The Kennedy Center Fellowship in Arts Management Program (FAM), in partnership with the Arts Management Program at American University gives graduate students increased professional development opportunities through merit-based Fellowship opportunities at the Kennedy Center. Fellowships are nine months and are available for first and second year graduate students. By providing students with structured mentoring, intensive skill development and access to real-world experience, we will elevate strong thought-leaders to champion the bright future of our nation’s cultural institutions.
The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts is a world class international performing arts organization and our nation's cultural center. Diversity is a critical component of its mission, vision, and values. Its staff exhibits a wide variety of perspectives and experiences, which enable them to foster and strengthen an environment of diversity and inclusion. The AU Arts Management Program has been committed to blending rigorous academics with practical, hands-on learning opportunities for over forty years. This partnership with the Kennedy Center is an embodiment of this commitment in action.
KC FAM participants receive intensive training in areas such as arts management, strategic planning, fundraising, finance, artistic planning, and marketing; exposure to executive leadership and involvement in special projects of the student's personal interest and benefit to the Kennedy Center; collaborative work opportunities across the organization, and ongoing personalized mentoring from a senior level staff advisor, tailored to the needs of the Fellow. Academic advisors support Fellows as they pursue their organizational and professional objectives. The Fellow receives their stipend from the Kennedy Center. During the academic year, the Kennedy Center Fellow will work 20 hours/week at the Kennedy Center (summer hours are handled separately). The fellow is awarded a $19,240 stipend and six credits of tuition remission per academic year.
2024-25 Program Placements
Social Impact at the Kennedy Center
At the Kennedy Center, our systemic commitment to social impact lives in our belief that the arts hold unique power in our society to build community, center joy, inspire action, and drive meaningful change. We leverage the arts for non-arts outcomes to advance justice and equity in all that we do. This is accomplished through:
Artist Empowerment: Artists are never visitors at the Kennedy Center. Our stages belong to them. We prioritize the visionary leadership of marginalized people over institutional norms and control. This gives us the ability to amplify authentic voices and honor stories that are so often silenced.
Community Empowerment: We dismantle real and perceived barriers between ‘fine arts communities’ and the richly diverse communities surrounding us here in the nation’s capital. To maximize our impact beyond our walls, we humbly and continuously engage new communities through artistic expression, creative collaborations and shared learning experiences.
Impact Performance: We showcase visionary artists throughout the year, who leverage their profound talent to highlight issues of social impact.
Cultural Leadership: We mobilize the arts and a wide spectrum of perspectives to challenge societal norms, test the boundaries of acute progress, and inspire change that transcends the audiences directly before us.
REACH Activation: The REACH aims to both mobilize people and bring them together, to educate groups in mass and inspire individual reflection. With bold and engaging programming and a warmly inviting atmosphere, it’s a shared space for collective healing, exploration, and experimentation across disciplines.
The Social Impact Fellows will participate in producing daily events with the Social Impact team, assisting with creating advertisements, coordinating productions, running shows, collecting artists’ bios and photos, and formatting performance programs. The fellows will also be able to assist in efforts of social media campaigns and marketing, artist's contracts, and handling purchase orders. The fellows will have the opportunity to assist in meetings with Culture Caucus, Social Practice Residents, Millennium Stage, and other participants in ongoing and emerging Social Impact programs. The fellows will be able work with the development and cultivation of evaluative tools to be deployed by the Community Engagement team to further examine the impact and experience had by artists and audience members alike with Social Impact events and activations. The fellows will be able to research the tools and models used throughout both the arts sector and for-profit industries to highlight and promote the best practices that can be used in the deployment of evaluative tools to further steer programming and track creative impact.
Kennedy Center Education
Impacting the field for every age and ability, every art form, everywhere through model programs and performances that address Arts Education challenges, accelerate best practices, strategically activate networks, and uplift citizen artistry, Education is one of the Three Strategic Pillars at the Kennedy Center. Through our five cluster areas (School & Community Programs; Education Programs & Productions; VSA, Accessibility, & Special Education; Digital Learning; and Research & Evaluation) at the nation’s performing arts center, we strive to balance a bird’s eye view of the national field with on-the-ground program implementation to keep a finger on the pulse of arts education across the nation.
Kennedy Center School and Community Programs Fellow
The School and Community Programs Fellow will assist with a team that develops and implements arts education programs for schools and community-based organizations with an emphasis on professional development, artist residencies, school-based partnerships, and national networks supporting arts education in communities. The programs included in the School and Community Programs portfolio includes DC School and Community Initiatives, Special Education, Changing Education through the Arts, Teaching Artist Strategy, National Community Partnerships, and Turnaround Arts. The Fellow will support our goal to be equitable, accessible, diverse, high-quality, and responsive to student needs by: researching best practices; developing proposals that can be presented to senior leadership, external partners, and funders; connecting and communicating schedules and templates; and assisting with logistics and program execution. There will be opportunities for the fellow to interact with and address artists, administrators, donors, students, parents, and/or educators throughout the semester -- providing excellent opportunities for professional development working with multiple communication styles and constituencies.
Experience in arts education, project organization, research and/or communication preferred. Ability to comfortably multitask and work independently with multiple communication styles a must.
Kennedy Center Music Education Programs and Productions Fellow
The Music Education Programs and Productions Fellow will assist with a team that develops and implements educational activities for all ages with Kennedy Center Hip-Hop Culture, Jazz Programming, Fortas Chamber Series, National Symphony Orchestra, and Washington National Opera; and manages five (5) career development programs for aspiring artists and arts professionals. The Education Programs and Productions cluster of the education division presents and produces performances and programming connected to music, dance, theater, as well as the Moonshot Studio (art maker space).
The Fellow will help ensure Music Education meets their goal to be equitable, accessible, diverse, high-quality, and responsive to student needs by: researching best practices; developing proposals that can be presented to senior leadership, external partners, and funders; connecting and communicating schedules and templates; and assisting with logistics and program/performance execution. There will be opportunities for the fellow to interact with and address artists, administrators, donors, students, parents, and/or educators throughout the semester -- providing excellent opportunities for professional development working with multiple communication styles and constituencies. The fellow will also have opportunities to work across the Education Programs and Productions cluster in support of multiple genres and art forms.
Experience in music, arts education, project organization, research and/or communication preferred. Ability to comfortably multitask and work independently with multiple communication styles a must. Great opportunity for someone with curiosity, and the desire to work and communicate in a creative environment.
Full-time incoming or rising second year MA students in the Arts Management Program are eligible to apply through a competitive process. One may not hold both an external fellowship and an internal fellowship at the Katzen Arts Center. MA candidates receive a scholarship for a designated number of academic credits and a stipend. At the end of their first year fellowship, first year fellows may indicate their interest in second year extension of their fellowship. Extensions are granted on a case-by-case basis and are not a guarantee. From American University, KC FAM participants receive tuition credits described above, benefit from joint learning with the AU external Fellows' cohort and receive ongoing advising from the designated AU faculty member. Fellows profit from the opportunity to mesh classroom and fellowship learning.
US citizenship or permanent residence is required. The Fellow must be enrolled full-time in the arts management master's program at American University and meet the requirements of a Merit Awardee at American University.
During the academic year, a Kennedy Center Fellow will work 20 hours/week at the Kennedy Center (summer hours are handled separately). The Fellow is awarded a $19,240.00 stipend and 6 credits of tuition remission per academic year.
To apply, please submit in a single PDF document: your resume and a statement by February 26, 2024, noon EST (one page or less) with your contact information, describing your interest and qualifications for specific Kennedy Center Fellowships to email@example.com, subject line “Kennedy Center (name of specific fellowship) Fellowship.” One may apply to any and all AM@AU Fellowships, depending upon eligibility.