Chief Producer - Institute of Contemporary Arts

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About us

INSTITUTE OF CONTEMPORARY ARTS 

The Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA) was founded in London 74 years ago – and our progressive model is constantly adapting to our world today. Our agenda-setting programme continues to position artists and thinkers at the centre of all our activities: as partners, participants and audiences.

The ICA has historically anchored its programme within the socioeconomic conditions of our times. As we face some of the most complex ecological, economic and social-justice challenges ever seen, both nationally and globally, this critical approach is needed more than ever. The ICA is invested in our progressive vision of an organisation where different cultural modes of production – exhibitions, performance, cinema and film, theatre, music, architecture, design and more – support and thrive on engagement with each other.


About the job

PURPOSE OF THE ROLE

We are seeking a talented, inspiring and experienced producer to lead on the management, development, planning and delivery of the ICA programme at one of the most exciting moments in our history – the eve of the ICA’s 75th anniversary. 

The Chief Producer will report directly to the Executive Director and the Managing Director, and is a unique opportunity to produce a cross-arts programme of major new work at one of the world’s leading arts institutions. 

The successful candidate will oversee the delivery of the ICA’s multi-disciplinary programme, leading and managing the ICA’s Curatorial team in a producer capacity. This programme includes all artistic work conceived by the Curatorial team: exhibitions, performance, music, film, moving image, talks, events and work created for and/or presented in Cinema 3, our new digital space. The new Chief Producer will ensure that the programme is delivered in line with both the Executive Director’s artistic vision and the organisation’s values while ensuring high-quality delivery within the ICA’s capacities, timelines and budgets.

 

About what you'll do

MAIN DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES

Curatorial Team Line Management

  • Lead the Curatorial team, overseeing their productions to produce an ambitious, integrated and progressive programme, ensuring all projects are delivered on time within resource levels and budget.
  • Lead on the ICA’s annual programme planning process, ensuring that all programmes are in line with clearly defined planning cycles for both physical and digital programming, as well as off-site and touring programmes.
  • Plan and forecast curatorial programming to ensure that key programmes are committed to an agreed and fixed timeline, in advance.  
  • Maintain responsibility for the ICA’s programme calendar, ensuring an evenly spaced programme across the year, taking into account internal activity, city-wide and international cultural clashes.
  • Manage the ICA Curatorial budget across all programme strands, reporting monthly to the Finance Director.
  • Review and sign off all artist and collaborator contracts originated by each Curator and ensure that contractual obligations are met and followed.
  • Determine the Curatorial team’s workload priorities, communicating them regularly and effectively to other key team members and the SMT. 
  • Report monthly on programme sales and other evaluation metrics against agreed KPIs.
  • Work with the SMT to fulfil the ICA’s responsibilities as an Arts Council England National Portfolio Organisation, compiling reports and programme information.
  • Provide line-management HR support to all Curators, managing their holidays, absences, performance reviews, and individual KPIs. 

Key Project Leadership

  • Oversee the delivery of all ICA programmes including major projects and exhibitions, approving the scope and contracts with artists and other high-profile collaborators.
  • Oversee the Curatorial, Operations and Technical teams to deliver four exhibitions a year to the highest standards. 
  • Assist the Director of Operations and Visitor Services to help ensure that our visitor service standards are excellent and our Front of House and Visitor Services teams are well informed.
  • Lead on the management of the Touring programme for ICA exhibitions and projects with a network of UK and international venues, maximising exposure, audiences, profile and revenue. 

Internal Communications

  • Seek and gain sign-off for all proposed ICA programming from artistic, resource and budget perspectives. 
  • Ensure clear and timely communication of ideas and narratives behind programmes to key internal leads. 
  • Support the promotion of the ICA programme, ensuring each Curator delivers timely and required communications, marketing and PR information for all platforms.
  • Brief the Technical, Production, Operations and Visitor Services teams on the programme schedule and its key requirements, advising on staffing needs (both internal and freelance). 
  • Manage the internal KPI and programme evaluation process to ensure continuous learning and improvement.
  • Present the Curatorial team’s priorities, successes and learnings at the monthly all-staff meetings, together with individual Curators. 

Funding and Audience Development 

  • Work closely with the SMT and the Development teams to seek additional sources of funding to initiate key programmes. 
  • Strategise with the SMT and the Curatorial, Development, Communications teams to generate ideas for the ICA’s audience development and membership strategies.
  • Support making presentations to sponsors, partners, grant-giving bodies, donors, specialist groups, staff and others about the ICA’s future programme.
  • Host key stakeholders at ICA events, including donor and partner events.
  • Attend on-site and off-site events with key ICA stakeholders, including donors.


About you

PERSON SPECIFICATION

You will have most or all of these skills, qualities and experiences, and will be able to demonstrate and discuss them in your application and/or at interview: 

  • A demonstrable track record of producing high-quality programmes in the cultural sector.
  • Experience of translating artistic plans into reality while simultaneously managing multiple budgets and timelines.
  • Proven team leadership and management skills within an organisational context.
  • Proven experience of working within complex venues and/or cultural production sites. 
  • An ability to inspire and motivate academic and creative team members.
  • Proven experience of managing annual budgets in excess of £1 million.
  • Excellent networking skills, with both advocacy and awareness of fundraising requirements.
  • Experience of artist management and contractual negotiations.
  • Experience of working with curators, artists, academics and creative directors.
  • High levels of articulacy, communication skills and political and cultural sensitivity.
  • Proven creative-thinking and problem-solving abilities.
  • A strong commitment to equality, social justice and racial justice in both the cultural sector and the wider world.
  • The ability to engage strategically while paying keen attention to detail.
  • A passion for the ICA, its history and its importance within today’s cultural landscape, both nationally and internationally.

 

 

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