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Posting Details

Posting Details

Reference Number 61-27708
School Name Institute of Contemporary Art
Org Institute of Contemporary Art
Posted to the Web 01/11/2018
Posted Job/Salary Grade 027
Employment Type Exempt
Hours N/A
Position Type Full Time
Position Schedule 10-6
Months 12
Position Length Ongoing
Position End Date
University Overview

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.

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.

School/Center Overview

The Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA) at the University of Pennsylvania, was founded in 1963 and is a non-collecting museum. It is also one of the only kunsthalles style museums in America. ICA exhibitions aim to bring under-recognized artists to the attention of the broader world, with an international reputation as a premier venue for contemporary art and culture. The ICA is free for all to engage and connect with the art of our time. As part of the University of Pennsylvania, our artist-centric program is complemented by the intellectual rigor of a premier academic institution. On average, we have seven exhibitions yearly, and one on tour.


ICA seeks a Director of Public Engagement to work in collaboration with Curatorial, Communications, Development and the Director’s Office to envision and execute participation at ICA from across UPENN and with partner organizations, cultural and civic leaders, artists’ communities, other educational organizations, and diverse viewers, especially in the Greater Philadelphia Area. The Director will expand and execute ICA’s internal and external diversity plan for stakeholders and audience with open-mindedness, innovation, and sensitivity. They will create relationships with new community audiences in depth and over time.

The Director will integrate all student collaborations across the museum including: undergraduate Student Board, internships, work-study students, visiting classes and Guest Lectureships currently for Penn graduate students.

The Director will develop new strategies to engage UPENN’s 12 schools, 8 centers, and additional academic resources as well as general public in substantive, innovative pedagogical use of ICA as a center of research in the contemporary. Use of object- and performance-based pedagogy will be explored and implemented for cross-campus use. The Director will integrate what is traditionally known as Visitors Services to capture, respond to, and build relationships with multiple, rotating audiences.

Goals include: creating multiple entry points to ICA’s curatorially-devised program of exhibition, publication, public event and archive research; building, in depth and over time, understanding of and partnerships with new, under-served campus and public audiences; and implementation of best practices to discover and maintain the best possible environment for diverse visitors to experience ICA as a space for the unknown and an artist-centered, non-collecting, research-based museum


Bachelor’s degree required, Master’s degree preferred with 3 to 5 years of increasing responsibility in artists center, museum, or equivalent nonprofit organization or equivalent combination of education and experience. Experience must be focused on art, culture, and/or humanities public education and access . Contemporary art focus a must. Additional curatorial, programming, or interpretive background with art, performance, music, poetry, literature, and/or film background preferred. The ideal candidate will have a project history working with under-served communities as well as with Ivy+ students, faculty, and staff.

Candidate should be collaborative and consensus-driven; well-researched; flexible; imaginative; a forward-thinking and articulate advocate who values difference in public exchange; passionate about increasing access to contemporary art and to developing essential lifelong, impactful, transformative experiences with art; excellent communication skills written, interpersonal, and public speaking. Must be willing to work nights, weekends, and travel. Must be interested in working in small office with growing staff of 20. Must be bold in envisioning possibilities for ICA to lead the field (in both university and museum settings) of creating knowledge through art for publics and within the academy. Must be task-driven, self-motivating, able to create and sustain varied relationships, extremely detail-oriented, embrace and show fluidity working with communities of varied educational and cultural backgrounds. Interest in building communities in Philadelphia and beyond is essential.

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.

Special Requirements
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Posting Supplemental Questions

Required fields are indicated with an asterisk (*).

  1. * How did you hear about this employment opportunity?
    • Jobs@Penn
    • Contacted by a Penn Recruiter
    • Referred by a Penn Employee
    • Referred by a friend or family member
    • Higher Education Recruitment Consortium (HERC)
    • Inside Higher Ed
    • Other Internet Advertisement
    • Linkedin
    • Twitter
    • Other Social Media Site
    • Professional Affiliation/Trade Website
    • Diversity Association/Publication Website
    • Heard about it at a conference or career fair
    • Apple One
    • Recruitment and/or staffing agency
  2. * What is your highest level of education completed?
    • Less than high school education
    • High School Diploma or GED
    • Vocational or Technical School
    • Associate's Degree or Two Year College
    • Bachelor's Degree
    • Master's Degree
    • PHD/MD/JD or equivalent doctoral degree
  3. * How many years of experience do you have related to this position?
    • 0 to 1 Year
    • 1 to 2 Years
    • 2 to 3 Years
    • 3 to 5 Years
    • 5 to 7 Years
    • 7 to 10 Years
    • Over 10 Years

Applicant Documents

Required Documents
  1. Cover Letter
  2. Resume
Optional Documents