July 20, 2012
President Amy Gutmann and Provost Vincent Price announced the appointment of Amy Sadao as Daniel Dietrich II Director of the Institute of Contemporary Art, effective September 1.
Ms. Sadao is currently executive director of Visual AIDS in New York City. In this position, which she has held for ten years, she has built Visual AIDS into one of the most vital and prominent arts organizations of its kind. Her accomplishments include staging hundreds of on-site, traveling, and online exhibitions of contemporary artists and curators, as well as associated catalogues, symposia, performances, and advocacy materials; expanding the organization's attendance, revenues, budget, donor base, and strategic plan; and building a Board of Directors and a team of more than one hundred dedicated staff members, interns, and volunteers. She has served widely as a consultant and juror for other arts organizations and as a sought-after public speaker and media expert.
"Amy Sadao promises to be a leader of unparalleled energy and vision for the next phase of ICA's growth," said President Gutmann. "She has an especially strong commitment to forging collaborations across a wide range of diverse communities and placing art at the center of dialogue about the most significant intellectual, political, and social issues of the contemporary world."
"Amy Sadao has transformed every aspect of Visual AIDS over the past decade," noted Provost Price, "expanding its leadership in contemporary art and social advocacy while building the infrastructure and resources to sustain it for the future. I have been particularly impressed by her understanding of the role of art in a research university—and in catalyzing intellectual and interdisciplinary inquiry in general—as well as by the knowledge she brings of Penn and Philadelphia.
"The President and I are grateful to Dean Marilyn Jordan Taylor and the outstanding consultative committee that she chaired, whose months of work reviewing and interviewing candidates from around the world helped us arrive at this exciting outcome. We also thank Robert Chaney, director of curatorial affairs at ICA, who has served with extraordinary distinction as interim director. The strength of the candidate pool and global interest in this position are testaments to the world-class institution that has been built by ICA's exceptional staff."
Ms. Sadao earned an MA (2000) in comparative ethnic studies from UC-Berkeley and a BFA (1995) from The Cooper Union School of Art.