Scott Stulen Appointed as Curator of Audience Experiences and Performance at the Indianapolis Museum of Art

Scott Stulen and Team

Newly Created Position at the IMA Will Create New Programming in Collaboration with Curators Across Departments 

February 10, 2014, Indianapolis, IN— Dr. Charles L. Venable, The Melvin & Bren Simon Director and CEO of the Indianapolis Museum of Art, announced today that Scott Stulen has been named the Museum’s first curator of audience experiences and performance—a brand new position at the IMA developed by Venable to foster innovative and expanded opportunities for audience engagement. Stulen will begin on March 17.

Grounded in an understanding of the changing role of museums and their audiences in the 21st century, the IMA’s new position of curator of audience experiences and performance will develop a strategic vision for innovative public programming. Working closely with the IMA’s curatorial and audience engagement departments, Stulen will be responsible for creating experiences for a wide range of audiences utilizing the diverse resources of the IMA, including its encyclopedic art collection and exhibitions, horticulture, historic preservation, conservation, research and technology programs. The settings for these experiences will range from the IMA galleries, 500-seat Toby Theater, 600-seat outdoor amphitheater, 52-acre Oldfields-Lilly House & Gardens and the 100-acre Virginia B. Fairbanks Art & Nature Park.

“Scott has an outstanding track record of developing and producing innovative experiences for the public that are engaging and thoughtful.” Venable said. “With our encyclopedic art collection, expansive campus and outstanding community resources and partners, I have no doubt that he will develop significant and exciting programs that will not only expand our audience, but will also expand our understanding of what it means to engage with audiences as an innovative, community-focused museum. Few museums in the world have the resources we do in terms of art and horticultural collections, talented staff, historical architecture, and a diverse range of indoor and outdoor facilities. The Deputy Director for Public Programs & Audience Engagement, Dr. Preston Bautista and I believe Scott is the perfect person to leverage all these assets for the public good through exceptional programming.”

Stulen comes to the IMA from the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota, where he has worked since 2008. Known for its own groundbreaking programming, Scott Stulen served the Walker as the project director of, an online initiative dedicated to supporting local artists, and curated multi-disciplinary public programs both in the galleries and on the grounds. Highlights of Stulen’s work include co-curating the Walker Open Field Initiative, a program that uses outdoor social space to engage audiences in open-ended activities and projects related to themes of collaboration and experimentation; the developing and producing of mnartists Field Day, a programming platform for the presentation of local artists’ projects within the outdoor spaces of the Walker campus; co-creating Community Supported Art, a program which borrows the farm box model for distributing local art and has been replicated in over 50 cities;  and curating and producing the first-ever Internet Cat Video Festival, the Walker Art Center’s highly-successful and acclaimed touring program that taps into the phenomenon of viral internet videos. Stulen also served as director of the McKnight Artist Fellowships for Photographers.

Prior to Stulen’s time at the Walker Art Center he was an associate curator and curator of education at the Rochester Art Center in Rochester, Minnesota where he oversaw all public and interpretive programs. Stulen has also served as an independent curator of projects with local, national, and international artists, as well as an adjunct professor at several colleges and universities, including the University of Minnesota. Stulen holds a M.F.A. in Drawing and Painting from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities.

“I have long admired the innovative spirit of the Indianapolis Museum of Art and am excited to join Charles Venable, Preston Bautista and the staff of the Museum during this exciting time,” Stulen said. “I hope to create a platform for smart, engaging, delightful, and sometimes challenging programming. In addition to its primary role as a site for interaction with world-class works of art from its permanent collection and special exhibitions, I believe the IMA can excel as a one-of-a-kind gathering place for the community; a place to meet friends after work, bring your kids to play, take a first date or just hang out.”


About the Indianapolis Museum of Art

Encompassing 152 acres of gardens and grounds, the Indianapolis Museum of Art is among the 10 oldest and 10 largest encyclopedic art museums in the United States and features significant collections of African, American, Asian, European, contemporary art and design arts. The IMA offers visitors an expansive view of arts and culture through its collection that spans 5,000 years of history from across the world’s continents. The collections include paintings, sculpture, furniture and design objects, prints, drawings and photographs, as well as textiles and costumes.


Additionally, art, design, and nature are featured at The Virginia B. Fairbanks Art & Nature Park: 100 Acres and Oldfields–Lilly House and Gardens, a historic Country Place Era estate and National Historic Landmark on the IMA grounds. Beyond the Indianapolis campus, in May 2011 the IMA opened to the public  Miller House and Garden in Columbus, Indiana. One of the country’s most highly regarded examples of mid-century Modernist residences, the Miller House was designed by Eero Saarinen, with interiors by Alexander Girard, and landscape design by Dan Kiley.


Located at 4000 Michigan Road, the IMA is open Tuesday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Thursday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.; and Sunday, noon to 5 p.m. Lilly House is open until 5 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday. The IMA is closed Mondays and Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s days. For more information, call 317-923-1331 or visit




Media Contact:

Meg Liffick


317-923-1331 x. 187





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