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Director of Education and Community Engagement

Portland, OR · Marketing/Public Relations

Oregon Symphony
- Director of Education and Community Engagement

Job Title:                                  Director of Education and Community Engagement            
Department:                          Operations

Reports to:                              Vice President and General Manager         
FLSA Status:                            Full Time, Exempt            

The Director of Education and Community Engagement is responsible for the strategic planning,
implementation, administration, and evaluation of all education and community engagement programs of the Oregon Symphony Association (OSA). The Director works collaboratively with a wide range of stakeholders including musicians, staff, donors, educators, and other community members to ensure that education and engagement programming meets predetermined goals and criteria that support the mission of the OSA. The Director serves as the primary interface with community partners, building strong relationships with education and community leaders throughout the region.

ESSENTIAL DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES: Include the following. Other duties may be assigned.

  • Develops, administers, and implements ongoing education programs and community engagement initiatives, leveraging Symphony resources to serve learners of all ages while maximizing the off-stage impact of the OSA in the community at-large.
  • In collaboration with appropriate external partners, develops and recommends comprehensive community based programs which provide meaningful cultural connections with diverse audiences in public neighborhood and community venues.
  • Monitors and evaluates existing programs and makes recommendations for the creation of new programs consistent with the OSA’s strategic direction, policies, budgets, and calendars.
  • Oversees the Artist-in-Residence program, creating a three-year plan for each artist that connects their unique talents and personalities with appropriate partnerships in the community.
  • Serves as liaison with Oregon Symphony Association in Salem (OSAS) Education subcommittee, works with Salem Advisory Committee on education initiatives.
  • In coordination with local educators and school administrators, plans and administrates all student attendance and participation for annual Youth Concerts, Youth Concert Runouts, and LinkUp Concerts.
  • Plans, implements, and coordinates all in-school education programs including coaching, master classes, and ensemble performances.
  • Conceives and implements relevant programming in connection to concert activity (e.g. Prelude performances by school and community groups prior to concerts, pre-concert conversations, and school group rehearsal attendance).
  • Oversees Northwest Community Gospel Chorus and Chorus Manager in advance of annual Gospel Christmas performances. Serves as liaison between the choir and the OSA.
  • Takes a lead role in building strategic partnerships within the community. Maintains strong relationships with existing partners.
  • Identifies and cultivates new partnerships that further the strategic and mission-centric initiatives of the OSA.
  • Fosters and supports good working relationships with area classroom teachers, music instructors, school administrators, and colleagues in area arts organizations.
  • Maintains good relationships with OSA musicians, pairing them with engagement opportunities that fit their talents and skill sets.
  • Facilitates participation of musicians and volunteers in education and community engagement programs and initiatives.
  • Oversees training of musician and volunteer docent presenters in the schools and community programs as requested.
  • Collaborates with the VP for Programming and Associate Conductor providing input for Kids series, Youth Concerts, and LinkUp programming.
  • Develops and reports on associated program budgets, monitoring program expenditures against those budgets.
  • Consults and cooperates with the Development department to promote and seek funding for all education and community programs. Compiles and coordinates all information required for grant proposals, implementations, and reports.
  • Works collaboratively with the Marketing and Design teams to develop collateral and identify opportunities to promote education and community engagement activities.
  • Monitors program content and delivery to ensure offerings continually evolve to meet the needs of partners and the community. Makes recommendations for the improvement or discontinuation of selected programs; develops tools for ongoing evaluation.
  • Oversees the development of materials used in teacher and musician training and student preparation for all education programs.
  • Remains current with best education and community engagement practices by maintaining relationships with professional symphony orchestras across the country, the League of American Orchestra’s EDCE peer group, and local arts organizations.
CANDIDATE PROFILE: The ideal candidate is an experienced professional with a background in education or community engagement and a demonstrated commitment to building strong relationships within the community. They are comfortable working respectfully and effectively with internal and external stakeholders, as well as with a comprehensive range of community members. They have a demonstrated commitment to promoting equity and reaching historically underserved populations. They have the ability to prioritize strategic partnerships in order to maximize the positive impact of the Oregon Symphony in the broader community. They excel both at the planning and implementation of engagement programs.

ABOUT THE OREGON SYMPHONY: The Oregon Symphony is a vibrant nonprofit organization, which has achieved record ticket sales and contributions in recent years. At a time when many orchestras are reducing their classical programming, the Oregon Symphony continues to invest in the art form, reach new audiences, and deepen its community engagement.

The Symphony unites exceptional musicians, a world-class conducting staff, an unrelenting focus on excellence, a compelling vision, and a strong commitment to the greater good. As the largest arts organization in the largest city in
the state, the Symphony is central to a thriving cultural community in Oregon and Southwest Washington. It is propelled by the desire to bring the power of music to more people in new ways, always moving music forward.

Each year, the multi-Grammy nominated Oregon Symphony performs more than 115 concerts in Portland, Salem, Newberg, and beyond. It also produces award-winning educational and community events in schools, correctional facilities, homeless shelters, immigration centers, retirement homes, and sports venues. While unable to perform in person during the 20/21 season, the Oregon Symphony invested in digital programming and livestream capability. Programs like Symphony Storytime—in English and Spanish—and Essential Sounds grabbed national attention and brought hope and healing to people around the globe. Through its many programs, the Oregon Symphony directly serves more than 250,000 people annually and reaches tens of millions more in communities far and wide through broadcast and digital offerings.

The Oregon Symphony employs 77 full-time professional musicians, led by Music Director David Danzmayr. Under Danzmayr, a new Creative Alliance features extraordinary artists and cultural thought leaders, including Nathalie Joachim, Gabriela Lena Frank, Jun Märkl, Gabriel Kahane, Simone Lamsma, and Xavier Foley. Beyond this august group, the Symphony engages dozens of guest conductors and soloists each year to perform with the orchestra.

The Oregon Symphony’s annual operating budget is approximately $22 million, of which 80% is spent on artistic and engagement programs. It employs a full-time staff of 45, who are responsible for concert production, marketing, public relations, education, community engagement, fundraising, customer service, accounting, and financial reporting. It is governed by a volunteer Board of Directors and is supported by thousands of individuals, businesses, and foundations, and also receives funding from the Regional Arts & Cultural Council, the Oregon Arts Commission, and the National Endowment for the Arts.

QUALIFICATIONS: To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.
  • Education and/or Experience: Bachelor’s Degree in Music or Education or equivalent arts- or education-related degree. At least five years’ classroom experience in music education, the Education Department of a performing arts organization, or equivalent. Lived experience may substitute for any education requirement.
  • Excellent communication (written and oral), exceptional organizational and motivational skills.
  • Passionate commitment to the advancement of music education and the importance of music in society through a strategic, mission-driven approach.
  • Ability to seek out underserved populations, assess their needs, and match them with activities in line with the OSA’s mission.
  • Ability to work effectively and diplomatically with diverse personalities, including Symphony musicians, staff, conductors, and volunteers.
  • Ability to monitor budgets, balance multiple priorities, work independently, and collaborate on projects.
  • Appreciation for live symphonic music performance and sense of humor required.
COMPETENCIES:  To perform the job successfully, an individual should demonstrate the following competencies.
  • Language Skills: Knowledge of, or ability to quickly learn, correct pronunciation of performing artist, composer, and musical title names. Ability to read and interpret documents such as safety rules, operating and maintenance instructions, and procedure manuals. Ability to write routine reports and effective correspondence. Ability to speak knowledgably and persuasively before groups of diverse constituents and stakeholders. Ability to tailor written communication for each audience.
  • Mathematical Skills: Ability to budget and forecast with accuracy.
  • Reasoning Ability: Ability to solve practical problems and deal with a variety of concrete variables in situations where only limited standardization exists. Ability to interpret a variety of instructions furnished in written, oral, diagram, or schedule form.
  • Computer Skills: Working knowledge of or ability to quickly learn Tessitura database software and OPAS, working knowledge of Microsoft Outlook, Excel, Word and other MS software applications
  • Certificates, Licenses, Registrations: Valid driver's license, good driving record.
  • Problem-Solving: Identifies and resolves problems in a timely manner; Generates creative solutions; Works well in group problem-solving situations.
  • Project Management: Develops project plans; Coordinates projects; Communicates changes and progress; Completes projects on time and budget.
  • Customer Service: Manages difficult or emotional customer situations; Responds promptly to customer needs; Solicits customer feedback to improve service; Responds to requests for service and assistance; Meets commitments.
  • Interpersonal Skills: Maintains confidentiality; Keeps emotions under control; Remains open to others' ideas and tries new things.
  • Communication: Speaks clearly and persuasively in positive or negative situations; Listens and gets clarification; Responds well to questions; Demonstrates group presentation skills; Participates in meetings; Writes clearly, persuasively and informatively.
  • Teamwork: Balances team and individual responsibilities; Exhibits objectivity and openness to others' views; Gives and welcomes feedback; Contributes to building a positive team spirit; Puts success of team above own interests; Supports everyone's efforts to succeed.
  • Leadership: Exhibits confidence in self and others; Effectively influences actions and opinions of others.
  • Business Acumen: Understands business implications of decisions; Displays orientation to profitability; Aligns work with strategic goals.
  • Ethics and Professionalism: Keeps commitments; Inspires the trust of others; Works ethically and with integrity; Upholds organizational values; Reacts well under pressure; Treats others with tact, respect, and consideration; Accepts responsibility for own actions.
  • Organizational Support: Follows policies and procedures; Completes administrative tasks correctly and on time; Supports organization's goals and values; Contributes to profits and revenue; Conserves organizational resources; Observes safety and security procedures; Uses equipment and materials properly; Shows respect and sensitivity for cultural differences; Promotes a harassment-free environment.
  • Judgment: Displays willingness to make decisions; Exhibits sound and accurate judgment; Supports and explains reasoning for decisions; Includes appropriate people in decision-making process; Makes timely decisions.
  • Motivation and Initiative: Sets and achieves challenging goals; Demonstrates persistence and overcomes obstacles; Measures self against standard of excellence; Takes calculated risks to accomplish goals; Takes independent actions and calculated risks; Looks for and takes advantage of opportunities; Asks for and offers help when needed.
  • Planning/Organizing: Prioritizes and plans work activities; Uses time efficiently; Sets goals and objectives; Develops realistic action plans.
  • Quality and Quantity: Demonstrates accuracy and thoroughness; Looks for ways to improve and promote quality; Applies feedback to improve performance; Monitors own work to ensure quality; Meets productivity standards; Strives to increase productivity; Works efficiently.
  • Adaptability: Adapts to changes in the work environment; Changes approach or method to best fit the situation.
  • Dependability: Is consistently at work and on time; Ensures work responsibilities are covered when absent; Arrives at meetings and appointments on time; Follows instructions; Commits to long hours of work when necessary to reach goals.
  • Innovation: Meets challenges with resourcefulness; Presents ideas and information in a manner that gets others' attention.
PHYSICAL DEMANDS: The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

While performing the duties of this position, the employee is regularly required to use hands to handle or feel; reach with hands and arms and talk or hear. The employee is frequently required to sit. The employee is occasionally required to stand, walk, and climb stairs. The employee must occasionally lift and/or move up to 15 pounds. Specific vision abilities required by this position include close vision and ability to adjust focus to use computer monitor. The employee is regularly required to listen to music.

WORK ENVIRONMENT: The work environment characteristics described here are representative of those an employee encounters while performing the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

While performing the duties of this Job, the employee is occasionally exposed to moving mechanical parts. The noise level in the work environment is usually moderate.  This position is currently following a weekly hybrid work model (working remotely and in-office).

If you are interested in the position, please submit a cover letter and resume to:  No phone inquiries, please. 
Position is open until filled.

The Oregon Symphony is an equal opportunity employer and is committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion in all facets of the organization.  We seek to develop a diverse candidate pool and welcome nominations and applications from all qualified candidates regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, age, disability, religion, or national origin.

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