Based in Los Angeles, California, the AltaMed Health Services’ (AltaMed) mission is to eliminate disparities in health care access and outcomes by providing superior quality health and human services through an integrated world-class delivery system for multiethnic and underserved communities in Southern California. AltaMed operates over 50 primary care and dental clinics in Orange and Los Angeles Counties.
AltaMed has its roots in the Brown Berets in East Los Angeles who built the East LA Barrio Free Clinic in 1969, allowing the Spanish-speaking community access to quality, affordable healthcare in their native language. AltaMed expanded beyond the first clinic to work towards eliminating barriers to access medical services and ensure that historically vulnerable neighborhoods and communities have access to quality healthcare. AltaMed works to provide culturally and linguistically appropriate care and create workforce pipelines, while advocating for healthcare policy and voter rights.
As part of its holistic approach to healthcare, AltaMed exhibits AltaMed’s Art Collection (Collection), which is curated in the AltaMed corporate offices in City of Commerce, CA, but also throughout its clinics and service sites whose subjects reflect the diverse communities they serve. The arts are used in a variety of ways to heal emotional injuries, build empathy, develop an introspective capacity, and alter thinking patterns. Engagement with art helps reduce stress and depression and can alleviate the burden of illness. The collection is comprised of approximately 4,000 works of art in various media, including prints, paintings, photographs, drawings, sculpture, and mixed media. AltaMed hires artists to teach classes to its patients, and commissions artists to create murals and sculptures at its clinics. AltaMed also regularly loans its artwork to exhibitions that travel around the U.S. and the world, and curates local and global exhibitions, often working with guest curators.
In 2018, the AltaMed Art Collection collaborated with the Instituto Nacional de Bellas Artes y Literatura in Mexico to co-create the traveling exhibition Building Bridges in Time of Walls, across 7 cities throughout Mexico, highlighting commonalities between Los Angeles and Mexico by showcasing works of nearly 30 Chicanx and Latinx artists from Los Angeles and the U.S. Additionally in 2022-23, AltaMed presented 54 diverse works of Chicanx art from its collection entitled In Your Face: Chicano Art After CARA (Chicano Art: Resistance and Affirmation) in collaboration with the Embassy of Mexico and Instituto Cervantes in Rome, Italy and the Mexican Cultural Institute in Berlin, Germany. The exhibition is currently on exhibit in Madrid, Spain, in collaboration with the Embassy of Mexico in Spain as part of the city’s Veranos de la Villa festival.
In 2024, AltaMed will open a 25,000 sq. ft art space in Montebello, CA that will provide cultural and educational programming to serve the local community as well as the larger arts community. The space will support students, scholars, collectors, and museum professionals at all levels, host scholarly presentations tied to the collection, offer studio space to artists, and serve as a meeting space and extensive open storage. By 2028, AltaMed expects to break ground on a Chicanx Art Museum located in downtown Los Angeles. The future museum will be the first of its kind to focus exclusively on modern and contemporary Chicanx art in Los Angeles.
The Curator is part of a 5-person team lead by Associate Vice President and Chief Curator Susana Smith Bautista, and operates within the Office of the CEO.
AltaMed provides health care services throughout southeast Los Angeles County. Its art collection is currently housed in its corporate offices in the City of Commerce, located between downtown Los Angeles and Montebello, and in its over 50 health care clinics located throughout Los Angeles and Orange Counties. By 2028, the AltaMed Art Collection will open a museum space in downtown Los Angeles. Downtown Los Angeles is a rapidly regentrifying vibrant and diverse cultural hub, featuring world-renowned museums and galleries, performing arts organizations, and a burgeoning residential culture. Downtown LA is constantly evolving and also home to a thriving street art scene and with galleries and studios showcasing the work of local artists.
Sources: lachamber.com; altamedfoundation.org
Reporting to the AVP and Chief Curator, the AltaMed Art Collection (Collection) Curator is responsible for researching, interpreting, exhibiting, and promoting the Collection, which includes approximately 4,000 works of art in various media. The Curator will steward the Collection, with a focus on ongoing programming, tours, cultural exchange, and all internal and external exhibitions and programs. In addition to planning for the opening of two new facilities, the Curator will strategically assist in acquiring influential and impactful works of art to expand the Collection. The Curator will oversee the establishment of ongoing and educational partnerships and collaborate to develop Latinx-centered educational and outreach programming, fully incorporated and reflective of all curated exhibitions. The Curator will champion cross-cultural and cross-disciplinary perspectives to highlight the relevance of AltaMed’s collection, and a have passion for the strategic inclusionary growth of the Collection across styles and genres in the field of Chicanx and modern contemporary Latinx art and culture to fill the gap that currently exists in the field.
Roles and Responsibilities
Collections, Exhibitions, and Education
- Steward and curate the AltaMed Art Collection, consisting primarily of modern and contemporary Chicanx art at AltaMed’s corporate office, in all clinics and service centers and in all future exhibition and museum spaces.
- Envision a curatorial strategy to attract and engage a broad audience through exhibitions, academic lectures, public talks, tours, conferences, publications, digital initiatives, and outreach activities.
- Provide curatorial direction for outside installers regarding all AltaMed exhibition spaces and collaborative projects with external spaces, including the curation, public programming, development and management of budgets, development of didactic texts, installation planning, and relevant marketing work.
- Advance ongoing AltaMed art programs through regional, national, and international exhibitions, Chicanx arts festivals, as well as additional national and international art fairs
- Oversee the development of linked educational programming through proactive community engagement and scholarly endeavors including tours, written exhibition didactics, and public programming that reflects AltaMed’s artistic vision.
- Collaborate with curators and educators and engagement staff to initiate on- and off-site and virtual programs and school curriculum related to Latinx heritage, providing research and reference access to the AltaMed Art Collection.
- Contribute to departmental, division, and institution-wide activities and initiatives in collaboration with all AltaMed divisions, colleagues, and support staff.
Acquisitions, Public Programming, and Professional Engagement
- Facilitate research on and access to the AltaMed Art Collection by visiting scholars, community leaders, curatorial peers, and cultural representatives.
- Coordinate traveling exhibitions and curated shows in collaboration with national and international professional organizations, foundations, collectors, and donors.
- Foster collaborative partnerships with aligned art institutions and build professional affiliations in scholarly and museum curatorial organizations, professional societies, and relevant committees at the regional, national, and international levels.
- Cultivate individual, corporate, and professional partnerships to support new exhibitions reflective of current and historical cultural challenges, triumphs, and trends.
- Partner with organizational, curatorial and development staff to identify, cultivate and solicit financial gifts and acquire gifts of artwork, and steward donors and prospects by building long-term relationships with artists, collectors, dealers, and other art professionals.
- Collaborate with the Registrar and Chief Curator in the evaluation, preservation, conservation, growth, and restoration of artworks in the AltaMed Art Collection.
Exhibition and Gallery Development
- Participate in planning, opening, and programming the AltaMed Montebello art space (2024) and AltaMed Museum of Chicanx Art in downtown Los Angeles (2028),
- Collaborate with the Chief Curator and curatorial and exhibition staff to create a strategic plan to support the expansion of the collection.
- Envision space utilization and future curatorial requirements in proposed new exhibition spaces.
- Curate content for special exhibitions of Chicanx and Latinx art and related programs that support inclusive, innovative exhibitions and gallery projects that may be co-presented with strategic partners.
- Facilitate innovative, visitor-centric, and inter-disciplinary gallery and exhibition spaces from a lens of collaboration with community stakeholders, curatorial colleagues, and interpretive staff.
Traits and Characteristics
The Curator of the AltaMed Art Collection will be a highly collaborative, adaptive, and flexible individual with the ability to effectively prioritize competing tasks and excel in a fast-paced, demanding and changing environment. The ideal candidate will have strong interpersonal skills and the ability to work with a diverse group of colleagues, stakeholders, and institutions and demonstrate a deep appreciation for people, values, and cultural and societal differences. The Curator should be a thoughtful and inclusive transdisciplinary thinker, an adventurous artistic risk taker, and highly effective communicator who both creates and responds to innovative ideas, methods, and opportunities. This person should be an enthusiastic and persuasive team member, able to develop strong relationships with colleagues, supervisors, and exhibition partners.
Other key competencies include:
- Diplomacy and Teamwork – The acuity to effectively and tactfully handle difficult or sensitive issues with the added finesse to be able to collaborate and build consensus, while meeting primary objectives.
- Interpersonal Skills and Personal Accountability – The ability to effectively communicate with others, building rapport and relating well to all kinds of people but also with the willingness to be answerable for personal actions.
- Customer Focus – The capacity to anticipating, meeting and/or exceeding the needs, wants and expectations of a diverse set of audience members and participants.
- Project Management and Flexibility – The dexterity to identify and oversee all resources, tasks, and systems to obtain tangible results, while also responding and adapting to people, cultural change, with flexibility and a human-centered approach.
The successful candidate will have a minimum of a bachelor’s degree in art history, Chicanx/Latinx/Latin American Studies, museum studies, or related field such as anthropology or sociology. A master’s degree is required for this role. A minimum of 5 years of professional curatorial work experience in museums, galleries, or visual art organizations required with an established record of scholarly and professional contributions. The successful candidate will be fluent in conversational Spanish and English and have an excellent written and spoken command of both languages, with excellent organizational, analytical, oral, and written communication skills, including public speaking. They must have experience in acquiring artworks and archival materials with demonstrated experience in conducting research with archival collections and primary sources. Applicants should have a deep understanding, education, and/or specific subject knowledge of Chicanx/Latinx art with a proficiency in art handling of various mediums and objects, as well as an understanding of conservation issues in various disciplines.
Compensation and Benefits
The AltaMed Art Collection offers an attractive compensation package with a competitive salary estimated in the range of $81,220 to $125,884. AltaMed provides a generous benefits package, including a wide range of company supported health care programs, fully underwritten basic life and disability insurance, an FSA, employee wellness program, 403(b) retirement program with 4% match, and a generous PTO policy.
Applications and Inquiries
To submit a cover letter and resume with a summary of demonstrable revenue, fiscal accountability, programming, and community engagement accomplishments (electronic submissions preferred), please click here or visit artsconsulting.com/employment. For questions or general inquiries about this job opportunity, please contact:
Shawn D. Ingram, Vice President
Ernest A. Figueroa, Associate Vice President
8581 Santa Monica Blvd., Suite 406
Los Angeles, CA 90069-4120
Tel (888) 234.4236 Ext. 220 (Ingram) or Ext. 226 (Figueroa)