Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (BAMPFA)
Director, Berkeley, CA
BACKGROUND AND CONTEXT
Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive
Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (BAMPFA) is the present-day incarnation of the oldest still-operating art museum on the West Coast. Bacon Hall Library and Museum was the third building on the UC Berkeley campus and opened in 1881. In 1963, renowned abstract expressionist painter Hans Hofmann pledged a selection of nearly 50 of his own paintings and $250,000 on the condition that the University construct a proper facility to house the collection. After 46 years in a building designed by Mario Ciampi, in 2016 BAMPFA moved to its current facility: a celebrated complex designed by Diller Scofidio Renfro that transformed a historic printing plant into exhibition galleries and added new areas for film theaters, study spaces, and a library.
Today, the art museum presents contemporary and historical exhibitions of artwork and artists from around the world, and the film archive presents rare, classic, and new films while serving as a center for film research and preservation. Each year, BAMPFA presents more than 20 gallery exhibitions and over 450 film programs.
In conjunction with its major exhibitions, BAMPFA develops extensive public programs and has embarked on key initiatives to provide the community with accessible and engaging arts programs including a school field trip program for second- and third-grade students in the Berkeley Unified and West Contra Costa school districts and hands-on workshops tailored for families and multigenerational audiences. A lynchpin in the Downtown Arts District, BAMPFA benefits from the cultural hub it shares with the Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Aurora Theatre Company, California Jazz Conservatory, Freight & Salvage Coffeehouse, the UC Theatre, and Zellerbach Hall the home venue for Cal Performances. Having effectively stimulated the revitalization of Downtown Berkeley, the Downtown Arts District is now expanding beyond its original boundaries.
BAMPFA's collection of more than 20,000 art objects and 17,500 films and videos is characterized by themes of artistic innovation, intellectual exploration, and social commentary reflecting the central role of education in BAMPFA's mission. Representing a tremendous diversity of global cultures and historical periods, the collection has particular strengths in Ming and Qing dynasty Chinese painting; Mughal dynasty Indian miniature painting; Baroque painting; Old Master prints and drawings; early American painting; 19th- and early 20th-century photography; conceptual art and international contemporary art; African American quilts; classic and international cinema; West Coast avant-garde film; international animation; Soviet cinema; Japanese film (featuring the largest corpus of Japanese film outside of Japan); and early video art.
The renowned MATRIX Program for Contemporary Art has, since 1978, been a venue for innovative works by important emerging artists including pioneering exhibitions in the emerging medium of digital art. MATRIX provides the spontaneity and flexibility of a small-scale, short-term format.
Each year, approximately 450 film screenings offer opportunities to discover and explore cinema from every film-producing country in the world. Internationally renowned, BAMPFA's film archive presents rare and rediscovered prints of movie classics, historic and new works by the world's great film directors, restored silent films with live musical accompaniment, thematic retrospectives, and innovative works made by today's film, video, and new media artists working in the areas of documentary, experimental, and fiction film as well as animation. Film screenings are often enlivened by in-person appearances by filmmakers, authors, critics, and scholars who engage in discussion with audiences. BAMPFA also hosts East Bay screenings of the San Francisco International Film Festival, the African Diaspora International Film Festival, Frameline's San Francisco International LGBTQ Film Festival, and CAAMFest, a festival of Asian American film.
The Director provides overall artistic vision, leadership, and management for BAMPFA and its annual operating budget of approximately $11 million ($2.5 million provided by the University), the 118,000-square-foot facility, and 59 professional and 250 work-study student staff across seven functional areas: Development, Art Curatorial, Film Curatorial, Collections, Administration, Communications, and Education. The Director reports directly to the University Chancellor and works closely with BAMPFA's 41-member Board. The Director encourages and inspires excellence in all BAMPFA activities including exhibitions, acquisitions, collection management, and research and interpretation while exploring new ways in which art, film, and other media can intersect and be presented to the University campus and public audiences.
University of California, Berkeley
Founded in 1868, born out of a vision in the State Constitution of a university that would "contribute even more than California's gold to the glory and happiness of advancing generations", the University of California, Berkeley ("Berkeley") exceeded those early aspirations and became the top-ranked public university and the fourth-best institution overall among public and private universities in the global rankings of U.S. News & World Report. An international model for high-quality, accessible public higher education, Berkeley is distinguished by its combination of world-class academic and research excellence, the transformative opportunity it provides to a large and diverse student body, a public mission and commitment to equity and social justice, and a distinctly Californian ethos animated by such values as innovation, questioning the status quo, and respect for the environment and nature. Since its founding, Berkeley has fueled a perpetual renaissance generating unparalleled intellectual, economic, and social value in California, the United States, and the world.
Integral to the University is an understanding that the diversity of the people of California and the variety of personal experiences, values, and world views that arise from differences of culture and circumstance has been a defining source of innovative ideas and creative accomplishments throughout the state's history into the present. Berkeley recognizes the intrinsic relationship between diversity and excellence in all its endeavors and strives to create a culture that is welcoming and inclusive of people of all races, ethnicities, genders, ages, religions, languages, political orientations, abilities/disabilities, sexual orientations, gender identities, socioeconomic statuses, geographic regions, and more. Excellence can only be fully realized by faculty, students, and staff who share a commitment to these values. Successful candidates for this position will demonstrate evidence of a commitment to advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion.
To learn more about the University, please visit https://www.berkeley.edu/.
Attuned to Berkeley as a university and community where history is made daily, discovery is anticipated, and change is normative, the Director will develop and drive an artistic vision that advances excellence to engage, even unify, the broadest audience possible with and through innovative programming.
A senior administrator at the University with an expansive mandate and a highly visible platform, the Director will: engage key stakeholders, such as the University campus community, the BAMPFA Board, colleagues in the arts, and the general public; further integrate BAMPFA into the educational and cultural life of the University and the region; ensure BAMPFA is regionally, nationally, and internationally relevant through partnerships, scholarship, and dynamic exhibitions, programs, and events; provide curatorial leadership regarding the care, development, and display of its collection; develop, empower, and work closely with a dedicated professional staff; envision and implement short-term and long-range strategic plans for its institutional stability and growth; and actively cultivate members and donors for BAMPFA.
Working in partnership with University faculty and students, BAMPFA staff, and the BAMPFA Board, the Director will promote and advance BAMPFA's mission, embrace the demanding social schedule of a cultural leader, and cultivate partners at home and abroad. The Director is expected to become a familiar and active presence in the greater Bay Area arts community as well as on the University campus. The Director will have the opportunity to enhance the collection and the robust exhibition programs and to play a key role in advancing the integration of the arts throughout the University campus.
PRIORITIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES
- Support innovative curation for both BAMPFA-originated shows and exhibitions that originate elsewhere but fulfill BAMPFA's mission.
- Cultivate relationships with artists and emergent movements in contemporary art and film.
- Exhibit and support a deep investment in alternative and marginalized perspectives that traditionally have been excluded from the museum space.
- Advance diversity in BAMPFA's curatorial practice and in its collection, programs, audience, staff, and Board.
- Advocate for partnerships within the Bay Area arts community.
- Engage and collaborate with peer institutions and collections in the international community.
- Promote BAMPFA broadly and increase its visibility.
- Advance BAMPFA as a major contributor to the University's educational mission.
- Foster synergies and collaborations across the University campus.
- Engage BAMPFA's stakeholders on the University campus faculty, students, staff, and living artists.
- Develop collaborative working relationships with the faculty, administration, and other key members of the University's staff in order to enhance broad-based support for BAMPFA.
- Support access to the collection through its preservation, scholarship, publications, website, and other media.
- Contribute to scholarship in the field.
- Report to the University Chancellor and work closely with the BAMPFA Board. Work with the University Administration to advocate for BAMPFA and enhance Berkeley's educational mission.
- Ensure transparent and regular communication between BAMPFA and the University.
- Communicate and meet regularly with the BAMPFA Board.
- Actively develop, oversee, and manage a fiscally responsible budget. Strive continuously for greater institutional stability and long-term sustainability.
- Manage direct reports as well as oversee, motivate, and further develop professional and student staff.
- Align whenever possible BAMPFA's strategic objectives with those of the University campus.
- Institute needed infrastructure to streamline efforts, attain goals, and support staff.
- Evaluate and invest in systems, technology, and training to ensure best practices and institutional success.
- Serve on appropriate committees of the University and participate in administrative meetings.
- Assume responsibility for the financial health and growth of BAMPFA by developing sustainable financial strategies to support ongoing and new initiatives.
- Establish, staff, and oversee an effective in-house development operation.
- Serve as the external face of BAMPFA to donors and prospects; working in partnership with the Director of Development and the University's institutional advancement staff, pursue support for operations and programs, new endowments, capital needs, and acquisitions of art.
- Cultivate, solicit, steward, and recruit new and existing members of the BAMPFA Board. Clearly communicate expectations and opportunities for Board members, and hold them accountable to commitments on BAMPFA's behalf.
- Identify opportunities to engage the University leadership to raise awareness of and support for BAMPFA.
- Conceive of new earned revenue and fundraising streams including corporate and membership support.
The Director will embrace the mission and values of BAMPFA and the University and will have the following experience and qualifications:
- Dynamic leadership skills; ability to take well-considered and tenable risks in pursuit of excellence;
- Demonstrated effective managerial experience, preferably in a museum environment; knowledge of AAM standards and practices;
- Demonstrated understanding of and commitment to the values of diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging;
- Ability to work with dynamic and diverse members of the University campus community including faculty, students, and staff;
- Expertise in one or more areas of art and film collected by BAMPFA; knowledge of and networks in the art and film worlds and their key participants; the ability to select, evaluate, and pursue works relevant to BAMPFA's mission;
- Commitment to arts in education and proficiency in working within and on behalf of an academic context; teaching experience a plus; a collaborative working style;
- Ability to lead, organize, delegate to, and support a professional staff; ability to work effectively with a museum board and liaise effectively with administrative bodies;
- Ability to serve as spokesperson and ambassador for the institution and its programs, with outstanding verbal and written communications skills; a practiced communicator who conveys information readily and often in order to ensure broad investment;
- An appetite for and experience in fundraising; capital campaign experience strongly desired;
- Advanced degree strongly preferred.
Please send applications or nominations to Sarah James or Becky Klein at BAMPFA@PhillipsOppenheim.com.