Position Description

Special Events Coordinator
Location Washington DC
Employment Duration Full Time Regular
Job Code 1643
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About The Kennedy Center

“I am certain that after the dust of centuries has passed over our cities, we, too, will be remembered not for victories or defeats in battle or in politics, but for our contribution to the human spirit.” – President John F. Kennedy

The Kennedy Center is the nation’s cultural center and living memorial to President John F. Kennedy. Located on the banks of the Potomac River in Washington, D.C., the Center presents performances across all genres, and is also home to artistic affiliates Washington National Opera and National Symphony Orchestra. 

At the Kennedy Center, we strive to foster belonging and empowerment at work. We are able to advance our mission because of our committed and passionate employees. We are fortunate to be able to leverage their diverse perspectives, life experiences and skills to inform how our workplace can be a safe, transparent, and replenishing community. The Kennedy Center is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate against any employee or applicant based on race, religion, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability, veteran status, marital status, pregnancy or related condition, or any other basis protected by law. 

Mission Statement: As the nation's performing arts center, and a living memorial to President John F. Kennedy, we are a leader for the arts across America and around the world, reaching and connecting with artists, inspiring and educating communities. We welcome all to create, experience, learn about, and engage with the arts. 

Why Join Us

We offer a comprehensive range of benefits to all full-time employees including: 

  • Staff offers for discount tickets
  • Retirement plan with organization matching (after 1 year of employment)
  • Qualifying employer for the Public Student Loan Forgiveness Program (PSLF)
  • Commuter programs including pre-tax options for discounted parking and SmartBenefits (WMATA)
  • Annual Leave, Sick Leave, and Personal Days available immediately upon hire
  • 11 paid holidays per year 
  • Medical, Dental, and Vision benefits with FSA and HSA options, and paid FMLA
  • Flexible work arrangements
  • We like to have fun! Check out the Kennedy Center National Dance Day 2023 staff video!

Job Description

The Development Office at the Kennedy Center is a vibrant, dynamic, and creative group of over 90 professionals responsible for finding new, creative, sustainable, and efficient ways to meet or exceed the institution’s over $80M annual contributed income goal.  These funds support the organization’s extraordinary programming—world class performances on our many stages at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.; local, regional, and national education programs reaching students, teachers, families, and budding artists; and community-driven social impact programming that upholds the legacy of President Kennedy in our role as his presidential memorial.   

The Special Events team directs and manages all Office of Development events, including fundraising and benefit-fulfillment events for the Kennedy Center, National Symphony Orchestra, and the Washington National Opera. 

In collaboration with the Director of Special Events, Special Events Manager, and Special Events Assistant Manager, the Special Events Coordinator is responsible for administrative and logistical coordination relating to management and execution of signature events, all of which support our $15M revenue goal for signature events, as well as donor benefit events. 

Key Responsibilities

Event Management:

  • Project manage and execute Gala ancillary events, including managing all facets of the event process including planning and implementation timelines, and serving as onsite coordinator
  • Manage all logistics requests, including gathering all vendor details from the Signature Events Manager and Assistant Manager, creating and distributing logistics briefings, and managing day-of logistics questions from various departments across the organization.
  • Manage Printed Materials for Signature events, including creating deadlines, submitting requests, and project managing the delivery (envelopes, menus, all other printed needs)  
  • Manage Development staffing for signature events including creating staffing sign ups and managing the staff on-site, answering staff questions.  
  • In partnership with the Events Fundraising Coordinator, manage all printing needs relating to guest management, including ticket envelopes and dinner place cards. 

Donor Benefit Events:

  • Manage all facets of the event process including planning and implementation timelines for small to medium scale benefit events (under 150 guests)
  • Work collaboratively with key stakeholders for benefit events to identify format, inventory and capacity, and location, to create design concept, and to manage the overall guest experience. 
  • Work with internal and external vendors to create innovative event concepts, inspired menus, and unique designs aligning with industry trends. 
  • Design minute-by-minute logistics of the event such load in/out, set up, deliveries, vendor time management. 

Donor Communications & Guest Management:

  • Work in partnership with the Communications team to draft compelling copy for invitation materials, website assets, email communications, and print materials. Ensure all materials are reviewed and approved by all stakeholders in a timely manner.  
  • Establish invite email lists and maintain accurate guest lists for follow-up communication.   
  • Coordinate registration procedures, track RSVPs and process event payments. 
  • In partnership with DEVO & Comms teams, develop a comprehensive communication calendar for each benefit event. Collaborate with the Communications team to adapt this calendar to each event and ensure materials are developed and delivered in a timely manner. 
  • Manage event email inboxes and ensure timely responses to donor inquiries and RSVPs.   


  • Ensure all event expenses are recorded and paid in a timely manner, and remain within budget guidelines. 


  • Work collaboratively with the Special Events team to maintain a healthy, professional, and vibrant working relationship within the office and across the institution. Support new ideas and creative development of events under supervision of the Director or Special Events  

Other duties as assigned. 

Key Qualifications

  • Minimum 1 year experience in event management
  • Work independently and in a collaborative team environment with ease.
  • College degree or applicable professional experience.
  • Proficiency in database management, Microsoft Office Suite, and other computer skills, as required.  Experience with Tessitura strongly preferred.   
  • Investment in the Kennedy Center’s mission. Interest in arts, culture, and arts education is ideal.   
  • Experience navigating large, complex organizations, and collaborating across teams to achieve shared goals.   
  • Willingness and ability to regularly participate in evening and weekend events
  • Candidate must be local or willing to relocate to the DMV area.

Additional Information

This position is required to be onsite for event activity, but is also eligible for hybrid working arrangements that accommodate remote work.  

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