Museum of Contemporary Art,

Director of Public Programs

10 days ago
Employment type
Los Angeles
Closing date

About this organization

Established in 1979, we are the only artist-founded museum in Los Angeles. We are dedicated to collecting and exhibiting contemporary art. We house one of the most compelling collections of contemporary art in the world, comprising roughly 7,500 objects, and have a diverse history of ground-breaking, historically-significant exhibitions.

We are committed to the collection, presentation, and interpretation of art created after 1940, in all media, and to preserving that work for future generations. We provide leadership in the field by identifying and presenting the most significant and challenging art of our time, actively supporting the creation of new work, and producing original scholarship.

About this job

MOCA seeks a Director of Public Programs to conceptualize, develop, and implement public programming, including but not limited to lectures, symposia, and convenings; screenings, readings, and festivals; workshops and residencies; and curricular partnerships.

The Director of Public Programs is responsible for interpretative programming that builds on exhibitions as well as for original programming initiatives in pursuit of the museum’s mission to promote artistic innovation, original scholarship, and community investment across the museum’s two physical locations, in the digital sphere, and offsite for special projects. This position requires a highly creative thinker who is dedicated to deepening the public value of the museum and understanding the interests and needs of the museum’s diverse and growing audiences. Reporting to the Chief of Public Engagement, Learning & Impact, the Director of Public Programs will work collaboratively with the Curatorial, Visitor Engagement, Education, and Communications departments. Of equal importance is the cultivation and sustenance of close relationships with stakeholders outside the institution–community members, scholars, artists, curators, and a broad range of thinkers, writers, and makers, comprising new and existing museum audiences.

Roles & responsibilities

Essential Functions:

  • Develop, execute, and evaluate a well-balanced roster of mission-driven programs that create long-lasting, impactful relationships between the museum and its diverse publics - Foster and maintain strategic partnerships with individuals, cultural organizations, academic institutions, and community agencies
  • Provide strategy, direction, and vision for the role of the contemporary art museum in the public sphere
  • Oversee contracts with program participants; arrange travel and artist, performer, and speaker service provisions
  • Develop and manage public programs budgets
  • Write promotional copy for public programs and work closely with the Communications team to prepare and edit print and digital materials that promote and publicize public programs
  • Work with The Maurice Marciano Director, Chief Curator & Director of Curatorial Affairs, Chief Communications Officer, and Director of Education & Visitor Engagement to integrate strategic goals, exhibition, collection, and education program, and public engagement objectives
  • Participate in the development of funding sources for programs, including foundation, corporate, and individual sponsorships; write grants and collaborate with Advancement department to participate in donor cultivation
  • Ensure that public programming occupies a leading role in the museum’s efforts to enhance diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility (DEI&A) goals



  • Exceptional communication skills, written and oral; confidence in public speaking; and deftness with leading and moderating discussions
  • At least 5 years of professional experience in program development and project management in the non-profit cultural sector
  • Deep knowledge of contemporary art practices and of the museum field, locally, nationally, and globally
  • Demonstrated record of successfully fostering connections with artistic partners, program attendees, cultural organizations, and community groups, and of serving as a primary liaison between an institution and its publics
  • Must be highly detail-oriented, hands-on, and enterprising when it comes to production
  • Proven commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility (DEA&I)
  • Proficiency with Google applications and all Microsoft office software.
  • Possession of an M.A. in art history, museum studies, studio art, art education, or related subject is highly preferred
  • Previous experience in curating exhibitions, publishing books, and/or producing performances/events is a plus

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