Head of Education and Public Engagement

Post Date:
April 20, 2021





Opened to the public in 1935, The Frick Collection is a world-renowned art museum consisting of a collection of European works of art from the thirteenth to the nineteenth century displayed in the intimate surroundings of the former home of Henry Clay Frick. It is considered one of the world's most perfect museums. The Frick welcomes about 250,000 visitors a year to its tranquil mansion on the Upper East Side, encouraging visitors to closely observe, reflect, and engage with its esteemed collection. 

The Frick has long been a leader in, and advocate for, arts education, with many very long-established programs. The Frick Art Reference Library, founded by Helen Clay Frick in 1935, is an internationally recognized research library that serves as one of the world's most complete resources for the study of Western art. The Education and Public Engagement department works to ensure that the extraordinary resources of The Frick Collection are made accessible and inviting to “all persons whomsoever,” in accordance with the wishes of the museum’s founder and the institution’s ongoing commitment to inclusion and access.

The museum currently offers a stellar roster of over 30 unique education and public engagement programs annually and works with dozens of community partners to ensure The Frick reaches an audience as diverse as the city around it. The Education department reached an all-time high of over 30,400 participants in 2019. Popular programs include Guided School Visits for middle school, high school and college students, engaging talks and lectures by world-renowned scholars that are held onsite and streamed live, the First Fridays program that attracts significant numbers of first-time visitors, innovative digital programs such as the Cocktails with a Curator and Travels with a Curator series, concert series, innovative collaborations with Columbia University, Hunter College, NYU, Ghetto Film School and many more. 

Position Summary

With the Frick now in its temporary home in the former Whitney Museum building and preparing for a return to 1 East 70th Street in 2024, it seeks a dynamic new Head of Education and Public Engagement. This key member of senior staff will guide the Education and Engagement Department in its commitment to the Frick’s mission to be a welcoming environment “for all persons whomsoever.” The renovated mansion will offer the Frick its first-ever dedicated classroom spaces as well as a larger auditorium. These new state-of-the-art spaces will open up possibilities for education and public engagement programs that will engage diverse audiences with the depth and continued relevance of the collection, stimulate personal creativity and ensure that the Frick is accessible and embraced by all New Yorkers and visitors. 

The Head of Education and Public Engagement will report to the Deputy Director and Peter Sharp Chief Curator and guide all strategy, annual planning, staff and operations within their department. As an ambassador for The Frick Collection, the Head is responsible for developing and maintaining productive relationships with local, national and international partners in education, philanthropy, the public sector, peer institutions, and artist and scholar communities for the benefit of the institution, its programs and visitors.

Key Responsibilities

Program Design and Execution

  • Oversee vision and strategy for Education and Public Engagement at the Frick.
  • Develop and deliver innovative, creative Education and Engagement programs that reflect the Frick’s mission to serve all people and builds on their commitment to deepen and expand inclusion, access and engagement across historically underrepresented audiences.
  • Create meaningful personal experiences for visitors with The Frick’s collections and exhibitions both onsite and online.
  • Develop a framework and process for consistent program and departmental evaluation, in line with best practices.
  • Identify revenue-generation opportunities and refine approach to program pricing.

Organizational Leadership

  • Support the Deputy Director and Peter J. Sharp Chief Curator on coordination of content development strategy across Curatorial, Education and Public Engagement, Publications, Frick Art Reference Library, and External Affairs.
  • Supervise a department of about 4 full-time staff, while developing and retaining a high-performing, service-oriented, collaborative team.
  • In collaboration with staff at all levels, support the Frick’s mission and values internally as it continues its commitment to being an inclusive and equitable work environment for all.

External Relations

  • Spearhead an intentional strategy to engage diverse audiences.
  • Expand The Frick’s engagement with the greater New York City community, especially underserved audiences.
  • Refine the Education and Engagement digital strategy, evaluating and building upon current offerings.
  • Collaborate with External Affairs on fundraising for education and public programs, and in support of audience development efforts.
  • Strengthen The Frick’s position as a leader in the museum education field, keeping abreast of trends and contributing to thought leadership.

Candidate Requirements

  • Demonstrated track record in developing and driving a distinctive programmatic vision, ideally within a setting that engages diverse audiences, to bolster education and public engagement initiatives.
  • Successful administrative experience with budget development, fundraising, planning, setting and achieving goals and deadlines, managing staff and volunteers.
  • Deep understanding and experience with models of program/impact evaluation; brings a visionary and creative approach to defining, refining, and scaling programs.
  • Experience developing programming for audiences who have historically been underserved and traditionally excluded from museum settings and/or cultural institutions, ideally in an urban setting.
  • Experience with development and delivery of both in-person and digital programs.
  • Experience engaging with board members, funders and other key stakeholders.
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills, both oral and written; inspiring communicator, collaborator, and mentor.
  • Proficiency with foreign language(s), especially those spoken at high levels in NYC, preferred.
  • Passionate and committed to education and lifelong learning, intellectual inquiry and visitor engagement.
  • Enthusiasm about the art of the past, including commitment to interpreting and thinking critically about histories of art and collecting.
  • Knowledge of current and emerging trends in museum education and visitor engagement preferred.

Benefits in Employment with the Frick Collection

Salary is commensurate with experience.

Full-time employees are eligible to participate in group life, health, and dental insurance plans. Employees contribute to the cost of their health insurance based on income level and type of coverage selected. Other benefits include Short and Long Term Disability insurance, employee contributed tax deferred annuity, flexible spending plans for health, dependent care and commuting costs, generous defined benefit pension plan with participation after one year of service/vesting after five years of service, 13 paid holidays, and accrual of 12 vacation days the first year of employment. All employees may access free or discounted admission to most of New York’s finest museums. The Frick Collection offers a beautiful and pleasant work setting and an excellent opportunity to appreciate some of the world’s finest works of art. 

Application Process

Please apply: https://www.on-ramps.com/open-positions/2127

No phone calls please. 

Equal Employment Opportunity has been, and will continue to be, a fundamental principle at The Collection, where employment is based upon personal capabilities and qualifications without discrimination because of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, marital status, alienage or citizenship status, sexual orientation, disability, pregnancy, military status, creed, genetic predisposition or carrier status or any other protected characteristic as established by law. This policy applies to all terms and conditions of employment, including, but not limited to, hiring, placement, promotion, termination, layoff, recall, transfer, leaves of absence, compensation and training.

On-Ramps is deeply committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion. We believe social change happens when people with a wide range of backgrounds, experiences, and identities come together with common purpose.  We’re partnering with the team at the Frick Collection to build a diverse team that will advance their mission and work. We encourage candidates from all backgrounds to apply.