Ellen Salpeter Directs the New ICA Miami
Introduction to Ellen Salpeter: 1:01 min. Photo: Elman + Zummar. Music: Carmen Cicero.
Ellen Salpeter assumed the role of Director at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami (“ICA Miami”) in December 2015. She brings over 20 years of leadership experience advancing the missions of a wide range of nonprofit arts organizations, working to strengthen community outreach and engagement, increase cultural partnerships, and build diverse audiences and financial bases of support. At ICA Miami, Salpeter oversees the museum’s calendar of exhibitions and public programs, its growing contemporary art collection, and forthcoming move to its new, permanent home in the Miami Design District, opening in December 2017. During her first year of leadership, she directed the launch of the Art + Research Center, a new graduate-level educational initiative dedicated to exploring topical issues in social justice and the environment in relation to contemporary art. Salpeter is also spearheading an operational campaign to support and ensure the long-term sustainability of the new institution.
Salpeter joined ICA Miami from the Jewish Museum in New York, where as Deputy Director, External Affairs, from 2012 to 2015, she helped to forge a new institutional vision, and expand and diversify its audiences and fundraising streams. Salpeter oversaw development, community engagement, visitor experience, marketing, communications, and special events. Among her achievements at the art museum was the management of its strategic planning process and its rebranding, including new graphic identity, award-winning website and innovative digital initiatives.
Prior to the Jewish Museum, Salpeter was the Director of Heart of Brooklyn, a partnership of leading cultural institutions located in central Brooklyn—including Brooklyn Botanic Garden, Brooklyn Children’s Museum, Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn Public Library, Prospect Park, and Prospect Park Zoo—which she helped to found in 2001. For over a decade, Salpeter led Heart of Brooklyn’s innovative initiatives, which broke new ground for community development and cultural partnerships. The organization was recognized with a National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award, the highest honor for out-of-school youth arts programs in the nation.
Previously, Salpeter was Director of Thread Waxing Space from 1994 through 2000, a nonprofit arts and education space in New York that presents works of art not ordinarily accessible to the public, and supports emerging artists. She established its traveling exhibition and education programs. She also served as Co-Founder and Vice President of BRAT, a nonprofit public arts organization. Salpeter has consulted for a range of cultural organizations, including the Judd Foundation, The Drawing Center, and Artist’s Space, among others, providing strategic management and development services as well as short- and long-term strategic planning.
Salpeter currently serves on the boards of the Judd Foundation, which maintains and preserves Donald Judd’s permanently installed living and working spaces, libraries, and archives in New York and Marfa, Texas; Participant, Inc., an alternative arts and education space; The Builders Association, a New York-based performance and media company that creates original productions based on stories drawn from contemporary life; and she Co-Chairs the Advisory Board of STREB Laboratory for Action Mechanics (SLAM), a community space and performance venue for artistic experimentation.
The videos below are organized by topic and run between 30 seconds and 3 minutes. Click on any video. You must be connected to the Internet to view the videos.
SEIZES OPPORTUNITIES: 1:55 min.
Can you describe the arc of your career?
VALUES LEARNING OPPORTUNITIES: 1:48 min.
What did you learn in school that impacted your career?
EXPOSURE TO BROAD INFLUENCES: 1:08 min.
What was your first exposure to art?
INSIGHT & INSPIRATION: 0:45 sec.
Who have been your role models or influencers?
COLLABORATION: 2:30 min.
Could you talk about your commitment to building bridges within the Miami community and other instutions?
CRITICAL THINKING: 1:39 min.
What role would you like to play in expanding the visual literacy of Miami?
COLLABORATION: 1:08 min.
What is the opportunity for collaboration and cooperation among the various Miami art institutions?
COLLABORATION: 0:34 sec.
What is the interaction between the ICA and Miami’s major art collectors?
FLEXIBILITY: 0:50 sec.
Do you see the ICA as an international, national or regional presence?
RESPECTS OTHER POINTS OF VIEW: 0:31 sec.
Do you plan to curate any of the exhibitions?
UNDERSTANDS THE AUDIENCE POINT OF VIEW: 3:08 min.
How would describe the programming you will be doing in the new ICA space?
CRITICAL THINKING: 1:01 min.
Will the ICA have a permanent collection?
INSIGHT & INSPIRATION: 0:26 sec.
What’s different and exciting for you about the Miami community?
COMMUNITY VALUES: 2:47 min.
What is the ICA’s strategy for engaging the Miami audience?
COMMUNITY VALUES: 1:04 min.
What is the ICA’s approach to community outreach?
OVERCOMES CHALLENGES TO SUCCEED: 2:46 min.
Can you describe a difficult situation with a successful outcome?