Director of Public Engagement and Research
- Director of Public Engagement and Research
Director of Public Engagement and Research
The University of Pennsylvania, the largest private employer in Philadelphia, is a world-renowned leader in education, research, and innovation. This historic, Ivy League school consistently ranks among the top 10 universities in the annual U.S. News & World Report survey. Penn has 12 highly-regarded schools that provide opportunities for undergraduate, graduate and continuing education, all influenced by Penn's distinctive interdisciplinary approach to scholarship and learning. As an employer Penn has been ranked nationally on many occasions with the most recent award from Forbes who named Penn one of America's Best Employers By State in 2021.
Penn offers a unique working environment within the city of Philadelphia. The University is situated on a beautiful urban campus, with easy access to a range of educational, cultural, and recreational activities. With its historical significance and landmarks, lively cultural offerings, and wide variety of atmospheres, Philadelphia is the perfect place to call home for work and play.
The University offers a competitive benefits package that includes excellent healthcare and tuition benefits for employees and their families, generous retirement benefits, a wide variety of professional development opportunities, supportive work and family benefits, a wealth of health and wellness programs and resources, and much more.
COVID-19 vaccination is a requirement for all positions at the University of Pennsylvania. New hires are expected to be fully vaccinated before beginning work at the University. For more information about Penn's vaccine requirements and the use of Penn Open Pass, visit the Penn COVID-19 Response website for the latest information.
Posted Job Title
Director of Public Engagement and Research
Job Profile Title
Job Description Summary
The Institute of Contemporary Art at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia seeks a dynamic leader to re-envision, design, and build a hub for Public Engagement and Research (PE&R) onsite and across ICA's digital platforms.
Reporting to ICA's Director, the Director of PE&R will be responsible for establishing a multi-disciplinary creative platform and agenda for public programs, interpretive materials, community partnerships, and academic initiatives at ICA focused on deepening audience engagement and fostering research, both onsite and online.
The successful candidate's approach should support audiences in having meaningful connections with art and artists; foster ICA's research mission; increase awareness of ICA's role as a civic resource; and deepen ICA's impact locally, contributing to and strengthening the cultural life of the University of Pennsylvania and Philadelphia.
The Director will work across teams and in concert with ICA's Director to set a vision for and implement a plan to digitize ICA's exhibitions archive and make this available online for scholars.
The Director of PE&R will further ICA's mission to be an artist-centered and audience-engaged hub of creative practice and ideas that centers inclusion, diversity, equity, and accessibility (IDEA) values in everything we do.
The Director will oversee a newly formed team and must be able to communicate effectively with various constituent groups and have strong organizational and operational skills. They must be self-directed and a team player, able to build strong collaborative relationships to attract and maintain new audiences.
The ideal candidate will be rigorous, curious, and multifaceted in their communication and engagement, able to engender trust and inspire potential in our communities locally and globally. ICA seeks someone who is creative and strategic in their approach, can work collaboratively, is a good mentor, and believes passionately in the critical role that the arts play in the cultural life of our city.
The Director of PE&R will be energized to create inspiring encounters with art and an inclusive space for courageous conversations on art and society that are catalysts for how we see ourselves, the world, and its possibilities. They will be adept at piloting experimental programs, testing out ideas, and invested in innovation as a critical component of an evolving arts organization.
A crucial component of the position is determining a vision for partnerships, programs, and curricula with students and faculty that take advantage of ICA's location within the University of Pennsylvania, furthering our research mission.
The Director of PE&R will also create rigorous and collaborative methods of inquiry and research through programming and publishing that further connections between art and ideas.
The successful candidate will have strength in building relationships and partnerships with arts leaders and organizations, establishing ICA as a committed resource for local audiences, especially in underserved communities. They are expected to balance the creative and intellectual process of developing initiatives and partnerships with duties associated with administrative and financial oversight and planning.
ICA is about to begin work on creating its next strategic plan, centered on audience engagement and equity and inclusion. The Director of PE&R will be a central part of this process, working in partnership with the Director of ICA and the core team to develop and implement a plan that will write the next chapter in ICA's history.
- Bachelor's degree, Master's preferred, or equivalent combination of education and experience.
- A deep understanding of and passion for ICA's mission and belief in art as a powerful engine for positive social change
- A commitment and track record of championing inclusion, diversity, equity, and access
- Prior experience with an educational, arts, or cultural organizations is preferred or equivalent creative development and implementation of audience engagement strategies and programs
- Experience and interest in developing digital audience engagement
- Knowledge of contemporary art, both emerging and established artists, writers, public intellectuals, and other key voices in contemporary art, politics, and culture
- Knowledge of scholarship related to art education and museum practices
- Strength in collaborating with artists and colleagues within and outside of the ICA and across an academic landscape and the city to build partnerships that will expand ICA's impact and increase audience engagement
- Ability to develop meaningful and sustainable programming initiatives that take into account audience needs and institutional capacities
- Aptitude and interest in building teams, working collaboratively, mentoring staff, and developing a strong and inclusive work culture
- Strong project management skills across program planning, administration and implementation, and demonstrated ability to strategically deploy limited resources for the greatest impact
- Ability to work evening hours for events and some weekends required
- Excellent writing, public speaker, research, and interpersonal skills
- The successful candidate will be forward-thinking and an articulate advocate who values difference in public exchange and can mobilize support for new ideas
Salary: A competitive salary will be commensurate with experience.
Please include a Cover Letter to be considered for this opportunity. Please upload Cover Letter under Resume/CV; multiple documents allowed
Job Location - City, State
Department / School
Institute of Contemporary Art
$88,861.00 - $168,837.00
Affirmative Action Statement
Penn adheres to a policy that prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, creed, national or ethnic origin, citizenship status, age, disability, veteran status, or any other legally protected class.
Background check required after a conditional job offer is made. Consideration of the background check will be tailored to the requirements of the job.
- Health, Life, and Flexible Spending Accounts: Penn offers comprehensive medical, prescription, behavioral health, dental, vision, and life insurance benefits to protect you and your family's health and welfare. You can also use flexible spending accounts to pay for eligible health care and dependent care expenses with pre-tax dollars.
- Tuition: Take advantage of Penn's exceptional tuition benefits. You, your spouse, and your dependent children can get tuition assistance here at Penn. Your dependent children are also eligible for tuition assistance at other institutions.
- Retirement: Penn offers generous retirement plans to help you save for your future. Penn's Basic, Matching, and Supplemental retirement plans allow you to save for retirement on a pre-tax or Roth basis. Choose from a wide variety of investment options through TIAA and Vanguard.
- Time Away from Work: Penn provides you with a substantial amount of time away from work during the course of the year. This allows you to relax, take vacations, attend to personal affairs, recover from illness or injury, spend time with family—whatever your personal needs may be.
- Long-Term Care Insurance: In partnership with Genworth Financial, Penn offers faculty and staff (and your eligible family members) long-term care insurance to help you cover some of the costs of long-term care services received at home, in the community or in a nursing facility. If you apply when you're newly hired, you won't have to provide proof of good health or be subject to underwriting requirements. Eligible family members must always provide proof of good health and are subject to underwriting.
- Wellness and Work-life Resources: Penn is committed to supporting our faculty and staff as they balance the competing demands of work and personal life. That's why we offer a wide variety of programs and resources to help you care for your health, your family, and your work-life balance.
- Professional and Personal Development: Penn provides an array of resources to help you advance yourself personally and professionally.
- University Resources: As a member of the Penn community, you have access to a wide range of University resources as well as cultural and recreational activities. Take advantage of the University's libraries and athletic facilities, or visit our arboretum and art galleries. There's always something going on at Penn, whether it's a new exhibit at the Penn Museum, the latest music or theater presentation at the Annenberg Center, or the Penn Relays at Franklin Field to name just a few examples. As a member of the Penn community, you're right in the middle of the excitement—and you and your family can enjoy many of these activities for free.
- Discounts and Special Services: From arts and entertainment to transportation and mortgages, you'll find great deals for University faculty and staff. Not only do Penn arts and cultural centers and museums offer free and discounted admission and memberships to faculty and staff. You can also enjoy substantial savings on other goods and services such as new cars from Ford and General Motors, cellular phone service plans, movie tickets, and admission to theme parks.
- Flexible Work Hours: Flexible work options offer creative approaches for completing work while promoting balance between work and personal commitments. These approaches involve use of non-traditional work hours, locations, and/or job structures.
- Penn Home Ownership Services: Penn offers a forgivable loan for eligible employees interested in buying a home or currently residing in West Philadelphia, which can be used for closing costs or home improvements.
- Adoption Assistance: Penn will reimburse eligible employees on qualified expenses in connection with the legal adoption of an eligible child, such as travel or court fees, for up to two adoptions in your household.
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