Founded in 1965, Wave Hill is a public garden and cultural center located in the northwest corner of the Bronx. Its twenty-eight acres of gardens and woodlands, historic buildings and greenhouses overlook the Hudson River and the Palisades. Its mission is to celebrate the artistry and legacy of its gardens and landscapes, to preserve its magnificent views and to explore the human connections to the natural world through programs in horticulture, education and the arts.
Wave Hill is owned by The City of New York and managed by a private board of directors in a public-private partnership, and is a member of the City’s thirty-four member Cultural Institutions Group.
The Director of Arts plays a critical role in senior management at Wave Hill. The Director is responsible for shaping the visual and performing arts program, ensuring a unified dynamic annual calendar and a coherent programmatic message supporting Wave Hill’s mission. The position is in charge of planning and implementation of all Strategic Plan initiatives for the arts. The Director regularly represents Wave Hill to the public, press, arts community, and other organizations through speaking engagements, consortiums, panels, programs, and interviews. As a senior management team member, the Director will engage with the staff’s committees and the Board of Directors in big picture organizational planning and strategy.
The position collaborates with Directors of Education and Public Programs and the Senior Director of Horticulture to develop interdepartmental program planning to support the strategic plan and other new initiatives. The position also works closely with the departments of Marketing and Communications and Development to promote Wave Hill programs and interface with the press.
The Director is Wave Hill’s Chief Curator. As Chief Curator, he/she will provide guidance and mentor the curatorial staff in creating all visual and performing arts programming and ensures the smooth operations of all exhibitions, residencies, commissions, and performance activities. The Director develops and manages the department’s annual operating budget. The position interfaces regularly with the Development Department to support fundraising for Arts. This includes working closely with the Manager of Institutional Giving on grants for Arts, direct interface with the Board of Directors and other high-level donors to support cultivation and stewardship of these relationships. The Director is an advocate for Wave Hill with New York City and State government and the arts community.
The Director of Arts is a highly creative, strategic, and managerially demanding role. It requires exceptional interpersonal and organizational skills as well as outstanding communication ability. Broad knowledge of the contemporary visual and performing arts scene, including place-based work, is a must, balanced with a strong interest in Wave Hill’s mission in relation to the ecological issues of our time. The successful candidate will bring strong relationships to the role to engender collaborative partnerships with other arts organizations.
- Bachelor’s degree (advanced degree preferred)
- Ten years of senior management of arts programming in a curatorial role
- Demonstrated leadership ability and creative vision in a cultural institution setting
- Strong portfolio of past projects that demonstrate curatorial vision and production capacities (exhibitions, public art installations, artist commissions, performance, residencies, consortiums and public programs etc.) that successfully engage audiences, press, and provide artists with new opportunities and resources
- Solid active relationships with the local and national arts community including artists, curators, foundations, agencies, government, and other cultural organizations
- Skilled team leader who can balance individual staff needs with organizational goals
- Proven ability to plan and manage all aspects of program development including budgets, schedules, contracts, project production, events, promotion, and communication
- Demonstrate track record in leading a talented team in the development and execution of projects, meeting deadlines, and shaping an overall program calendar
- Strong clear written and oral communication skills, ability to communicate programmatic vision to inspire support, effective writing style for clear and concise public communication appropriate for a general audience, and experience in the creation of engaging digital content including virtual programs
- Experience managing staff, setting goals, evaluating performance, developing talent, and advancing skills
- Support of Wave Hill’s DEIA values and goals
- Willingness to perform tasks at all levels, including hands-on participation and administrative tasks
- Flexibility to respond to opportunity and changing conditions
- Highly collegial attitude and willingness to adapt plans to accommodate input from horticulture, facilities, marketing and communications, development, and other senior staff
- Regular weekend and evening work, offsite engagement, and some travel required
- Competent in the use of Microsoft Office, Basecamp
- Familiarity with a CMS database such as Altru a plus
Major Medical, Dental, Vision, life insurance, 401k and pension, three weeks’ vacation, sick days, and personal days
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Wave Hill is an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, disability, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, veteran status, or genetic information. Wave Hill is committed to providing access, equal opportunity, and reasonable accommodation for individuals with disabilities in employment, programs, and activities. To request a reasonable accommodation, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.