Based in New York, Dia Art Foundation is committed to advancing, realizing, and preserving the vision of 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, executes new commissions, and produces scholarly publications related to its exhibitions and collection.
The staring salary for this position is $79,000 per year. Consideration of a starting salary above $79,000 per year, but not to exceed $98,000 per year, will be reviewed at time of offer based on level of experience and qualifications for the role.
Dia seeks an experienced Director of Visitor Experience with strong leadership skills and vision to create an exemplary visitor experience reflective of Dia’s ethos across all Dia sites. Reporting to the Chief Operating Officer (COO), this position will develop, refine and implement effective strategies, procedures, and systems for Visitor Services, Bookshop, and group visits, and work collaboratively with all other departments to deliver quality service.
This position will drive an internal culture that centers equity and inclusion and creates a positive and welcoming first impression for visitors and encourage repeat visitation. The Director of Visitor Experience will serve as an advocate for the communities Dia serves and will lead the development and implementation of an outreach plan to increase and diversify visitorship and engagement at Dia Beacon, Dia Bridgehampton, and Dia Chelsea. This plan will include developing relationships with local communities and hospitality and cultural organizations. They will be a key liaison with Dia’s programming departments to engage publics around exhibitions, educational and public programs, and Dia’s sites.
The Director is responsible for visitor metrics and for acting on visitors’ comments to improve the experience for all. This position will also track and report on attendance and revenue on a regular basis. The position will act as an ambassador across Dia sites ensuring that each Visitor Services staff member is well-trained and feels valued. Working with Visitor Services managers, they will assess staffing needs, oversee the training program, and encourage professional development.
The position will be based at Dia Beacon with travel to Dia’s Chelsea, Bridgehampton, and other sites as needed.
Essential Job Duties & Responsibilities
- In collaboration with colleagues, identify and execute opportunities to develop and improve Dia’s standards for visitor service and enable efficient admission; ensure Dia’s policies and practices align with these standards across Dia’s sites
- Be highly engaged in local communities with a focused lens on values of access and inclusion to support diverse and sustainable engagement
- Develop and implement an outreach program in Beacon, Chelsea, and Bridgehampton to increase local visitorship and group visits to our sites.; the program will be based on developing key relationships with local cultural, religious, and hospitality organizations and libraries, as well as targeted outreach to our group clients
- In partnership with the Director of Communications, Director of Development, and Learning and Engagement team, effectively represent and enhance the museums public image to regional, community, professional, governmental, civic, and private groups and agencies to expand knowledge and interest and enhance support, engagement, and relevance across sites
- Drive a culture that creates a positive and welcoming first impression, supports an inclusive environment for a diverse staff and visitorship, and enhances accessibility across abilities and identities
- Enhance systems that enable efficient admission and encourages repeat visitation.; in collaboration with others, oversee the POS platforms for admissions and bookshop sales; ensure efficiency and excellent customer interface
- Work with the Development Associate, Membership to support member events and goals
- Oversee and support the Manager of Training and Visitor Experience with a front-of-house and gallery training plan that reflects Dia’s ethos, its new and permanent exhibitions, and provides consistent and superior customer service
- Provide guidance on and respond to escalated crisis situations, visitor concerns, comments, and complaints in a highly respectful and diplomatic manner
- Analyze visitor trends and collaborate with the exhibition and management teams to determine staffing and scheduling needs; build and monitor the staffing budget
- Directly supervise the Senior Manager of Visitor Services (Beacon), Manager of Training and Visitor Experience, Bookshop Manager, and Manager of Group Tours and Events with oversight for over 60 part-time and full-time staff
- Work closely with managers and Human Resources to hire staff, develop professional development opportunities, and navigate employee-relations issues; ensure discrete and confidential handling of sensitive information and situations
- Provide leadership and support to relevant staff while empowering the departmental managers to effectively supervise their staff and day-to-day operations and create a safe and supportive work environment; ensure proper hiring, training, mentoring, performance management, and development
- Work closely with the COO to oversee annual and long-term revenue and cost projections; monitor annual budget and proper control of expenditure for the departments under supervision
- Gather and report on visitor demographics and data; regularly review and work across the institution to act on visitor comments to improve the visitor experience; ensure attendance is tracked in a timely manner; provide a monthly metrics report discussing attendance and revenue trends
- Ensure visit and sites information on the website is accurate; update wayfinding, cafe, and other signage as needed
- Work cross-departmentally to help coordinate and successfully execute Visitor Services’ role in planning, implementation, communication, and promotion of exhibitions and public programs
- Work closely with the Bookshop Manager to ensure sufficient staffing, efficient operations, and timely reporting; address the needs of other departments
- Oversee the relationship with Homespun cafe with the Senior Manager of Visitor Services
- Work collaboratively with the COO and across the institution, lead the initiative to increase accessibility across the institution including didactic materials, wayfinding, physical barriers, and public programs
- Benchmark peer institutions’ efforts to identify best practices in museum visitor experience
Education, Certifications, Experience:
- Bachelor’s degree required; Master’s degree in relevant discipline or equivalent work experience preferred
- A minimum of 7 years of recent leadership experience in a related manager and visitor service–focused capacity required
- Work experience in an art museum or public-serving cultural institution required
Knowledge, Skills, Abilities:
- 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 while centering empathy and communication in a fast-paced, visitor-centered environment; able to motivate and develop staff to perform at high standards and provide superior service to visitors
- Demonstrable experience in centering diversity, inclusion, belonging, and access in Visitor Services structures and project- and program-management strategy
- Excellent organization, planning, and administrative skills; able to prioritize and coordinate multiple activities to meet deadlines
- Well-developed verbal and written communication skills; strength in relationship-building and teamwork
- Superb interpersonal skills and diplomacy; proven ability to work collaboratively with the institution as well as build relationships with external constituencies
- Must maintain physical presence across sites in New York as well regular travel to Dia Bridgehampton; semi-annual travel to The Lightning Field in New Mexico and Dia’s Utah sites is also required
- 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, POS systems, and museum management databases is helpful
Please note that to provide a safe workplace free of recognized hazards and to take every possible step to reduce the transmission of COVID-19 among our employees, Dia requires proof of COVID-19 vaccination upon hire, except for those who obtain an exemption due to a medical condition, a religious belief, or pregnancy.
Qualified candidates are invited to apply by completing the online job application, linked HERE and attaching a resume and letter of interest.
Dia provides a competitive salary and comprehensive benefits package with significant employer contributions towards the cost of 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. Additionally, staff ID badges gain reduced or free admission to most American museums and arts organizations.
Dia Art Foundation is an Equal Opportunity Employer and does not discriminate on the basis of age, color, national origin, ethnic origin, citizenship status, disability, race, religion, creed, gender, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and/or expression, marital status, veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state, or local law in its employment policies. In addition, Dia will provide reasonable accommodations for qualified individuals with disabilities and supports a neurodiverse workplace.