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We recognize that diverse teams make the strongest teams, and we encourage people from all backgrounds to apply.


“Associate Director of In School Elementary Programs and Artist Cultivation”


EMPLOYMENT TERM: Full Time, Salaried. 


Mesner Puppet Theater is experiencing a pivotal moment in the organization's 34 year history, shifting from a traditional mainstage subscription season with camps and classes to focusing on partnership with schools, libraries, and art centers. Our partnership work is rooted in facilitating long term puppetry and social-emotional learning residencies and producing touring puppetry shows that support a shared goal of encouraging communities to learn through play. This is a new role for the company.



Our education programs are school-based and serve Early Childhood Centers (0-5 year olds) and Elementary Schools (K-5th grades). All programs incorporate elements of puppetry to support the social-emotional development of participants. We work in long term partnership with schools to reach their arts integration goals. Many of our relationships begin with facilitating basic story drama and puppet making workshops and grow into wrap-around programming that include professional development and family engagement.



Director of Education.


Mesner Puppet Theater strives to operate with a shared leadership model. The Associate Director of In School Elementary Programs and Artist Cultivation will work closely with the Director of Education, Executive Director, and Director of Puppetry Arts to reach our strategic goals.



The ideal candidate will be an empathetic leader with a strong background in creating partnerships with educators and artists, arts integration curriculum building and creative drama practices, and a desire to deepen their own understanding of social-emotional learning (SEL).


Over the next 3 years, we are working to expand our residency model, created in partnership with the Liberty School District, to multiple districts on both sides of the state line. This role  will begin by facilitating programs in Liberty in year one, but as the programming evolves the role will transition to a director level leadership role focused on professional development of K-5 educators. This role will also lead our new “Puppets in Progress” initiative, developed to create a diverse and inclusive puppet and teaching artist community.



60% In School Programming Duties

  • Collaborates with Education Director on residency content and adaptations

  • Develops plans for K-5 expansion 

  • Prepares and facilitates story drama and puppet making lessons

  • Researches arts integration strategies

  • Creates custom resources and provocations for educators

  • Builds relationships with and communicates regularly with teachers, principals, and site administrators

  • Schedules residencies based on District Contracts

  • Schedules teaching artists Zooms for Kindergarten “In the Workshop” digital resource

  • Engages in the creation of Education Production “In the Workshop-Live”

  • Facilitates Professional Development workshops in collaboration with Education Director


30% Puppets in Progress

  • Works in collaboration with Executive Artist Director on developing a puppet artist cultivation program that builds a community of professional and emerging artist interested in puppetry and our programming

  • Builds relationships with individual artists, high schools, universities, and grassroots arts organizations

  • Leads implementation of programs developed


10% Other Administrative

Attend MPT staff meetings

Support fundraising efforts through gathering and  sharing of evaluation data .

Other duties as assigned that support the health of the organization and education department



Bachelor’s degree in Theater, Arts Education, Puppetry, or related field

5+ years of experience in facilitating programs with and for youth

Strong understanding of Arts Integration strategies in the classroom

Knowledge of youth development and social emotional learning

Appreciation of puppetry and willingness to learn how to incorporate

Strong organization and administrative skills

Ability to lift 35 lbs

Access to reliable transportation as this role travels around the city




Advanced Degree in related field

2+ years of experience facilitating professional development

Experience in Conscious Discipline or similar classroom management theories

Experience with students on the autism spectrum or willingness to learn


Example of an MPT K-5 Residency (3 hours at site per classroom):

Monthly 30-40 minute facilitation per classroom of SEL Arts Integrated Lesson (other 2.5 hours are comprised of the below)

  • Teacher Observations

  • Processing and Planning Meetings with classroom Teacher

  • On site preparation of lessons

  • Creating of Provocations and Installations for extended learning

  • Resource Research or activity prep based on needs expressed by Teacher for their own arts integrated lessons

  • Professional Development Workshop at site (one in fall and one in spring)



  • Salary Range: $40,000-$43,500 (commensurate with experience).

  • Health Reimbursement Plan: $400 per month to support out of pocket expenses or purchase of insurance from exchange.

  • Simple IRA - match up to 3% of employee contribution

  • 0.25 per mile - Mileage reimbursement between locations after first 5 miles

  • 14 days Holiday Time Off + days between Xmas and New Years.

  • 12 days Personal Days Off 



Primarily 8:00-4:30 pm. During the school year 15-20 hours a week will be on site at schools, other hours can be worked from MPT offices or from home as needed.



KC Metro and Surrounding Districts within 25 miles.



Between August 15-25, 2021



Email cover letter and resume to by July 23 , 2021. Interviews will be held by appointment.

Learn more about company at

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