Director, Times Square Arts

New York, United States Full-time

The Times Square Alliance seeks a Director of Times Square Arts to oversee all aspects of its high-profile public art program.

The program has established itself and gained international recognition in both the arts and urban sectors.  The new Director will build on that legacy to curate, implement and institutionalize a creative and sustainable vision for one of the world’s leading and best-known cultural districts.

The mission of Times Square Arts is to collaborate with contemporary artists to experiment and engage with one of the world's most iconic urban places (see description below or click Times Square Arts). Times Square is arguably the world’s largest public platform for innovative contemporary performance and visual arts, with 300,000 - 450,000 people passing through it daily.  It has always been a place of risk, innovation and creativity, and the Arts Program ensures these qualities remain central to the district's unique identity.  Partnering organizations include (but are not limited to) the Brooklyn Museum, Electronic Arts Intermix, Guggenheim Museum, and Performa, and artists such as Laurie Anderson, Helga Davis, Tracey Emin, Alfredo Jaar, Jesper Just, Rashaad Newsome, Yoko Ono, Jay Scheib and Shahzia Sikander.

In 2008 the Alliance began its program to support a wide range of art projects and installations proposed by independent curators and artists, under the guidance of its Arts Advisory Committee. Since 2012, the Alliance proactively developed a curatorial mission and vision that created the Midnight Moment series on the electronic billboards, amplified At the Crossroads installations and performances, experimented with a series of Hidden Assets works and established a Residency program.  The caliber of participating artists – both established and emerging – and cultural partners, who often link Times Square programming to their festivals, exhibitions and seasons, has resulted in extraordinary visibility, garnering as many as 2.2 billion press impressions in a given year. The current programming budget is approximately $800,000 as well as considerable in-kind support; that, combined with partner resources and joint grants results in programming which equates to what is effectively a $2-3 million-a-year program.

The candidate should have a distinctive curatorial vision, strong network among artists and arts institutions, interest in design and architecture as well as fine arts, and knowledge of artistic practice and experience with presenting and production.  The ideal candidate will have senior management experience in a non-profit and exposure to all aspects of the financial, creative and marketing elements of an arts program.  In addition, experience managing arts programs with or within non-arts entities such as government, civic-oriented non-profits, or business entities, will be of great value. 

More specifically, the Director will:

  • Articulate, continue to refine, and implement the strategic and curatorial vision of the public art program in the context of both the Alliance’s long-term goals and current contemporary art practice
  • Outlines a long term multi-year programmatic plan for Times Square Arts, and annual plans that align with the organization’s budgeting process
  • Work with senior management team and Board of Directors to cultivate long-term support
  • Understand and navigate the complexities and opportunities associated with public-private partnerships
  • Communicate the program vision to press, artists, funders, private stakeholders, the general public and partners
  • Identify partnerships with public art and curatorial organizations and visual and performance artists, and negotiate partnerships to develop and execute temporary public art and performance projects
  • Work with cultural leaders, curators and staff to solicit, review and secure approvals for projects
  • Work with the communications department to shape the design, content and production of printed and media materials, as well as social media platforms to ensure appropriate tone, content and context
  • Work with the Alliance operations staff to shape project implementations and support
  • Develop and manage project budgets and manage the team to implement to financial procedures
  • Identify, establish and develop sponsor relationships with corporations, foundations, and individuals in conjunction with the Alliance’s partnerships team
  • Support and shape grant applications and reports produced by the partnerships team
  • Negotiate for services and in-kind donations
  • Mentor and train staff, including three direct reports and other Alliance staff who support the program
  • Report to the Vice President of Events and Programming and work closely with the President with respect to key curatorial and strategic decisions

    Candidates should possess excellent verbal and organizational skills, be self-motivated and have experience implementing complex art projects and programs.  Salary commensurate with experience.