Director of Arts Education Programs

East Palo Alto, California
Apr 24, 2019
May 24, 2019
Position Type
Full Time
Degree Level
Experience Level





Organizational Overview

EPACENTER increases opportunities for East Palo Alto youth to amplify their talents, realize their potential, and impact their world through art and design. As a creative youth development organization, EPACENTER engages youth, ages 12-25, in a range of creative programs to develop their intrinsic voices, and the creative, critical thinking and socio-emotional skills they need to succeed. EPACENTER offers free, culturally-responsive instruction in the digital, visual, literary and performing arts during the school day, after-school and during the summer, engages youth in organizational decision-making and key leadership roles, and links youth to meaningful summer employment opportunities, college and careers. EPACENTER also furthers community development in East Palo Alto (EPA) by engaging in creative placemaking, and by partnering with local community organizations to expand each organization’s capacity. The organization is currently in its operational start-up phase and is creating a new curriculum of classes in partnership with local youth-serving organizations while building a 25,000 square foot state-of-the-art facility that will open in East Palo Alto in 2020, which will serve up to 1500 youth per year.

Position Overview

EPACENTER’s mission is to amplify the creative potential of every young person. Achieving this mission is highly dependent on the organization’s educational programs for youth, which include in-school and after-school classes, short-term workshops and summer programs. The Director of Arts Education (DAE) plays an essential role in achieving the organization’s vision by ensuring that all youth in East Palo Alto have access to a vibrant education in art and design, and by ensuring that an excellent educator teaches in every classroom at EPACENTER. The DAE leads all aspects of EPACENTER’s educational programming to achieve transformational creative youth development outcomes for EPA students. The right person for the position appreciates working in a start-up environment, has experience creating a vision and conceptualizing programming on a large scale, and is committed to educational equity and expanding opportunities for youth and families in under-resourced communities.

Key Responsibilities

Reporting to the Executive Director, and with the support of a diverse and talented team of full-time and part-time faculty and staff, the DAE creates and manages a comprehensive array of innovative, effective and culturally-relevant arts education programs for youth ages 12-25. Utilizing creative youth development strategies, the DAE leads the strategic development of curricula, establishes, implements and evaluates high-quality arts learning experiences, ensures effective skills development and socio-emotional outcomes, and creates effective programs that connect youth to meaningful college and career opportunities. The DAE supervises a cohort of program and project staff, and a faculty of 25-50 teaching artists. This work includes (but is not limited to) the following:

Curricular Leadership & Program Development

  • Developing an innovative and forward-thinking vision and strategic plan for EPACENTER’s educational curricula
  • Creating culturally-relevant programming that draws on students’ heritage and cultural knowledge
  • Researching trends, opportunities, markets and constituent interests in art and design
  • Creating programming that promotes curiosity, exploration, creativity, mastery, social-emotional growth and skills development

Program Management

  • Overseeing the implementation of EPACENTER programs on the organization’s campus and at partner sites
  • Managing the student registration and tracking process
  • Ensuring educational programs support diversity, inclusion, equity and accessibility
  • Establishing sliding scale pricing parameters in coordination with leadership staff, and coordinating the awarding of educational scholarships
  • Constructing an annual schedule of classes and workshops
  • Creating class catalogs and registration materials

Student Recruitment, Youth Services & Community Engagement

  • Recruiting youth participants into educational programs
  • Developing systems to track, monitor and improve student progress
  • Creating strategies for deepening student engagement in educational programs
  • Organizing and conduct open houses, demonstrations, workshops, presentations and events to increase public awareness of educational programs
  • Maintaining a database of student participants
  • Engaging parents and volunteers as programmatic ambassadors
  • Responding to youth, parent and community inquiries and concerns

Faculty Management

  • Recruiting, developing and supervising an accomplished cohort of faculty and teaching artists
  • Identifying guest artists for special workshops and master classes
  • Setting performance goals, conducting routine coaching and evaluating instructor performance
  • Preparing contracts and teaching assignment notifications
  • Creating schedules for teaching staff and approving number of hours worked
  • Creating and managing training programs for instructors


  • Serving as a public representative of the education division
  • Working with graphic design, social media and marketing vendors to produce educational collateral and social/web content
  • Working with Director of Operations on campus messaging, signage, and communications

Educational Partnership

  • Maintaining positive and effective working relationships with community organizations, public schools, institutions of higher education, government agencies, corporations and other partners

Program Evaluation

  • Establishing and utilizing performance goals and tools to measure programmatic effectiveness
  • Utilizing data to inform programmatic plans moving forward
  • Developing methodology for training staff on how to evaluate student learning and
  • Drafting program evaluation reports

Financial Management

  • Preparing annual budget requests and managing annual program budget allocation
  • Analyzing programmatic expenditures and ensuring cost-effectiveness
  • Providing recommendations on capital and equipment expenditures

Space Management

  • Fostering the development of a positive learning environment
  • Determining space allocation needs for educational programs
  • Monitoring the status and condition of education-designated areas in collaboration with the Director of Operations

Fundraising & Grant Management

  • Collaborate with the Executive Director on grant writing and on developing sources for educational program funding

Preferred Experience

  • At least 8 years of experience in writing curricula and creating dynamic, cutting edge educational programs for youth in multiple areas of art and design
  • Experience creating educational pathways and articulation between classes for middle school, high school and transitional aged youth
  • At least 6 years of experience managing faculty, teaching artists and artists-in-residence
  • Experience working with local government, boards of directors and major donors
  • Background in working in under-resourced communities

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