Director of Education and Community Engagement: Institute for Contemporary Art at Virginia Commonwealth University

Position 574520

The Opportunity:

Scheduled to open in 2016, the new Institute for Contemporary Art (ICA) at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU), designed by the renowned Steven Holl Architects, is seeking a dynamic, energetic, intelligent, and collaborative creative leader to oversee the education and community engagement strategies for adult and family learning delivered by the ICA.

As part of the ICA’s inaugural staff, the Director of Education and Community Engagement will design, develop, and implement strategies for evaluating the impact of lifelong learning programs and for expanding external partnerships that are regional and global in scope. The Director is charged with maintaining high standards of excellence to create a dynamic and enriching visitor experience and to establish critical community outreach to educate and engage diverse audiences. This is a unique opportunity for a visionary leader who also knows how to develop, measure, and assess opportunities for creative engagement and learning across all ages to ensure the goals of the ICA’s educational and engagement programs are successfully aligned with the overall curatorial strategies and mission of the ICA.

The Director of Education and Community Engagement reports to the Director of the ICA and is part of ICA’s senior leadership team.

About the ICA (

The ICA will be an iconic gateway for the city of Richmond. As a non-collecting museum, the ICA will showcase a fresh slate of changing innovative exhibitions, performances, films and special programs that engage the university, students, faculty, the broader Richmond community, and beyond.

The 40,000-square-foot ICA will be an incubator for interdisciplinary experimentation for the entire university while simultaneously providing opportunities for collaboration both locally and internationally. It will be in direct dialogue with VCUarts (, the #1 public art school in the country; set within a major, urban public research university with national and international rankings in sponsored research; and centrally located on the East Coast in a city with a top-10 museum and a region with few venues for the latest contemporary art. The ICA will become a conduit for global collaboration, bridging the distance to artists working in other regions internationally.

About Richmond, Virginia:

Richmond ( is an art-centric town, but there’s much more all around us. Hiking, biking, kayaking and rafting opportunities abound. Brown’s Island and Maymont Park are just a few of the natural treasures VCU faculty, staff, and students name as their favorite Richmond spots. Richmond is a thriving capital city full of cultural diversity, great food, festivals and entertainment. We are the heart of the arts in a state with a bustling gallery and performance scene featuring local and international talent. Many state museums are located here, such as The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. Richmond, more commonly known as RVA, is a haven for alternative and creative endeavors. The Today Show named Richmond the #3 Most Tattooed City in the US. In September 2012, Outside Magazine named Richmond the “Best River Town in America.” We are home to the James River Park System, one of the largest inner city park systems in the country. Washington, DC, Virginia Beach, and the Blue Ridge mountains are only 2 hours away. Richmond International Airport has daily non-stop flights to NYC, so you can be there in an hour, if you can find the time to go.

Population: 200,000+ live in the city; 1.2 million live in the greater Richmond area.

Major Responsibilities:

  • Ensure the ICA’s mission, exhibitions, and programs achieve maximum reach and educational impact through carefully crafted programs designed to educate, inspire, and engage a broad range of individuals at all stages of life.
  • Collaborate with the Director of the ICA and the ICA curatorial team to establish short and long term goals for the development and execution of educational programs.
  • Work with curatorial and communications departments and senior ICA leadership team to develop interpretive materials for public consumption related to ICA exhibitions and programs in a variety of formats and platforms, including print, broadcast, in-person tours and other formats as appropriate.
  • Strengthen and sustain relationships with community leaders, schools, and cultural organizations to develop collaborative programming; and develop age appropriate materials for the implementation of these programs.
  • Work with the web and digital media team to develop both static and interactive online content for the ICA website, and other digital platforms such as smartphone applications, tablets, social media, and other digital formats as appropriate.
  • Serve as an ambassador to key constituencies in the Richmond community and beyond to generate pride for the ICA’s programs and mission, and to expand external partnerships that are regional and global in scope.
  • Work with community organizations and leaders to develop programs designed for various constituencies and age groups, including, but not limited to, docent programs to provide regular tours for ICA visitors, community programs that address specific relevant social issues; and other educational initiatives linked with Richmond community initiatives.
  • Develop and monitor program budgets.
  • Monitor the education and community engagement department process and programs on an ongoing basis, including gathering and analyzing qualitative and quantitative statistics to be used in program evaluation, reports, and grants and funding proposals, and to ensure the goals of the ICA’s educational and engagement programs are successfully aligned with the overall curatorial strategies and mission of the ICA.
  • Work with development staff to create and review grant applications and reports for existing programs, and to write proposals identifying potential funding.
  • Propose new offerings, both digital and face-to-face, that reflect ICA’s mission and VCU’s strategic plan, Quest for Distinction.
  • Supervise a team of student assistants and volunteers.
  • Other duties as assigned.


  • Master’s degree or advanced degree in Art History or Art Education preferred and/or an equivalent combination of training and professional experience.
  • Several years of experience in developing and implementing educational and outreach programs in an academic, research, or cultural environment.
  • Demonstrated history of being a confident, articulate leader who works well collaboratively with fellow staff members as well as outside constituents.
  • Strong organizational, managerial and supervisory skills.
  • Extensive knowledge of studio art, art history, museum studies, art education, and community engagement.
  • Strong public speaking and written communication skills.
  • Experience developing interpretive materials for all ages.
  • Thorough understanding of working across diverse outreach formats including print, broadcast, online, and social media.
  • Experience in developing and implementing complex programmatic partnerships involving multiple organizations, and supervising diverse staff and volunteers.
  • Ability to work in a diverse environment is required as well as demonstrated experience working in and fostering a diverse faculty, staff, and student environment or commitment to do so as a faculty member at VCU.
  • Must be forward thinking and innovative and willing to experiment.
  • Demonstrated experience in program evaluation and impact measurement.
  • Familiarity with pedagogical and engagement trends in the area of adult and family learning.
  • Experience with an arts organization preferred.
  • Experience in an institution of higher education is desirable.

Hiring Range: $55,000-$65,000

Application Instructions:

Applications must be submitted via VCU eJobs:

Please do not email applications. Only applications submitted via eJobs will be reviewed. Applications will continue to be reviewed until the position is filled.

Include a letter to the attention of Ryan Ellington, Director of HR, VCUarts, that outlines your interest in the position (attach in the “Cover Letter/Letter of Application” field). In addition, submit a resume that includes a list of five current references (references will not be contacted prior to candidates’ approval), including names, addresses, phone numbers, and email addresses (attach in the “Resume” field).

For questions about the application process or VCU eJobs, contact Ryan Ellington at or via phone: 804.828.2787.

To read more about the ICA:

Virginia Commonwealth University is an equal opportunity, affirmative action university providing access to education and employment without regard to age, race, color, national origin, gender, religion, sexual orientation, veteran’s status, political affiliation or disability.

Dir of Education_Job Announcement_April 2015