Director of the Lenfest Center for the Performing Arts
Washington and Lee University
Location: Lexington, Virginia
Higher Education Institution
Internal Number: R894
The Lenfest Center for the Performing Arts at Washington and Lee University seeks a dynamic and passionate director to administer a vibrant, well-resourced performing arts organization. The ideal candidate will be an inspiring, collaborative, and creative leader; a discerning manager; and an advocate for social change through education and the arts.
Reporting to the Dean of the College, the Lenfest Center Director comprehensively manages the Center including oversight of programming, production, audience services, business operations, finances, fundraising, marketing, and community engagement. The Director maintains a close relationship with three academic departments of the university: Music, Art/Art History, and Theater, Dance and Film Studies. Leading a staff of three full-time employees, the Director pursues innovative performing arts programming, and ensures exemplary operations of the Lenfest Center, which is home to multiple art galleries, performance halls, a dance studio, and technical production spaces.
To achieve our mission as a liberal arts college, we continually strive to foster an inclusive campus community, which recognizes the value of all persons regardless of identity. The Lenfest Center is committed to contributing to an educational environment that is rich with cultural, social, and intellectual diversity.
Founded in 1749 and with undergraduate enrollment of approximately 1850 students, Washington and Lee University is a traditional small liberal arts college that also offers degrees in business and law, and is consistently ranked in the top tier of its peers. The colonnade buildings on the main campus of the university are designated as a National Historic Landmark. The university is located in Lexington, Virginia, an historic city of 7,000 residents, in the Shenandoah Valley. Lexington is a two-hour drive to Richmond and a 3-hour drive to Washington, DC. There are rich opportunities for outdoor activities near campus given Lexington’s proximity to the Blue Ridge Mountains and rivers. The city has strong local public schools and is home to a vibrant 84-acre continuing care retirement community.
Lexington is also home to the Virginia Military Institute and many other 4-year colleges and universities are within a 100-mile radius. Key centers for performing arts can be found on campuses nearby in Charlottesville and Harrisonburg while the nonacademic Jefferson Center in Roanoke is within an hour drive.
Lead collaboratively to inspire stakeholder participation in The Lenfest Center’s strategic mission development and vibrant performing arts programming ventures. Identify opportunities for arts programming that meet the diverse and evolving needs of Washington and Lee’s communities. Oversee the planning, implementation, and execution of Lenfest Center programming.
In collaboration with the Dean’s Office, constituent departments, Center staff, and/or project-specific artistic staff, assist with the programming, implementation, and monitoring of The Lenfest Center’s artistic and educational objectives. Assist in the selection of guest artists, performing groups, and programs that support The Lenfest Center’s artistic and educational objectives.
Supervise a staff of three full-time and multiple part-time employees. Attract, support, and cultivate a talented and diverse staff. Set clear goals and priorities for team objectives and operations. Manage professional development and performance standards, cultivating career development opportunities, equity, and inclusion in team planning and goal setting.
Embrace the principles of equity, diversity, inclusion, and access to ensure an organizational culture that respects different perspectives and nurtures an environment of antiracism, goodwill, and empowerment.
Identify opportunities to partner with community organizations to enhance the mission, vision, and values of The Lenfest Center. Partner with departments, faculty, students, and performers to grow new programming and relationships on campus and throughout Lexington and the surrounding area. Engage with business and civic leaders to build external relationships with the community, government, and strategic partners.
Forge connections with current and potential supporters as a spokesperson and enthusiastic champion for The Lenfest Center. Partner with University Advancement and campus stakeholders to create opportunities for increased performing arts philanthropic engagement. Cultivate and nurture authentic relationships with individual donors, potential corporate sponsors, and other grantors and contributors to develop an ethical, transparent, and sustainable business model for the performing arts that secures diverse, sustainable revenue streams to address the programmatic and financial needs of the organization.
Develop and manage the organization's annual budgets ensuring transparency accuracy in the Center’s financial reporting.
Develop, implement, and revise comprehensive organizational policies and procedures for the effective operation of the Lenfest Center.
Identify and implement software systems to support a shared calendar, participant registration, donor administration, marketing and communications management, and ticket sales.
Lead the creation and management of auxiliary programs, educational opportunities, and community events that provide revenue sources and engagement opportunities, and promote organizational vitality and sustainability.
Create innovative sales and engagement strategies to maximize ticket sales and other earned revenue and elevate The Lenfest Center’s brand identity.
Attend performances and events to ensure high-quality artistry, patron experience, visibility, and community engagement.
Contribute to the development of the University and departments through participation in strategic initiatives.
Ensure the delivery of high-quality programming through an assessment process that includes goal-setting and post-event assessment.
Contribute to the profession through active participation in relevant conferences, associations, and writing.
Perform other duties as assigned.
Minimum Pay: $80,000 - Pay commensurate with experience
A broad range of life experience is welcomed but a Bachelor’s degree in a related field is required and a Master’s degree or equivalent experience is desirable.
Ability to balance assertiveness and diplomacy.
A strong record of energetic, ambitious, and inspirational advocacy and leadership experience in dynamic art, cultural, educational, or similar community-focused or socially-oriented organizations is necessary. Demonstrated experience in leading operations and administration is required, as well as an understanding of cultural competency and a commitment to anti-racism, equity, diversity, inclusion, and access. Experience promoting diverse, inclusive, and equitable work practices.
An authentic connection with and commitment to the role of education and the performing arts and their impact, as well as an awareness of national networks of which The Lenfest Center should avail itself in order to develop strategically and sustainably.
Proven record of success in nonprofit administration, including a combination of experience in fundraising, marketing, communications, partnership building, budget management, strategic planning, and/or program and production management.
A demonstrated ability to lead an organization through change and manage growth is ideal. Experience inspiring staff, artists, and other stakeholders is ideal, as well as a deep commitment to community building and connection. Strong commitment to building and nurturing positive relationships among students and colleagues.
Familiarity or experience in facility planning and construction is desirable.
Excellent writing and verbal presentation skills are expected.
Application Instructions: Review of applications will begin on November 17 and continue until the position is filled. Please provide a CV or resume and a letter of interest detailing how your record of experience aligns with the job description Upload both required documents to the Resume/CV upload section of the application. You will be asked to provide names and contact information for three professional references.
External Applicants: Application instructions for external applicants are located on the jobs.wlu.edu or here.
Current W&L Employees: Apply from your existing Workday account. Instructions are located at jobs.wlu.edu or here.
Washington and Lee is a top-ranked, private institution in Lexington, Virginia where we integrate the rigorous inquiry and critical thinking of a liberal arts curriculum with nationally accredited undergraduate programs in business and journalism, and a graduate School of Law. Our graduates, mentored by a faculty of teacher-scholars, are ready to make a meaningful impact wherever they go in the world.The campus is a national historical landmark, the city offers small-town charm, and the Allegheny and Blue Ridge Mountains provide unparalleled surroundings. Washington and Lee affirms that diverse perspectives and backgrounds enhance our community. We are committed to the recruitment, enrichment, and retention of students, faculty, and staff who embody many experiences, cultures, points of view, interests, and identities. As engaged citizens in a global and diverse society, we seek to advance a positive learning and working environment for all through open and substantive dialogue.Washington and Lee is an Equal Opportunity Employer. As such, we are interested in candidates who are committed to high standards of scholarship, performance and professionalism and to the development of a ...campus climate that supports equality and diversity in our faculty, staff and student body. Job description requirements are representative, but not all-inclusive of the knowledge, skill, and abilities needed to successfully perform this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable qualified individuals with disabilities to perform essential functions.