Director of Visitor Experience

Application deadline: Open until filled

Full-time position based across New York City and Beacon, New York

Dia Art Foundation seeks an experienced Director of Visitor Experience to provide strong leadership and vision to create the ideal visitor experience at Dia Beacon in Beacon, New York, Dia Chelsea in New York City, and all other Dia sites. The successful candidate will act as an ambassador across Dia sites, creating a unified experience of Dia’s ethos for visitors and ensuring that each Visitor Services staff member is well trained and feels valued.

Reporting to the Chief Operating Officer, the Director of Visitor Experience will develop and implement effective strategies, procedures, and systems for Visitor Services, Bookshop, and Group Tours, and work collaboratively with all other departments to deliver quality service. The successful candidate will be responsible for setting up the Visitor Services team for Dia Chelsea’s opening in September 2020 and Dia SoHo’s opening in September 2022. They will be required to work 3 days per week in Dia’s office in New York City and 2 days per week at Dia’s office in Beacon, New York, with travel to Dia’s other sites as needed.

Responsibilities include:

  • Collaborate with colleagues across the institution to develop and execute an institutional plan to achieve a streamlined visitor service management system and cohesive visitor experience across all Dia sites.
  • Create and execute a staff development plan so that Dia’s values and ethos are shared across all sites.
  • Collaborate with managers to execute a front-of-house training plan that includes Dia’s exhibitions, philosophy, and excellent service.      
  • Drive a culture that creates a positive first impression, enables efficient admission, and encourages repeat visitation. Promote interactions with visitors to gain new members, renew lapsed members, and upgrade current members. 
  • Lead the initiative to increase accessibility across the institution including collateral materials, wayfinding, physical barriers, and public programs.
  • Oversee Dia’s sites in New Mexico, Utah, and Long Island to maintain the artists’ original intent for the experience.
  • Directly supervise department managers in Visitor Services, Bookshop, and Group Tours with oversight for over 50 part-time and full-time staff within these departments.
  • Provide leadership and support to relevant staff while empowering the departmental managers to effectively supervise their staff and day-to-day operations.  Ensure proper hiring, training, mentoring, performance management and development of direct reports.
  • Set up the Dia Chelsea Visitor Services and Bookshop team for its September 2020 opening.  Set up the Dia SoHo Visitor Services team for its September 2022 opening. 
  • Work closely with the COO to oversee annual and long-term revenue and cost projections and monitor annual budget and proper control of expenditure for the departments under supervision.
  • Work closely with Human Resources to address staffing needs and to navigate employee-relations issues; ensure discrete and confidential handling of sensitive information and situations.
  • Handle escalated crisis situations, visitor concerns, comments, and complaints in a highly respectful and diplomatic manner.
  • With the COO, set clear and measurable benchmarks that continually improves the standard for visitor experience, incorporating data and feedback from visitors and internal staff.  Communicate expectations to all relevant staff and monitor performance.
  • Benchmark peer institutions’ efforts to identify best practices in museum visitor experience.
  • In consultation with department managers, recommend procedural protocols, system modifications, hours of operation, admission pricing, and staffing structure to enhance operations.
  • Work cross-departmentally to help coordinate and successfully execute Visitor Services’ role in planning, implementation, communication, and promotion of exhibitions and programs.
  • Collaborate with other departments on an engagement plan for the Beacon, Chelsea, SoHo, and Bridgehampton communities to effectively represent and promote Dia and increase regional support for each site.

Qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s degree required. Master’s degree in relevant discipline preferred.
  • A minimum of 7 years of recent leadership experience in a related manager and visitor service focused capacity required.
  • Solid work experience in an art museum required.
  • Must 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 in a fast-paced visitor-centered environment; ability to motivate and develop staff to perform at high standards and provide superior service to visitors.
  • Creative, strategic thinker with proven project- and program-management experience.
  • Excellent organization, planning, and administrative skills with an ability to prioritize and coordinate multiple activities to meet deadlines.
  • Well-developed verbal and written communication skills.
  • Superb interpersonal skills and diplomacy, with proven ability to work collaboratively with the institution as well as build relationships with external constituencies.
  • 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 helpful.

Qualified applicants may apply by emailing a letter of interest and resume to hr@diaart.org with “Director of Visitor Experience” as the subject heading.

Dia provides a competitive salary and a generous benefits package including health, life, and disability insurance plans and a 401(k) plan with employer match and immediate vesting. Paid time‐off benefits include three weeks of vacation, ten days of sick leave, and twelve holidays. Additionally, staff ID badges gain reduced or free admission to most American museums and arts organizations.

Dia is an equal opportunity employer.

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