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Kennedy Center Overview

Washington, DC
1001 to 5000 employees
Nonprofit Organization
Performing Arts
Unknown / Non-Applicable
The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, also known as The Kennedy Center, traces its roots to 1958 when president Dwight Eisenhower signed the National Cultural Center Act calling for a privately funded venture featuring a variety of classic and contemporary ... Read more

Kennedy Center – Why Work For Us?

Since the inception of the Friends of the Kennedy Center volunteer program in 1965, and now into the 21st century, volunteers have continued to provide invaluable service to the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.

The spirit of volunteerism was thriving years before the 1971 opening of the Center, when a small group of dedicated women came together to volunteer in 1965 and worked to raise millions of dollars as a match for the funds donated by Congress. They also solicited embassies for gifts to the Center. This small group evolved into the present-day Friends - women and men, representing multiple generations from around the world, who give their time throughout the year.

There are two main areas of the program where you can serve:

  • Comprising more than 500 members assisting in all areas of the Center, the Friends volunteers commit to a regularly scheduled weekly shift.
  • Consisting of over 1,600 individuals, the Festival/Event volunteers love to help and love the arts, but have only a limited amount of time available and serve when they can.

The volunteers at the Kennedy Center are a diverse, educated, and arts-loving group who impart a wonderful spirit of selfless participation that serves as a model for volunteerism nationwide. And in addition the satisfaction of their contributions, the volunteers have a lot of fun!

If you are ages 18 to 40, you can also serve in either of the above programs as part of NexGenFriends. There is also the Global Friendsarm of the program, consisting of volunteers hailing from 56 countries serving as either Friends or Festival/Event volunteers.

The Kennedy Center Internship Program is a holistic and rigorous professional development program designed to elevate the next generation of leaders in the arts, cultural, and non-profit fields. Kennedy Center Interns spend a significant amount of their time at the Kennedy Center in individual placements, gaining valuable work experience and technical skills in their chosen field. Additionally, Kennedy Center interns spend 5-10 hours each week participating in the various components of the Kennedy Center Internships curriculum in order to increase leadership potential and fluency in the non-profit and cultural sectors.

About the program

Participation in the Kennedy Center Internships curriculum is required, and includes the following:

KC Class

Offered Wednesday afternoons for 2 hours, KC Classes are taught by Senior Leadership at the Kennedy Center. Interns participate in group discussion and case study analysis, complete readings, and collaborate on presentations with their fellow interns. The KC Class curriculum builds on the specific skills interns learn in their placements to begin to prepare the interns for leadership in the field. Interns are required to attend KC Class every Wednesday. Up to 2 unexcused absences will be allowed.

KC Class topics will include Strategic Planning; Gap Analyses; Components of Non-Profit Programming, Fundraising, and Budget; Community Engagement; and Measurement. KC Class will culminate in groups presenting a Final Project, which will consist of:

  • Performing a gap analysis of the Kennedy Center's current programming against the Mission/Vision/Values
  • Creating a program that serves a need that the organization is not currently serving


Offered once a week on varying days, Look-Ins are hosted by directors and managers from the many different departments at the Kennedy Center. Schedule permitting, interns are required to attend a select number of Look-Ins

Professional Development Workshops

Workshops address critical skills that will help interns compete in today's selective job market. Current Professional Develop Workshops include interview skills, utilizing personal digital branding, networking and resume workshops, workplace habits, and listening styles. Schedule permitting, interns are required to attend Professional Development Workshops


Applicants must be a rising sophomore, junior, senior or within one year post undergraduate degree, or currently enrolled in a master's program, to apply for the Kennedy Center Internship Program. International applicants are encouraged to apply, however, the Kennedy Center does not sponsor visas, and thus applicants will be required to provide proof of visa at time of application.

The Kennedy Center Fellowship in Arts Management Program (KC FAM), in partnership with the Arts Management Program at American University, offers a merit-based 9-month award to the next generation of arts managers.


Applicants must be enrolled full-time in the Arts Management Master's Program at American University, and meet the requirements of a Merit Awardee at American University. Full-time incoming or rising 2nd year graduate students in the Arts Management Program are eligible to apply through competitive process. Applicants must have a minimum of two years working experience at an arts or cultural organization, have excellent command of business English, oral and written, and be able to commit to the full term of the fellowship (September -May). U.S. Citizenship or permanent residence is required.

The KC FAM Experience

During the academic year, Kennedy Center Fellows will work 20 hours/week at the Kennedy Center. The fellow is awarded a stipend and academic credits towards tuition remission. During their fellowship, FAM participants receive:

  • Intensive training in areas such as arts management, strategic planning, fundraising, finance, artistic planning, and marketing
  • Exposure to executive leadership and involvement in special projects of personal interest and benefit to the Kennedy Center
  • Collaborative work opportunities across the organization

Ongoing personalized mentoring from a senior level staff advisor, tailored to the needs of the fellows. Advisors support Fellows as they pursue their organization and professional objectives.

Kennedy Center Reviews

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Deborah F. Rutter
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  • "Good part-time gig"

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    Former Employee - Usher
    Former Employee - Usher
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    I worked at Kennedy Center part-time


    Great part-time gig, flexible hours


    Usher management is somewhat disorganized

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Kennedy Center Photos

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Kennedy Center Interviews



Getting an Interview

Getting an Interview




  1. Helpful (1)  

    Art Therapist Interview

    Anonymous Employee
    Accepted Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Easy Interview


    I applied in-person. The process took 1 day. I interviewed at Kennedy Center in January 2014.


    Questions on relevant courses taken in college as well as any experience in dealing with children with disabilities as well as prior experience in any form of therapy. They also asked why I was interested in working for the program as well as how I come to hear about the organization.

    Interview Questions

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