Director of Visitor Experience
Curatorial Research Internship
Director of Visitor Experience
Dia Art Foundation seeks an experienced and dynamic professional to serve as Director of Visitor Experience. Under the direction of the CFO/COO of Dia Art Foundation, this Senior Staff position will provide strong leadership and vision in the development and implementation of effective strategies, procedures and systems to create the ideal visitor experience at Dia:Beacon and all Dia sites. This position will proactively lead the staff and operations of Visitor Services, Bookshop, and Group Tours and work collaboratively with all other departments to deliver quality and excellence of service. The Director of Visitor Experience will serve as an advocate for Dia in the Hudson Valley, actively supporting and promoting community engagement. Depending on the incumbent’s skill sets and experience, the position may be responsible for managing Education staff and will work closely with them to realize programs at Beacon. As Dia plans to open a new Chelsea site, this position will be responsible for setting up a Visitor Service team in Chelsea.
Dia Art Foundation, based in New York City, is committed to advancing, realizing, and preserving the vision of extraordinary artists. A nonprofit founded in 1974, Dia collects the work of some of the most renowned artists of the last half-century, presents long-term, site-specific projects in the Western United States, in New York City, and on Long Island, executes new commissions and an ongoing series of original artists’ projects produced for the web, and produces scholarly publications related to its exhibitions and collection.
• Collaborate with colleagues across the institution to develop and execute a comprehensive institutional plan to achieve a streamlined visitor service management system and cohesive visitor experience across all Dia sites.
• Be highly engaged in the local community and the larger Hudson Valley region and, in collaboration with the Director of Communications and Director of Development, effectively represent and enhance the museum’s public image to regional, community, professional, governmental, civic and private groups and agencies in order to expand knowledge, and interest and develop a regional support base for Dia:Beacon.
• Incorporating data and feedback from visitors and internal staff, set clear and measurable benchmarks for service that continually improves the standard for visitor experience. Communicate expectations to all relevant staff and monitor performance.
• Benchmark peer institutions’ efforts to identify best practices in museum visitor experience. In consultation with department managers, recommend and manage procedural protocols, system modifications, hours of operation, admission pricing and staffing structure to enhance operations.
• Drive a front-of-house culture that creates a positive first impression, enables efficient admission and encourages repeat visitation. Promote interactions with visitors to achieve new members, renew lapsed members, and upgrade current members.
• Work cross departmentally to help coordinate and successfully execute the Visitor Services role in planning, implementation, communication, and promotion of exhibitions and programs at Dia:Beacon and other sites.
• In conjunction with the Visitor Services Manager, oversee Dia:Beacon’s (and ultimately Dia:Chelsea’s) security functions to ensure the protection of the collection, and provide a high level of safety, security, and service to all staff and visitors.
• Responsible for the staff and operations of the following departments: Visitor Services, Bookshop, Group Tours, Dia:Beacon Administration and Education. Will directly supervise four managers and one office coordinator with management oversight responsibility for over 50+ part-time and full-time staff within these departments.
• In coordination with CFO/COO, maintain relationships and contracts for outsourced services such as the Café at Dia:Beacon.
• Provide hands-on leadership, supervision and support to staff in areas of responsibility, while assisting and empowering the departmental managers to effectively supervise their staff and day-to-day operations. Ensure proper hiring, training, mentoring, performance management and development of direct reports.
• Work closely with Human Resources to address staffing needs and to navigate employee relations issues. Ensure discrete and confidential handling of sensitive information and situations.
• Oversee annual and long-term revenue and cost projections, monitor annual budget and proper control of expenditure for the departments under supervision.
• Develop and implement an improved group tour program, proactively inviting the community to tour Dia:Beacon. Conduct VIP tours of Dia:Beacon as needed.
• Handle escalated crisis situations, visitors concerns, comments and complaints in a highly respectful and diplomatic manner.
• Provide strategic and logistical leadership to implement education initiatives and programs.
• Maintain strong relationships with the education community in the Hudson Valley
• Collaborate with development staff on fundraising opportunities for education programs.
• Bachelor’s degree required. Master’s degree in relevant discipline, preferred.
• A minimum of 7 years of recent leadership experience in a related management and visitor service focused capacity required. Solid work experience in an art museum required.
• Must demonstrate knowledge of current trends and best practices for increasing visitor attendance, engagement and satisfaction and measuring visitor experience.
• Proven track record of managing and mentoring a large staff in a fast paced visitor centered environment. Ability to motivate and develop staff to perform at high standards and provide superior service to visitors.
• Creative, strategic thinker with proven project and program management experience.
• Excellent organization, planning and administrative skills, with ability to prioritize and coordinate multiple activities to meet deadlines.
• Well-developed verbal and written communication skills.
• Superb interpersonal skills and diplomacy, with proven ability to work collaboratively within the institution as well as build relationships with external constituencies.
• Must maintain physical presence in the Hudson Valley and be vested in the local community. Residency in Hudson Valley preferred.
• Must be able to work a flexible schedule to include weekends, holidays and special events. Willingness to travel and attend out of hours functions, as required.
• Must have working knowledge of MS Office products and other related applications; knowledge of ticketing systems and museum management databases helpful.
Qualified applicants may apply for this position by emailing a letter of interest and resume to firstname.lastname@example.org
, with “Director of Visitor Experience” as the email subject heading. Please include salary expectations. Dia provides a competitive salary and a generous benefits package including health, life and disability insurance plans, a 401(k) plan with company match and paid time off. Dia is an Equal Opportunity Employer.
Deadline to apply: March 31, 2015
Curatorial Research Internship
Dia Art Foundation seeks a graduate student for a Curatorial Research Internship beginning in June 2015. Founded in 1974, Dia Art Foundation is dedicated to commissioning, supporting, and preserving contemporary works of art and performance, and to fostering critical discourse.
The Curatorial Research Intern will work directly with Dia’s Curatorial team, and have the opportunity to become familiar with Dia’s methodology and history by conducting in-depth research for artists in the collection, as well as current commissioned exhibitions and programs, and performance program. The Research Intern will also have the opportunity to conduct research on various artists involved with the exhibition programs and projects, as well the as well as the scholars, writers and artists involved with public programs. The intern will work under the supervision of the Assistant Curator.
• Conduct long and short term research projects on artists and works in the Dia’s collection.
• Assist with outreach to artists, scholars and writers associated with the exhibition, programs, and publication.
• Assist with curatorial functions involving the department’s digital and physical archive.
• Prepare scholarly research on artists in Dia’s collection and maintain records and files related to the exhibition and public programs outlined above.
• Assist in bibliographic and biographical research associated with Dia’s forthcoming publications.
• Conduct weekly visits to local libraries and assist with related inquiries from the public and scholars.
• Dia will consider applicants enrolled in a graduate-level art history or similar program, preferably with a focus in postwar art.
• Must demonstrate exceptional research and writing skills as well as excellent verbal communication skills.
• Must have strong interest in contemporary art.
The hours of this unpaid internship are a minimum of 2 days per week, 10am-6pm. The position is based in Dia’s office in Chelsea, New York City. A nominal stipend will be provided to cover travel and lunch expenses.
For consideration, please send a cover letter, resume or C.V., and two writing samples (academic or museum-related material) to email@example.com.
Deadline to apply: April 30, 2015