Eric Pryor was appointed president of the historic museum and college, beginning January 18, 2022.
One of Philadelphia’s cornerstone cultural institutions, PAFA is poised to move forward into its next significant institutional chapter. A strategic, creative, and collaborative leader, Pryor is skilled at guiding institutions through transitions and will partner with PAFA’s constituents to reimagine the organization and ensure its long-term sustainability.
Pryor comes to PAFA from the Harlem School of the Arts (HSA), where he has served as president since 2015. During his tenure he secured a significant gift that enabled the school to undertake its first major renovation in 40 years and move toward becoming a cultural hub for the neighborhood. Previously, he served as Executive Director of The Center for Arts Education, was Executive Director of the New Jersey State Museum, and President of the Visual Arts Center of New Jersey. Pryor began his arts career as Executive Director of the Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation’s Center for Arts and Culture (CAC) in Brooklyn, New York.
Eric Pryor brings over 25 years of experience in education, museum administration and community-building initiatives to PAFA, America’s first school and museum of fine arts.
Pryor joins PAFA from the Harlem School of the Arts (HSA), where he has served as President since 2015. An interdisciplinary cultural arts center that cultivates a strong sense of community and creative expression inspired by the rich history of Harlem, HSA serves over 2000 students each year, on and off-site, who study music, dance, theatre, and visual arts. During his tenure he secured funding that enabled the school to undertake its first major renovation in 40 years.
Pryor is a graduate of Tyler School of Art, Temple University (Master of Fine Arts, 1992) and Wayne State University (Bachelor of Fine Arts, Painting, 1990). He completed Columbia University’s Executive Leadership Program for Nonprofits in 1997.
He currently resides in West Orange, New Jersey with his wife and two daughters, and looks forward to relocating to Philadelphia.
Presidential Search Overview
PAFA launched a search for its next President & CEO supported by the firm Isaacson, Miller, with a search committee bringing unique perspectives of students, faculty, trustees, staff, and alumni.
The search firm conducted listening sessions with various community members and, in May 2021, the community was invited to submit input and nominations to help inform the selection.
This position calls for a change agent; someone eager to reimagine an art and educational institution, who is invested in long-term organizational sustainability, and is attuned to the broader cultural conversations taking place at PAFA and across the country.
—Position Profile Introduction, June 2021
Welcome and Connect with Eric Pryor
Community members are invited to send welcome notes and hopes for PAFA's future!