About Dia Art Foundation
Dia Art Foundation consists of eight permanent sites across the US and Germany, as well as three (soon to be four) changing exhibition spaces in New York State; Chelsea in New York City, Beacon in the Hudson Valley, and Bridgehampton in eastern Long Island. Dia has renovated and expanded its Dia Chelsea site (opened April 2021), has plans to renovate and expand the SoHo location (opening 2023), and will embark on a major external and internal renovation at Dia Beacon to make accessible the external landscape and improve the internal facility. Founded in 1974, Dia Art Foundation has undergone several shifts in its focus, adding both new artists and sites. Over the last six years, Dia has carefully grown its program, commissions and collection to reflect a more inclusive and expansive vision for staff, audiences, and the future of the institution.
An atypical institution, Dia has resisted the definition of a museum, focusing over time on a relatively small number of projects and artists in order to commit resources for the long term. At this important juncture, we seek an open-minded, empathetic, and innovative Deputy Director of Program to lead and support the dynamic and dedicated professionals in Curatorial, Exhibition Design and Installation, Learning and Engagement, and Publications toward Dia’s 50th anniversary in 2024 and beyond. Working in close collaboration, these four departments are collectively responsible for creating, producing, and implementing Dia’s programs from exhibitions and collection displays, to commissions of art, public engagement, poetry, writing, and interpretive materials, as well as talks, seminars, and learning for all age groups.
Dia’s programmatic output is created within and across departments. This collaborative ethos is aimed at creating an increasingly equitable and sustainable environment, as well as at offering audiences richly varied disciplines, perspectives, and ways of knowing and learning. Dia seeks to recruit and retain a diverse and mutually engaged team as a reflection of their commitment to serve diverse communities.
Reporting to the Director of Dia Art Foundation, the Deputy Director of Program provides strategic leadership for the Curatorial (Curatorial, Registration, Collection Management, and Archives), Exhibitions Installation and Design, Learning and Engagement, and Publications departments, and serves as a thought leader for the institution. The Deputy Director of Program ensures that Dia develops and implements a thoughtful, in-depth, and experimental approach to all programs and that these initiatives are consistent with our values of diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility. This core leadership position, supervising the heads of each function, is instrumental in encouraging and guiding a holistic and coordinated approach to the program, equally recognizing the distinctive output of each division and opportunities where cross-departmental collaboration is possible and needed. They are responsible for encouraging the teams’ development and growth, through mentoring, as needed.
The Deputy Director of Program will play a key role in determining Dia’s future development and direction. Alongside the core leadership team, which consists of the CFO, COO, Deputy Director for Advancement, and the Director, the Deputy Director of Program will be responsible for ensuring an open, equitable, and accessible environment as well as the space essential for the formulation of new ideas and growth.
The Deputy Director of Program, alongside the creative teams, will also serve as an active and visible member of the local, national, and international arts and learning community and an outward-facing presence in the world.
Strategic Leadership and Management Acumen
- Working with the heads of Curatorial, Exhibitions Design and Installation, Learning and Engagement, and Publications and the Director to ensure that Dia formulates and implements imaginative and compelling programs aligned with our values of diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility across multiple disciplines with original formats and artist-centered approaches.
- Work closely on cross-departmental initiatives helping to guide, develop, and synchronize collaborative programmatic efforts. Ensure that the program relates to strategic goals and values.
- Promote a productive team environment driven by collaboration, open communication, and dynamics.
- Bring critical insight to each department’s activity maintaining both quality as well as a manageable level of quantity of work.
- Establish best practices for cross-departmental program work helping to realize program budgets and schedules as needed.
- Evaluate programming’s current and long-term needs to determine the most efficient and effective use of resources including staffing structure.
- With department heads, maintain oversight of project resources to ensure that programs are delivered on time, within budget, and at the highest quality.
- Supervise six direct reports, including two Curators, Manager of Exhibitions, Director of Exhibition Design and Installation, Director of Learning and Engagement, and Director of Publications. Provide management, guidance, and mentorship for each team leader in overseeing the development of their departments.
- Provide management oversight and accountability to departmental initiatives, staff, and operational budgets. Engage in effective performance management for staff that includes annual goal setting, coaching, ongoing feedback, developmental opportunities, and evaluation.
- Ensure that Diversity, Equity, Accessibility and Inclusivity (DEAI) work is an essential consideration across all departments.
Curatorial & Exhibitions, Learning & Engagement, and Publications Strategy and Oversight
- Work with the Curatorial and Exhibitions teams to assess evolving strategic criteria to envision, evaluate, and prioritize collection acquisitions, commissions, exhibitions, and displays as well as the extensive public programs of talks, symposia, and discussions.
- Work with the Learning and Engagement team to develop and implement programs that are meaningful, engaging, and accessible to the public, including schools, teens, families, and the community at large.
- Work with the Publications team to oversee the content, timing, and delivery of publications and commissioned content and develop future publications strategy for the institution.
Building Relationships and Using Influence
- Work closely with the Director and leadership team to envision Dia’s future while addressing overarching institutional decisions for the better of the team and public.
- Participate in all required senior management team meetings and Board meetings. Ensure timely communication of relevant and often confidential information.
- Work across teams to strategically advise on hiring, budgeting, and scheduling.
- Engage with the Board and Councils to generate and maintain support for program.
- Establish and maintain relationships with interlocutors, partners, and collaborators relevant for Dia’s program, community, and teams.
- Develop relationships with funders and potential funders.
- Represent Dia Art Foundation as necessary in external meetings and functions. This position, alongside the creative teams, also represents the institution to the outside community, in particular with artists, scholars, community leaders, dealers, donors, and other individuals involved with the history of Dia and its programs living in New York City and abroad.
Qualifications and Key Competencies
- Advanced degree in art history, education, or a closely related discipline is preferred; deep professional and leadership experience in a comparable setting will also be seriously considered.
- Minimum 8 years of related experience where responsibilities listed above were an integral part of the candidate’s role.
- Demonstrated management, administrative, and financial experience in delivering a complex, artistic-centered program while fostering and leading a collaborative, creative, and highly effective team.
- Understanding and appreciation for Dia’s history and mission; knowledge about Dia’s collections and artists.
- Programmatic creativity and vision.
- Strategic thinker with ability to analyze complex issues, evaluate solutions, and take action.
- Awareness of critical social issues and their relationship to inclusive and equitable decision-making in the arts.
- Excellent interpersonal relationship skills and a high level of EQ/emotional intelligence; thoughtful and measured in effectively managing a variety of internal and external relationships and interactions.
- Exceptional oral and written communications skills; an understanding and active listener.
- Sound judgment and organizational skills, attentiveness to detail, and the ability to balance and prioritize projects; excellent problem-solving skills.
- Comfortable engaging with diverse audiences, speaking publicly, and representing Dia throughout the community.
- Knowledge of current museum practices and ethical standards.
- Experience and knowledge of best practices in museum or cultural education and participatory interpretation practices.
- Knowledge of the development and process of organizing exhibitions, interpretive plans, public programs, and publications (digital or print), and other content access and distribution strategies.
- Excellent technology skills with proficiency in use of spreadsheets, word processing, project management, and collections management and access platforms.
- Strong work ethic, a sense of humor, and evidence of a commitment to lifelong learning and professional growth. Unquestioned integrity, ethics, and values; be trusted without reservation.
Working Conditions and Physical Demands
- Work will be based in Dia Art Foundation’s office in Chelsea in New York City but with significant presence at Dia Beacon and at Dia’s other sites.
- Typical office hours are M-F 9:30am-5:30pm; however, weekend and evening events are a frequent requirement of this position.
- Domestic and international travel, as needed, is a requirement of this position.
Compensation & Benefits
Salary is competitive and commensurate with experience. Dia provides a competitive salary and a comprehensive benefits package with significant employer contributions to cover healthcare premiums. The 401(k) plan provides 100% employer match up to 4% of the employee’s deferral and immediate vesting. Paid time‐off benefits include three weeks of vacation, ten days of sick leave, thirteen holidays, and a generous parental leave program. Work related travel expenses are fully covered.
Stephen Milbauer of Koya Partners has been exclusively retained for this search. To express your interest in this role please submit your materials here or email Stephen directly at email@example.com. All inquiries and discussions will be considered strictly confidential.
Dia Art Foundation is an equal opportunity employer and strongly encourages applications from people of color, persons with disabilities, women, and LGBTQ+ applicants.
Koya does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, disability, age, sexual orientation, military status, veteran status, genetic information, gender identity, or any other characteristic protected by applicable federal, state, or local law. We encourage all to apply because we believe a diversity of voices leads to better discussions, decisions, and outcomes for everyone.
About Koya Partners
Koya Partners, a part of the Diversified Search Group, is a leading executive search and strategic advising firm dedicated to connecting exceptionally talented people with mission-driven clients. Our founding philosophy—The Right Person in the Right Place Can Change the World—guides our work as we partner with nonprofits & NGOs, institutions of higher education, responsible businesses, and social enterprises in local communities and around the world.
For more information about Koya Partners, visit www.koyapartners.com.
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