Status:                  Full Time/Exempt                           

Schedule:            Weekdays

Reports to:         Executive Director

Salary range:     Director 1


We collaborate to create transformative learning experiences through the arts and sciences.


Portland Children’s Museum consists of three aligned entities: (1) the Museum, where exhibits and programs serve the public both on- and off-site, (2) Opal School, a fee-based preschool and K-5 public charter school, and (3) the Museum Center for Learning, which documents and disseminates fresh approaches to education and provides professional development for educators. In this description, Museum, School, and Center refer to the specific entity, while Portland Children’s Museum (or, “the organization”) refers to the whole.


In the Portland metro area, 47% of students are children of color. At Portland Children’s Museum, we strive to have our guest and school families reflect that diversity, and for our staff and board to be equally diverse. We are committed to eliminating barriers to access and equity and see a diverse workforce as a key step toward this goal. We actively seek to recruit, hire, promote, and retain a diverse workforce—one that welcomes and engages people from every background. We value our staff members, volunteers, and board members and their individual backgrounds, which further our ability to serve and learn from the diverse families that enrich our community. We invite you to join us on our journey.


The Director of Exhibits oversees temporary and permanent exhibit development, design, fabrication, installation, and maintenance for the Museum galleries. Working with the other department Directors, guided by the strategic plan, and aligned with the Museum’s Reggio-inspired learning philosophy, the Director of Exhibits determines both an annual and multi-year exhibit strategy to keep the Museum exhibits fresh and relevant through periodic renovation and replacement. This position defines the staffing structure of the Exhibits Department; s/he then hires and supervises staff members to fulfill those roles on a temporary, permanent, volunteer, and/or contract basis. In collaboration with the Facilities and Museum Experience Departments, the Director of Exhibits ensures that Museum exhibits are clean, operational, and well maintained, with a full inventory of loose parts and props. The Director of Exhibits develops and monitors an annual exhibits budget, oversees the Museum exhibit production shop areas, and contracts with outside vendors as necessary.


  • Proficient in museum exhibit design; children’s museum exhibit design preferred; design experience for diversity, inclusion, and accessibility a plus.
  • Ability to generate visuals that describe the exhibit experience to lay audiences
  • Demonstrated experience in project management and budgeting
  • Demonstrated experience in staff supervision and team leadership
  • Knowledge of construction sufficient to design for efficient fabrication
  • Exhibit installation skills; construction and fabrication skills a plus
  • Experience working in a team environment
  • Knowledge of early childhood development sufficient to produce developmentally appropriate designs; knowledge of Reggio-inspired learning approach a plus
  • Proficient in Microsoft Office and computer-aided design programs
  • Demonstrated strategic, financial, project, and time management skills
  • Knowledge of exhibit fabrication materials and finishes that are durable and nontoxic for early learning environments


  • Proven ability to communicate, motivate, and lead
  • Collaborative management style and proven success in problem solving and conflict resolution
  • Ability to build strong relationships to accomplish initiatives in a team environment
  • Authentic concern for children and their wellbeing
  • Commitment to a diverse workforce; ability to work with diverse staff and volunteers


  • 40+ hours per week.  Must have flexibility to accommodate temporary shifts in schedules with some early morning, evening, and/or weekend work required.
  • Some lifting of more than 50 lbs. is required, some overhead work.
  • Frequent work in a shop environment with power tools and heavy equipment.

To apply, send a cover letter and resumes to with Director of Exhibits in the subject line.  For questions regarding job duties or salary range, please contact Ruth Shelly


Directors Team leadership (20%)

Serving as a department head on the Directors Team, the Director of Exhibits:

  • Works to fulfill goals of the strategic plan–collaboratively as a group, and individually when assigned as an initiative lead.
  • Helps develop the annual and long-range Museum operations plan; serves as the lead for scheduling temporary and permanent exhibit installations, renovation, and replacement.
  • Collaborates with other Directors to deliver the best possible visitor experience.
  • Ensures that schedules for exhibit work result in minimal disruption to the Museum visitor.
  • Develops and monitors annual Exhibits expenses as part of the overall institutional budget.
  • Participate on committees as needed to meet organizational goals.

Exhibit development, design, installation, and maintenance (60%)

  • Designs or supervises layout of temporary exhibits rented from others; oversees and assists with exhibit installation as per the producing organization’s guidelines.
  • Manages the interdepartmental exhibit development process for new Museum-produced exhibits and renovations, including the piloting of exhibit activities.
  • Ensures that all exhibits are aligned with the Museum’s Reggio-inspired learning philosophy, are culturally inclusive, reflect community diversity, and comply with accessibility and safety standards.
  • Personally generates or supervises exhibit schematic design, design development, prototyping, and construction drawings.
  • Develops and monitors budgets and work schedules for management of exhibit projects.
  • Provides content/collateral required by Development for grant writing and fundraising.
  • Supervises and participates in exhibit construction and installation.
  • After opening, develops and implements plan for exhibit remediation, if needed, and ongoing maintenance.
  • Collaborates with Facilities and Museum Experience departments for ongoing exhibit and prop cleaning; ensures an adequate inventory of exhibit props and loose parts.

Exhibit team supervision (20%)

  • Determines optimal staffing structure and required skills for Exhibits team (currently three full-time employees).
  • Hires and supervises staff members to fulfill those roles on a temporary, permanent, volunteer, or contract basis.
  • Oversees exhibit production shop areas to ensure organization, safety, tool/equipment inventory and maintenance, and cleanliness.
Job Information
  • Portland, Oregon, 97221, United States
  • 28676141
  • May 23, 2016
  • Director of Exhibits
  • Portland Children’s Museum
  • Exhibitions
  • No
  • Full-Time
  • Indefinite
  • BA/BS/Undergraduate
  • 3-5 Years
  • 0-10%