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Interpretation Specialist - Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art

Interpretation Specialist - Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art

The Interpretation Specialist plays a key role in the Museum’s Exhibitions and Interpretation department. Specializing in the humanities, the Interpretation Specialist’s combined skills as a communicator, writer, researcher, editor, content developer, and educator, place him/her at the center of the museum’s mission to interpret the collection, exhibitions, the natural world, and architecture, providing access to art to all.

The position requires an outgoing, passionate, collaborative, and diplomatic professional who is a persuasive communicator and engaging writer; one who can interpret a variety of subjects in many ways, for a variety of audiences. This position works in close collaboration with curators, educators, audience researchers, and designers. The Interpretation Specialist  develops, delivers, and helps evaluate a broad range of interpretive strategies and materials for all levels of guests, volunteers and staff; enabling all to explore and understand the museum’s collections, special exhibitions, and outdoor experiences, in a meaningful way. S/he is responsible for a portfolio of interpretive and exhibition projects, often juggling a variety of projects in various states of completion. Organizational skills, attention to detail, and outstanding writing skills are required. 

The Interpretation Specialist collaborates regularly and effectively with curators, designers, project managers, evaluators, and educators. S/he reports to the Manager of Interpretation, and works closely with the Director of Exhibitions and Interpretation.

 

Principal Responsibilities 

  • Develops and implements interpretive strategies and tools, in collaboration with curators and educators, and based on the most current approaches to audience engagement, museum education, and related areas of specialty and advances in our field. Such tools include

  • labels, texts, images, digital and hands-on, in-gallery activities, printed guides, audio content, and other interpretive materials and experiences.

  • Negotiates with collaborators to ensure interpretive content is organized, understandable, relevant, and engaging.

  • Creates (and oversees the creation of) a large volume of interpretive and didactic materials with overlapping deadlines and for a variety of audiences including:

    • Seasoned Museum visitors, members, and their guests

      1. Specialized, diverse, and emerging audiences

      2. Families and children

      3. Guests with special needs

      4. Local, regional, and national guests

    • Continually evaluates the effectiveness of interpretive materials through formal and informal assessment, in collaboration with colleagues in the research and evaluation department.

    • Creates and presents content for staff and volunteer training.

    • Participates on a variety of cross-departmental teams as directed.

    • Represents the Museum regionally and nationally, and make innovative contributions to the fields of museum interpretation.

    • Prepares materials for grants; gives tours; makes presentations

  • Creates, refines, champions and advances interpretive planning and execution for the galleries, temporary exhibitions, architecture sites, and outdoor locations.

  • Builds on existing research to create relevant contexts for art, nature, and architecture content.

  

Minimum Qualifications 

  • Bachelor’s Degree Required. Master’s degree in humanities, communications, multi-disciplinary learning, history, art, architecture, science, art education, or related field (or equivalent experience) preferred but not required

  • Minimum two years’ experience in creating interpretive materials in a museum setting is highly desirable

  • Experience in public speaking is preferred

  • Demonstrated ability to interpret scholarly information, making it accessible for various audiences, including the general public and families.

  • Demonstrated knowledge of and facility with a variety of methods of interpretation

  • Substantial experience writing and editing for general audiences is required

  • Demonstrated outstanding oral and written communication skills

  • Ability to travel regionally and/or nationally from time-to-time

  • Knowledge and understanding of different learning styles

  • Experience working successfully on collaborative teams, as project coordinator and as team member, is desired

  • Comfortable juggling multiple and overlapping projects from small to large scale and delivering quality work in a fast-paced environment

  • Proficiency in the use of Microsoft Office including Outlook and PowerPoint

  • Ability to use (or learn) specialized software

  • Ability and willingness to work occasional weekends and evenings

  • Patience, a sense of humor, and a genuine love of the arts are required

 

Physical Demands and Work Environment:

The physical demands and work environment characteristics described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this position. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individual with disabilities to perform the essential functions. 

  • Physical demands: From time to time, while performing the duties of this job, the employee may be required to travel independently. In the work environment described below, position requires working at a desk and utilizing a computer and a telephone, good eye/hand coordination, bending and stretching, working in the galleries and classrooms, and moving from building to building. Visual acuity to accurately review written materials is required for this job.

  • Work environment: Work will be performed in an office environment, Museum galleries, studios and spaces and on the grounds, and in communities served. Outdoor work may be required in a variety of weather conditions. Regular hours are Monday through Friday, 8am – 5pm with occasional evening and weekend hours. While performing the duties of this job, the employee is exposed to weather conditions prevalent at the time. The noise level in the Museum work environment is usually low to moderate.

Application and Additional Information

Application

To be considered for this position, please apply through this posting. Applications must be complete and include a resume and cover letter.

 

No phone calls please.

The successful candidate will be required to pass a routine background and consumer credit check and drug screen.

 

EQUAL OPPORTUNITY STATEMENT

Crystal Bridges is committed to creating an institution that reflects the diversity of our region and nation. We are especially mindful of those in our community impacted by inequity due to ability, language, class, age, gender, religion, sexuality, race and ethnicity, and are working diligently to address perceived and real barriers that keep anyone from fully experiencing the museum as a guest, volunteer, or employee. To achieve true reform, we must have a diverse, highly qualified team. Crystal Bridges is proud to be an equal opportunity employer, and is committed to creating a diverse environment. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, genetics, disability, age, or veteran status.

 

We actively encourage minority candidates to apply for this position.

 

Museum Overview:

Crystal Bridges is a museum of American Art located in Bentonville, Arkansas. We explore the unfolding story of America by actively collecting, exhibiting, interpreting and preserving outstanding works that illuminate the American heritage and artistic possibilities. 

We are passionate about transforming lives through experiences that encourage the discovery of new ideas, expanded dreams and inspired actions.

 As an employee at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, you will be empowered to think creatively, ask questions, and make suggestions to help move the institution forward.