Monica Zimmerman oversees PAFA's robust and diverse public-facing initiatives, including educational programming for museum visitors, lifelong learners in studio classes, medical and business professionals and students and teachers from area schools. Her portfolio at PAFA includes Visitor Services, Youth and Family Programs, Pre-College Programs, Continuing Education, and Museum Exhibitions and Programming. These teams work collaboratively across the institution to build and sustain new audiences for both PAFA's college and museum, with a focus on multi-disciplinary interpretation and programming, data-driven engagement strategies, and customized, empathy-focused experiences for every visitor.
Zimmerman has been instrumental in strategically aligning PAFA to be more community-focused, with a clear and unwavering commitment to the communities and neighborhoods of Philadelphia. In 2011, her team instituted the School and Community Partnership program, a literacy-focused bilingual arts education initiative working to mitigate the traumas of immigration and poverty in North Kensington. In 2013, they developed the Teen Leadership Education and Development (Teen LEAD) program to provide workforce and college readiness skills to students around the region. In 2020, in response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, they instituted the Humanities, Empathy and the Arts programming (The HEART Program), using virtual programming to connect audiences around the globe to art and how it can broaden our understanding of how to live, work, love and raise our children.
Zimmerman joined the PAFA team in 2005 from the University of the Arts Museum Studies program after working in the education department at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Zimmerman holds a B.A. in English from Goshen College, an M.A. in Museum Communication from the University of the Arts and teaches actively at Camden County College, Jefferson Medical School and Cooper Medical School, among other appointments.