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Executive Director

West Philadelphia Cultural Alliance

Founded in 1984 by Frances P. Aulston, the WPCA offers programming that centers on the principles and social activism of the extraordinary Paul Robeson, Esq. He continues to inspire people in this country and all over the world who come to tour the house at 4951 Walnut Street where he spent the last 10 years of his life.

The Robeson House is a go-to space for events sponsored by community groups, along with programs initiated by the WPCA. The Executive Director will build upon our base of community partnerships to make the house a hub for creativity, African American heritage, and a place where people can come together in pursuit of freedom, justice and resiliency. 

The WPCA found its footing under the adept leadership of Aulston and expanded its reach under Vernoca L. Michael, the volunteer Acting Executive Director. Under Michael’s leadership, the WPCA raised significant resources to pay off the mortgage last year on the Robeson House and administrative offices next door.

The new Executive Director will have overall strategic and operational responsibility for WPCA’s volunteers, programs, expansion and execution of its mission. The WPCA is seeking someone who will engage civic stakeholders and funders; strengthen the organization internally by assisting in recruiting a strong Board of Directors, and build strategic plans for growth financially and programmatically.

The position is funded for two years by a generous grant from the African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. An evaluation of the Executive Director’s progress will be executed after the first year.

Salary range: $45,000-$50,000 per year, including benefits.

COVID-19 consideration: Due to the pandemic, the Robeson House is closed. All interactions for this position will be done by email and Zoom video conferencing.


Programmatic Vision, Planning & Business Strategies:

  • Ensure ongoing local programmatic excellence and rigorous program evaluation.
  • Complete the strategic business planning process for program expansion into new markets. Explore ways to use local programs as a model for regional and national replication.
  • Build partnerships with programmatic and community partners.
  • Establish relationships with the funders, and political and community leaders.

Leadership & Management:

  • Actively engage and energize WPCA volunteers, board members, committees, partnering organizations and funders.
  • Ensure consistent quality of finance and administration, fundraising, communications, and systems; recommend timelines and resources needed to achieve the strategic goals.
  • Ensure effective systems to track progress and regularly evaluate financial and program components, and to measure and communicate success to the board, funders and other constituents.
  • Develop a new financial system for WPCA.

Communications & Fundraising:

  • Be an external local, regional and national presence that publishes and communicates program results to share WPCA success. 
  • Deepen and refine all aspects of communications—from web presence to external relations with the goal of creating a stronger brand for WPCA.
  • Expand local revenue generating and fundraising activities to support existing program operations.
  • Use external presence and relationships to garner new opportunities.


The Executive Director must be thoroughly committed to the WPCA mission. All candidates should have proven leadership, recruiting, coaching and financial management experience, and familiarity with nonprofit management.

Specific requirements include:

  • Unwavering commitment to quality programs and data-driven program evaluation.
  • Passion, idealism, integrity, positive attitude, mission-driven and self-directed.
  • Excellence in organizational management with the ability to interact effectively with financial personnel and volunteers; manage, set and achieve strategic objectives, and manage the annual budget.
  • Strong marketing, public relations and fundraising experience with the ability to engage a wide range of stakeholders and cultures.
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills. a persuasive and passionate communicator with excellent interpersonal and multidisciplinary project skills.
  • Action-oriented, entrepreneurial, adaptable and innovative approach to business planning.
  • Ability to work effectively in collaboration with diverse groups of people.
  • Demonstrated ability to develop operational strategies that have taken an organization to the next stage of growth.  

Preference for candidates who have:

  • Five or more years of senior management, administrative and budgeting experience.
  • Some knowledge of museums and non-profits management.
  • Experience in educational or tour programs.
  • Past success working with a Board of Directors with the ability to cultivate existing board member relationships.
  • Experience in managing physical property and renovations.
  • Advanced degree preferred, ideally a master’s degree.


Work schedule: Combination weekday and weekend. Most tours and programs occur on weekends.

New Executive Director’s job is scheduled to start in January 2021.

The position is funded for two years only.

To Apply


  1. Cover Letter
  2. Resume
  3. Three (3) Letters of Reference. They should be emailed directly to WPCA at, and not sent through the applicant

All application materials should be emailed to Materials will ONLY be accepted via email. No snail mail, please.

The application period is from Aug. 28, 2020, to Oct. 9, 2020. No applications will be accepted after the deadline. For questions, please email Vernoca L. Michael at


  • We will notify you by email when we receive your application, and if we require more information.
  • Three weeks after the Oct. 9, 2020, deadline, we will notify you of your status: Either invite you to a virtual interview before the WPCA Executive Director Search Committee or inform you that you have not been chosen to proceed further as a candidate for the position.