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Kennedy Center Fellowship

The Kennedy Center

The Kennedy Center Fellowship in Arts Management Program (FAM), in partnership with the Arts Management Program at American University, in an effort to address the lack of diversity and inclusion in the arts management field, gives graduates students increased professional development opportunities through merit-based Fellowship opportunities at the Kennedy Center. Fellowships are nine months and are available for first and second year graduate students. By providing students with structured mentoring, intensive skill development and access to real-world experience, we will elevate strong thought-leaders to champion the bright future of our nation’s cultural institutions.

The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts is a world class international performing arts organization and our nation's cultural center. Diversity is a critical component of its mission, vision, and values. Its staff exhibits a wide variety of perspectives and experiences, which enable them to foster and strengthen an environment of diversity and inclusion.
The AU Arts Management Program has been committed to blending rigorous academics with practical, hands-on learning opportunities for over forty years. This partnership with the Kennedy Center is an embodiment of this commitment in action.

Program Description

KC FAM participants receive intensive training in areas such as arts management, strategic planning, fundraising, finance, artistic planning, and marketing; exposure to executive leadership and involvement in special projects of the student's personal interest and benefit to the Kennedy Center; collaborative work opportunities across the organization, and ongoing personalized mentoring from a senior level staff advisor, tailored to the needs of the Fellow. Academic advisors support Fellows as they pursue their organizational and professional objectives. The Fellow receives their stipend from the Kennedy Center.
During the academic year, the Kennedy Center Fellow will work 20 hours/week at the Kennedy Center (summer hours are handled separately). The fellow is awarded a $15,000 stipend and six credits of tuition remission per academic year.

Applicant Eligibility

Full-time incoming or rising second year MA students in the Arts Management Program are eligible to apply through a competitive process. One may not hold both an external fellowship and an internal fellowship at the Katzen Arts Center. MA candidates receive a scholarship for a designated number of academic credits and a stipend.
At the end of their first year fellowship, first year fellows may indicate their interest in second year extension of their fellowship. Extensions are granted on a case-by-case basis and are not a guarantee.
From American University, KC FAM participants receive tuition credits described above, benefit from joint learning with the AU external Fellows' cohort, and receive ongoing advising from the designated AU faculty member. Fellows profit from the opportunity to mesh classroom and fellowship learning.
As this program has been designed to address the troubling lack of diversity and inclusion in the arts management field, preference for fellowship positions will be given to diverse applicants.

Applicant Qualifications

US citizenship or permanent residence is required. The fellow must be enrolled full-time in the Arts Management master's program at American University, and meet the requirements of a Merit Awardee at American University.
Applicants must also:

  • Have a minimum of two years working experience at an arts or cultural organization
  • Have an excellent command of business English, oral and written
  • Be able to commit to the full term of the Fellowship (Sept 2018-May 2019)

Fellowships

There are currently three fellowship positions available with the Kennedy Center:

Artistic Planning/Programming at the Kennedy Center

The Artistic Planning Department conceives and executes the Kennedy Center’s artistic vision through a broad and multidisciplinary range of programming manifested in over 2,000 performances annually across nine stages. The Department creates and sustains the vibrancy and quality of the Center’s programs and artistic ventures. The collective creativity of the team of programmers celebrates the artistic expression of a wide range of cultures and communities and ensures that the programs presents and produced are not only world-class quality but also meaningful entry points for new and diverse audiences.

The new Programming / Shared-Services Team at the Kennedy Center allows for exciting cross-discipline collaboration with an emphasis on work with Artistic Directors Renee Fleming, Mason Bates, Jason Moran, and Q-Tip in the areas of Classical New Music, Comedy, Jazz, Hip-Hop, and Contemporary Music.

Kennedy Center Artistic Planning/Programming Fellow

The Programming Fellow will facilitate the current implementation of presentations and contribute to the strategic and operational vision for the future state of multi-disciplinary programming at the Kennedy Center, including the imminent shift to MDW (Multi-Disciplinary Week) programs in the Terrace Gallery in the 2018 – 2019 season and in the REACH in the 2019 – 2020. The Fellow will assist in operationalizing programming initiatives to engage new and diverse audiences, break down perceived or real barriers to participation, and facilitate new, meaningful, and authentic connection between artists and patrons, and position the Kennedy Center to have greater positive impact within the DC cultural community and the region as a whole.

As the Shared Services Team approaches its first year as a combined, fully-staffed unit within the Kennedy Center, the fellow will design and implement a comprehensive evaluation and assessment of the department’s organizational structure and efforts at streamlining processes and procedures. The goal of the assessment will be to identify both successes in the current model and further operational efficiencies. The Fellow will present his/her findings to the Programming Department and the Senior VP of Artistic Planning.

The Fellowship is structured to enable the Fellow to further explore areas that are of interest to his or her professional development and that align with the Kennedy Center’s mission, vision, and values.

Background in arts administration, strategic planning, and producing preferred.

To apply, please submit a statement by March 5, 2018 at noon EST (one page or less) with your contact information and resume describing your interest and qualifications for the Kennedy Center Fellowship to artsmgtfellowship@american.edu, subject line "KC FAM/Artistic Planning."

Institutional Affairs at the Kennedy Center

The Institutional Affairs Office is responsible for the growth and development of the Kennedy Center’s national and international profile. The Office manages the Center’s external affairs, including government relations, protocol and diplomatic relations. Within that role, the Department serves as the liaison to Capitol Hill, the White House and other Executive Branch Departments and Agencies, the Supreme Court, the local Washington, D.C. government and the diplomatic community. Internally, the Vice President of Institutional Affairs serves as the Assistant Secretary of the Kennedy Center Board of Trustees and manages the Board’s governance, as well as key Board subcommittees, including the Executive Committee, the Operations and External Affairs Committee, the Nominating and Governance Committee, the Honors Committee, and the Special Honors Advisory Committee. Additionally, Institutional Affairs oversees outreach to the local community and special interest groups, through the management of the Community Advisory Board and the Latino Advisory Council.

The Department of Institutional Affairs collaborates closely with all other departments within the Center on a daily basis to accomplish its goal of protecting and maintaining the Kennedy Center’s role as the national cultural center and living memorial to President Kennedy.

Kennedy Center Institutional Affairs Office Fellow:

The Fellow will have the opportunity to engage with key staff members on several critical focus areas for the Kennedy Center’s Institutional Affairs Office, such as government affairs, community outreach, Board engagement and governance, and other matters of institutional priority.

The Institutional Affairs Fellow will acquire increased responsibility over the course of nine months in research and writing, serving as a liaison to other Kennedy Center departments, conducting outreach activities, and working on projects of importance to the Kennedy Center.

The Institutional Affairs Fellow will have the opportunity to assist in furthering projects related to the focus areas of the Institutional Affairs Office as they relate with other parts of the Kennedy Center, including operations, programming, education, public relations, and fund raising/development. 

The Fellowship is structured to enable the Fellow to further explore areas that are of interest to his or her professional development and that align with the Kennedy Center’s mission, vision and values.

A background in policy and/or a career interest in arts policy is preferred.

To apply, please submit a statement by March 5 at noon EST (one page or less) with your contact information and resume describing your interest and qualifications for the Kennedy Center Fellowship to artsmgtfellowship@american.edu, subject line "KC FAM/Institutional Affairs."

Public Relations at the Kennedy Center

The Public Relations Office manages media relations and outreach, internal and external communications, and the institutional positioning of the Kennedy Center, its productions, education programs, exhibitions, festivals, and the institutions special projects. The Public Relations officers actively promote the Kennedy Center’s vision, mission, and public image through media coverage, social media, new media, and broader storytelling on a range of digital platforms. Media coverage includes profiles, reviews, editorials, calendar listings and photos, thought pieces, and information articles on the arts.

The PR team strives to generate coverage beyond the arts-specific beat reporters and in conjunction with the Center’s efforts to reach new audiences, the press representatives actively pursue media coverage in a more mainstream context. The staff also serves to position the Center’s senior leadership, artistic curators, and key staff as experts in the arts, seeking opportunities for speaking engagements, panel participation, and presentations in the community where possible. The PR office also maintains archives of media materials and concert/event Playbills since the building’s creation in 1971m, and will spearhead a more comprehensive and institution-wide archival program in the coming years.

Kennedy Center Public Relations Department Fellow

The Fellow will have the opportunity to engage with key staff members on several critical focus areas for the Kennedy Center’s Public Relations department, such as pitching news media, research, messaging, and strategy development as they relate to individual performances, special projects, and the institution as whole.

The Public Relations Fellow will acquire increased responsibility over the course of nine months in media research, press release writing, media pitching, creative storytelling, media stewardship, and projects of importance to the Kennedy Center, as well as providing additional support to Kennedy Center staff as needed.

Specific projects and areas of focus may include: the development and execution of a comprehensive PR plan in support of Kennedy Center Education, support of PR plans for The REACH (the Center’s expansion project), assisting with the development of the Annual Report. Based on need and interest, the Fellow may also participate in PR activities for special projects (The Mark Twain Prize for American Humor, Kennedy Center Honors, etc.), major artistic initiatives, and institutional imperatives such as development of the archives.

The Fellowship is structured to enable the Fellow to further explore areas that are of interest to his or her professional development and that align with the Kennedy Center’s mission, vision and values.

The position requires outstanding communication skills, and in particular, strong writing skills. A work portfolio with writing samples is required.


To apply, please submit a statement by March 5 at noon EST (one page or less) with your contact information and resume describing your interest and qualifications for the Kennedy Center Fellowship to artsmgtfellowship@american.edu, subject line "KC FAM/PR."