EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR of MUSEUM EDUCATION
The Art Institute of Chicago is searching for an innovative arts educator to deliver continually refreshed, exciting educational experiences to people of all ages, backgrounds and interests.
The Art Institute of Chicago (AIC) is a world-renowned, encyclopedic art museum housing one of the world’s most important permanent collections, including many iconic works of leadings artists, and mounting approximately 30 exhibitions a year. In collaboration with curators, the museum’s education professionals deliver an enriched experience of AIC’s collections and exhibitions to a diverse range of patrons and visitors. With the third largest collection of art in the United States, the Art Institute’s encyclopedic collection consists of approximately 300,000 works of art in 11 curatorial departments. The AIC welcomes approximately 1,400,000 to 1,800,000 visitors annually and has a membership of over 91,000.
With the appointment of Douglas Druick as the AIC’s new President and Director, the Executive Director of Museum Education will join the Art Institute at an exciting time. An accomplished curator, Druick has a strong belief in the value of education that uses objects to connect visitors to art and cultural history. The President views the Education function as critical to the success of the museum; indeed, he has delayed the launch of AIC’s new long-term planning project until the new Executive Director of Museum Education is hired so that the Education Department is fully represented as that plan is shaped and subsequently implemented. The Executive Director of Museum Education will be a critical member of the President’s Senior Management Team, and will have a strong voice as AIC engages Chicago’s diverse citizens and visitors through its permanent collections, special exhibitions, and education and public programming.
The Education Department is expected to evolve over the years to enrich the gallery experience and address the needs of AIC and Chicago. Of particular importance is to build on the existing partnership with Chicago Public Schools, and educate a new generation of visitors and patrons who will form the backbone of a vibrant city’s creativity and workforce. The President and Director seeks to elevate the visitor experience as a central part of AIC’s future. In collaboration with other departments, the Education Department will play a major role in the design and implementation of new approaches that attract new audiences, address the needs of current visitors, and that incite return visits. An enhanced partnership between the curatorial departments and Museum Education will be critical to the success of such initiatives and it is the President’s hope that programs flowing from such cooperation can become a model for museum-based education in the field.
The museum and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago have a combined endowment of almost $800 million, and the museum has an annual operating budget of approximately $100 million, of which about $2.5 million is allocated to education. The museum employs 22 full-time staff in the Education Department. There are presently over 150 trained docents that have been qualified through a four-year educational program recognized as one of the most rigorous in the field.
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