The Leon and Gloria Plevin Family Museum Director Lecture: Jill Snyder

Sunday, July 28, 2019

Location Lenna Hall

Admission to the Grounds and Amphitheater is free on Sundays. (Parking is free until 2 p.m.)

Jill Snyder, Executive Director of the Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland

"Are You An Artist? Reflections of a Museum Director"
The museum of the future is an activist entity, laying a foundation for civil and civic discourse. Here is where the roles of museum director and artist find common ground.  At a time of great change in our society, when issues of equity and inclusion present challenges to the status quo, artists act as valuable role models.  Their openness to experimentation and risk are essential tools to confront the daily complexities our world presents.  By engaging artists as core to this endeavor, moCa Cleveland presents a road map to build trust with museum visitors and develop sustained and meaningful relationships.

Jill Snyder is one of the chief architects of Cleveland’s cultural scene. Since 1996, with confidence and vision, she has leveraged MOCA Cleveland’s artistic beginnings as a small but mighty showcase for once-unknown artists like Andy Warhol into an emblem of Cleveland’s renaissance and a hotbed of new ideas. Along the way, she has shaped conversations about the public value of museums and contemporary art.

In 2012, she completed with MOCA’s staff and board an iconic $35M building project in University Circle that anchors the new Uptown district. The project is paid for and debt-free. In under three years, new MOCA has gone from attracting 15,000 to 40,000 visitors annually. She has expanded public outreach, commissioning new work by emerging artists and deepening education through public programming.

Under Snyder, MOCA is recognized by patrons, artists and art institutions internationally for its adventurous programming. She combines a formidable intellect and deep ties to the art scenes of New York and other cultural capitols with fierce Cleveland pride and a driving determination to forge communities and alliances that go beyond the museum’s walls. Recent MOCA programs have straddled sectors as diverse as business, technology, health care, religion, activism, and Cleveland’s vibrant food scene.

A museum professional for over 30 years, Snyder has held administrative and educational positions at the Guggenheim Museum and Museum of Modern Art, and served as Director of The Aldrich Museum and Freedman Gallery at Albright College. 

Snyder has participated in various leadership programs at The Getty Leadership Institute, Stanford University School of Business, Leadership Cleveland and National Art Strategies. She is co-founder of the national association of Contemporary Art Museum Directors and serves on the Boards of the Cleveland Leadership Center and University Circle Incorporated.  She is a member of In Counsel with Women and The 50 Club.