Atlas Performing Arts Center seeks Executive Director

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The Atlas Performing Arts Center invites applications and nominations for the position of Executive Director, available in the Summer 2024. Douglas Yeuell, who has served as Executive Director since 2014, recently announced that he will step down at the end of August. A Search Committee has been formed to identify the next Executive Director.

The Atlas Performing Arts Center is a District of Columbia icon located on H Street Northeast. In 2001, the historic building was renovated and it reopened in 2006, winning praise and prizes for its design as a performing arts center. The Atlas consists of four high-quality performance spaces, three dance studios, and ancillary rehearsal and office space. The 59,000 sq.ft. building is home to multiple theatre, music, and dance companies that lease space for a wide range of productions. In addition, the Atlas itself presents and curates performances throughout the year and produces an annual arts festival. Atlas audiences can regularly enjoy film, dance, theatre, instrumental and vocal music, spoken word, and more.

The Atlas supports and partners with local arts organizations including Capital City Symphony, Mosaic Theater Company of DC, Visionaries of the Creative Arts (VOCA), Joy of Motion Dance Center, and Black Leaves Dance Company. Each winter, the Atlas produces the INTERSECTIONS Festival that hosts more than 400 artists and performing groups and engages thousands of patrons in a multi-week-long celebration of the arts. The Atlas is also a leader in arts education with its City at Peace youth development program for teens and young adults that utilizes the performing arts and a social justice curriculum to examine issues and conditions that divide them. Dedicated to the creation of new work, the Atlas Arts Lab provides stipend support and rehearsal and performance opportunities for local artists.

As a unique community-based performing arts center, the Atlas is a catalyst and champion for community and economic development on H Street and draws diverse audiences from across the DC metropolitan region. The Atlas was built in 1938 and operated for 30 years as one of DC’s four major movie theatres. The theatre was damaged and closed during the civil unrest of the late 1960’s. It remained vacant for more than 30 years until lawyer and philanthropist Jane Lang initiated discussions with neighbors to determine the best possible use of the space. Spurred by Lang’s vision, the DC government adopted a plan in 2003 to rebuilt the H Street NE corridor and identified the Atlas as the cornerstone of revitalization. The Atlas today continues to be a catalyst for neighborhood growth and change and continues to play a major role in the region’s creative economy.

The Atlas Performing Arts Center is governed by a Board of 17 community leaders and has an annual operating budget of $2.8 million.

Mission: The Atlas is a creative space for artists and audiences to explore the issues of our time. We nurture an equitable home for artists representing our diverse community. We leverage partnerships and programs that reflect the best of the arts and our humanity.

The Opportunity

The next Executive Director (ED) will energize, inspire, and lead the dedicated stakeholders of the Atlas Performing Arts Center in pursuing its mission to serve the arts, artists, and the greater Washington, DC community. The ED will have the opportunity to build on an impressive record of success in creating an important home for the arts in one of the most culturally, ethnically, and economically diverse areas of the Nation’s Capital. The next ED will work with a deeply engaged Board and staff to expand the reach and deepen the impact of the Atlas as a catalyst for development of the performing arts and arts education in the community, and its role as a major asset to economic and cultural development of the H Street neighborhood.

The Position

The Executive Director provides visionary leadership and skilled management for a multi-venue performing arts facility. The ED is responsible and accountable for all aspects of the Atlas’ operations, including: strategic planning; programming and production; fundraising and organizational advancement; marketing, branding, communications, and public relations; budgeting and financial management; human resource management; operations and technology; facilities; partnerships; and community engagement. The ED champions the principles of equity, diversity, and inclusion in all aspects of the Atlas’ operations and ensures that the Atlas’ commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion are reflected on the stages, in the Board and staff, and in the audience.

The Executive Director reports to the Board of Directors and manages a staff of 45 full- and part-time employees, independent contractors, and volunteers. In partnership with the Board Chair, the ED develops the Board in size and capacity to fulfill the mission and meet organizational goals. The ED works with Board members to achieve their individual and collective goals for engagement, fundraising, ambassadorship, and participation. The ED ensures that the Board has timely and accurate information to guide and support their decision-making.

The Executive Director designs and implements comprehensive annual and multi-year artistic plans for the Atlas, including performances, festivals, educational and community programs, and special events that are curated and produced by the Atlas itself as well as the programs and events of partner companies and those that lease space from the Atlas. The ED maintains positive and productive working relationships with the artistic and administrative directors of resident companies and partners. The ED ensures that the Atlas provides a safe and supportive environment that allows all creative and performing artists to do their best work.

The Executive Director leads, oversees, and enhances the effectiveness of the business operations of the Atlas. The ED develops and administers the annual operating budget and ensures that the Atlas achieves its goals for earned and contributed income from all sources. The ED takes a leadership role in the identification, cultivation, and solicitation of donors and provides excellent stewardship for all gifts. The ED leads and oversees all institutional marketing, communications, public relations, and branding initiatives in order to develop new revenue streams and maximize earned income from all sources. The ED is responsible for the overall management of the facility, including maintenance, repairs, upgrades, and lease negotiations.

In championing the mission of the Atlas, the Executive Director develops and maintains excellent professional relationships within the community, enhances the effectiveness of existing partnerships with community groups, businesses, and city government and welcomes opportunities to build new alliances. The ED ensures compliance with policies authorized by the Board to spur community and economic development, consistent with the terms of agreements with the DC Department of Housing and Community Development.

The Executive Director is an active and visible participant in the life of the Washington, DC, community and a strong advocate and spokesperson for the continued development of H Street.

Candidate Profile

The ideal candidate will have a demonstrated record of success in leading a not-for-profit, multi-disciplinary performing arts venue in an urban environment. The candidate will have a strong working knowledge of music, theatre, and dance and successful experience building diverse audiences and community support. The candidate will have a track record that reflects a deep personal commitment to the principles of equity, diversity, and inclusion, and success in expanding broad access to the arts throughout the community and building an environment that fosters a sense of belonging in everyone within the venue itself.

The successful candidate will be a strategic thinker with strong experience in planning, organizational development, and the demonstrated ability to manage people, programs, and facilities. The candidate will have broad knowledge and experience in theatre operations and production. The candidate will be a skilled business leader with the proven ability to develop budgets and operating plans, to control expenses, and to meet and exceed goals for revenue. The candidate will be comfortable with and proficient in the use of technology to enhance organizational efficiency and effectiveness.

The successful candidate will be an enthusiastic and effective fundraiser who is willing to invest considerable time and effort in developing support for the Atlas from individuals, corporations, local businesses, foundations, and government. The candidate will be able to speak and write effectively about the value and importance of the Atlas. The candidate will be experienced in overseeing organizational marketing, communications, and branding efforts. The candidate will have a track record for achieving budget, audience, and fundraising goals.

The successful candidate will be an effective team leader who thrives in a fast-paced environment and has the proven ability to manage multiple deadlines and competing priorities. The candidate will have successful experience recruiting, motivating, and managing a high-functioning professional staff. The candidate will have the sensibility and temperament to work effectively with creative and performing artists and artistic leaders. The candidate will have the demonstrated ability to work effectively with a not-for-profit board of directors in the unique political, economic, and social environment of Washington, DC.

The successful candidate will have a record of accomplishment in developing community initiatives, fostering relationships, and building effective partnerships. The candidate will welcome the opportunity to play a leadership role in expanding the reach and impact of the Atlas Performing Arts Center on H Street and throughout the greater Washington community.


The salary range for this position is $135,000 to $150,000 per year, depending on qualifications and experience.


The Atlas Performing Arts Center is committed to equity, diversity, and inclusion in all facets of the organization and welcomes applications from all qualified candidates regardless of race, gender expression, sexual orientation, age, disability, religion, ethnicity, or national origin.

Please submit a cover letter that describes your specific interest in the Atlas Performing Arts Center and your qualifications for the position. Send with a resume and the names of several professional references. All applications will be treated as confidential and references will not be contacted without the applicant’s agreement. Electronic submissions are requested.

The position will remain open until filled; the Search Committee will begin to review credentials in late March.

Atlas Performing Arts Center
c/o Catherine French Group
2500 Q Street NW, Suite 623
Washington, DC 20007

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