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Wave Hill Figuring the Floral Adams De Ville Awai Smith

Director of Arts and Chief Curator

Shaping Visual and Performing Arts at Wave Hill

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 of Wave Hill’s 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 engages with staff 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 programs that 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.

How to Apply

Please email cover letter, resume, and writing samples.

Please state Director of Arts and Chief Curator in the subject line of the email.

Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis until the position is filled and only those receiving an interview will be contacted.


The Director is Wave Hill’s Chief Curator. As Chief Curator, the Director provides guidance to, and mentors, 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 the arts, providing a direct interface with the Board of Directors and other high-level donors to help cultivate and steward these relationships. The Director is an advocate for Wave Hill with New York City and State government and the arts community.

Qualifications and Requirements

The Director of Arts is a highly creative, strategic and managerially demanding role. It requires exceptional interpersonal and organizational skills, as well as outstanding ability to communicate. 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 demonstrates 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
  • Demonstrable track record in leading a talented team in the development and execution of projects, in meeting deadlines and shaping an overall program calendar
  • Strong, clear written and oral communication skills, including the ability to communicate a programmatic vision that inspires support, an effective writing style for clear and concise public communication appropriate for a general audience and experience creating engaging digital content, including virtual programs
  • Experience managing staff, setting goals, evaluating performance, developing talent and advancing skills
  • Demonstrable commitment to Wave Hill’s DEIA values and goals
  • Willingness to perform tasks at all levels, including hands-on participation and administrative tasks
  • Flexibility in responding 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, with some travel required
  • Competency in the use of Microsoft Office, Basecamp
  • Familiarity with a CMS database such as Altru a plus

Salary and Benefits

Salary commensurate with experience. Benefits includes major medical, dental, vision, life insurance, 401k and pension, three weeks’ vacation, sick days and personal days.

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