Program Director

Destiny Arts Center - Oakland, California

Job Category: Programs

Type: Paid

Term: Full Time

Post Date: February 01, 2019

About Our Organization

Join a community of deeply committed teaching artists, arts administrators, families and community partners dedicated to the power of the arts to inspire and ignite social change. Destiny Arts Center, a national leader in creative youth development is seeking a strong arts education leader to join our team.

For the last 30 years, Destiny Arts Center (DAC) has served as a cultural institution and artistic home for thousands of Bay Area youth and their families. DAC is committed to supporting young people as they develop their skills as artists, leaders, and advocates for peaceful, powerful and creative communities. 

Job Summary

The Program Director serves at the center of DAC's work, setting the vision for Destiny programs across Oakland and at our center in North Oakland. This position requires a strong leader who understands racial equity, trauma informed practices and the urban school landscape and can use their experiences to deepen DAC’s work with children, families, public schools, partnering educators, and after school programs in Oakland. The ideal candidate must embody Destiny Arts Center’s ‘Culture of Welcome,’ be deeply committed to social justice and have a deep belief in power of the arts as a tool for social change and liberation.

The Program Director (PD) is a visionary leader, strong manager and critical contributor to the senior leadership team. Working closely with the Executive Director, Artistic Director and Development Director, the PD sets a strategic vision across all program areas (arts center programs; school and community programs; professional development; and student and family engagement). The PD engages all program staff to design, implement, and assess the impact of programs. As a thought leader with comprehensive experience in program management, education, youth development and/or artistic practice, the PD works to ensure programs are of the highest caliber, aligned with creative youth development and social justice best practices, and are connected to other creative youth development leaders locally and nationally. This also includes awareness of social/emotional learning, trauma-informed care, having a racial equity lens, and embodying DAC’s values embodied in the Warrior’s Code (love, respect, care, responsibility, honor and peace).

As a problem solver with experience developing and managing complex systems, the PD works collaboratively with other members of the leadership team to ensure programs operate efficiently, with fidelity to resources, and are centered on student needs and youth voice. As a guide for the mentor teaching artists, the PD fosters an environment for both professional development and personal growth. As a key spokesperson of DAC programs, the PD works collaboratively with all staff to ensure programmatic integrity and cultivates essential external relationships necessary for strategic programmatic evolution while honoring DAC’s foundation of best practices.


Program Oversight and Visioning (50%)

Quality and depth

  • Shape vision for relevant and inspiring creative youth development and arts education programming
  • Oversee program quality in both school & community programs and arts center programs
  • Make visible the connections between all programs, based on Destiny Arts Center’s Theory of Change  
  • Develop outreach strategy and procedures for all programs to support equity of access
  • Maintain and deepen professional development programs that support and complement high quality partnerships
  • Oversee curriculum development and implementation
  • Drive evaluation and assessment of programs
  • Ensure appropriate program tracking, data collection, outcomes, and metrics
  • Foster a collaborative culture through which best practices and learnings are shared amongst staff, board and teaching artists and insights are collected to help to inform decision making at every level
  • Oversee the development of leadership pathways for alumni and teaching assistants


  • Build robust partnerships with school and community partners based in shared values that employ best practices in program design and sustainability
  • Build and maintain solid alliances with district, county and state level partners
  • Assure structures for relationship building between TAs and sites

Staff oversight

  • Supervise Program Team and ensure clear, straightforward roles and systems of support, training, assigning/reviewing work, conducting performance evaluations, addressing work issues, setting work schedules.
  • Lead staff in setting and prioritizing individual and department-wide goals, ensuring alignment with organizational objectives

Teaching Artists

  • Develop and support a tiered teaching artist pathway model to make visible clear pathways for teaching artist leadership and sustainability
  • Support development of teaching artist trainings
  • Ensure effectiveness of training team framework throughout the organization, led by Mentor Teaching Artists

Field Building and Convening (10%)

  • Serve as ambassador and spokesperson for DAC programs, both internally with all staff and board, and externally across the arts, education, and youth development fields
  • Establish and nurture relationships with arts, youth-centered, and community organizations
  • Further develop and codify DAC's convening work on a local, state, and national level, disseminating our creative youth development methodology to further inform the field

Organizational and Financial Leadership (20%)

  • Oversee preparation and submission of annual departmental budgets and earned income streams.
  • Monitor and authorize expenditures in accordance with approved budget; oversee preparation of updated projections monthly based on actual income and expense activity and ensure that all earned income is collected in a timely manner
  • Ensure program execution and outcomes are in line with funder requirements
  • Attend all board meeting and support board engagement with program content and activities
  • Assist in cultivating and maintaining key donor, board, and funder relationships

Fundraising and Development (20%)

  • Outline and create materials on overall program vision, strategies and activities for proposals, funding and specific grant objectives
  • Build relationships with funders for community programs and host funder site visits
  • Track and document updates/reframes for existing programs to be used for funding purposes
  • Ensure availability of attachments/supplemental materials for grant proposals/reports (e.g. curriculum, letters of support, MOU’s, work samples, etc.) and program evaluation tools
  • Oversee and manage deliverables from program team for generating, collecting, organizing, and communicating grant report data
  • Create documents to track and share activities from professional development, partnership convening, teaching artists presentations, and other external-facing program activities
  • Work with program partners to deliver necessary materials for grant reports and to arrange appropriate activities.
  • Assess feasibility for implementation for grant opportunities that represent new programmatic activities and/or budget obligations.

Required Qualifications

  • A strong commitment to the mission, goals and work of Destiny Arts Center
  • Demonstrated understanding of a racial justice and equity lens in arts education
  • Demonstrated advocate for the access of quality arts programs for young people of color
  • Understands school reform movements and funding landscape for OUSD or other urban school departments
  • BA/BS required, Master’s Preferred
  • 5-10 years experience working in the field of creative youth development
  • 5-10 years experience working with public schools and community partners
  • A minimum of five years successful experience supervising staff
  • Knowledge of effective teaching methods and curriculum development and ability to design programs to meet the learning needs of elementary and middle school students
  • Experience working in an ethnically diverse community
  • Energy, leadership skills, strong initiative, ability to motivate through positive reinforcement
  • Availability to work with some flexibility for occasional evening or weekend events
  • Strong interpersonal, team development, organizational, and management skills
  • Clear background check and history indicating fitness to work with children
  • Negative TB Test and DOJ/FBI Clearance

Preferred Qualifications

  • Experience working with trauma/healing informed practice in an organizational setting
  • Excellent people and communication skills working with youth, parents/guardians, community members, and fellow staff members
  • Experience working with youth of all ages, socio-economic backgrounds, ethnicities, and sexualities and gender orientations
  • Able to coordinate a number of activities with multiple components requiring independent follow through and attention to detail
  • Ability to work to organize and prioritize projects, and to take initiative
  • Excellent oral and written communications skills with the ability to motivate and direct people
  • Effective interpersonal skills necessary to interact with management, staff, and clients (students & parents/guardians)
  • Comfortable in a multi-task environment with frequent interruptions and short deadlines, and sometimes a high degree of pressure
  • Must be able to work flexible hours when needed
  • Strong strategic, analytical and financial planning skills
  • Intermediate Excel, Word and PowerPoint skills
  • Proficiency in Spanish

Environmental Conditions

The environment within the workspace is clean, well lit and free from extremes of temperature and humidity. At times, the incumbent will be required to go out-of-doors and into various parts of the facility subjecting them to variations in temperature and humidity. This position description does not promise or imply that the functions listed are the only duties to be performed or that the position may not change, or be eliminated. Management reserves the right to revise the responsibilities or to require other or different tasks be performed when circumstances change (i.e., emergencies, changes in personnel, workload, rush jobs, or technological developments).

How to Apply

To Apply

Please send a cover letter, resume and writing sample to Applications will accepted on a rolling basis until the position is filled.


This is an exempt and salaried position with an annual salary range of 80-90K depending on experience. Benefits include excellent medical and dental insurance, 401K match as well as paid sick leave and unlimited PTO. To Apply Please send a cover letter, resume and writing sample to Applications will accepted on a rolling basis until the position is filled.