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Executive Director: Commission on the Arts and Humanities

Opening Date:  Friday, May 4, 2018

Closing Date:  Open Until Filled

Salary Range:  Executive Service Grade 1 ($98,464 to $148,301)



The DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities (CAH) provides grants, professional opportunities, education enrichment, other programs and services to individuals and nonprofit organizations in all communities within the District of Columbia.  The Commission is supported primarily by District government funds and in part by the National Endowment for the Arts.

In accordance with the provisions of the National Foundation on the Arts and Humanities Act of 1965, as amended, and pursuant to the authority vested in the council under section 404(b) of the District of Columbia Self Government and Government Reorganization Act, there is established the Commission on the Arts and Humanities.  The Incumbent works under the administrative direction of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development (DMPED) and provides updates/engagement with the Commission through the Chairperson.

The purpose of the Commission is to evaluate and initiate action on matters relating to the arts and humanities, to encourage programs, and to develop programs which promote progress in the arts and humanities within the District of Columbia.  For more information on the Commission, please visit here:



  • Serves as the Director of the Commission of the Arts and Humanities, District of Columbia. In accordance with the National Foundation of the Arts and Humanities Act, incumbent develops plan of artistic projects and programs for the District of Columbia Arts and Humanities. Projects or programs include but are not limited to the following discipline arts: music, dance, folk art, literature, design, craft arts, media and related arts.
  • Assure that the State Plan adequately covers the organization, function and staffing of the state agency; participation of the residents of the District of Columbia; personnel administration; training and manpower development; and fiscal administration. Within a timely manner, develops the plan with the Commission and submits to the Mayor for comments.  Annually reviews and updates plans. Makes subsequent changes as deemed necessary.
  • Works with appropriate advisory panels and the Commission in developing the plan and long-term budget required for Commission operation and expenses.
  • Responsible for bookkeeping procedures necessary to maintain financial accounting of the Commission’s income and expenses and for rendering of periodic financial reports to the Commission, the Mayor and to other appropriate District officials.
  • Incumbent reviews existing and proposed legislations and actively participates in the formulation and recommendation of legislation affecting programs in the arts and humanities.
  • Prepares statements of findings and conclusions when the impact of proposed legislation appears to be adverse for submission to the Commission, the Mayor, City Council, and originating departments and agencies.
  • Alerts and advises the Mayor, Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development and the  Commission concerning emergent policy problems, including such matters at the need for new and revised policy and additional legislation, and solutions to problems involving operating relationships with the District Government and with the agencies.
  • Advises the Commission on policy development, on the formulation of guidelines for future program performance, on the implementation of monitoring functions, on the need to establish advisory panels, and on the need to adopt and modify by-laws of other regulations as authorized by Law.
  • Plans a year-round public relations program for the District of Columbia Commission on the Arts and Humanities. Serves as liaison for the Commission with the District and Federal agencies and departments, the public, the National Endowment for the Arts, and other state arts councils.
  • Frequently engages in public speaking and participates in mass media public relations, including live and taped television and radio programs. Periodically conducts campaigns to solicit funds. 
  • On a continuing basis evaluate, existing activities, programs, projects and/or productions to determine the needs of the residents of the District of Columbia in the arts and humanities. Conducts research and studies to determine the necessity for development of, improvement of, and to identify areas needing new or expanded services. Recommends new or expanded programs to be performed by appropriate District agencies and departments which will provide balance and adequate attention to the needs of District residents.
  • Contracts with, and makes grants to, individuals and groups of individuals for proposed or on-going projects and productions in the arts; using funds from the Foundation on the Arts and Humanities, other Federal funds, District government appropriated funds, and gifts and contributions from the private sector.
  • Develops and recommends for establishment procedures in the Commission’s by-laws to handle conflicts of interest in the awarding of grants when any Commissioner has either a structural or fiduciary relationship with a grantee.
  • Examines grant applications considering the nature, duration, purpose and plan of the project and the qualifications of the principal staff members responsible for the project. Preparatory to approval action, reviews the total facilities and resources that will be available as well as the jurisdictions of the amount of the requested grant.
  • Approves grant or enters into contract to meet in whole or in part the cost of conducting an identified activity or program. Evaluates success of projects and productions in achieving goals and objectives and makes payment or arranges payment to a grantee of all or portion of any grant award. Is responsible for assuring necessary control, evaluation, audit, and reporting on programs funded through the Commission.
  • Oversees the handling of all administrative details.
  • Directs a staff of program, technical, and clerical personnel. Plans and organizes the work of subordinates, establishes priorities and performance standards, provides assistance as required, and is accountable for the quality and quantity of work output concerning matters for which the incumbent is responsible.
  • Administers the mechanics involved in the budgetary needs of the Commission by making specific allocations with the budget, studying and making decisions as to the required staff, space, supplies, equipment, telephone service, etc.
  • Recommends to the appropriate personnel representative relating to employment, promotions, evaluations, terminations, etc. Personally or through designated subordinate(s) follows through on all administrative matters.
  • Performs other duties as assigned.



  • A minimum of five (5) years executive level / senior management.
  • Bachelor's level degree or higher degree from an accredited college or university.
  • Demonstrated knowledge and connections to the humanities and arts, especially the District of Columbia arts community. 
  • Demonstrated skills in developing and shaping policy.
  • Demonstrated skills in managing staff, contractors and volunteer personnel.





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