, traditions, and communities.
The President is the chief executive officer of the Washington Performing Arts Society and reports to the Board of Directors through the Chairman. Working with the Board of Directors, the President provides leadership and vision to ensure that WPAS achieves its mission and meets its goals for artistic, financial, educational, and community engagement.
The President manages the human and financial resources of the organization. S/he is responsible and accountable for all aspects of WPAS’s operations and administration, including planning, programming, production, financial management, fund raising, marketing, public relations, and community engagement, and for implementing policies established by the Board.
The President provides leadership and impetus to the Board and staff in developing strategic plans for the organization and ensuring that plans are implemented, monitored, and evaluated on an on-going basis. S/he works with the Chairman to identify and recruit volunteer leadership for WPAS’s Board of Directors and committees. The President recruits, hires, motivates, supervises and evaluates a management team of the highest caliber to achieve the mission and goals of the Washington Performing Arts Society.
The President serves as artistic director for WPAS. S/he provides the vision and oversees the design and content of the annual schedule of performances and educational activities. S/he assembles and leads a curatorial team that brings a thorough knowledge of artists, ensembles, and repertoire in all aspects of the performing arts, and maintains positive working relationships with those who manage and represent artists and ensembles. S/he works with the Director of Education to ensure the strategic plan for education is successfully implemented, having an impact on area students as well as life-long learners of all ages.
The President oversees the development and implementation of the annual operating budget. S/he ensures that earned and contributed income goals are met. S/he monitors performance against budget, makes corrections as needed, and provides regular financial reports to the Board of Directors.
The President provides leadership to the fundraising efforts of the organization. S/he nurtures relationships with existing donors. S/he identifies, cultivates, solicits, and provides excellent stewardship for all gifts. S/he builds relationships throughout the community to heighten awareness of the artistic and educational work of WPAS and to expand the pool of contributors at all levels.
The President provides leadership for the marketing efforts of the organization. S/he ensures that the WPAS brand is recognized and respected throughout the community, the region, and among artists nationally and internationally. S/he ensures that goals for audience development, education, outreach, and community engagement are met.
The President is the chief spokesperson for the organization and a strong advocate for the arts in the Nation’s Capital. S/he represents WPAS with all external audiences throughout the community. S/he aggressively seeks opportunities to develop productive partnerships and collaborations. S/he attends WPAS performances and is an active and visible participant in the arts and community life of the Capital region.
The ideal candidate will be a visionary leader and strategic thinker who combines passion and creativity with a thorough knowledge and understanding of the broad range of performing arts. S/he will have a strong record of success in programming, presenting, audience development, marketing, and fundraising. S/he will have a broad and compelling vision of the future of the performing arts and their audiences, including arts education, and will be able to articulate that vision to a diverse community.
The successful candidate will have a history of achievement in presenting and building community around the performing arts. S/he will be equally at home working with artists and ensembles in the fields of classical music, jazz, world music, classical and modern dance, and popular music. S/he will be experienced working with solo artists and ensembles from all musical genres. The successful candidate will be receptive to a wide range of performance options. S/he will be aware and curious about new directions in education, creation and presentation. S/he will value diversity and the role it plays in an arts organization’s contribution to community life.
The successful candidate will have excellent interpersonal skills and a special passion for sharing art with the public. S/he will have a demonstrated record of success in retaining and building audiences for a diverse offering of presentations. S/he will be experienced in managing a wide network of partnerships and in presenting the arts in multiple venues.
The successful candidate will be an effective and enthusiastic fundraiser. S/he will have superb public presentation skills and a record of success in generating financial support for on-going programs, educational activities, special projects, and endowment. S/he will have strong entrepreneurial instincts and will be creative in finding new and effective ways to increase financial support for WPAS.
The successful candidate will be an experienced executive with excellent planning, organizational, communications, financial, and management skills. S/he will be skilled in recruiting and working effectively with volunteers in both governance and support roles. S/he will have the ability to lead, inspire, and motivate staff in an environment that fosters creativity, a commitment to excellence, teamwork, and mutual respect.
The successful candidate will be a person of high energy with the ability and willingness to maintain a rigorous schedule that includes evening and weekend performances and special events. S/he will have at least ten years’ senior executive experience, and will be a person of integrity, maturity, and sound judgment.
The successful candidate will welcome the opportunity to serve at the helm of Washington’s premier performing arts presenting organization and to be a full participant in the life of the Washington community.
Compensation, including benefits, is competitive and will be commensurate with qualifications and experience.
Please submit a resume together with a letter of application that outlines both interest and qualifications. Provide salary history or requirements, and list at least three professional references. All submissions will be confidential and references will not be contacted without the candidate’s prior approval.
Nominations and recommendations of potential candidates are welcome.
Please send materials by September 15, 2012, to:
WPAS President Search
c/o Catherine French Group
2500 Q Street NW, Suite 623
Washington, DC 20007
(MS Word or Adobe Acrobat attachments only, please.)