Director of Museum Programs

  • 25 Aug 2017 2:08 PM
    Message # 5048116

    Vulcan Park Foundation seeks an experienced museum professional to direct a new collections program and lead growth of educational programs and exhibits, providing input into a master plan for an anticipated expansion of museum facilities.

    Organization Background:  Vulcan Park Foundation (VPF) oversaw a $16 million renovation, and since reopening in 2004, has operated the landmark 1904 statue of Vulcan, the 10 acre surrounding park, and Vulcan Center Museum on behalf of the city of Birmingham, AL.  As the only comprehensive history museum in the region, VPF’s educational purpose is fulfilled through exhibits and extensive programming for students, visitors and residents.  With a recently acquired collection of historical items, VPF is poised to enrich its educational purpose by providing access to these resources.  

    General Position Summary:

    Incorporates creative learning strategies to engage diverse audiences with the region’s history through exhibits, educational programming and projects, both within the museum and throughout the community. Serves as key contact with region’s education community, ensuring curriculum relevance and accuracy of all programs and exhibits. Directs all aspects of the museum’s collections program, overseeing procurement, care, digitization, interpreting and exhibiting.  Directs volunteer and intern programs.  Engaged with fundraising and develops content of educational grant narratives.

    Essential Functions/Major Responsibilities:


    • Provides collaborative leadership in development, implementation and evaluation of dynamic museum education programs for diverse audiences which incorporate VPF’s mission and vision, policies and procedures, and reinforce institutional relevance.
    • As member of key leadership staff, actively participates in, contributes to, and through department activities, supports VPF’s strategic plan, annual priorities and institutional initiatives.
    • Leads by example with the highest level of integrity and professionalism in fostering a culture of high expectations and accountability, contributing creative ideas and solutions to support a proactive work environment.
    • Works with Marketing/PR Department to develop strategic direction and tactics to actively promote and share programs and resources with broad audiences, utilizing appropriate means, with follow-up both personally and through support staff.
    • Annually proposes budget for department, and ensures adherence to approved budgeted numbers.
    • Represents VPF with the public, educators, industry peers and stakeholders at community and professional events, and/or as a public speaker.
    • Plays key role in fundraising for support of educational programs, including drafting narratives and program budgets, and tracking impact, expenses and providing reports for funders. 
    • Directs volunteer, docent and intern programs.  Oversees recruitment and orientation of all volunteers, docents and interns, designing and conducting training programs for education volunteers. 


    • Researches options, presents to key staff and appropriate committee(s) for approval, and creates or arranges for development, installation and maintenance of engaging permanent, online, temporary and traveling exhibitions.
    • Develops exhibition narratives and related educational programs and, with support from Marketing/PR, printed educational and interpretive materials, e.g. catalogues, curriculum guide for teachers, etc., that supplement and enrich exhibitions.
    • With input from committees, regularly evaluates exhibits for accuracy and relevance and develops action plans for improvement.
    • Develops short- and long-term plans for incorporating items from newly acquired collection into the museum’s on and off-site exhibitions.
    • Relies on experience and research to support development of museum’s master plan for growth and enhanced importance as a valued resource for the region.


    • Relying on a network of scholars and enthusiasts, as well as on personal knowledge, creates and implements education and museum interpretive plan for year-round programming that is consistent with the museum’s purpose, exhibitions and collections, which engages different types of learners and learning experiences, and are of the highest professional caliber.
    • Develops plan for strategically expanding oral history program.
    • Supervises implementation of Alabama State Course of Study curriculum-based, new and existing educational offerings and ensures that outreach and tour programs, materials and teacher workshops support same.
    • Develops and implements evaluation tools to measure, interpret and analyze the outcomes of educational programs relative to strategic goals, maintains records of same, and submits detailed action plans for needed program improvements, additions or deletions.
    • Expands reach of museum programs by cultivation of mutually beneficial relationships with other cultural, educational and community organizations.


    • Strategically directs management of collections program in keeping with board approved collections policy, including acquisition, disposal, storage, exhibition, conservation, research and exhibition, etc.
    • Ensures museum’s artifact collection is maintained in keeping with museum best practices.
    • Develops plan for digitizing collection and providing for online access.

    Supervisory Responsibility:

    Direct supervision of Educational Program Coordinator, Museum Specialist and/or education support positions as they may exist from time to time, volunteers, interns, docents and contract staff.  

    Required Job Skills, Knowledge and Abilities:

    • Extensive knowledge of current principles, practices and techniques of museum curation, interpretation and administration.
    • Knowledge of museum education practice and theory, and current curriculum initiatives and learning theory.
    • Excellent leadership, coaching, planning and organization skills.
    • Team-building skills with a collaborative management style.
    • Ability to forge and maintain effective working relationships within the organization as well as with representatives of the community and other organizations.
    • Ability to continually develop and integrate skills related to the rapidly changing museum field.
    • Excellent English communication skills, including ability to conduct research, clearly express ideas, concepts and knowledge both verbally and in writing.
    • Mental ability to handle multiple duties, consistently prioritize work, analyze and solve problems and perform at highest level with minimal direction.
    • Physical ability to lift and carry objects of up to 50 lbs., climb stairs and ladders, stoop, bend and perform other physical duties.

    Minimum Education and Experiences:

    • Master’s degree in museum studies, history, public administration, or a closely related field preferred.
    • Five years of increasingly responsible leadership experience at a museum or historic site with responsibility for artifacts and/or collections, and with three years as member of key leadership team required.
    • A current driver’s license.
    • A record of regular professional development and engagement in the professional community.

    To Apply:  Send resume or CV to