Museum InfoMedia Room

DIA exterior at night
DIA exterior at night

Detroit Institute of Arts hires Alicia Viera as interpretive planner Viera will focus on creating visitor-centered experiences

Monday, May 02, 2016

(Detroit)—The Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA) has hired Alicia Viera as an interpretive planner in its Interpretation department. Viera comes to the DIA from San Antonio, Texas, where she worked as an arts administrator, director of cultural programs and curator with the Texas A&M University-San Antonio’s new Educational & Cultural Arts Center (TAMU-SA’s ECAC) and the City of San Antonio’s Department for Culture & Creative Development (DCCD). She began at the DIA April 29.

In close collaboration with DIA curators, museum interpretive planners are responsible for designing plans for visitor experiences in the galleries and for developing innovative and experimental modes of interpretation. Viera will be working on a number of projects for the permanent collections galleries as well as for upcoming special exhibitions.

“Alicia Viera’s experience in interpretation and working with communities will strengthen our team in this area of expertise,” said Salvador Salort-Pons, DIA director. “Our museum is a known leader in creating innovative and meaningful experiences for our visitors, which is the result of collaborations between our curators and interpretive planners. We are delighted to welcome Alicia on board.”

While at TAMU-SA’s ECAC, Viera developed three major exhibitions and programs for the local community using her expertise in Supported interpretation (SI), a visitor-centered method for developing participatory, community-based exhibitions. Viera co-curated and interpreted the ECAC’s inaugural exhibition, “Contemporary Latino Art: El Corazón de San Antonio,” as well as “Arte y Tradición de la Frontera: The U.S.–México Borderlands in the Works of Santa Barraza and Carmen Lomas Garza” and “The Texas Size Breach Collaborative: From El Paso to San Antonio.” In addition, she spearheaded “Absolute Resolution: A Participatory Photography Exhibition” as part of the international FotoSeptiembre USA, an annual festival, now in its 22nd year, celebrating photography-based art forms.

More recently, Viera worked at San Antonio’s DCCD with the Public Art team, creating content for interpretive signs, planning and developing exhibitions and initiatives for the Culture Commons exhibition hall, the Plaza de Armas storefront galleries as well as City Hall and the Municipal Plaza building. She also helped develop the new Portable Art Collection for the City of San Antonio.

Viera is Cuban-American and holds a master’s degree in Arts Administration with graduate certificates in Museum Studies, Art Museum Education and Program Evaluation from Florida State University (FSU). She is currently a Ph.D. candidate in the department of Art Education at FSU and has published and presented at regional, national and international conferences about supported interpretation, visitor-centered and bilingual exhibitions, multiculturalism and inclusiveness in art museums, as well as visitor studies and program evaluation.


The Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA), one of the premier art museums in the United States, is home to more than 60,000 works that comprise a multicultural survey of human creativity from ancient times through the 21st century. From the first Van Gogh painting to enter a U.S. museum (Self-Portrait, 1887), to Diego Rivera's world-renowned Detroit Industry murals (1932–33), the DIA’s collection is known for its quality, range and depth. The DIA’s mission is to create opportunities for all visitors to find personal meaning in art.

Programs are made possible with support from residents of Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties.