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Director of Programs

Scope: 37.5 hr/week salaried exempt position with benefits
Location: Flexible, remote candidates encouraged to apply (CDSS home office is in Easthampton, MA)
Reports to: Executive Director
Oversees: Registration Manager, Program Directors, Camp Directors
Salary Range: $42,000-$47,000 DOE

Job Purpose:

The Director of Programs (DP) will provide program leadership and artistic direction for CDSS dance, music, and song programs. The DP is responsible for the delivery and overall success of each program: setting programmatic goals in accordance with the strategic objectives of the organization, supervising Program Directors and contractors, and reporting on progress and performance. A successful DP must have a broad knowledge of program management principles. They must have a strategic mindset as well as be able to lead and develop those they manage. It is the DP’s responsibility to ensure that every program is mission-aligned, delivered effectively, and adds the highest possible value to the organization.

Key Responsibilities and Accountabilities:

Develop and direct new year-round programming

  • Build from ground up year-round programming for CDSS, beginning with online workshops and events, and eventually expanding to regional in-person skill-building opportunities.
  • Define, pilot, and evaluate business models that promote engagement and remove access barriers.
  • Devise program evaluation strategies to monitor performance and determine the need for improvements.
  • Hire and oversee all program staff related to new programming.

Direct CDSS Camp Programs, beginning with 2022 camp season

  • Steward the focus and mission of each Camp Program, in alignment with CDSS Camps mission, vision, and values.
  • Hire and oversee a Program Director for each session, who in turn selects the program staff for the week, ensuring that the program operates within the budget and aligns with the stated mission of the week and the larger organization. DP establishes good communication with Program Directors and provides guidance, recommendations, and problem-solving as needed.
  • Guide and oversee adjustments, expansion, and contraction of programming, primarily through the selection and management of Program Directors.
  • Identify Intensive Course offerings and select sessions in which they will occur. Hire and oversee leaders of embedded Intensive Courses.
  • In coordination with Program Directors, administer contracts to program staff.

Liaise with Camp Facilities, including contract negotiations

  • Function as first point of contact for camp facilities and negotiating annual rates and fees, in consultation with the Executive Director.
  • Hire and oversee a Camp Director for each facility. In coordination with Camp Directors, determine the level of support staff needed, hire support staff or crew, and issue contracts as necessary.

Oversee Program Registration and Scholarship Administration

  • Oversee Registration Manager, ensuring that systems and communications are functioning properly, and that scholarship funds are being administered appropriately.
  • Provide to ED periodic reports on registration trends and high-level analysis of program efficacy and sustainability.

CDSS Leadership Duties

  • Participate in Leadership Team meetings and initiatives.
  • Prepare Program budget in support of the annual budget, monitor expenses, and work collaboratively when budget deviations are necessary.
  • Other duties as required.

Personal Situation:

  • Willingness to explore new technologies
  • Flexibility to work extended or different hours on occasion
  • Willingness to travel to CDSS camp locations, particularly in the first few years
  • If not located near Easthampton, MA:
    • Ability to work from home with minimal distraction (equipment provided as necessary)
    • Willingness to travel to CDSS home office in Easthampton, MA, twice/year

Specific Job Skills:

  • Ability to work with a variety of people and personalities
  • Employee management and performance coaching
  • Management of budgets and business models
  • Clear, proactive, and professional communication habits, both internally and externally
  • Ability to juggle multiple activities and priorities
  • Ability to analyze program sustainability and efficacy

Computer Skills:

  • Microsoft Office Suite
  • Google Docs
  • Zoom or other web meeting platform
  • Experience with Salesforce or other CRM desirable

Education and Background:

Candidates with either related education background or relevant work experience are encouraged to apply. Knowledge of and personal experience with English and American country dance, music and song, or parallels, is valuable but not required.

To Apply:

Applications will be accepted through January 10, 2021. To apply, please send a cover letter and resume to Katy German at katy@cdss.org.

Cultural Equity Advisory Group Job Description

CDSS is convening a Cultural Equity Advisory Group to help us move forward in our commitment to cultural equity. We are asking ourselves: In a CDSS with a fully realized core value of cultural equity, how would things look/feel different? How would we know that we were successful in an ongoing way?

We recognize that our organization and leadership do not currently have the kind of representation - particularly of non-white people - needed for this work. We want to make decisions informed by the voices of the people most affected; however, we don’t want to tokenize anyone by placing the expectation of labor solely on them.

We are asking the Advisory Group to give guidance within the broad framework of our existing mission. We seek to support and promote the living traditions that are dear to us in ways that are actively anti-oppressive. We want to understand the ways that harm was done in the past and work to stop perpetuating that harm. We want to make sure that, in our work and play, we carry out our mission of strengthening and supporting communities in a way that builds more equitable relationships.

We are engaged in the process of analyzing how the ways that we operate – both historically and currently – contribute to inequity. We are re-evaluating our programming, research and scholarship, education, access, marketing, relationships with other organizations, organizational structure, and compensation. We are committed to investing labor and financial resources into this work.


The Cultural Equity Advisory Group will consist of a contracted facilitator and 6-10 people, drawn from our current communities as well as the larger participatory arts community and beyond. The group will prioritize the voices of those who have been marginalized and/or erased in the history and current practice of North American folkways. The group should also include a diversity of skill sets, including non-profit experience, DEI (diversity, equity, and inclusion) work, and historical scholarship.

Scope and Goals (what are we expecting the CEAG to have done by the end of their term)

  • The CEAG will be a primarily internally-focused group, evaluating the operations and programs of CDSS.
  • CEAG will provide CDSS with recommendations to improve cultural equity in these areas:
    • Help CDSS prioritize these recommendations and suggest action steps.
    • Reflect on our self-analysis and point us to areas and issues that we have overlooked.
  • CDSS will publish a report of the group’s recommendations as part of our accountability to the community.

CDSS commits to supporting the CEAG’s work, including in the following ways:

  • Conducting a critical internal analysis of current operations and programming
  • Sharing information with openness and transparency
  • Providing the CEAG with a critical summary of CDSS history
  • Providing access to staff and board leadership
  • Being accountable through public reporting and ongoing work informed by the CEAG’s recommendations
  • Providing opportunities to observe and participate in programs as well as office and board work.

Term of Service

We are asking that Advisors commit to 1 year of service, which will include attending monthly remote group meetings, and some research and preparation between meetings. The Facilitator will work with the Cultural Equity Task Group (staff and board) to create a timeline and benchmarks.


In recognition of the time and labor inherent in a working Advisory Group, CDSS is able to offer the Advisors an honorarium in the amount of $750. The Group Facilitator will receive a consulting fee of $3000.


To nominate yourself or someone else for this Advisory Group, complete this form. Applications are open now. Group members will be selected by the Board/Staff Cultural Equity Task Group, in cooperation with the Group Facilitator.

For More Information:

Contact Crispin Youngberg at crispin@cdss.org.

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