Administration provides management, oversight, and institutional strategic planning. Collectively, this group manages, leads, and oversees activities and policymaking, including programming, operations, fundraising, education, finances, and planning. This office also includes and supports the work of the Whitney’s Alice Pratt Brown Director and Chief Operating Officer.
Advancement is responsible for the strategic planning, management, and implementation of fundraising efforts in pursuit of building long-term relationships for the financial health of the Museum.
- Major Gifts and Planned Giving
The Major Gifts Program provides operating and program support from individuals and builds a pipeline of patronage for the Museum. Our Major Gifts team prioritizes developing and deepening relationships with individuals through one-of-a-kind access to the arts community. Participation in the Major Gifts Program usually begins with membership in one or more of our donor groups in the categories of The Whitney Leadership Council, The Whitney Affinity Committees, The Whitney’s Acquisition Committees, or by participating in The Whitney’s Planned Giving Program.
- Corporate Partnerships
The Corporate Partnerships Department cultivates relationships with local, national and international businesses and raises funds through corporate memberships and sponsorships. Corporate Members receive numerous employee benefits, including free admission for all employees, special access to Museum facilities and the opportunity to host events at the Museum.
- Foundations and Government Relations
The Foundations and Government Relations Department works with private foundations and government entities to raise funds for the Museum’s general operations, programs, and exhibitions. The Department works very closely with the Education, Conservation, Curatorial and Research Resources departments to identify long-term projects that advance the institutional strategic plan. The Department also works in collaboration with the Community Affairs Office to build relationships with local and state officials.
Special Events manages a full schedule of internal, external, and rental events. Among the many events produced each year are several major fundraisers for the Museum, including the Annual Gala and the Whitney Contemporaries Art Party.
Communications develops comprehensive strategies to maintain and enhance the Whitney’s profile as an innovative and influential cultural organization. The department works with local, national, and international media outlets and journalists to secure coverage for programs and activities, and plans and manages press events and other activities that raise awareness.
- Digital Media
Digital Media develops and maintains content and technology for whitney.org, third-party websites featuring original content, software applications and digital publications designed for mobile devices, and other uses of digital technology which allow audiences, off-site and on-site, to access information about the collection and programs.
- Graphic Design
Graphic Design develops and maintains the Whitney’s graphic identity through materials including advertising, promotional materials, signage, invitations, branded merchandise, mass mailings, publications, as well as whitney.org and other multimedia initiatives. The designers work closely with Curatorial to create wall graphics and ephemera materials for all exhibitions and performances
The conservation department functions as both a research and a service entity. Conservators examine and treat works of art from the collection; they also document, through personal interviews with artists and by analytical means, the materials and techniques historically and currently favored by American artists.
Curatorial has two primary activities: it oversees and guides the expansion of the collection of more than 23,000 works of art by more than 3,000 artists, and it organizes and generates exhibitions appropriate to the institution’s mission. In the service of this dual mission, curators produce scholarship and research on the collection, often working closely with other departments, such as Conservation and Documentation; author exhibition catalogues; cultivate and maintain relationships with artists; participate in public programs; and oversee loans.
Education provides programming and resources for a diverse audience to engage with art and artists and enrich their experiences at the Museum.
- Public Programs
Public Programs generates provocative, rigorous, experimental events that engage audiences in critical conversations on art and culture and involve artists at every level. Artists, architects, critics, writers, and scholars are invited to participate in a wide range of courses, workshops, lectures, conversations, symposia, performances, readings, and more participatory programs that respond to exhibitions and broader trends within American art and culture.
- Interpretation & Research
The Interpretation Program offers variety of in-gallery and online platforms—from wall text (developed in collaboration with Whitney curators) and multimedia tours to audio and video content on whitney.org—to engage and educate audience of levels and learning preferences. This department also oversees the Whitney Docents, who provide free daily tours of exhibitions and permanent collection displays, and the Joan Tisch Teaching Fellows, advanced graduate students who give public and private tours and design the Whitney’s art history courses.
- School, Youth, and Family Programs
K-12 School & Educator Programs at the Museum and in the classroom offer students and teachers opportunities to explore American art while learning from artists and each other. Programming includes inquiry-based guided tours, outreach programs, professional development workshops, and interdisciplinary resource materials. The Whitney offers free guided visits for New York City public schools and has nine long-term school partnerships.
- Youth Insights (YI) is an afterschool program serving New York City 10th-, 11th-, and 12th-grade students. The program brings teens together with contemporary artists, providing opportunities to work collaboratively, discuss art critically, think creatively, and make art inspired by this exchange. The Whitney also offers free drop-in artmaking programs for teens.
- Family Programs encourage children and their parents or caregivers to observe, discuss, and explore art together while developing a sense of lifelong experimentation, critical thinking, and creative expression. Through workshops, events, hands-on activities, and tours, participants work directly with contemporary artists, museum educators, and one another. The Department also produces Family Guides, online content, and multimedia programs for select exhibitions.
- Access and Community Programs
The Museum seeks to give every visitor an equal opportunity to experience the art on view. To this end we offer a menu of exhibition resources and tours to enhance accessibility, including infrared assistive listening devices and other assistive technology initiatives, large-print labels, transcripts, and video captioning, as well as American Sign Language tours and video blogs, verbal description and touch tours, and access collaboratives with schools and other institutions.
- Through community partnerships, the Whitney establishes and maintains long-term relationships with neighbors, connecting diverse communities to modern and contemporary American art and building an audience that is as diverse as New York City.
Exhibitions and Collections Management
Exhibitions and Collections Management provides a wide range of support services to ensure the realization of exhibitions and programs, the long-term preservation and protection of works of art, and the safety and security of staff and visitors.
Exhibitions coordinates exhibition production, manages domestic and international touring exhibitions, and provides audio-visual and carpentry support for exhibitions, educational programs, events, and staff. Exhibitions staff arrange project planning meetings; write and negotiate contracts; prepare and manage budgets; set exhibition dates and installation schedules; update and maintain the long-term exhibition schedule; design and oversee the construction of temporary walls and furniture; and install and operate audio, film, and video equipment for exhibitions, programs, and general operations.
Registration ensures the long-term care of the collection and works of art on loan by following professional standards, principles, and procedures contained in the Collections Management Policy. The Registrars maintain best practices while coordinating arrangements for packing, crating, shipping, framing, and insuring works of art for exhibition, acquisition, storage, or loan.
- Art Handling
Art Handling installs, prepares, and cares for works of art, ensuring proper procedures for safely handling specific kinds of objects while framing, matting, rehousing, packing, crating, shipping, installing, and de-installing. Art handlers are responsible for the management of art storage areas, including the 100,000-square foot offsite art warehouse.
Facilities is responsible for the general maintenance and repair of the physical building as well as providing support services related to the daily operation, mailroom management, loading dock oversight, lighting installation in the galleries, purchase of office supplies, and assistance with set-ups for large meetings, special events, and programs. The department also ensures that the buildings are kept at a high level of cleanliness and that mechanical operations are maintained according to local, state, and national codes.
Finance, Treasury, and Accounting
Finance, Treasury, and Accounting departments are responsible for the Museum’s operating and capital budgets, financial planning and analysis, oversight of investments including the museum’s endowment portfolio, liquidity and working capital management, record keeping, financial reporting and Museum-wide financial risk management.
- Finance and Treasury
Responsibilities include developing annual operating budgets to meet short- and long-term institutional objectives; monitoring financial performance across program and operating areas; providing periodic reforecasts and identifying emerging opportunities/risks; providing financial guidance to departments in determining allocation of resources; maintaining long-range financial models; and developing performance metrics and other benchmarking to enable effective reporting to senior staff and the Board of Trustees.
The responsibilities of the accounting function include managing a documented system of accounting policies and procedures; preparing monthly and year-end financial statements, footnotes, and required disclosures; managing the annual audit; processing, recording, and reconciling cash receipts, expenditures, receivables, and payables; accounting for long- and short-term investment portfolios; developing internal controls to safeguard assets and assure integrity of financial reporting; processing payroll; coordinating completion of tax and regulatory reporting; and assisting with financial reporting to donors, including foundations and government agencies.
Human Resources is responsible for recruitment, hiring, orientation/ new staff onboarding, wage & salary administration, employee benefits, staff training & professional development, labor union relations, intern and volunteer programs, and the overall Whitney staff experience.
IT oversees and maintains the Whitney’s computer systems, including desktops, laptops, and network servers. In doing so, the department manages network infrastructure, information security, data storage and backup, software applications, telecommunications circuits, wireless access for visitors and staff, smart phones and tablets, telephones and fax machines, copiers and printers, and cabling and peripheral equipment. IT is responsible for technology purchases and consults with staff to meet technology needs, and works in concert with the Curatorial Department and our artists to deploy technology for exhibitions.
The General Counsel and legal team advise the Board, Director, and various Museum departments. Legal oversees a range of policy matters including tax, governance, compliance, intellectual property and copyright. The legal team also drafts, negotiates and reviews donor, vendor, acquisition, leases, and other agreements, updates museum policies, and handles insurance claims and litigation.
Publications creates the Museum’s exhibition and collection catalogues and sets the Museum’s editorial style for all printed materials. Through essays, reproductions, design, and close collaborations with curators and artists, our catalogues advance new scholarship, highlight the holdings of the institution, and serve as a lasting record of exhibitions. Titles are distributed both domestically and internationally by Yale University Press, the Whitney’s trade publishing partner.
- Rights and Reproductions
Rights and Reproductions (R&R) is responsible for maintaining image assets pertaining to the permanent collection, including digital photography, transparencies, and slides. R&R grants permission, handles licensing, and provides imagery for publications to staff as well as numerous institutions, individuals, and publishers. R&R also oversees new installation photography, advises other departments on copyright clearance protocols, and supplies images for the website and traveling exhibitions.
Research Resources provides access and information to primary resources related to the Museum’s history, collections, and programming. Comprised of the Permanent Collection Documentation Office, the Frances Mulhall Achilles Library, archives, and special collections, the department fulfills research needs for staff and members of the scholarly and museum communities.
Strategy & Planning
The Strategy & Planning department is responsible for defining and delivering against key strategic, operational and financial targets in an integrated and constituent-centric manner. Responsible for guiding strategic plan development and implementation, the department works closely with Finance to envision and operationalize a sustainable long-range financial model for the museum.
Marketing manages the Whitney brand and creates promotional campaigns to drive attendance. This work includes marketing/advertising via print, digital, social media and email; analyzing attendance and conducting market research to inform long-term audience development; creating and negotiating promotional partnerships; identifying and developing opportunities in tourist markets; and cultivating and maintaining relationships with local residents, businesses, and organizations.
The Whitney’s membership offering is designed to engage members at every level and to grow the lifetime value of our audiences. As of 2017, this team serves more than 55,000 members through lectures, tours, gallery walks, exhibition openings, and preview days.
- Business Systems
Business Systems provides technology solutions to effectively support a variety of Museum departments to help meet overall business objectives. It provides oversight to a number of areas including Information Technology, Information Systems, Data Management and Reporting and Analytics.
- Research & Analysis
Research & Analysis (R&A) acts as the museum’s centralized resource for data analysis and interpretation. This involves both running our ongoing audience research programs and supporting cross-museum strategic priorities. R&A deploys quantitative and qualitative methodologies to better understand the demographics, psychographics, behaviors and experiences of our visitors. R&A also partners with other departments and external consultants, building both the mindset and capabilities to embrace institutional use of data and fact-based decision making.
Visitor Experience is the face of the museum and manages all the primary touchpoints between visitors and the Whitney. The Visitor Experience team interacts with and guides visitors through the museum safely and functions as the voice of the institution. Every time visitors enter the museum, the Visitor Experience team is a defining part of their connection to the art on view, and the museum as a whole.
The Retail team manages the Whitney Shop, creates and produces all Whitney merchandise, works closely with other teams to offer merchandise that informs exhibitions, and designs merchandise to tell the story of art in our collection and exhibitions.
- Visitor Services
The Visitor Services Team manages ticketing, group tour planning, and all visitor activities in the galleries. VS team members are stationed in the lobby to engage visitors, answer questions, and help the visitor experience flow smoothly. As the first interaction with new visitors, this team is responsible for fostering the first impressions of the Whitney and maintaining positive relationships with the visitors.
The Security team’s primary responsibility at the museum is dedication to the safety of the visitors, staff, and art at all times. Whitney Guards are responsible for watching the safety of art and visitors in the galleries as well as providing direction and answering visitor questions.
- Gallery Assistants
The Whitney Gallery Assistants aim to engage visitors directly with works of art. A constant presence in the galleries, the Gallery Assistants invite conversation and discussions about works of art, answer questions and offer insight, as well as ensure the general safety of visitors and works of art.