16 Sep 2021


Senior Director of Communications and Partnerships

Art21  New York, New York, United States

Art21 New York jobs

Job Description

The Senior Director of Communications and Partnerships is a new role at Art21 aimed at expanding the reach of its visual arts programming and educational content as a component of its recent strategic plan.

As a member of a small, high-producing team (currently 11 full-time staff, not including this role), the Senior Director of Communications and Partnerships is a rich opportunity for a creative and entrepreneurial relationship-builder who will be able to build on an already strong brand and broaden its distribution.

They will join the leadership team of this small, vibrant organization alongside the Chief Operating Officer and Executive Director, both of whom will supervise this role.

The ideal candidate will bring strong working knowledge of media distribution channels and would also benefit greatly from knowledge of the education and/or cultural spaces.


About Art21

Art21 is a celebrated global leader in presenting thought-provoking and sophisticated content about contemporary art, and the go-to place to learn first-hand from the artists of our time. A nonprofit organization, Art21’s mission is to inspire a more creative world through the works and words of contemporary artists.

Art21 provides unparalleled access to the artist’s voice to diverse audiences around the world, using the power of digital media to introduce millions of people to contemporary art and artists. For over two decades, Art21 has changed the paradigm for teaching and learning about the creative process.

In addition to its Peabody Award-winning PBS-broadcast television series “Art in the Twenty-First Century,” Art21 produces the digital film series “New York Close Up” and “Extended Play”; and special artist projects including the Peabody Award-winning feature “William Kentridge: Anything Is Possible.” Art21 also creates educational resources and professional development programs; annual public programming; an online publication featuring guest contributors; and a comprehensive website at Art21.org.


Job Description

The Senior Director of Communications and Partnerships reports to the Chief Operating Officer and Executive Director and oversees all marketing and communications initiatives for the organization as well as licensing, royalties, and distribution partnerships—all with the aim of finding creative ways to celebrate and enhance all the work of Art21. As a member of the senior team, the role has two direct reports: Director of Digital and Associate Manager of Digital Communications. They work closely with the Director of Development on earned income streams and fundraising campaigns; with the Director of Video Programming and Production on promotional tools and graphics packages; and with the Manager of Education Initiatives on Screening Society and other programs.


Essential Job Functions

The following functions are not intended to serve as a comprehensive list of all functions performed by this position but represent a summary of the primary duties and responsibilities. Incumbent(s) may not be required to perform all duties listed and may be required to perform additional, position-specific duties as needed.


Organizational Strategy

  • Develop a cohesive strategy for multi-platform expansion and innovation
  • Maintain established earned income streams while generating new earned revenue opportunities
  • Work with the Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer to develop and oversee strategic initiatives as assigned
  • Identify opportunities for Art21 film catalogue and events package



  • Institute a protocol for identifying potential partnerships, and design standard partnership activation guidelines (list sharing, audience metrics/segments, logo placements, crediting, curation, etc.)
  • Initiate and oversee new and existing partnerships and negotiate terms/contracts
  • Develop criteria and templates for licensing and distribution agreements; maintain contract database
  • Serve as the main point of contact for relationships with distributors and outside sales agents
  • Establish a program for marketing films to museums, schools, and other education and cultural entities
  • Respond to all questions about film usage, and build a comprehensive guide to establish rates and rights


Marketing, Communications, and Brand

  • Expand audience through initiatives and communication strategies, particularly by activating strategies around special Art21 moments (including identifying those moments)
  • Oversee all design and visual identity work across departments to allow for brand continuity, and seek opportunities to create compelling storytelling assets from existing content, such as film reels, best-of videos, etc.
  • Lead the design and execution of key marketing campaigns and deliverables including the annual report (along with the Development team), trailers, promotional videos, and seasonal messaging
  • Work with the Development team on branding and identity of any major fundraising initiatives and events (including but not limited to Gala and Film festivals)
  • Contribute to and ensure consistency of organizational voice and storytelling
  • Oversee media strategy and execution including social, paid, and organic content; work with outside publicist or PR firm as needed
  • Oversee advertising campaigns and press releases as needed
  • Create and implement a lead generation strategy to drive newsletter sign ups and other direct communication subscriptions as appropriate


Programming & Events

  • Oversee budget and strategy for submission of Art21 short films to festivals
  • Develop events calendar with COO in conversation with Development, Education, and Curatorial
  • Work with leadership and staff to determine how film festivals (internal and external) fit into the overall Art21 communications strategy
  • Act as a thought partner on determination of release schedules



  • Create and maintain annual marketing, digital, and communications budget with input from ED and COO
  • Assist with building project budgets for communications/web/tech-related projects and fundraising campaigns
  • Build and maintain a shared events calendar across departments
  • Oversee research and execution of translation and accessibility initiatives; help Development team set a realistic budget
  • Work with development and legal on licensing and corporate funding contracts



  • Comfort in an externally facing role while maintaining a deep appreciation for the internal workings of the organization
  • Ability to work as part of a small, collaborative, and high-producing team
  • Clear understanding of Art21’s content and catalogue
  • Compelling, audience-centric storytelling ability
  • Team building experience
  • 6-8 years of experience

Not sure you meet 100% of our qualifications? Research shows that men apply for jobs when they meet an average of 60% of the criteria. Yet, women and other people who are systematically marginalized tend to only apply if they meet every requirement. If you believe that you could excel in this role, we encourage you to apply.

We are dedicated to considering a broad array of candidates, including those with diverse workplace experiences and backgrounds. Whether you’re new to arts and culture administration, returning to work after a gap in employment, simply looking to transition, or take the next step in your career path, we will be glad to have you on our radar.

Please use your cover letter to tell us about your interest in the arts and culture space and what you hope to bring to this role.



Salary is commensurate with experience, with an approximate budget of $105,000-125,000, as well as a generous benefits package including medical, dental, vision, and life insurance, as well as a 403b.


Application Instructions

The search for the Senior Director of Communications and Partnerships is being conducted on behalf of the Art21 by Tom O’Connor Consulting Group, a New York-based executive search and consulting firm specializing in the arts and culture industries.

To apply, email your cover letter, salary requirements, and resume as a single PDF file to jobs@tomocgroup.com with “Art21” in the subject line.

Please name the file using the template of “Last Name, First Name.” Cover letter should include relevant experience, how you became aware of the position, and any direct experience you have had with similar positions and institutions.

No phone calls please.


Full-Time Job in Arts and Culture:
Senior Director of Communications and Partnerships
 New York, New York, United States

Job Categories: Arts and Culture. Job Types: Full-Time. Job Tags: arts, arts administration, communication, director, and marketing. States: New York.
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