Mosaic Theater Company of DC
Mosaic Theater Company of DC (Mosaic) makes transformational, socially relevant art, producing plays by writers on the front lines of personal, social, and international conflict. Reaching out from the historic Washington, DC H Street NE community to every local and international neighborhood in this global capital region, Mosaic shares stories—often unseen on United States stages—that illuminate some of the most pressing issues of our times.
Mosaic was co-founded in December 2014 by playwright Ari Roth and arts funder Dan Logan, with major support from the Reva and David Logan Foundation. They were soon joined by two other DC theater community leaders—producer Serge Seiden (formerly of Studio Theatre) and director Jennifer L. Nelson (from the African Continuum Theatre Company). The team began building a mission-driven theater focused on intercultural narratives, social justice issues, and civic discourse. In 2016, Mosaic became a resident partner at the Atlas Performing Arts Center, a cultural focal point of DC’s thriving H Street Corridor. The following year it received the John Aniello Award for Outstanding Emerging Theatre Company from the Helen Hayes Awards. In its first five seasons, Mosaic produced no fewer than 10 world premiere plays from artists, including Tearrance Arvelle Chisholm, Motti Lerner, and Caleen Sinette Jennings, and four United States premieres bringing intercultural voices from artists to the Washington, DC community.
Mosaic’s exciting 2021-22 season features six new plays, including three world premieres by artists both local and new to DC-area stages. This collection of stories explores communication and connection—to one another, to lines of lineage, and to future, imagined worlds—and champions a joyful diversity in aesthetic, theme, and identity.
Mosaic thrives on robust engagement with the communities it serves inside and outside the theater, creating public programming beyond the stage through conversations with local and international thinkers, artists, scholars, and activists. Frequent pre- and post-show public programming has always been central to Mosaic’s engagement efforts. To enhance accessibility, all Mosaic productions include performances with open captions and American Sign Language interpretation is provided for certain public programs as well. Mosaic on the Move brings productions and new play development presentations to students, artists, and the DC community. A longstanding partnership with the DC Public Library has become the cornerstone of this work.
The centerpiece of Mosaic’s engagement work for the next two years will be the H Street Oral History Project. Mosaic’s home on H Street is central to the company’s identity and to the history of the District. Funded in part by a prestigious Our Town grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Oral History Project will be led by Mosaic’s Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Playwright in Residence Psalmayene 24. In year one, four DC-based professional playwrights will collect oral histories from the 1968 civil unrest to be archived at the Martin Luther King Jr. Library in Downtown DC. In year two, the histories will become full-length plays presented to the public.
Under the leadership of Mosaic’s Director of Outreach, Education, and Public Programming, the company has established an online playwriting curriculum for young people and adults as well as a playwriting contest for public and charter high school students in the District of Columbia and Prince George’s County, Maryland. These educational programs complement Mosaic’s long-standing apprentice and internship program, which has provided paid professional educational opportunities to recent college graduates since the inception of the company.
Mosaic has a 30-member board of directors led by President Cathy Solomon. For the fiscal year ending June 30, 2020, Mosaic reported a total revenue of $3.1 million, with $2.1 million from contributions and grants, $458,000 in restricted funds, and $143,000 from program services. Due to the pandemic, no program services revenue was earned after March 15, 2020; reported figures include all pandemic related refunds. Total reported expenses were $2.3 million. Mosaic has successfully weathered the industry’s extended pandemic shutdown and has maintained its staff. The planned 2021-22 season is robust and Mosaic looks forward to a full in-person reopening in September 2021.
Reporting to the board of directors, the Artistic Director will translate Mosaic’s purpose into challenging and entertaining art. Leading difficult and sometimes provocative cultural discussions, the Artistic Director will appreciate others, welcome opposing voices, and build common understanding around complex contemporary issues. The successful candidate will be invested in Mosaic’s future and will embrace the opportunity to define the role of Artistic Director in today’s rapidly evolving theater landscape. This individual will leverage literary relationships to shepherd both the artists and the theater into a new era while maintaining Mosaic’s core values: art is bold, creative, expressive, thought-provoking, and authentic; individuals are afforded respect and dignity; discussion is informed, civil, and challenging; and multiple perspectives are encouraged and welcomed. They will inspire Mosaic’s internal and external stakeholders with a shared vision and collaborate with the Managing Director and Producer, board, and staff to realize the theater’s mission while maintaining a fiscally sound and stable organization. The Artistic Director will also foster excitement and take the organization to the next level of artistic success and impact.
Roles and Responsibilities
- Engage with the board and staff in activating Mosaic’s revised and refreshed mission, vision, and values and implement theatrical seasons aligned with these commitments.
- Collaborate with the Managing Director and Producer and staff to create a stimulating and forward-thinking artistic vision that is inspired by and built on Mosaic’s legacy of developing new work with emerging and leading playwrights, reimagining modern classics, and embracing equity and inclusion.
- Shape the strategy for inclusive and dynamic programming that embodies intercultural awareness, learning, growth, access, and participation.
- Initiate, develop, and manage both a plan and budget for all artistic activities in collaboration with the Managing Director and Producer and senior leadership team.
- Develop and cultivate creative and artistic relationships with local, national, and international artists, evaluating potential partners for new projects and focusing on new works, playwrights, and creative ideas for the future.
- Collaborate with the Literary Manager to commission playwrights for premieres and other projects, managing the commission process and mentoring and nurturing new voices.
- Oversee the engagement of diverse and gender representative directors, designers, casts, playwrights, and supporting production teams.
- Provide thoughtful and strong leadership and guidance to playwrights, directors, choreographers, designers, music directors, and other involved artists, working closely in partnership with production teams.
- Engage diverse audiences and prospective audiences in learning from and about one another in a modern context.
- Set and maintain high artistic and production standards that ensure a creative environment and positive, safe workspace for all artists and technicians.
- Serve as the public face of Mosaic to a variety of stakeholders and actively participate in public dialogue through community events locally, regionally, and nationally.
- Actively engage in the local, regional, and national theater sector by attending productions, festivals, and conferences.
Community Engagement and Partnership
- Cultivate strategic partnerships to advance Mosaic’s artistic and community goals.
- Foster positive interactions with arts and cultural organizations at the local, regional, and national levels by participating in convenings, joint activities, and professional associations’ boards, committees, and panels.
- Inspire donors with an artistic vision embedded in excellent communication, social skills, and highly ethical standards.
- Build positive and impactful relationships with community-based organizations that engage people with Mosaic’s programming and support the organization’s diversity, equity, and inclusion commitments and efforts.
- Keep abreast of and address the critical issues and conversations that impact the theater community, including those raised in the We See You, White American Theater movement.
Management and Administration
- Serve as a committed partner with the Managing Director and Producer to conceive, develop, and implement strategies that ensure the organization achieves the highest degree of artistic quality, maintains a sustainable business model, and builds audience and community connection.
- Cultivate and foster a supportive work environment driven by integrity, diversity, inclusion, collaboration, innovation, and excellence.
- Grow and champion Mosaic's anti-racism and social justice initiatives.
- Develop a deeply collaborative and positive working relationship with all staff members and artists.
- Forthrightly communicate with the board of directors, reporting regularly on the organization’s artistic activity, and support board members in fulfilling their roles in governance, policy, and community ambassadorship.
- Coordinate with the Director of Marketing and Director of Education and Outreach to support activities that engage and cultivate audience and community participation.
- Engage in the organization’s revenue enhancement activities, coordinating with the Director of Development to cultivate and steward donors, and actively take part in development and fundraising activities.
- Participate in the development of the annual program budget.
- Provide day-to-day oversight and supervision to the Literary Manager, Casting Director, and other key technical and artistic personnel, providing support, establishing work plans, and evaluating performance.
- Promote the creative and professional development of team members as valuable assets to the organization, recruiting and retaining the highest quality staff and artistic talent.
Traits and Characteristics
The Artistic Director will be a creative and forward-thinking leader who is open to new ideas, approaches, and opportunities as an innovator of multifaceted productions and programs. Internally and externally focused, the successful candidate will possess exceptional people skills and the ability to work collaboratively with staff, artists, board members, and other stakeholders. The selected individual will be a clear, gifted communicator and active listener. A practical and futuristic thinker, the Artistic Director will be a diplomatic champion of new voices and a confident partner to established artists. This individual will have the ability to connect with a wide range of people to build strong relationships. They will have the capacity to deeply respect others, effectively and tactfully handle difficult or sensitive issues, build consensus, and guide the team in support of Mosaic’s values. The Artistic Director will also be resourceful in maximizing the return on investment of time, talent, energy, and resources, centered on the mission, vision, and guiding principles of Mosaic Theater.
Other key competencies include:
- Personal and Professional Accountability – The ability to self-evaluate and take responsibility for personal actions and decisions, accept setbacks and constructive professional criticism, look for ways to progress, and understand how obstacles impact results.
- Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion – The dedication to personally and professionally commit to furthering diversity, equity, inclusion, and access across the entire organization.
- Conflict Management – The capacity to understand, address, and resolve conflict constructively and effectively manage difficulties.
- Interpersonal Skills – The aptitude to build trust and engage people through open-mindedness, active listening, thoughtful and respectful dialogue, and timely, personal responses.
- Teamwork – The dexterity to organize, mentor, and motivate others while creating a sense of order, direction, consistency, and active participation among the board, officers, staff, volunteers, and other stakeholders to achieve collective goals.
Experience and Qualifications
Senior artistic leadership experience in a producing theatrical organization of similar size and scope, with demonstrated growth and a successful track record of programming, commissioning, and producing new works by emerging and established playwrights, is required. Qualified candidates will possess demonstrated success in planning, negotiation, and managing people as a function of their artistic role. Knowledge and familiarity with the DC, regional, and national artistic communities, including playwrights, casting agents, actors, designers, and directors, is desirable. Financial literacy and knowledge of theatrical union contracts (including Actors’ Equity Association and Stage Directors and Choreographers Society) is preferred. The person filling this role must be artistically accomplished, resourceful, and understand the space in which Mosaic operates.
Compensation and Benefits
Mosaic offers competitive compensation, with an expected salary range between $95,000 and $110,000. The benefits package includes health, dental, and life insurances; IRA retirement plan (effective January 2022); and paid time off and holidays.
Applications and Inquiries
To submit a cover letter and resume with a summary of demonstrable accomplishments, please click here or visit artsconsulting.com/employment. For questions or general inquiries about this job opportunity, please contact:
Wyona Lynch-McWhite, Senior Vice-President
Jenna Deja, Vice-President
201 West Lake Street, Suite 133
Chicago, IL 60606-1803
Tel (888) 234.4236 Ext. 225 (Ms. Lynch-McWhite) Ext. 227 (Ms. Deja)
Mosaic Theater Company is an equal opportunity employer committed to a diverse staff, equitable hiring practices, and an inclusive workplace. Mosaic is a safe environment for all its employees, free from discrimination on any ground and from harassment of any kind.
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