Founded in 1995, the San Antonio Children’s Museum (SACM) is the city’s only museum exclusively devoted to children under the age of 10. With three floors of interactive exhibits and a variety of early literacy, science, health and art activities, SACM’s vision is to be a premier educational resource that helps develop innovative thinkers capable of meeting the challenges of the 21st century. The museum’s mission is to grow minds, connect families and transform communities through joyful learning and discovery. The museum annually serves 158,000 visitors. It offers a wide range of educational programs in the sciences, creative arts and early literacy and music through outreach to schools, through its afterschool and home-school programs, summer camps and seasonal celebrations.
The museum is in a rapid expansion phase, with plans to open a state-of-the-art new facility in summer 2015. The new museum will be located in San Antonio’s cultural corridor and will be well positioned to serve 300,000 visitors annually. Exhibits will be the experiential foundation of the new museum, positioning it in the community as a valued learning resource for educators, parents and children. There will be nearly 30,000 SF of interior exhibit spaces and 30,000 SF of outdoor space offering a variety of activities in a natural setting. The museum’s annual operating budget of $2.1M will grow steadily over the next three years to at least $3.5M annually. The museum is in the midst of a $45.7M capital campaign, having secured more than 84 percent in commitments to date. Ground breaking will take place on May 31, 2013.
The position of Vice President, Education and Visitor Experience is at the highest level of institutional management and will assume strategic leadership of SACM’s public programs, visitor experience program and exhibit development. This position will have primary responsibility for managing all educational programs and program staff as well as 700 volunteers, the development and rollout of the comprehensive visitor experience program and refining exhibit planning for the new 65,000 square foot museum. The successful candidate will unify the strategic approach to all museum educational content, along with its implementation through programs, exhibits and other visitor experiences. S/he will bring together previously discreet functions into a coherent whole and will convey this to educators, community leaders and the general public.
Scope and Responsibilities
Reporting to the Executive Director, and in close coordination with fellow members of the museum’s executive team, The Vice President, Education and Visitor Experience will be mission-focused, seasoned and strategic executive with experience in growing organizations; crafting and implementing highly effective educational programs and overseeing education staff; creating a high-performance culture; developing, motivating and evaluating diverse, talented team members across assigned functions; and developing and executing programs and events that produce measurable results and visibility for the museum. It is essential that the Vice President, Education and Visitor Experience bring effective systems to increase the productivity of the organization, it is also important that s/he fit into an overall SACM team with the creative spark that drives the SACM mission and vision.
Responsibilities Include, but are not Limited to:
The successful candidate will have strong leadership skills, significant experience and demonstrated results in educational and museum settings, will be an innovator, and will be capable of helping lead the museum into the next era of its educational programming.
- Lead the museum’s approach to exemplary education programs.
- Ensure that the museum addresses key issues in museum education and is aware of innovations in educational pedagogy.
- Provide guidance in the development of educational activities so that they are effective with teachers, and administrators and that they meet curriculum requirements. Develop public programs of that the Museum is seen as an educational institution in San Antonio.
- Develop, launch and refine comprehensive visitor experience program that aligns museum’s mission to all elements of programming and guest interaction.
- Provide strategic advice and subject-matter-expertise to all elements of the guest experience.
- Develop and oversee strategic approach to the development of museum community partnerships to further its reach in the community and to augment in-house programs.
- Provide executive management of exhibit development including planning, prototyping, fabrication, construction and installation.
- Engage key constituencies, including but not limited to industry experts, local business/civic/educational leaders, board members, and museum volunteers to serve on committees, focus groups and similar evaluative bodies to maximize exhibit effectiveness and educational enhancement.
- Oversee development and monitor departmental budgets.
- Work with the Development office to secure grants and gifts for educational programs and exhibitions.
- Work with the Marketing office to communicate the museum’s programs and exhibitions in order to build audiences and extend the reach of the museum.
As a prerequisite, the successful candidate must believe in SACM’s core values and be driven by the mission.
- The Vice President, Education and Visitor Experience will be a proven professional with 7-10 years experience in a senior leadership position in a museum.
- S/he will be high energy, self-motivated, collaborative, creative, detailed, thorough and confident; and will be a leader of the highest integrity, embracing a diverse workplace and customer base.
- S/he will demonstrate clear ability to lead, motivate, inspire and support the capabilities of a bright, diverse team; and to attract and retain outstanding talent by earning trust and respect.
- S/he will have the ability to conceptualize and analyze both actual and potential problems and solutions, identifying key performance indicators and systemic improvements with sustainable impact.
- S/he will be able to operationalize mission and vision, set compelling goals, and turn them into thorough, actionable and quantifiable plans, schedules and procedures.
- S/he will be willing to make tough decisions.
- S/he will have a collegial attitude and be a supportive and collaborative member of the museum’s management team.
- S/he will be an outstanding communicator, both orally and written, one-on-one, in small and large groups, and under pressure.
- S/he will understand and appreciate the important and ever-evolving role museums play in the life of a vibrant community.
Salary – The Salary is competitive and commensurate with experience.
Start Date – The position will be filled summer 2013
Procedure for Application
Submit resume, the names of three references and a cover letter indicating interest and qualifications to:
Linda Sweet or Diane Frankel
Management Consultants for the Arts
Email to: email@example.com
- SACM is an equal opportunity employer.