From the Director

Amy Sadao. Portrait by Constance Mensh (2015)

The Institute of Contemporary Art at the University of Pennsylvania is a place to encounter art that speaks to urgent issues facing our community and our country. Our curators seek work that illuminates our contemporary moment and challenges us to think in new ways. In our current charged and polarized political climate, we believe that our role is increasingly critical, as we work to create spaces for the exploration of new ideas, the free exchange of diverse perspectives, and to foster compassion for those who are different from us.

“Free For All” is an idea in constant circulation here, and a value that is central to everything we do. It tells you, for one thing, that the museum is admission-free, welcoming everyone to come back again and again. It also describes ICA as a space where ideas are freely expressed and shared—where excitement and challenge animate the galleries. We hope you experience ICA as a space apart from the everyday: a place for contemplation and inquiry. For us, ICA is not just a place to look at objects, but also a place to have an experience that is aesthetic, intellectual, political, and social—a place that engages every part of you. That is the kind of community we are building here. We hope you will join us, and we look forward to welcoming you here.

We hope, as well, that you will come to ICA with high expectations not only for our staff and the work we present, but also for yourself. Engage with what is difficult and daring! A work of art has the power to transform people, and through people, the world. We do the work we do every day with this goal: that the art you experience at ICA will change the way you see and think about the world.

Amy Sadao

Daniel W. Dietrich, II Director

Read about ICA Funding Priorities.

A word from Amy on ICA’s artist-centric mission and a glimpse into the future of the museum:

Penn Gazette: 50 Years of NowAmy Sadao interviewed by ArtTable on arts leadershipInside ICA: Pew Center for Arts & Heritage interview with Amy SadaoLong Term Funding Priorities

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