May 24, 2014 - Pulitzer Arts Foundation - Seeking Creative Director
May 24, 2014

Seeking Creative Director

Photo: Robert Pettus.

Seeking Creative Director

Application deadline:
July 21, 2014

Salary: Commensurate with experience
Location: St. Louis
Reports to: Director
Reportees: Curatorial, Programs, Communication and Audience Development Departments

As a laboratory and sanctuary for the arts, Pulitzer Arts Foundation’s goal is to produce an unparalleled experience of art, design, and architecture through collaborations that are risk-taking and adventurous for our partners, our audiences, and ourselves. We aim to create the artistic and intellectual conditions for experimentation with new ideas that result in personal and/or organizational growth and innovation. 

The Pulitzer is looking for a Creative Director who will support and expand these conditions and outcomes; identify individuals and institutions uniquely suited to take up the Pulitzer’s challenge; develop and execute new collaborations; and help us imagine the future of art institutions more broadly.  This new position integrates the production and reception of creative content, bringing together our curatorial and programming departments with communications and audience development departments.  The Pulitzer is looking for a candidate who can help us define this new role, working in a synergistic manner with his/her counterpart, the Operations and Finance Director, and reporting to the Director.

For the past twelve years, the Pulitzer has organized two exhibitions a year, ranging from Old Masters to contemporary art. Though widely perceived as having a modern focus, the Pulitzer’s curatorial platform is in no way limited by geography or timeframe.  Currently exploring projects that include African reliquaries, 19th-century museum practice, new media, design, 20th-century sculpture, and prehistoric art, the Pulitzer welcomes to its staff the addition of a Creative Director who can help us imagine new and unexpected topics and ideas for our projects and navigate the diversity and richness of our existing program.

The Pulitzer has a strong history of experimentation in programming. The St. Louis Symphony Orchestra performs new music in our galleries in response to the work on view. Prison Performing Arts has worked with our staff to develop a job-training program for former prisoners and homeless veterans based on theater and visual arts practices. We recently emptied our galleries and commissioned David Scanavino to create a floor piece that became the basis for a nine-day event. Called “Reset,” this program brought new collaborators to the Pulitzer, including break dancers, yoga practitioners, and nail artists, among others. In May we opened PXSTL, a design-build competition and collaboration with the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts at Washington University that will result in a six-month temporary structure designed by Freecell Architecture.  Sited on a vacant lot across from the Pulitzer, PXSTL will be programmed entirely by community partners who responded to our open call for programming grants.  Open call and invited competitions are becoming an increasingly important part of our creative process, and we are looking for a Creative Director who could help us shape and develop this approach to our curatorial and programmatic work.

To date, our collaborators have included architects, musicians, children, social workers, students, artists, curators, educators, community activists, former prisoners and homeless veterans, theater professionals, literary talents, scientists, IT professionals, and drag queens, among others.  We are looking for a colleague who will help us strengthen existing relationships and imagine new ones locally, nationally, and internationally.

The Pulitzer is in the midst of a rebranding process with Bruce Mau Design and will launch its new website late this summer.  We will close our building in September to renovate our lower spaces, transforming them from storage to public spaces for exhibitions and programs.  When we reopen next spring, we will not only expand our program, but also our public hours. We are looking for a Creative Director who wants to join us with these processes underway and help us shape the future of our remarkable laboratory for the arts and community engagement.

The Pulitzer is looking for someone who:

–wants to play a defining role in setting, articulating, and implementing the creative vision of Pulitzer Arts Foundation by leading the creative/content wing of the organization (curatorial, programming, communications, and audience development departments), working in concert with the Operations and Finance Director and setting priorities with the Director.  

–embraces collaboration as an exciting form of creativity; someone who would welcome equally the opportunity to initiate projects, bring his/her creativity to ones already in development, and open the call for participation through invited and public competitions. 

–possesses a demonstrated track record of exploring the intersections of art and the world of ideas, experimenting with these connections on a range of creative platforms and exercising judgment about which ideas warrant development, testing, and eventually execution; someone who can transition from a period of initial excitement to long-term project planning and discipline.

–has a vast and varied network of contacts and would enjoy representing the Pulitzer locally and nationally; someone who is comfortable and integrated in the art world but has interests that often reach outside disciplinary boundaries and can connect the Pulitzer with new and unexpected partners; someone who would relish the opportunity to build or expand our St. Louis network and integrate the Pulitzer into national networks.

–can further develop and grow the Pulitzer’s open call and invitational model of collaboration; someone who understands that collaboration requires relationship-building and the infrastructure to support it.

–desires a leadership position in a young, dynamic, and ever-evolving institution; someone who enjoys the ebb and flow of institutional experimentation and refinement, who can help set priorities, establish metrics, and track and react to failure and success; someone who would enjoy the challenge of developing, articulating, and advancing this new position inside the Pulitzer.

–could help articulate, contribute to, and narrate the story of the Pulitzer and its impact in order to lay the foundations for future collaborations and outside financial support.

–thrives in a creative and participatory team structure; someone who is a good listener, mentor, delegator, catalyst, and decision-maker; someone who knows both how to create a sense of urgency, as well as give time and space to colleagues and collaborators.

–enjoys the practical and daily aspects of a senior management role in an arts institution (near- and long-term planning and implementation, budgeting, project management, etc.).

–has an interest in social media and the internet as a creative platform, with a demonstrated track record of projects or participation in both; someone who sees communications through a creative lens and values equally the production and reception of the creative product. 

–five to seven years experience working in a cultural institution, nonprofit, studio, museum, think tank, or lab-like setting; someone who possesses deep knowledge of and experience in the arts, with particular emphasis on visual art; MA or PhD in arts or humanities encouraged to apply, though meaningful experience in lieu of/in addition to educational experience would also be highly valued.

Interested applicants should send a cover letter and CV to:

Sharice Williams
Assistant Business Manager and Human Resources Manager
Pulitzer Arts Foundation 
3716 Washington Blvd.
St. Louis, MO 63108
swilliams [​at​]

Pulitzer Arts Foundation seeks Creative Director
Pulitzer Arts Foundation
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