DMA Announces New Leadership

Jessica Harden (left) K.C. Hurst (right)

The Dallas Museum of Art has announced the creation of a new design and interpretation department to support communication initiatives and content across the museum.

Eugene McDermott Director of the Dallas Museum of Art Agustín Arteaga announced Tuesday both the appointment of K.C. Hurst as the museum’s director of marketing and communications and the creation of a new Design and Interpretation Department, which will oversee all creative content generated by the Museum.

Arteaga simultaneously announced the promotion of the DMA’s director of exhibition and museum design, Jessica Harden, to director of design and content strategy, to spearhead the new department. The new positions and the department will support compelling and consistent communications for the Museum as a way to build awareness, enthusiasm, and support for the DMA’s mission and programming.

“K.C. is a creative marketing expert from the educational sector with a great passion for the DMA’s mission and commitment to community engagement, and Jessica has made dynamic contributions to design and interpretation at the Museum for over 10 years,” Arteaga said. “I am very excited to welcome them to their new roles as we strengthen and unify the Museum’s approach to engaging our audiences and communicating our mission under our strategic plan.”

A versatile and hands-on marketing professional, K.C. Hurst brings to her new appointment more than a decade of creative expertise in digital marketing and a proven track record of innovation and analytics acumen. She has had a prominent career in higher education that includes a series of positions with increasing levels of responsibility at Austin Community College District, one of the largest premier two-year college systems in the nation. As Associate Director of Marketing since 2015, she has contributed to the transformation of the district’s brand communication, visual design and digital strategy to strengthen visibility and meet ambitious enrollment objectives.

As director of marketing and communications, Hurst will infuse the mission in all DMA marketing and communications, on-site and online, and lead digital social media strategy, messaging implementation, and analysis.

Hurst will also be responsible for audience growth through targeted marketing, local partnerships, public relations and social media use, and undertake the alignment of cross-functional priorities that showcase the new strategic mission and inspire advocacy and participation for the entire institution. Hurst began her new position this month.

Harden, in her new role as Director of design and content strategy for the Design and Interpretation Department, will work closely with and parallel to Hurst and the Marketing and Communications Department. Overseeing all of the DMA’s creative content, she and her team will collaborate with all departments to ensure a cohesive vision and representation of the DMA brand that is compelling to a wide range of visitors. This new department will create, design and oversee the production and installation of Museum content and environments focused on improving visitors’ experience, understanding, and social and emotional connection.

A seasoned exhibition designer with 17 years of experience in art museums and galleries, Harden earned a BFA in Studio Art with an emphasis in Photography and Mixed Media Installation Art and a minor in Interdisciplinary Studies from the University of Central Arkansas Honors College, and an MFA in Museum Exhibition Planning and Design from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia.

She has held internships with the Smithsonian American Art Museum and Arkansas Arts Center and worked for the renowned international interpretation and design firm Staples and Charles on projects that included the Yale University Art Gallery redesign and Detroit Institute of Arts renovation and reinstallation. Harden has represented the DMA as an IMLS Museums for America Panelist and served on the Advisory Board for the College of Fine Arts at the University of Central Arkansas.

Collaborating across all divisions, Hurst and Harden will be responsible for reinvigorating and redefining the DMA’s brand, messaging and communications strategy both inside and outside the Museum to maximize awareness and engagement with the Museum and its programs.