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The Museo de Arte de Ponce (Museo) mission is to promote discovery, stimulate curiosity, and foster dialogue to enhance the life of its community through art-based experiences. The vision of Museo is to be an internationally recognized cultural institution, essential for the educational and economic development of Puerto Rico.
Museo was founded by Luis A. Ferré (1904-2003), esteemed Puerto Rican philanthropist, industrialist, and governor of Puerto Rico who began purchasing works of art for the museum and established the Luis A. Ferré Foundation in 1957. Opening its doors in 1959, Museo started in a colonial house in Ponce, moving to its current home in 1965, a building designed by renowned architect Edward Durell Stone. Both the building and its gardens are recognized as emblematic designs in the architectural heritage of Puerto Rico, earning the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Honor Award in 1967. One of the main features of the museum is its hexagonal galleries, allowing natural light to enter through its corners, illuminating its 40,000 sq ft facility. An annex building opened in 2010 with an additional 37,745 sq ft and housing office space, the conservation center, historical archives, library, and community outreach space. In 2020, the Edward Durell Stone building suffered damage due to the earthquake that impacted the southwest area of the island. The building was closed to the public and plans are currently underway for completing a renovation and restoration of the building in 2025/26.
Museo's collection consists of approximately 4,500 works of art spanning 20 centuries and is renowned for its Baroque, Pre-Raphaelite, and Victorian paintings, as well as Puerto Rican and Latin American art. The dynamic and wide-ranging collection includes paintings, sculptures, prints, photographs, drawings, decorative arts, pre-Hispanic and African objects, Puerto Rican folk art, contemporary ceramics, video, and sound art. The Anton J. Konrad Conservation Center at the Ponce Museum of Art, established in 1979, is a leader in art conservation in Puerto Rico and the Caribbean. Current exhibitions presented by Museo include Cinquecento: The Awakening of the Arts at the Church’s Gallery of the Museum of Art of Puerto Rico, Centenaries at the Annex Building, and Puerto Rican Notes; Recent Donation to the Collection at the Annex Building. Accredited by the American Alliance of Museums since 1987, Museo has become an essential institution for the educational development and social transformation of its communities, and it continues its ambitious international touring of the collection and community engagement programs.
Museo is committed to enriching the quality of life of the Ponce and Puerto Rican communities. ConectARTE began during the pandemic, presenting diverse virtual programs designed to expand knowledge of the collection. My Puerto Rico brings weekly art workshops and guided tours to students from 3rd to 6th grade at La Carmen Elementary School. Museo school programs bring 700 students per year to the museum for tours and art workshops. The Young Guides program provides training for students to volunteer at the museum. Open Doors and Golden Seed provide Ponce’s elderly citizens of Ponce with workshops, trips, and other activities. Art in Refugio Cristo Pobre delivers weekly art workshops for low-income and homeless community members.
The Luis A. Ferré Historical Archive of the Museo de Arte de Ponce and the Centros Sor Isolina Ferréhave joined forces to preserve and protect the memory and legacy of Sor Isolina Ferré and her work for those most in need in Ponce’s La Playa neighborhood. This partnership project will digitize and organize the Historical Archive of Sor Isolina Ferré: Memories of La Playa de Ponce. Led by Maria Luisa Ferré Rangel, president of the Luis A. Ferré Foundation and the Museo de Art de Ponce, and brother Luis Alberto Ferré Rangel, president of the Centros Sor Isolina Ferré, this initiative sustains the intention of Don Luis and his sister, Sor Isolina, to work hand in hand for the well-being of the Ponce and Puerto Rican communities.
Museo has an 11-member Board of Trustees (Board) led by Chair María Luisa Ferré Rangel, and Rubi Rodriquez Bustillo serves as the Deputy Director overseeing a staff of 27 until a new Director is named. For the fiscal year ending June 30, 2023, The Luis A. Ferré Foundation / Museo de Arte de Ponce reported total revenue of $4.2 million with $3.8 million from contributions and grants, $156,000 from in-kind and other revenues.
Ponce is the second-largest city and municipality of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, located on its southern coast and known as the La Perla del Sur (Pearl of the South). With a population of 132,000, Ponce was named for conquistador and the first governor of Puerto Rico, Juan Ponce de León. Ponce is one of the most important and celebrated cities of Puerto Rico known for its many historical and cultural attractions. Featuring many points of interest for visiting tourists, Ponce receives 250,000 visitors each year and hosts two international annual sporting events, the Ponce Grand Prix track and field event in which over 100 athletes compete each May and the Cruce a Nado Internacional swimming competition with over a dozen countries represented.
Ponce’s plazas, churches, distinctive colonial homes, and fountains, celebrate the rich neoclassical architecture of the island including the Plaza Las Delicias featuring the Cathedral of Our Lady of Guadalupe (1883), Fuente de Los Leones (Courtyard of the Lions), and the historic fire station Parque de Bombas. With significant investment in its cultural assets including libraries, museums, galleries, and parks, Ponce is also home to a plethora of historically significant buildings, schools, residences, bridges, and estates. Ponce’s diverse cultural attractions include the hilltop estate and museum Castillo Serrallés; the Cruceta Del Vigia tower; the Caja de Muertos nature reserve with hiking trails and a historic lighthouse; the Hacienda Buena Vista; and a range of galleries, historical and specialty museums, and the Museo de Arte de Ponce.
Ponce comprises 19 barrios and is home to 14 colleges, universities, and 77 Puerto Rico Department of Education public schools. With four comprehensive care hospitals, cancer treatment and medical specialty centers, and veterans’ health clinics, Ponce has the highest concentration of medical services per capita of any municipality in Puerto Rico. An important trading and distribution center for Puerto Rico, Ponce’s Playa de Ponce Port is one of the busiest in the Caribbean area, receiving coffee, tobacco, molasses, rum, bananas, and other tropical fruits. Its principal manufacturers include textiles, shoes, cement, paper, electrical devices, and metal products. Industries include tourism, the processing of agricultural products, rum distilling, canning, and diamond cutting.
In September 2017, Hurricane Maria struck the island of Puerto Rico. Ponce sustained $90 billion in damages with an estimated 3,500 homes completely or partially destroyed. However, Ponce’s significant economic progress and increasing population in recent years has solidified its position as the second most important city of Puerto Rico. Puerto Rico has a population of 3.2 million, with 98.7% identifying as Latino/Hispanic, with 23.5% being 65 or older and having a median household income of $24,000.
Sources: worldpopulationreview.com; census.gov; welcome.topuertorico.org discoverpuerorico.com
The Director will inspire, guide, and implement Museo’s strategic goals and shape its vision as a dynamic leader with a deep passion for stewarding and expanding the collection. Focused on innovative programming, touring the collection, and advancing Museo’s reputation in the field, the Director will be an inspiring leader and accomplished fundraiser and administrator. Reporting to and collaborating with the Board of Trustees, the Director will focus on increasing contributed revenues, financial operations, and human resources. Driving participation and attendance at Museo, the Director will revitalize programmatic strategies, educational activities, and community engagement while empowering, mentoring, and leading the Museo team. The Director will also oversee the reconstruction and reopening of the Edward Durell Stone building, as well as ensure safety and accessibility of all Museo buildings and grounds.
Roles and Responsibilities
Strategic Vision and Leadership
- Develop and implement an ambitious artistic, research, publication, touring, and community engagement vision for Museo’s collections and programs, connecting its creative practice in the region to national and global networks and dialogues.
- Serve as an ambassador and lead spokesperson, connecting Museo to potential partners and donors, building ongoing networks, and collaborating across the field.
- Guide implementation and execution of Museo’s strategic plan, with ongoing refresh and updates in collaboration with Museo staff and Board, including American Alliance of Museums accreditation.
- Oversee the reconstruction, retrofitting, and reopening of Museo’s Edward Durell Stone primary home.
- Conceive, develop, and execute innovative and academically rigorous exhibitions of Old Masters, and modern and contemporary art in collaboration with curatorial staff and guest curators.
- Foster an environment where artists, scholars, and other creative practitioners who work with the Museo can thrive in their practice.
- Embrace other strategic vision and leadership duties, as needed.
Revenue Enhancement and Community Engagement
- Provide strategy and vision to Museo’s fund development activities, embracing the role of key fundraiser, working with the Board and staff to identify, cultivate, and steward relationships with donors, city and county officials, foundation, corporate, and government partners.
- Cultivate and innovate Museo’s connection to the local art community, trustees, collectors, educators, city and county officials, and affinity groups of donors, for gifts to the collection, acquisition funds, program support, and capital support in collaboration with the development team.
- Deliver progressive and engaging programs for schools, teachers, children and families, and the community in collaboration with the education and community engagement team.
- Embrace other community engagement and revenue enhancement duties, as needed.
Board Governance and International Relations
- Strengthen Museo’s regional, national, and international professional networks in collaboration with the Board of Trustees.
- Provide support best to utilize the Board’s talents and Museo’s resources, engaging with board members, committees, and advisory members to develop strategies that effectively mobilize and utilize stakeholders.
- Ensure efficient and timely development and distribution of reports, including financial and programmatic reporting, to inform decisions that advance the mission and goals of Museo.
- Attend quarterly board meetings, executive committee and other committee meetings providing reports as needed to facilitate the flow of information.
- Embrace other board governance and international relations duties, as needed.
Mentorship and Operational Resilience
- Guide, manage, and mentor a team of direct reports including the Curator, Conservator, Registrar, Head of Education & Community Engagement, Chief Financial Officer, Human Resources Manager, and Director of Operations & Sustainability; with oversight of full staff in collaboration with the deputy director.
- Ensure compliance with the board approved budget. Work with direct reports and CFO to assure proper controls and monitoring of all activities.
- Ensure compliance with all standards and practices to maintain Museo’s American Alliance of Museums accreditation.
- Provide direction and central coordination on all exhibition matters, including exhibition development, schedules, budgets, and contract negotiations.
- Oversee and coordinate the design, installation, and production aspects of all museum exhibitions, and supervise all publications.
- Embrace other mentorship and operational resilience duties, as needed.
Traits and Characteristics
The Director will be a dynamic, versatile, and resourceful leader who values equity, artistic practice, scholarship, and community-oriented programming. Leading with creativity and innovation with a demonstrated passion and commitment to the field, they will be an authentic spokesperson and advocate, building organizational capacity and fostering innovative, creative strategies for programmatic growth. A versatile self-starter who can see the big picture, this individual will work collaboratively with the team and as an active member of the community. They will be people-oriented, valuing frequent interactions with a range of stakeholders, and comfortable networking across sectors (public, private, philanthropic, education, and community) beyond the arts is a must.
A sound decision-maker with the ability to anticipate complex problems, the Director will demonstrate leadership through consultation and consensus building with highly developed cultural competencies, handling difficult situations with diplomacy and ease. The Director will also possess leadership that promotes transparency with constituents, including the Board, staff, artists, patrons, and external stakeholders.
Other key competencies include:
- Flexibility and Resiliency – The dexterity to quickly adjust to changing circumstances in the industry and environment with the flexibility to remain optimistic in the face of setbacks and challenges, recognizing these are part of learning and growth that inform new strategies and tactics.
- Leadership and Goal Orientation – The capacity to organize, inspire, and influence people to believe in a vision, creating a sense of common purpose centered on the well-being and growth of Museo staff, patrons, and community, and setting and attaining goals established to advance Museo’s profile.
- Time and Priority Management –The aptitude to ascertain competing priorities, resolve difficulties, overcome obstacles, and maximize the use of time and resources to attain the desired outcomes.
- Personal Accountability – The ability to take responsibility, be accountable, listen and use feedback, and analyze data to learn from mistakes, possessing a high degree of awareness of the impact of personal actions and decisions.
- Diplomacy – The clarity to demonstrate emotional intelligence and sensitivity when handling challenging issues while communicating, building rapport, and relating well to others.
- Planning and Organizing – The competence to identify and oversee all resources, tasks, systems, and people to establish courses of action to ensure that work is completed effectively.
Qualified candidates will have seven to ten years of senior museum management experience, demonstrating increasing responsibility. A master’s degree in art history, curatorial studies, or a related field is preferred. Outstanding presentation and communication skills and the experience and propensity to be a passionate spokesperson, relationship builder, and fundraiser are needed. A strong commitment to the professional development of staff and a successful track record of recruiting and retaining an inclusive team is essential. Educational credentials and demonstrated professional experience supporting leadership intelligence, organizational growth, community engagement, and developing diverse audiences, are highly desired. Bilingual Spanish/English proficiency is required, with additional preference for proficiency in French.
Compensation and Benefits
The Museo de Arte de Ponce provides competitive compensation, with an anticipated start salary range of $150,000 to $175,000 with an auto allowance and annual holiday and performance bonuses. Benefits include health, medical, and dental insurance with Museo covering 90% of premiums; paid time off and parental leave, and short- and long-term disability insurance.
Applications and Inquiries
To submit a cover letter and resume with a summary of demonstrable accomplishments, please click here or visit artsconsulting.com/opensearches. For questions or general inquiries about this job opportunity, please contact:
Renée Danger-James, Vice President
1040 First Avenue, Suite 352
New York, New York 10022-2991
Tel (888) 234.4236 Ext. 212
Museo de Arte de Ponce provides Equal Employment Opportunity and does not discriminate against any employee or job applicant on the basis of race, color, political or religious beliefs, age, sex, national origin, social status, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, victim status or perceived victim status of domestic violence or sexual assault, stalking, genetic information, mental, nervous, physical or sensory impairment, or veteran status.
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