Art museums across the country to hire technology talent, expand audience engagement efforts with nearly $1 million from Knight Foundation – Knight Foundation

Art museums across the country to hire technology talent, expand audience engagement efforts with nearly $1 million from Knight Foundation

Photo courtesy of the Detroit Institute of Arts.

MIAMI – April 25, 2018 – How can we use technology to better engage people in the arts? Eight museums are committing to answering this question by adding new digital staff as part of a $970,000 effort announced today by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. 

Many art museums across the country lack internal digital expertise and capacity, hindering their ability to leverage technology to engage audiences, experiment and take risks. The eight new digital-focused positions supported by Knight Foundation aim to fill this gap. The staff will be chiefly responsible for helping their respective institutions conceive, plan and implement digital strategies that improve the visitor experience and expand audiences.

“The arts have the rare power to bring diverse communities together, provoke personal reflection, and inspire new ways of thinking,” said Victoria Rogers, Knight Foundation vice president for the arts. “Our hope is that these dedicated digital staffers will help art institutions better reach and engage audiences by meeting them where they are: on the technological devices they use every day.” 

The eight positions are at the following locations:


  • The Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture – Director of Technology Innovation


  • The Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit – Tech + New Media Curator
  • Detroit Institute of Arts – Digital Experience Designer


  • Lowe Art Museum at the University of Miami – Director for Digital Engagement Strategies
  • The Wolfsonian at Florida International University – Digital Projects & Community Organizer


  • Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts – Director of Museum Technology
  • The Fabric Workshop and Museum – Museum Technologist

San Jose, California

  • San Jose Museum of Art – Manager of Interactive Technology

“These eight institutions have shown a commitment to impressive progress in harnessing the power of technology to engage audiences both in and outside museum doors,” said Chris Barr, director of arts at Knight Foundation. “With their continued appetite for innovation and new technological expertise available on staff, we anticipate these museums will achieve powerful results that could redefine their audience engagement strategies in the digital era.” 

Funding for these positions is part of Knight Foundation’s arts and technology initiative, which aims to help arts institutions better meet changing audience expectations and use digital tools to help people better experience and delight in the arts. Knight, which promotes informed and engaged communities, has helped institutions from newsrooms to libraries adapt and thrive in the digital age. This initiative expands the foundation’s use of its digital expertise to help arts institutions build stronger, more vibrant communities.

For more about the Knight Foundation arts program, visit

About the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

Knight Foundation supports transformational ideas that promote quality journalism, advance media innovation, engage communities and foster the arts. Knight Foundation invests in ideas and projects that can lead to transformational change. The foundation believes that democracy thrives when people and communities are informed and engaged. For more, visit

Anusha Alikhan, Knight Foundation, 305-908-2646, [email protected]