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Virtual | Annual Leadership Series – The Precarious Position of Women in Leadership

October 13, 2021 | 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm

Graphic with headshots of all panelists and panel information
1pm PT / 2pm MT / 3pm CT / 4pm ET

Women-identifying leaders in the arts are stepping down or being fired in larger proportions to their male counterparts. The issue was further exacerbated in the year 2020 when women, either by choice or circumstance, continued to leave the workforce in greater numbers than men. However, as the world began to reopen, more and more women came into leadership positions at large-scale arts organizations and institutions. In 2020, CultureType listed 54 Arts Leaders Who Took on New Appointments in 2020, 43 of whom are women. This past year, of approximately 75 new appointments to various leadership positions in the art world, 62 of them have been women, as noted by CultureType and ARTnews.

Despite the growing visibility of women in the art world, issues still plague the industry, such as the ongoing gender pay gap (as of now, women continue to earn approximately 73 cents for every dollar that men earn; the number is even lower for women of color, ranging from 55 to 62 cents for Latina, Native American, and Black women.), disparities in gender representation depending on operating budget (the majority of museums with budgets less than $15 million are run by a female rather than a male director; the reverse is true for museums with budgets of over $15 million, where female representation decreases as budget size increases), and the glass cliff phenomenon (the idea of women being placed in leadership positions during periods of crisis or downturn, when the chance of failure is highest, but under the pretense of providing an exciting professional opportunity). 

For this year’s Annual Leadership Series, we want to acknowledge and celebrate the incredible strides that women have made as leaders in the art world, but we also want to look to the future and ask ourselves, what still needs to be done, and how can we ensure women always have a seat at the table?

Please join us for what is sure to be an enlightening and thought-provoking discussion with women-identifying leaders in the art world with various perspectives on the issues. We will address questions including:

  1. What do these phenomena mean for women in the workforce, and particularly in the art world, both women leaving the workforce in greater numbers and the incredible amount of women being promoted to leadership positions?
  2. How do we advocate for women leaders from racially, ethnically, and socio-economically diverse backgrounds and reach greater gender parity in leadership roles? 
  3. The glass cliff is the phenomenon of women in leadership roles, such as executives in the corporate world and female political election candidates, being likelier than men to achieve leadership roles during periods of crisis or downturn, when the chance of failure is highest. Is this a phenomenon that we may have recently witnessed, with all of the significant appointments of woman-identifying leaders in the art world? Or are we finally, truly on the path to equality? Do women continue to be more vulnerable to career displacement than men? 
  4. What lessons have we learned, and how can we ensure lasting change?

The panel will be moderated by Stephanie A. Stebich, Director of the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, DC. Additional speakers include:

  • Min Jung Kim, Director, Saint Louis Museum of Art, St. Louis, MO
  • Dorothy Kosinski, Vradenburg Director and CEO of The Phillips Collection, Washington DC
  • Mia Locks, Independent Curator and Culture Worker, Los Angeles, CA
  • Danyelle Means, Executive Director, Center for Contemporary Arts, Santa Fe, NM
  • Brittany Webb, Evelyn and Will Kaplan Curator of 20th-Century Art & the John Rhoden Collection, Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art, Philadelphia, PA

Please join us after the discussion for 10-15 minutes of virtual networking in Zoom Breakout Rooms. ArtTable programs are a time for members and non-members to connect with old friends and meet new people, both in-person and virtually. We hope you will stick around afterwards to discuss important themes from the conversation and talk about new ideas and insights.


  • ArtTable Members – $10 (ArtTable members may bring a guest for an additional $15)
  • Non-Members – $25

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Accessibility: Automatic closed captioning will be available for this program. Please email if you require additional accommodations.

About the Speakers

Headshot of Stephanie A. StebichStephanie A. Stebich (pronounced STEE-BISH) is responsible for the nation’s premier collection of American art and major exhibition, research, publication, education and digital-media programs at the museum and its Renwick Gallery. She was named director of the Smithsonian American Art Museum in January 2017. Stebich also serves as co-chair of the Smithsonian American Women’s History Initiative.

Before coming to Washington, D.C., Stebich had been executive director of the Tacoma Art Museum since 2005. Under her leadership, the museum underwent a major renovation that doubled its exhibition space; launched a capital campaign with a goal of $17 million and raised more than $37 million; and added endowed curator, educator and fellow positions. She oversaw the development and implementation of the museum’s strategic plan, as well as a 10-year collecting strategy. At Tacoma, Stebich championed the presentation of many groundbreaking exhibitions and secured major collection gifts, including the Haub Family Collection of Western American Art, and the Rebecca and Jack Benaroya Collection of American studio glass.

Stebich was assistant director of the Minneapolis Institute of Arts from 2001 to 2004 and assistant director at the Cleveland Museum of Art from 1995 to 2001. She was previously a trustee of the Association of Art Museum Directors and the American Alliance of Museums.

Stebich earned a bachelor’s degree in art history from Columbia University and a master’s degree with a concentration in modern art from the Institute of Fine Arts at New York University. She has a certificate in nonprofit management from Case Western Reserve University and is a graduate of the Getty Leadership Institute in Los Angeles. She was a fellow at the Guggenheim Museum and has studied at the University College London. She is fluent in German.

Headshot of Min Jung KimMin Jung Kim was named the Barbara B. Taylor Director of the Saint Louis Art Museum in 2021. She brings to St. Louis extensive experience in museum leadership roles. As the director and chief executive officer of the New Britain Museum of American Art, she enhanced the museum’s profile through exhibitions and collection development designed to expand the definition of American Art and reflect greater diversity while strengthening community engagement and collaborative partnerships. As deputy director of the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum at Michigan State University, she was in charge of implementing the completion of the Zaha Hadid-designed Broad MSU. As director of content alliances at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, she managed collaborative projects among the Guggenheim; the State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia; and the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna. Min Jung Kim was born and raised in Seoul, South Korea. She graduated from Wheaton College and holds a master’s degree in art history from the Courtauld Institute of Art at the University of London.

Headshot of Dorothy KosinskiDr. Dorothy Kosinski has been the Vradenburg Director & CEO of The Phillips Collection since April 2008. Previously, Dr. Kosinski was Senior Curator of Painting and Sculpture at the Dallas Museum of Art. She was also the museum’s Barbara Thomas Lemmon Curator of European Art. Over the course of 30 years in museum work, Kosinski has earned a reputation internationally as an accomplished curator and scholar of 19th and 20th century art. For over 12 years, Dr. Kosinski was based in Basel, Switzerland, where she was a curator, scholar, and university instructor, including curator and administrator of the Douglas Cooper Collection. In August 2013, Dr. Kosinski was appointed by President Barack Obama to the National Council on the Humanities. She currently serves on the Board of the Sherman Fairchild Foundation and The Morris and Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation. Dr. Kosinski received a BA from Yale University and an MA and PhD from the Institute of Fine Arts at New York University.

Mia Locks headshot

Mia Locks is an independent curator and culture worker based in Los Angeles. She was previously a curator at The Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) in Los Angeles as well as MoMA PS1 and the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York. She was a 2018 fellow at the Center for Curatorial Leadership and currently co-leads Museums Moving Forward, a data-driven initiative focused on accountability in the museum field.


Headshot of Danyelle MeansDanyelle Means is the newly appointed Executive Director of the Center for Contemporary Arts (CCA) in Santa Fe, New Mexico. She will continue her successful philanthropic and non-profit leadership by advancing CCA’s mission to celebrate creativity across the arts, humanities, and sciences by generating transformative experiences designed to ignite minds and connect people. Means has served as the Director of Advancement at the Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA) and the Executive Director of the IAIA Foundation. During her tenure at IAIA, like many in the philanthropic sector, Means and her staff shifted all efforts online during the pandemic, bringing IAIA one of the most successful fundraising years ever.

Headshot of Brittany Webb

Dr. Brittany Webb is the Evelyn and Will Kaplan Curator of Twentieth Century Art and the John Rhoden Collection at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (PAFA). She is currently working on a retrospective exhibition on 20th century African-American sculptor John Rhoden (1916-2001) that includes an initiative to gift more than 250 sculptures by Rhoden to museums around the country. Dr. Webb came to PAFA from the African American Museum in Philadelphia (AAMP). She holds a PhD in Anthropology from Temple University and a BA in Political Science from the University of Southern California (USC).



  1. Stephanie A. Stebich, The Margaret and Terry Stent Director, Smithsonian American Art Museum; Photo credit: Smithsonian American Art Museum
  2. Min Jung Kim, Photo by Tim Parker
  3. Dorothy Kosinski, Photo by Daniel Schwartz
  4. Mia Locks © 2016 Scott Rudd;;
  5. Danyelle Means
  6. Brittany Webb


October 13, 2021
4:00 pm - 5:30 pm
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ArtTable National



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