External Affairs Coordinator: Institute for Contemporary Art at Virginia Commonwealth University

Description of General Responsibilities:

The External Affairs Coordinator is a dynamic and energetic individual who will be responsible for supporting the ICA’s overall communications efforts, including: advertising and brand stewardship, graphic presentation, promotional programs and events, public relations initiatives for both in-person and on-line audience building, and revenue generation. The External Affairs Coordinator will work to keep the ICA globally oriented and locally relevant, generating enthusiasm and support for the ICA as a highly valued community asset: a magnet for cultural tourism, a venue for exciting exhibitions, and a focal point for significant events and programs.
As the primary steward of the ICA’s constituent data, ranging from donors and prospective donors to visitors and the media, the External Affairs Coordinator will be extremely organized and detail-oriented. The External Affairs Coordinator will be the nucleus of all outreach initiatives related to ICA’s exhibitions, programs, and fundraising activities, and should be versatile and adept working across a variety of platforms including digital, print, broadcast, and in-person.
The External Affairs Coordinator reports to the Director of Administration, and works closely with the Director of Communications and the Director of Development on a day-to-day basis.

Major Responsibilities:

  • Serve as the steward of the ICA’s constituent data, including contact information and relationship history for donors, prospective donors, the press and media, in-person and online visitors, community partners, colleagues, and the VCU community.
  • Partners with VCU central Development and Alumni Relations and University Relations to utilize existing software platforms and constituent management software to support ICA’s data and outreach needs.
  • Support the Director of Communications and Director of Development by creating specific, targeted lists for a broad range of outreach activities ranging from solicitations and event invitations to press releases, social media updates, e-blasts and newsletters.
  • Coordinate and shepherd outreach initiatives from start to finish, including list generation and editing, production, distribution, and outcome tracking.
  • Coordinate the gathering, summarizing, and analyzing of statistical data to be utilized for both short and long-term strategic initiatives.
  • Create reports using data for distribution to ICA and VCU leadership, ICA Advisory Council, potential funders, and other constituencies and stake holders as necessary.
  • Assist the Director of Communications in developing and executing effective communications techniques for reaching and motivating ICA constituencies for maximum support of ICA exhibitions, programs, services, and activities.
  • Respond to media requests for information, and ensure any information provided is accurate, in line with ICA’s mission, and approved by appropriate stakeholders, such as, for example, artists and their representatives for high-resolution image requests and captions.
  • Provide operational and administrative coordination for the development, production, and execution of communications and marketing initiatives, including scheduling, individual project budget management, design coordination, and distribution.
  • Support both the Director of Communications and Director of Development in the generation of content for the ICA website and electronic communications ranging from solicitations to marketing efforts.
  • Work closely with the ICA Visitor Services Manager to ensure visitor experience meets ICA’s standards of excellence, and to collect appropriate constituent data from visitors for use in solicitations, stewardship, and marketing efforts of the ICA.
  • Maintain the institutional communications and programming archives of the ICA, in both print and digital formats.
  • Other duties as assigned.

About the ICA (ica.vcu.edu):

Scheduled to open in 2016, the new Institute for Contemporary Art (ICA) at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU), designed by the renowned Steven Holl Architects, 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.


  • Bachelor’s degree in marketing, communications, or a related field is strongly preferred.
  • Several years of paid professional-level full-time experience in marketing, communication, external relations, development, or a related field is required.
  • Preferably, professional experience is with a cultural or arts organization in a major market.
  • Experience working in an institution of higher education is desirable.
  • Must have experience with various communications channels such as web-based, broadcast, print media, and social media.
  • Knowledge of and/or willingness to learn and embrace contemporary art and culture is required.
  • The ability to work in a diverse environment is required as is demonstrated experience working in and fostering a diverse faculty, staff, and student environment or commitment to do so as an employee at VCU.
  • Must possess exceptional interpersonal, verbal, and written communication skills; including writing, editing, and proofreading.
  • Must be self-motivated, strategic, creative, entrepreneurial, energetic and intelligent.
  • Proven flexibility and willingness to perform a wide range of tasks as necessary.
  • Ability to problem-solve using sound judgment and professional discretion.
  • Demonstrated strong work ethic and time management skills.

Hiring Range: $35,000-$40,000

Application Instructions:

Applications must be submitted via VCU eJobs: https://www.vcujobs.com/postings/42548

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

Please submit 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 rfellington@vcu.edu or via phone: 804.828.2787.

To read more about the ICA: ica.vcu.edu

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.

VCU ICA – External Affairs Coordinator (1)