Washington Performing Arts, one of the nation’s premier performing arts producers and presenters, welcomes applications and nominations for the position of Chief Financial Officer. The CFO will be a key part of a dynamic team and take a leadership role in achieving the vision, mission, and goals of Washington Performing Arts.
For more than 50 years, Washington Performing Arts has been a leader in connecting artists and community through live performances and education programs in myriad venues throughout the greater D.C. metropolitan area. Washington Performing Arts strives to provide both artists and audiences with life-long opportunities to deepen their cultural knowledge, enrich their lives, and expand their understanding and compassion for the world through the universal language of the arts. Washington Performing Arts has guided the careers of emerging artists and maintained enduring ties with established artists, both introducing artists to local audiences and building long-term relationships with artists through return engagements and dynamic special projects.
Washington Performing Arts is one of the leading presenters in the nation’s capital and many of Washington Performing Arts’ programs achieve nation-wide impact. The organization offers performances and special productions of the highest quality, including classical music, jazz, gospel, contemporary dance, music that represents diverse cultures and art forms, and programs that fuse genres in imaginative ways. Collaboration and partnership are central to the mission of Washington Performing Arts.
Washington Performing Arts’ sustained residencies and educational programs establish artists as a continuing presence in the lives of young people and adults. Signature programs include the Capital Arts Partnership, Embassy Adoption Program, Mars Arts D.C., Enriching Experiences for Seniors, D.C. Keys, and the Feder String Competition. Partnerships with the DC Public Schools, embassies, diplomatic and cultural centers, and many other area institutions support the growing role of Washington Performing Arts as a collaborator and convener. In addition, the organization has a unique producing role with two resident gospel choirs, The Men and Women of the Gospel and Children of the Gospel.
Washington Performing Arts has been honored for its work at the intersection of arts presenting and education with the Mayor's Arts Awards for Outstanding Contribution to Arts Education (2015) and Excellence in Service to the Arts (2012) and was honored by President Barack Obama with a 2012 National Medal of Arts, becoming only the fourthD.C.-based arts group and the first arts presenter of its kind to be so recognized.
Washington Performing Arts is governed by a Board of Directors of outstanding community leaders, is financially and operationally sound, and in FY23 will have an operating budget of $7.3M. Jenny Bilfield is President and CEO.
Organizational Diversity & Inclusion
Washington Performing Arts is committed to diversity, equity, inclusion, and access in all aspects of its work and has expressed this commitment in the following way: In keeping with our mission and guiding principles, we seek, represent, and welcome a multiplicity of voices in everything we do from programmatic content to the composition of our board and staff. Accordingly, we seek to build a team that reflects — and meets the needs of — the community we are part of, and serve. While we have made important progress, we continue to pursue that goal through intentional, focused learning and action. Hiring a diverse workforce is but one component — we strive to make Washington Performing Arts ever more inclusive, and true to our founder’s guiding ethos of “everybody in, nobody out.” To gain the maximum benefit from our increasingly diverse team, we wish to make every employee feel welcome and motivated to do their best work. We know that we work better together in service of Washington Performing Arts’ mission because of our differences, not despite them.
Reporting to the CEO,the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) is responsible and accountable for the financial and administrative operations of Washington Performing Arts, including business operations, organizational sustainability, and liquidity management to allow Washington Performing Arts to achieve its mission. The CFO works closely with the President/CEO, Chief Advancement Officer, President Emeritus, and Board of Directors and provides partnership and support for strategic planning throughout the organization.
The CFO is a member of a Management Leadership Team that includes the Chief Advancement Officer, Supervising Producer, and the Directors of Programming, Education & Community Engagement, and Marketing, Communications & Creative Media. The CFO fosters an environment of maximum transparency among management and between Board and staff. The CFO’s direct reports include the Manager of Operations and Administration, a Controller, and a Finance and Administration Coordinator. The CFO provides staff support to committees of the Board, including the Finance, Investment and Retirement Plan, Audit, and Executive Committees and provides Board members with timely and accurate information for decision-making.
The CFO oversees the functions of budgeting and accounting, information technology, compliance, benefits administration, and operations and administration for all organizational functions. The CFO drives the creation of timely and accurate forecasts, reports, and analyses to keep staff and Board members apprised and engaged in ensuring Washington Performing Arts’ optimal financial operating position and long-term sustainability. The CFO is the principal liaison with banks and providers of contracted services including accountants and auditors, investment advisors, and legal counsel.
The CFO encourages entrepreneurial thinking throughout the organization and supports the development of new business models that advance the mission of Washington Performing Arts. Working with the CEO and the Management Leadership Team, the CFO pursues opportunities that broaden and diversify Washington Performing Arts’ audience, donor base, and earned revenue from all sources including digital assets. The CFO serves as a thought partner to the CEO and Chief Advancement Officer in turning ideas into operating plans and in providing guidance and support to staff as they execute plans. The CFO ensures that systems, procedures, and performance metrics are in place to evaluate results on an ongoing basis.
The CFO ensures that the organization has the necessary technology infrastructure and security to support both in-person and remote office operations. The CFO develops and implements a multi-year IT management strategy that includes hardware, software, licenses, and systems to meet organization-wide technology needs and maintains effective working relationships with all IT vendors.
The CFO ensures and supports the implementation of best practices in human resource management, including compliance with legal requirements and ethical standards, employment policies that encourage a diverse workforce; competitive compensation and benefits; and equitable growth opportunities for staff. The CFO collaborates fully with the Management Leadership Team in aligning the core value of inclusivity reflected in Washington Performing Arts’ programs with the diverse voices of Washington Performing Arts’ Board, staff, and audiences.
The ideal candidate will be a dynamic, innovative, and inclusive leader with experience successfully managing the financial resources of not-for-profit arts organizations that offer a broad range of public and educational programming. This candidate will have the demonstrated ability to provide strong leadership and management in the areas of finance and accounting, information technology, operations, and administration in an organization of comparable size to Washington Performing Arts. The candidate will have excellent supervisory skills and a track record for mentoring and developing staff.
The successful candidate will have the proven ability to develop and implement new business models, to diversify income streams, and to monetize digital assets. This candidate will have a track record for helping to shape and execute institutional strategic and operating plans, for data based decision-making, and for utilizing both qualitative and quantitative tools for evaluating results. The candidate will have a management style that encourages creativity, transparency, risk-taking, and the open exchange of ideas.
The successful candidate will have a strong background in finance and administration and academic credentials in finance, accounting or business management. An MBA, though not required, is desirable. This candidate will have excellent skills and a demonstrated record of success in budgeting, forecasting, and setting revenue and expense targets for multiple programs in multiple venues. The ability to communicate information effectively in both verbal and written form is essential. The CFO will have a thorough working knowledge of the technology available to support finance and operations. The successful candidate will be committed to implementing best practices in finance and administration, human resource management, supporting a diverse work force, and fostering an equitable and inclusive culture.
The successful candidate will have a deep personal interest in the performing arts and the knowledge and understanding of the arts sufficient to inform decision-making about program development. The CFO will welcome the opportunity to attend evening and weekend performances on a regular basis and actively engage with donors, audience members, and artists as a member of the Management Leadership Team of Washington Performing Arts.
The salary range for this position is $140,000 - $160,000, depending on qualifications and experience. Washington Performing Arts currently offers the staff benefits that include health insurance, a matching contribution to retirement, and annual leave.
Washington Performing Arts is an equal opportunity employer and will not discriminate against any applicant because of race, age, sex, color, sexual orientation, physical or mental disability, protected veteran status, religion, ancestry or national origin, marital status, genetic information, political affiliation, or gender identity or expression. In addition, the District of Columbia adds protection for marital status, personal appearance, sexual orientation, family responsibilities, matriculation, and political affiliation. Minorities, women, protected veterans, and individuals with disabilities are encouraged to apply. Washington Performing Arts’ employment decisions are made based on the needs of the organization and the qualifications of applicants and current employees.
Please prepare a cover letter that describes your specific interest in Washington Performing Arts and experience in the administration, operations, and financial management of not-for-profit and performing arts organizations. Send with a resume, salary requirements, and contact information for at least three professional references. Electronic submissions are requested. All applications will be treated as confidential and references will not be called without the candidate’s knowledge and agreement.
Please submit material in Adobe PDF or Microsoft Word format, only
Additional Salary Information: The salary range for this position is $140,000 - $160,000, depending on qualifications and experience. Washington Performing Arts currently offers the staff benefits that include health insurance, a matching contribution to retirement, and annual leave.
About Washington Performing Arts
Catherine French Group works with not-for-profit performing arts organizations in recruitment of executive and senior leadership. For more information, please contact Christopher Wingert at firstname.lastname@example.org.