Artist In Residence/Art Therapist

  • 1313 New York Avenue NW, Washington, DC
  • Full-time

Company Description

The McClendon Center, founded in 1980, is a certified community based service provider operating under the District of Columbia Department of Behavioral Health.  As a leading not-for-profit organization in Washington, DC, the McClendon Center provides outpatient behavioral rehabilitation to the mentally ill by fostering creativity, promoting friendship, instilling independence, and providing an outlet for emotional growth and greater participation in the community.    Accredited by Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO), the McClendon Center operates two programs: Day Program Services and the Core Services Agency (CSA).

Job Description

As a Group facilitator, the Mental Health Specialist (with a focus on Art Therapy) is required to be a creative self-starter, bringing positive energy and a willingness to work in a team environment. The ideal candidate will have experience working with adults with Serious & Persistent Mental Illness (SPMI) and a desire to work in recovery-based care.

The candidate will serve as artist-in-residence and champion for "the arts", promoting and encouraging art across the entire agency.


· Assists the Center’s consumers’ with their mental, physical, and emotional health by incorporating art-making into the group sessions.

·  Assists with psychosocial assessments and treatment planning, which includes maintaining accurate records for consumer progress.

·  Implements treatment plans under clinical supervision.

·  Maintains comprehensive, accurate, thorough, and contemporaneous documentation on the treatment plan, daily progress notes, unusual incident reports, attendance, discharge summaries, etc.

·  Facilitates and leads consumer groups.

·  Plans and facilitates mixed medium art-making workshops to support the Center’s annual fundraiser, Art of Transformation.

·  Participates in staff meetings, case conferences, and training sessions as appropriate.

·  Conducts individual meetings as necessary with consumers, family members, significant others, other agency’s staff members, etc.

·  Assists with social service needs as directed by clinical team, maintaining contacts with local agencies and civic organizations in a consumer advocacy role.

·  Works with volunteers, interns, and other Center staff in planning and promoting Center activities which meet the individual needs of each consumer.

·  Establishes contact with potential referral sources within the community including both inpatient facilities and outpatient community-based programs to generate intake referrals.

·  Maintains the confidentiality of consumers at all times and operates within the Code of Ethics of the United States Psychiatric Rehabilitation Association. 

·  Develops familiarity with JCAHO, Medicaid, and DBH standards and compliance requirements, and assists in maintaining JCAHO accreditation and MHRS certification.

·  May perform other duties as assigned.



 ·  Ability to coordinate with a multi-disciplinary team within an outpatient mental health agency.

·  A superior communicator, who shares information readily and concisely, listens as well as gives advice, and respects the abilities of others.

·  Knowledge of sound ethical practices and principles related to the care of mental health consumers.

·  Excellent written and verbal communication skills.

·  Excellent computer skills, to include operating Microsoft Office Suite programs.

·  Knowledge and ability to navigate an Electronic Medical Record (EMR), including data entry.

·  Ability to relate to adults diagnosed with serious and persistent mental illness, using knowledge of concepts, principles, and theories related to mental health and mental illness.

·  Ability to perform amicably in an environment serving the seriously and persistently mentally ill adult population.

·  Ability to respect and uphold client confidentiality.

·  Ability to exhibit a high level of organizational skills and able to prioritize and multi-task without direct supervision.





  • Master's degree in Art Therapy, or a Master's in Behavioral Science of Fine Arts with training and education required by the American Art Therapy Association (AATA) to have attained national registration as an Art Therapist. Eligible for (or possess) current registration in Art Therapy.
  • LPC is a plus.
  •  A minimum of one (1) year of experience as an Art Therapist.
  • One (1) to four (4) years of experience in a social service or nonprofit environment. Experience in a mental health or similar agency is highly desired.
  • Must possess a minimum of one year of experience facilitating group activities and social services.
  • Visual art portfolio is required during the interview process.

Additional Information

At the McClendon Center you will find powerful resources for career-long success, including: 

•    A competitive starting base salary of $37K - $41K annually.

•    Professional support and career development.

•    A package of comprehensive benefits including health and wellness, four weeks of combined sick and vacation leave, 403(b) retirement contributions, and life insurance.

•    The latest technology and work tools including a laptop and iPhone.

Physical Demands: The position requires moderate physical effort on a daily basis such as walking, bending, stooping and standing for periods of time.

McClendon Center is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national and ethnic origin, sex, marital status, religion, or disability.