Museum Studies at Tufts University

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Tag: seattle art museum

Online Learning Reviews: Seattle Art Museum

As mentioned, we’re doing occasional reviews of museum online learning opportunities written for the Spring 2012 class “Museums and Online Learning.”

Seattle Art Museum

Whenever I heard about the Seattle Art Museum (SAM), the first thing comes into my mind is the city of Seattle. I like Seattle! Although I have never visited it, by exploring its website I like SAM, too. SAM has a great, varied collection and when it comes to presenting it online, SAM does a good job but needs to improve some of its some online features.

In general, the SAM website is well organized and it is easy to navigate. It is very informative yet the reader is not overpowered by information. The main colors of the website (white, blue and green) are subtle and it relaxes the eyes.  It has a clear design which does not overwhelm the content. But the use of small fonts is a problem. Although I was not inconvenienced it might be uncomfortable for some visitors with sight problems.

In the age of web 2.0, where participation is the key, databased and digitized collections are not sufficient. Online collections should be more than that. SAM‘s “create your own collection” feature works great in that sense. Users can register via their e-mail addresses, select the art they like and create their own virtual exhibits. As well as promoting participation, this feature gives a sense of ownership to the users and engages them with the museum’s collection better.

I believe that “encouragement to explore more” is another important element of participation. But this part is insufficient in SAM’s online collections. The “permanent collection highlights” section successfully gives the visitor a general idea about the collection at a first glance. The “close ups” section on the other hand provides detailed information about the 100 selected artworks. This is the only section which is supported by audio content and offers related pieces to discover.  But, for a museum having more than 23,000 pieces in its collection, the number of the selected artworks should be increased. Also, by adding more “learn more about” or “see related pieces” features, SAM’s online collections would be more engaging.

To reach more people, SAM has to develop its search facilities, too. The only way to search through SAM’s collection is typing keywords. The database is enormous but only experts will know how to pull up information about specific pieces. This would limit the variety of visitors using this feature.

Those are my observations in less than 400 words. What do you think?

Manager of Teen, Family, and Community Engagement Programs [Seattle Art Museum]

Seattle Art Museum
Olympic Sculpture Park


*OVERVIEW*: Responsible for engaging broad and diverse audiences by
deepening engagement with SAM through the development, implementation and
promotion of teen, family and community programming at the Seattle Art
Museum (three sites). Responsibilities include, but are not limited to,
designing and coordinating a diverse cross-section of teen & family
programs outside of the school environment and developing and liasing with
existing and new community partners throughout the region.

This position is also responsible for building relationships with other
arts organizations, developing awareness efforts, being a liaison between
other departments within SAM and the Education and Public Programs Division
regarding teen, family, and community engagement programs. Logistics and
other administrative and programmatic duties as needed are also a function
of this position.

*REPORTS TO*: Kayla Skinner Deputy Director of Education and Public Programs

1. Strategically create, plan and implement all aspects of Teen, Family and
Community Engagement programs and articulate a clear vision for the
department and its activities with the goal of SAM being a leader in the
field of 21st century museums. This is to be done in alignment with SAM’s
focus connecting art to life and bridging cultures across time and place.
2. Direct the work of the department and lead the department in the
development of long-range goals.
3. Develop and present convenings, events and workshops for community-based
organizations and teen activists.
4. Participate in the creation of multi-media interpretive teen and family
materials for the Seattle Art Museum website.
5. Develop partnerships with other institutions, universities, and
communities throughout the city to engage new audiences and to share
resources. Develop and maintain contacts and collaborations in the museum,
cultural, and education communities locally, nationally, and
internationally to sustain professional growth, foster long-term
development of innovative programming, ensure the highest quality for all
education programs, and in support of the SAM’s educational and audience
development and engagement goals.
6. Work with teachers, artists, educators, curators and consultants to
develop materials and resources for teens and families based on the
Museum’s collections. Update existing materials on a regular basis.
7. Work with Development department to write grant proposals and grant
reports on programs.
8. Work in collaboration with Deputy Director for Education, Communications
Department and other staff and to produce relevant brochures and other
vehicles for publicizing and maximizing all programs and exhibitions. This
includes identifying and analyzing target audiences, as well as advising on
strategies for print, radio, media releases, SAM website, eNews, and
evolving social networking sources.
9. Develop, implement, and manage the department’s annual budget of
expenses and revenue.
10. Responsible for leadership, oversight and motivation of department
staff. Effectively manage and mentor staff, interns and volunteers.
11. Lead discussions, development and implementation of new approaches to
orientation, learning, and engagement spaces within the museum. Monitor and
evaluate equipment, resources and public use of those spaces.
12. Lead or facilitate discussions, gallery talks and other public programs.
13. Forge collaborative relationships with various departments to develop
convergent offerings that create links between programs as well as
innovative strategies for audience engagement.
14. Be a dynamic contributor to the field. Actively build and foster strong
connections with leaders in the museum field in order to disseminate SAM’s
educational work, lead collaborative initiatives, and serve as a
spokesperson for SAM’s programs. Stay abreast of and responsive to peer
15. Use new technology to benefit and serve educational programming.
16. Organize and participate in community forums.
17. Schedule and organize SAM’s participation in community events including
community festivals, and speaker’s bureau.
18. Represent Seattle Art Museum in public presentations and activities
including festivals, conferences, lectures, meetings, classes, panels etc.
19. Manage and expand the Community Organization Program. Recruit new
20. Oversee the teen advisory group and the family input group.
21. Design and implement program assessments.
22. Oversee studio spaces and the Artist-Created Experiences Project in
collaboration with the Manager of Public Programs.
23. Manage art studio programs for students outside of the school day.
24. Participate in SAM sponsored teacher workshops and docent training.
25. Make presentations about teen, family and community engagement programs
at SAM.
26. Other duties as appropriate.

1. Master of Arts degree in Art History, Art Education or related
humanities field, or the equivalent combination of education and
experience. Youth programming experiences required.
2. Three to five years of teaching and/or museum experience. Working
knowledge of youth development models, trends in education and museums.
3. Demonstrated ability to build and sustain relationships with diverse
communities and neighborhood organizations.
4. Excellent written and oral communication skills.
5. Knowledge of integrated learning models.
6. Knowledge and understanding of EALR’s.
7. Demonstrated proficiency with and accuracy in using MS Office products,
including Word, Excel, Outlook, Powerpoint and Access and other related
software applications.
8. Organizational ability with strong management and supervisory skills.
Ability to motivate and lead staff and volunteers.
9. Ability to assess and manage multiple competing priorities and work well
under pressure; excellent time management.
10. Ability to work accurately with close attention to detail and maintain
confidentiality of sensitive information.
11. Ability to work with co-workers, volunteers and the public
professionally and tactfully, and support management decisions and goals in
a positive, professional manner.

The Seattle Art Museum will consider reasonable accommodations for those
applicants with disabilities who may need a reasonable accommodation to
perform the essential functions/duties. Please contact the Human Resources
Department for additional information.

Seattle Art Museum is committed to diversity and inclusion. Qualified
individuals who bring diverse perspectives to the workplace are especially
encouraged to apply.

*TO APPLY*: Please visit our website at for
specific instructions on how to submit your cover letter, resume, and SAM
employment application (available online).

*Deadline*: Open Until Filled.

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