Director of Programs, Arts Education/Art Therapy

Project Create - Washington, District of Columbia

Job Category: Programs

Job Type: Paid

Job Term: Full Time

Compensation: $65000

Application Deadline: December 31, 2020

About Our Organization

Project Create is a community-based nonprofit that promotes creative youth development through multi-disciplinary arts education and art therapy. Project Create staff, teaching artists and art therapists have been working with children, youth and families in Washington, DC for twenty-five years. Our students participate in out-of-school-time art classes, workshops, open studio, field trips, and exhibition and performance opportunities. Project Create offers free creative classes and workshops at our studio in the Anacostia neighborhood of Southeast DC in Ward 8, as well as at multiple sites in underserved neighborhoods in Washington, DC. Courses include visual, performing and digital media arts classes such as drawing and painting, illustration, photography, collage, spoken word, fashion, music production and theater.

Job Summary

Reporting to the Executive Director (ED), the Director of Programs (DoP) will be responsible for the operational success of Project Create, ensuring seamless team management and development, program design and delivery, and quality control and evaluation.

The DoP will be responsible for the delivery and overall success of each program, will supervise program staff members, and will inform the ED on progress and performance. A successful Director of Programs must have a broad knowledge of program management principles. They must have a strategic mindset as well as be able to lead and develop the program team. 


Program Development and Management (50%)

  • Develop, implement and supervise programs and services that are consistent with Project Create’s mission and strategic plan and that meet the needs of constituents.

  • Develop and implement strategies that will maximize the synergies among program areas and foster effective collaboration.

  • Initiate and set goals for programs according to the strategic objectives of the organization.

  • Recruit, train and supervise teaching artists and art therapists and provide regular feedback and performance evaluations.

  • Together with the Program Managers, review teaching artists’ lesson plans and attendance records and monitor classes according to program goals and objectives.

  • Design and implement new programs to strengthen Project Create and its outreach to target population(s).

  • Plan the programs cycle involving deadlines, milestones and processes.

  • Support the Executive Director in the development of program budgets and operations.

Staff Leadership and Management (25%)

  • Ensure that job descriptions are developed, that regular performance evaluations are held, and that sound human resource practices are in place.

  • Recruit, train, coordinate and supervise high-quality program staff, including teaching artists, art therapists, teaching assistants, volunteers and interns.

  • Develop and oversee professional development opportunities for staff and teaching artists’ continuous education and growth.

  • Supervise and manage full-time program staff.

  • Maintain a climate that attracts, retains, and motivates a diverse, high-quality staff. 

  • Recruit (through regular volunteer orientations), train and manage volunteers 

  • Provide general oversight and work direction for interns, teaching artist consultants and other independent contractors hired by Project Create.

  • Oversee background checks and health screenings for staff, teaching artist consultants and volunteers who work directly with children and youth.

Program Evaluation (15%)

  • Using appropriate, successful models of program evaluation, refine and improve measurement tools and implementation procedures.

  • Develop student surveys, teaching artist surveys, and partner surveys that align with Project Create’s organizational theory of change and programmatic logic models to collect data regarding Project Create’s impact and effectiveness.

  • Manage systems for tracking and monitoring student registration and attendance.

  • Communicate collected quantitative and qualitative data in clear, comprehensive semesterly reports that demonstrate Project Create’s successful outcomes. 

  • Utilize program evaluation results to improve and expand current programming and the number of students served.

  • Assist in developing and adhering to program and organizational budgets.

Community Partnerships (5%)

  • Develop effective working relationships within the local arts community, the homelessness advocacy community, and a wide variety of constituencies to ensure that Project Create can sustain current partnerships and add new community partners as needed.

  • Network with community art organizations, local individual artists, and the greater art community to maintain Project Create’s base of teaching artists and art therapists.

  • Work cooperatively with current community partners, their program managers, site directors and staff, to ensure effective and efficient program service delivery.

Marketing and Communications (5%)

  • Collaborate with staff, teaching artist consultants, partner organizations, and students to gather stories and statistics that demonstrate Project Create’s work to funders and the general public. 

  • Oversee preparation and display of student artwork suitable for permanent exhibition at public locales or temporary exhibition for increased public awareness.

  • Represent Project Create, along with the staff and Board, at public events, conferences, workshops and media events and serve as a spokesperson for Project Create.

  • Produce brochures, signs, press releases, blog posts, newsletters, etc. on a regular basis.

  • Support the Executive Director in preparing and disseminating the annual report.

Job Qualifications & Requirements


  • Highly-motivated with strong managerial and leadership skills

  • Excellent verbal and written communication

  • Exceptional interpersonal and relationship-building skills to effectively work collaboratively with a variety of people in diverse communities

  • Ability to work in a fast-paced, hands-on environment with limited resources

  • Thorough, accurate, organized and detail-oriented approach to work

  • Cultural competency and demonstrated commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion

  • Ability to gain the respect and support of various constituencies, including students and families, board and staff members, donors, community leaders and other stakeholders

  • Ability to lead multiple long and short-term projects simultaneously, meeting all related deadlines

  • Commitment to work collaboratively with Project Create’s Executive Director and program staff


  • Enthusiastic advocate for accessible arts education as a means to positive youth development

  • Ability to present, inform and motivate individuals and groups about Project Create’s mission and programs

  • Strong knowledge and understanding of local and national community arts education communities, as well as local and national homelessness and poverty advocacy communities

  • Computer literate and working familiarity with Adobe Creative Suite


  • A Bachelor’s Degree in a relevant area of study (e.g. Fine Art, Art History, Arts Management, Art Therapy, Education) from a nationally accredited institution required

  • Advanced degree/certification in Art Therapy, Nonprofit Management, Arts Management, Social Work, Counseling, Education or similar strongly preferred

  • Minimum of 5 years demonstrated leadership, mentoring, teaching and/or training experience with students and teaching artists in an out-of-school-time arts education organization required

  • Minimum of 3 years management experience in an arts organization, museum or public gallery, with studio and multi-use facility management 

  • Experience working in trauma-informed, therapeutic environments

Additional Details


  • 40+ hours/week work schedule, including evening and weekend work

  • Local travel between Anacostia studios and greater Washington DC metro area

  • Frequent use of 15-passenger van

Other Information

The salary for this position is $65,000 per year. A generous benefits package includes health and dental insurance, 401(k) match, telephone and mileage expense reimbursement, professional development opportunities, and a generous allowance of paid time off.

How to Apply

Please apply at Idealist at Position will be open until filled.