Job Summary: The Humanities Curator is responsible for overseeing the operation of the NEH on the Road program for Mid-American Arts Alliance; including the identification and implementation of new traveling humanities exhibitions.  This position primarily serves as the project manager for the NEH on the Road traveling exhibition program, and also functions as the point person between M-AAA and humanities exhibition organizers.  Major job duties include overseeing the NEH on the Road traveling exhibition program; identifying and cultivating exhibition prospects; organizing exhibition proposals; coordinating exhibition development, budgets, and timelines; and working with curators, lenders, and host institutions.  This includes the coordination and development of the exhibition script and didactic material; overseeing the organization and implementation of the exhibition orientation sessions; as well as miscellaneous humanities and educational activities for NEH on the Road exhibitions organized or produced by the Visual Arts and Humanities (VAH) division of Mid-America Arts Alliance (M-AAA).


Representative Examples of Work Performed:

Accomplish the work of Mid-America Arts Alliance

·         Implement the organization’s mission of ensuring access to high quality arts, cultural, and training opportunities by creating and delivering programs to organizations across the region.

·         Sustain the purpose of the Visual Arts and Humanities division by helping to create access to an array of arts and humanities exhibitions, nurture the development and understanding of diverse art forms and cultures, and encourage the expanding depth and breadth of cultural life in local communities.

·         Identify and implement new traveling exhibitions for NEH on the Road and other special projects.

·         Develop and produce humanities content, programming resources and educational materials for NEH on the Road and other special projects.


Manage NEH on the Road

·         Serve as the project manager for NEH on the Road; including overseeing content development, budgeting, marketing, educational programming, artifact processing, exhibition development and fabrication, printing, and tour scheduling.

·         Function as a liaison between NEH, M-AAA, originating institutions, and host institutions in communicating and facilitating program activity.

·         Guide originating curators and institutions through the exhibition proposal and development process. This includes proposal, budget, content development, marketing, exhibition development, tour scheduling, and exhibition dispersal.

·         Work in conjunction with the Education Curator and other staff to implement venue orientations.

·         Work in conjunction with staff and any contract employees to evaluate the NEH on the Road program in accordance with grant requirements.

·         Generate reports, reviews and recommendations in accordance with grant requirements.


Exhibition Development

·         Facilitate the development of humanities exhibition ideas and content for ExhibitsUSA, NEH on the Road, and other special projects.

·         Act as exhibition curator in the absence of an organizing curator for an exhibition.

·         Identify key concepts and research, write, and purchase appropriate materials necessary to convey the humanities themes of each exhibition to constituents.

·         Guide originating institutions through the exhibition review and development process. This function includes assisting with the preparation of materials for site reviews, budgeting recommendations related to programming, and logistics for site visits and other meetings as needed.

·         Serve as the project manager to implement and maintain exhibitions; including oversight of budgeting, marketing, educational programming, artifact processing, exhibition development and fabrication, printing, tour scheduling, and reporting.

·         Function as facilitator with organizers in support of VAH staff including, but not limited to, loan agreements, reproduction rights, copyright, and the full compliment of fabricated/published materials accompanying each exhibition.


Coordination of Departmental Work

·         Coordinate with VAH staff to effectively complete curatorial department duties.

·         Assist the Development department with the preparation of descriptive exhibition information for funding proposals.

·         Coordinate with the NEH on the Road staff to effectively complete duties.  This includes promoting positive staff communication and efficiency as well as enacting accountability measures when necessary.

·         Assist Client Relations with the preparation of descriptive exhibition information for marketing and website materials.

·         Provide requested information to journalists, magazines, and researchers for publication.

·         Perform other duties as discussed with and assigned by the Program Director and/or COO and/or CEO of Mid-America Arts Alliance.


Essential Functions: coordinating all aspects of organizational activity relating to NEH on the Road exhibition including cultivating prospects, exhibition development and implementation, budgets and timelines; facilitating the reformatting and fabrication of the exhibitions; working closely with freelance and museum curators, lenders, and presenting institutions; recording activities for required NEH reports; and assisting marketing staff with questions related to exhibition contents and tour scheduling.


Working Conditions: Most work is of a sedentary nature, sitting at a desk using a computer, phone and other office equipment.  Will frequently be required to travel to attend various Board meetings, conferences and/or other agency events.  Work requires extensive research  and evaluating a variety of materials. While a majority of work occurs in relation to a long term plan will be required to be flexible to changing priorities and additional projects that can require overtime and ability to manage short term deadlines.


Performance Measures:

The following are key items that will be utilized to evaluate performance of the work:

  • Effective and efficient overall development of humanities content of EUSA and NEH on the Road exhibits.
  • Successful participation in the review, selection, development and delivery of scheduled NEH on the Road exhibitions within the VAH division.
  • Pro-active approach to Visual Arts and Humanities curatorial responsibilities and educational programming.
  • Effective overall management of the NEH on the Road program.
  • Successful development and delivery of scheduled NEH on the Road exhibitions.
  • Demonstrated ability to produce high quality educational programming and exhibition interactive materials utilizing a variety of delivery mechanisms.
  • Productively assist in the development, implementation, and evaluation of effective educational programming strategies related to humanities exhibitions.
  • Effective working relationship with other staff members.
  • Overall success with managing outside vendors and establishing new contacts.


Minimum Qualifications:

·         Advanced degree in history, applied history, general studies, museum studies, or closely related field.

·         Three to five years experience in a museum or other exhibition development experience.

·         Demonstrated success with exhibitions and/or scholarly museum publications.

·         Successful record of project management, including planning and managing budgets.

·         Excellent written and verbal communication skills.

·         Ability to collaborate with staff, professional colleagues, and supporters.

·         General knowledge of museum theory, practice, and operations.

·         Knowledge of computer programs (Microsoft Office and databases)