Museum Studies at Tufts University

Exploring ideas and engaging in conversation

Author: Danielle N. Bennett (page 1 of 7)

Job Post – Manger of Volunteer Services, Grounds For Sculpture

Manager of Volunteer Services
Grounds For Sculpture (GFS) seeks a dynamic and dedicated Manager of Volunteer Services to develop and engage our growing community of volunteers and manage the daily operations and administration of GFS’ volunteer program. GFS is in a period of significant transition, building on a sound and vibrant foundation of success over the last 25 years. A strategic planning process has resulted in a long-term vision that sets our aspirations as a leader, magnet, and vibrant forum that invites a diverse public to create, learn and discover personal meaning in their interactions with art, nature and one another. Our plan identifies key strategic priorities (Impact, Relevance, & Capacity) that will drive out next 3-5 years of work toward our larger vision. Expectations for GFS’ Volunteer Program include building on our current vibrant volunteers and continuing to develop and cultivate a diverse volunteer base that is reflective of the shifting demographics of the region and that represent people with different backgrounds and experiences that will bring a broader range of ideas which could lead to new projects and initiatives.
The Manager of Volunteer Services maintains active and collaborative relationships with staff across departments to ensure volunteers are supporting GFS in meaningful ways and also feel supported, themselves, by the larger GFS community. Key staff partners include colleagues in the Development department, the Education department’s Manager of Group Visit and School Programs, and the GFS Horticulturist. The Manager of Volunteer Services will facilitate volunteer recruitment, on-boarding of new volunteers, and manage logistics and the volunteer schedule to maximize volunteer success and contributions to GFS. As we strive to create an environment that is welcoming and inclusive, the ideal candidate will have five years’ experience supervising or coordinating volunteers and be able to patiently and effectively interact with a variety of personalities. We are looking for someone who can meet people where they are, be sensitive to their individual concerns, and tactfully handle a wide variety of situations effectively. This requires excellent communication and problem-solving skills.
Grounds For Sculpture, Inc. adheres to a policy that prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, creed, national or ethnic origin, citizenship status, age, disability, veteran status, or any other legally protected class.

Duties and Responsibilities
• Develop a comprehensive volunteer program that aligns with Grounds For Sculpture’s mission, vision, and
• Manage the Volunteer Program which includes recruitment, interviewing, processing background checks,
orientation, placement, training, scheduling, program and performance evaluation, recognition, and
• Provide on-site support, supervision, and management of volunteers at various events, programs, special
projects, etc.; often in collaboration with other GFS staff and departments.
• Use an online database system (Volgistics) to post ongoing volunteer positions, staff requests, monitor
timesheets, maintain personnel records. Monitor openings and recruit volunteers to fill essential positions.
• Work with local education institutions and other non-profit groups to form partnerships that will provide
additional resources for volunteers with varied backgrounds and skills.
• Manage communication and scheduling of Group/Corporate Volunteer requests from active and potential
Corporate Members, Universities and Community/Non-profit groups.
• Schedule, coordinate and promote regular Volunteer Trainings and Day Trips that are relevant and
• Work with staff across GFS to identify, and create new, individual and group volunteer opportunities.

• Share oversight of volunteers who work for the education department as GFS docents with the Manager of
Group Visit and School Programs.
• Work with Horticulture staff to expand Volunteer involvement and knowledge base and plan and implement annual plant sale.
• Organize annual Volunteer Appreciation Dinner with training/speaker relevant to upcoming season
• Ability to patiently and effectively interact with a variety of personalities and tend to volunteer and staff
• Demonstrated ability to tactfully handle stressful situations, negotiate and resolve conflicts, maintain
confidentiality and respect and observe organizational protocol.
• Demonstrated critical thinking, customer service, problem-solving, conflict resolution, decision-making,
leadership, team-building, time management, and motivational skills. Excellent written and verbal
communication skills.
• Strong computer skills with proficiency in Microsoft Windows programs.
• Preferred: experience with Volgistics or other volunteer management database

• Five years’ of work experience supporting a volunteer program and assisting diverse groups of volunteers
at an art museum or cultural venue serving a quarter million people annually Bachelor’s degree preferred
• Experience in diversifying the volunteer pool as well as creating an inclusive environment
• Advanced Microsoft Office skills; proficient in standard word processing, spreadsheet and database
software applications
• Must have a valid driver’s license
• Must have ability to stand for long periods of time and to lift 30 pounds or more.
• Flexible schedule and ability to work evenings, holidays, and weekends.
• The role requires duties to be carried out at Grounds For Sculpture and off-site events.

Instructions for Applicants:
Candidates must send the following to to be considered:
• Cover Letter
• Resume
• Salary Requirements

About Grounds For Sculpture
Nestled in the heart of central New Jersey lies Grounds For Sculpture (“GFS”), a magical place where art and nature are always at play. At its core are more than 270 sculptures by renowned and emerging contemporary artists, each thoughtfully positioned on meticulously landscaped parkland full of thousands of exotic trees and flowers. It is a feast for the senses. Grounds For Sculpture (GFS) is a 42-acre sculpture garden, museum and arboretum with major exhibition, education, performance, restaurant and visitor amenities that make contemporary art accessible by showcasing it in beautiful settings that encourage discovery and learning. Its arboretum has more than 200 cultivars of trees, thousands of flowering shrubs, and settings grand and intimate, all to spotlight art and engage the visitor. GFS’ indoor rotating gallery exhibitions, performing arts events, educational programs, and family activities invite people to approach and interact with art on their terms, growing in knowledge, understanding, and joy. Last year Grounds For Sculpture attracted over 250,000 visitors.

Job Post – Manager of School Programs, Walters Art Museum

Manager of School Programs, Walters Art Museum, Baltimore, MD

The Walters Art Museum is committed to serving over 30,000 prek-12 students and teachers per year through our guided and self-guided tours, hands-on studio classes, teacher professional development, homeschool workshops and student art shows. The Manager of School Programs is responsible for developing, coordinating, implementing and evaluating educational programs and interpretive content for school audiences.

She/he will work collaboratively with colleagues across multiple museum departments and divisions. Reporting to the Director of Education and Public Programs, the Manager of School Programs plays a central role in the team-based work of the Education Department and in the larger Art and Program Division to lead and oversee educational programming for our preK-12 audiences.

  1. Develops implements and evaluates programs for the preK-12 audience that align with Walters’s strategic plan.
    • Writes and/or edits tours, pre-visit and studio lessons.
    • Oversees all special programs and projects related to school programs (i.e. preK-12 tours, homeschool programs, pre-visit program, distant outreach, student art shows, studio classes, teacher workshops and in-services.
    • Develops programs and resources, both real and virtual that represent current trends in educational pedagogy.
    • Evaluates both quantitative and qualitative data for all programs related to schools in order to ensure quality programs for the preK-12 community. Applies findings to practice.
  2. Supervises School Programs Department
    • Mentors two Education Coordinators in order to provide leadership and direction for the team.
    • Develops and oversees the yearly budget for school programs
  3. Develops and sustains collaborations and relationships with the preK-12 community
    • Fosters engagement with new, underrepresented audiences as well as established audiences
    • Presents current programming to the preK-12 community to create awareness of and encourage use of the museum as a resource for learning
    • Leads the Teacher Advisory Committee in order to ensure the relevance of Walters programming with current classroom practice.
    • Leads teacher professional development programs for the museum to both practicing and pre-service teachers.
  4. Collaborates both inter- and intra-departmentally in the creation of programs that impact the school community.
    • Work with the Manager of Gallery Learning to assist in the development of docent enrichment sessions. Leads sessions when related to school curricula and educational pedagogy.
    • Serves as education representative on exhibition and reinstallation team
    • Collaborates with the Advancement Division and Director of Education to edit and contribute to grants that focus on preK-12 audiences.
    • Working with the other Managers in the Department to develop programs that overlap in audiences and encourage repeat visitation.

Required Qualifications

  • Master’s Degree in Fine Arts, Art History, Education, Museum Education
  • Three years related Experience in Studio Art, Museum Education, Gallery or Classroom teaching. Experience on collaborative work teams and event planning or coordination preferred. Demonstrated supervisory experience preferred.
  • Working knowledge of Developmental Stages pre K-12; arts integration; local and national art education standards; application of learning theories to art museum education; educational pedagogy.
  • Excellent Interpersonal Skills; Strong Customer Service and Time Management Skills; Flexibility; Organizational, written and verbal and computer skills; Microsoft Office, and web based content management systems.
  • Ability to work with children and adults effectively; Ability to tour groups in the museum galleries, including ability to communicate to museum visitors verbally and stand for long periods of time; Interact effectively and collaborate with diverse museum audiences and personnel teams; Ability to think creatively to inform and inspire museum audiences; Positive and pleasant customer service ability.
  • Knowledge of Visual Thinking Strategies and Common Core Standards a plus. 

Must provide own transportation as travel is required; must be able to lift and move boxes, supplies, and equipment up to 40lbs. Some evenings and weekends as needed for special occasions/events is required.

The Walters Art Museum provides an excellent comprehensive benefits package that includes medical, dental, prescription, vision, subsidized transportation and parking, museum membership, short-term disability, FSA (flexible spending account), 457b retirement, and free professional financial management counseling.

Salary is commensurate with experience. For consideration, send your resume and cover letter to

The Walters Art Museum is an Equal Opportunity, Equal Access Employer. Our policy prohibits discrimination based on race, creed, color, national origin, religion, age, sex or gender (including pregnancy), veteran status, genetic information, sexual orientation, gender identify, marital status, mental or physical disabilities, or any other legally protected characteristic. This policy applies to all employment actions and complies with all provisions of federal, state, and local laws enforcing nondiscrimination in employment practices. Volunteering opportunities and employment at the Walters is contingent on a favorable investigative background check. The museum is a drug-free and smoke-free workplace. The Walters Art Museum is an at-will employer.

The Walters Art Museum is a smoke and drug free workplace.

Thinking about museum workplace communities

When we think about the people that comprise a museum’s community, sometimes we overlook the very core of that group: the staff. Like all non-profits and cultural organizations, museums often have a small but dedicated crew of people giving 110% toward accomplishing the museum’s mission. And they wouldn’t have it any other way, right? But besides the devoted staff, museums can also often rely on tight budgets, small headcount, and, for small museums, no formal HR department to handle the needs of the people. This can all lead to the feeling that museums are (or should be) a stressful place to work. This can be dangerous for a mission-driven workplace, leading to employee burnout.

Burnout is a bit of a buzzword these days, but with good reason: If an institution’s culture makes people feel exhausted, frustrated, and alienated from their work, people will and do leave. If an industry’s culture does it, they will leave the industry. And we know that has been happening, because people have been writing about it. And as a member of EMP groups online, I can testify that the agonizing conversation  over whether or not to leave the field is taking place all the time, all over the country. That turnover can mean that institutional knowledge is walking out the door faster than it can be replaced, making a museum even more difficult to work for because people are constantly having to reinvent the wheel to keep moving. Museums, like many non-profits and places that depend on inspiration to motivate labor, are places where a number of workplace issues can come together to drain staff of their energy, enthusiasm, and ability to build a great institution. As emerging museum professionals, we should know the signs of burnout and of work cultures that will hasten it. This way, we can try to avoid toxic workplaces and build or grow non-toxic ones as we go. The best way to do that is to think about how we like to be treated in our other communities and implement those processes in our workplaces.

In our other relationships and communities, communication and dialogue in which everyone gets to share their opinions and needs are valued. It may be useful then for museums to create venues for feedback from staff, just like they do for visitors! This can include anonymous surveys, “listening sessions,” where someone in management hosts a group of people to get their feedback, or “postmortems,” meetings after issues or events where problems are assessed and betterments for the next time are decided. Implementation and followup is key: when people share their concerns, institutions must try to figure out how to make progress toward common requests. Do people want more vacation? Can your institution create a flex time policy so people can work around school pickups, appointments, etc? Do people want more money? Can your institution arrange a salary review, comparing salaries to like institutions and see if they are at par? Take in information and communicate plans to address issues.

Let’s not underestimate how important it is to show gratitude and encourage development, either. Thank people for their work. Thank teams for their work. Recognize work publicly. Celebrate finishing a project or hitting a fundraising goal. Encourage professional development, even if it means that a staffer might eventually outgrow their position and leave. Think creatively about low or no cost ways to help your staff develop. And remember that feedback goes both ways! Does your institution do performance reviews? It is difficult to know if you are doing well or to set goals without data.

There are a number of resources and action groups people can get involved with if they want to work more directly on these issues. Joyful Museums is a blog that conducts an annual survey of museum workers and, as the title suggests, thinks about how to create better museums. Gender Equity in Museums Movement (GEMM), is an advocacy group working for equity and transparency in museums on a number of workplace issues and they offer a tipsheet about combating burnout.  The Western Museum Conference recently held a panel on workplace culture, and the thoughtful handouts are available online. Do you have more ideas for fighting burnout or creating a happy and productive museum workplace? Share them in the comments!


A New Conversation for a New Year

What is a museum?

There’s a lot of ways to categorize them. Educational institutions. Tourist attractions. Repositories of knowledge or art. A place to bring the kids on spring break. One way that we like to think about a museum is as a community. The membership is a museum’s community, of course, but that is just one of many ways a museum can be a site of community. A museum can be a place where people gather, a locus that brings people together for common purposes. Museums can also be a member of a larger community, working to unite people and institutions around something bigger than itself, and reaping the rewards of that work. There’s a lot of power in that sort of engagement, and it’s something we’d like to spend more time thinking about in the pages (well, page) of this blog in 2019.

There’s a lot of ways to think about museums and community and we’re going to look at some of these in the next few months. Whether it is how Mass MOCA’s birth inside the shell of a former manufacturing plant is affecting its community in rural Berkshire County, MA, or following the progress of the Field Museum as it partners with local indigenous groups to re-envision its Native American exhibit halls, we are going to take some time to evaluate what museums are doing to create, strengthen, or expand their communities. We will also look at how arts organizations and other public spaces take on this work in ways that can be applied to museums. In taking these close looks, we hope to stimulate deeper conversations about what it means to be a museum and inspire people to look at their own organizations for ways to create new bonds with people and other organizations. Always, we hope to challenge assumptions about what and who an institution is for, who it speaks to, and what it can accomplish.

So together, let’s start thinking creatively about what it means to engage a community as a museum or as museum people. And let’s not forget that we’re a community, too, of readers and writers, and of museum students, alums, and workers! Please take a moment in the comments or send us an email at to let us know your thoughts about community and museums or to let us know about a great museum doing community engagement in a novel or successful way so we can write about it!

Job Roundup!

New year, new gig. Happy hunting!


Curator of Collections / Plimoth Plantation [Plymouth, MA]

Curatorial Assistant / Williams College [Williamstown, MA]

Associate Registrar / Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum [Boston, MA]

Education Specialist / Berkshire Museum [Pittsfield, MA]

Executive Director / Berkshire County Historical Society [Pittsfield, MA]


Visitor Services and Public Programs Manager / Geneva Historical Society [Geneva, NY]

Exhibition Designer / Smithsonian National Air & Space Museum [Washington DC]

Museum Curator / Cumberland County Historical Society [Carlisle, PA]

Project Manager / Smithsonian National Museum of American History [Washington DC]

Curatorial Fellowship / Philadelphia Museum of Art [Philadelphia, PA]


Associate Curator / Reginald F. Lewis Museum [Baltimore, MD]

Associate Director / North Carolina Museum of History [Raleigh, NC]

Academic Programs Manager / The Columbus Museum [Columbus, GA]

Heritage Center Archivist / Loretto Heritage Center [Nerinx, KY]

Director of Marketing & Public Relations / Gunston Hall [Lorton, VA]


Mellon Fellow in Photography Conservation / Art Institute [Chicago, IL]

Curator / Luxembourg American Cultural Society [Belgium, WI]

Director of Visitor Services and Accessibility / Missouri Historical Society [St. Louis, MO] 

Museum Educator / National Museum of Toys & Miniatures [Kansas City, MO]

Executive Director / Winona County Historical Society [Winona, MN]


Executive Director / Poudre Landmarks Foundation [Fort Collins, CO]

Collections Manager / El Paso Museum of History [El Paso, TX]

Exhibitions Designer / Idaho State Museum [Boise, ID]

Assistant Editor / The Getty [Los Angeles, CA]

Curatorial Practices Specialist / Anchorage Museum Association [Anchorage, AK]

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