Chief Curator and Director of Curatorial Affairs

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The Walker Art Center seeks a Chief Curator and Director of Curatorial Affairs to play a central role in overseeing the Walker’s artistic and educational programming to position the Walker Art Center as a vital, catalytic voice in contemporary culture.  Collaborating closely with the Executive Director and curatorial teams, this individual works to conceive, plan, and present the institution’s distinctive, internationally-recognized programs, providing artistic/curatorial direction and organizational leadership to the Visual Arts; Performing Arts; Moving Image; and Education and Public Programs departments. This individual oversees the artistic and programming goals of each department, encouraging interdepartmental planning to meet the mission of the Walker and advance an interdisciplinary vision established in the Walker’s long-range plan. The role requires a leader with a multi-year approach to program planning, an eye toward fostering programmatic experimentation, research, scholarship, collaboration across program areas, and inventive approaches to audience engagement. This individual provides leadership to departments mentioned above to champion artists and promote innovative and timely programming presented on a variety of onsite platforms (stage, gallery, cinema, and outdoor), as well as in print and online. This individual serves as an active and engaged partner with the Walker’s digital and communications teams developing strategy and focusing on content management and dissemination to bring wider recognition, currency, and access to the Walker’s rich program offerings across the disciplines. This position requires one to champion broad institutional initiatives, take an editorial approach to the arc of Walker scholarship and programs, and to serve as a vocal spokesperson and advocate for the Walker’s overall artistic program.

As part of the Executive Director’s executive team, the individual in this role builds teams that promote new artistic programs, acquisitions, publications, interpretation initiatives, artist-based residencies, and commissions.   Among other responsibilities, this individual : works strategically with staff across the institution to promote visibility and circulation of Walker programs and research globally; maintains independent contributions to and visibility within the field with participation in professional conferences, symposia, juries, and national/international events; leads continued efforts to program art and events throughout the Walker public spaces and outdoor campus, including the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden; promotes and supports institution-wide diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives; attends and participates in Board of Trustee meetings as needed; and works directly with trustees, donors, patrons, and other colleagues in the field, both nationally and internationally, to advance the Walker’s mission and collection building interests.         

Required Qualifications:

  • 8+ years’ experience as an artistic director or senior curator with established arts organizations.
  • Progressively responsible experience in museum management including exhibition and artistic program coordination and presentation, collections and acquisitions development, interpretation and public programs, project management, team leadership, staff supervision, and budget development/administration.
  • Ability to use a team approach to plan and produce complex, interdisciplinary programming.
  • Extensive knowledge and relationships in the contemporary art field across disciplines; familiarity with contemporary film/video, performing arts, and web based artistic media.
  • Demonstrated track record with scholarship and publications.
  • Experience in recommending art acquisitions, organization of exhibitions, preparation of catalogues, and supervision of gallery installations and other programmatic events.   
  • Wide-ranging international experience; ability and enthusiasm for working with diverse artistic and community groups.
  • Strong leadership, interpersonal, planning, and organizational skills; excellent written and oral communication skills; solid public speaking, negotiation, problem solving, and meeting management skills.
  • Demonstrated commitment to principles of diversity, equity and inclusion in programming, staff, and audience experience.
  • Knowledge of fundraising principles and practices in the arts.
  • Degree required; advanced degree preferred.

Please send applications or nominations to Sarah James at ProgramWalker@PhillipsOppenheim.com.

The Walker is committed to being an inclusive workplace. Our goal is to be a diverse workforce that is representative, at all job levels, of the communities and audiences we serve. We are dedicated to fair and inclusive employment practices for all individuals.

Location: Full-time in Minneapolis, MN
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