Opportunities at Dance/USA

Open Positions

Job Title: Director of Government Affairs     

Location: Washington DC or New York

Reports to: President/CEO of OPERA America and Executive Director of Dance/USA

Status: Full-time, exempt

Job Summary:

The Director of Government Affairs for OPERA America and Dance/USA represents the fields of opera and dance before Congress, the White House, and federal government agencies. The position requires expertise in federal lobbying and advocacy, familiarity with the portfolio of federal arts policy issues, and a deep belief in the importance of the arts in society. The Director of Government Affairs is a position that relies on exceptional communication skills with numerous parties including the members of OPERA America and Dance/USA, the network of national arts service organizations, federal advocacy coalitions, and the staff and Boards of OPERA America and Dance/USA.


  • Track key federal legislative issues related to arts funding, education, visas for foreign guest artists, cultural exchange, and nonprofit tax issues, in addition to other policy issues as they arise.
  • Regularly represent OPERA America and Dance/USA in meetings on Capitol Hill, with representatives from federal agencies, and other national arts, education, and nonprofit organizations on a variety of issues.
  • Participate as OPERA America and Dance/USA’s representative in all Performing Arts Alliance government affairs initiatives.
  • Participate as OPERA America and Dance/USA’s representative in other advocacy coalitions to support strategizing, planning, and lobbying activities.
  • Write, coordinate, and disseminate national Action Alerts and Advocacy Updates to the constituents of OPERA America and Dance/USA.
  • Coordinate member meetings on Capitol Hill, including Opera Advocacy Day each spring and Dance/USA’s biennial Capitol Hill Initiative.
  • Design and implement periodic advocacy workshops for members of OPERA America and Dance/USA.
  • Communicate and disseminate information about relevant government and advocacy activities to Boards, memberships, and staff, including submitting written advocacy board reports.
  • Participate in key annual events for OPERA America and Dance/USA including board meetings, annual conferences, select members forums, and more.
  • Develop toolkits and training protocols to help member organizations and individual artists become more active and effective as advocates at the local, state, and federal levels.
  • Inform and coordinate research that will help make the case for funding of opera and dance (and all the performing arts) in a competitive legislative environment.


Required Qualifications

  • Requires exceptional attention to detail, ability to manage multiple tasks, diplomacy, strong written and communication skills, and the ability to establish priorities.
  • Ability to work independently and to be a self-starter.
  • Experience with federal advocacy, lobbying, and government relations strongly preferred.
  • National nonprofit association experience preferred.
  • Strong computer skills required including a comfort with using Microsoft Office 365, Zoom, Slack, Trello, Voter Voice, Google Drive, and more.


The preferred candidate should reside in either the Washington DC metro area or New York City metro area. However, exceptional candidates residing outside these regions but having convenient access to either or both locations will be considered.


Salary and Compensation

Compensation range is in the $80ks based on experience, and includes health benefits, a retirement package, paid vacation, and life insurance to all full-time employees.


Start Date: September 1, 2024


Organizational Summary

About OPERA America

OPERA America draws on resources and expertise from within and beyond the opera field to advance a mutually beneficial agenda that serves and strengthens the field through programs in the following:

Creation: Artistic services that help artists and companies increase the creativity and excellence of opera productions, especially North American works;

Presentation: Opera company services that address the specific needs of staff, trustees and volunteers;

Enjoyment: Education, audience development and community services that increase all forms of opera appreciation. OPERA America maintains core values of equity, inclusion, and diversity. The organization believes that opera companies have an obligation to be more reflective of their communities and that the art form and the industry gain from diversity, equity and inclusion.


About Dance/USA

Dance/USA champions an inclusive and equitable dance field by leading, convening, advocating, and supporting individuals and organizations. Dance/USA’s core programs are focused in the areas of engagement, advocacy, research, and preservation.

Engagement: Dance/USA engages and activates its network through meaningful programs, convenings, and educational opportunities.

Advocacy: Dance/USA advocates for the increased visibility of, and engagement in, dance and for government policies that positively impact the dance field on a national, regional, and local level. Research: Dance/USA provides rigorous, relevant, and accessible research on the dance field. Preservation: Dance/USA provides resources and programs to advance the archiving and preservation of America’s dance legacy. Dance/USA maintains core values of connectivity, creativity, equity, and integrity.

Through the lens of equity, Dance/USA strives to remove the boundaries erected by a legacy of racism, classism, ableism, ageism, homophobia, transphobia, sexism, gender bias, and xenophobia and we work to dismantle institutional and systemic oppression that attack the dance field’s progress, impede the creation of work, and negatively impact dance audiences and communities.


Please submit applications here  no later than 11:59pm PST on Sunday, June 30, 2024.

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