Joseph Gonzales is a museographer, audience-building strategist, educator, arts and culture champion, thought innovator, professional relationship-builder, and career development advisor with 25 years experience in the cultural sector. As an impassioned arts professional and educator, he is intent on connecting arts organizations with diverse audiences. He utilizes his experience in leadership, museum practice, cultural and visual anthropology, public programming, qualitative research, media production, advertising, curation, and instruction to develop informed and imaginative strategies for engaging with audiences. With expertise in mainstream and non-traditional arts, he collaborates with museums and galleries of all stripes, cultural arts organizations, and professional associations to create thoughtful solutions for cultivating and involving stakeholders of all levels. His goal at the University of the Arts is to train and mentor 21st century museum and arts engagement professionals through the Master of Arts in Museum Communication program.
From 2008-2011, he was the manager of research and community engagement strategies for the Fleisher Art Memorial, where he lead the organization’s institution-wide efforts to reach new immigrant and low-income audiences in South Philadelphia as part of a multi-year Wallace Foundation Excellence Award project. A full description of this work can be found in the Wallace foundation’s "Staying Relevant in a Changing Neighborhood: How Fleisher Art Memorial is Adapting to Shifting Community Demographics" (http://wallacefoundation.org/knowledge-center/audience-development-for-the-arts/strategies-for-expanding-audiences/Pages/Wallace-Studies-in-Building-Arts-Audiences-Staying-Relevant-in-a-Changing-Neighborhood.aspx).
His community engagement and audience building work has been featured in additional Wallace Foundation Building Audience for the Arts publications (2014, 2015), UPenn Social Impact of the Arts’ “Natural” Cultural Districts: A Three-City Study (February 2013), and sociologist Fred Wherry’s The Philadelphia Barrio: The Arts, Branding, and Neighborhood Transformation (2011). He has also contributed to the American Alliance of Museums’ book, A Life In Museums: Managing Your Museum Career (2012), served as an advisor for numerous exhibitions, public art, and audience-building projects which have included the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Pennsylvania Museums of Archaeology, Mural Arts, and Anthropology and the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts Museum.
He is active in the numerous profession associations and interest groups below:
- American Alliance of Museums (Member; Diversity Fellow)
o Committee on Professional Training (Member)
o Development and Membership Network (Member)
o Diversity Committee (Member; Past Annual Meeting Program Coordinator)
o Education Professional Network (Member)
o Latino Network (Member; Past Secretary)
o Public Relations and Marketing Network (Member)
- Americans for the Arts (Member)
- Association of Science-Technology Centers (Member)
- Delaware Humanities Forum (Program Evaluator)
- Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance (Member; Future Leadership Fellow)
- Museum Council of Greater Philadelphia (Member; Past President)
- National Association of Latino Arts and Culture (Member; Leadership Institute Alumnus)
- National Endowment for the Arts (Grant Evaluator)
- National Guild of Community Schools of the Arts (Leadership Institute Alumnus)
- Smithsonian Institute, Smithsonian Latino Center (Faculty; Fellow)