Topic ID #35325 - posted 3/17/2015 9:56 AM

Curator of Education - Birmingham, AL


The Birmingham Museum of Art

The Curator of Education is a regular full-time position with benefits. He/She oversees the development, implementation, and management of the museum’s education programs, along with a team of 6 members, volunteers and docents. He/she, in collaboration with other departments, ensures the programs provide opportunities for active audience engagement that relate directly to the Museum’s collection and exhibitions in order to help the Museum fulfill its mission of providing an unparalleled cultural and educational experience to a diverse public.



Founded in 1951, the Birmingham Museum of Art has the finest comprehensive collection in the South. The collection comprises more than 27,000 objects within six collecting areas: Africa and the Americas, American Art, Asian Art, European Art, European Decorative Arts, and Modern and Contemporary Art. The BMA provides inspirational cultural and educational art experiences to diverse communities while constantly evolving and enhancing our visitors’ interactions with our Museum and interests in the visual arts.



Management and Leadership

·         Work with Education Department and Museum Administration to develop the strategic vision, goals, objectives, and direction of the department that are in keeping with the overall goals and mission of the BMA.

  • Lead the museum education staff in all areas, including gallery interpretation, studio classes, public programs, docent recruitment and training, teacher and school services, arts camp, community programs and engagement, and volunteer services.
  • Research and implement the use of technology to foster learning opportunity.
  • Ensure ongoing assessment of education programs to evaluate, qualify, and quantify the impact of our work.
  • Maintain or increase an active presence in the community by establishing partnerships with community groups (cultural organizations, neighborhoods, municipalities, civic leaders, etc.).
  • Ensure the education department plays an integral role in all stages of the planning process for exhibitions, gallery reinstallations, and other museum initiatives.
  • Develop and present lectures and tours on various topics (e.g., art exhibits and education, design and development of interpretive educational materials and didactics, art history, and works of art in the collection, etc.) for various audiences and purposes.
  • Establish and maintain a regular flow of information within the department and with other museum departments through regular meetings.
  • Research current practices in museum education to stay abreast of trends in art education.


Visitor Experience

·         Ensure programs, resources, guided visits, and other activities are designed to make the Museum an integral part of the social/cultural fabric of the community.

·         Work with Assistant Curator of Education for Visitor Engagement and Collection Curators to create accessible, informal learning experiences that foster an environment conducive to active and personal engagement with original works of art.

·         Identify, cultivate, and develop diverse audiences in order to provide museum experiences to as broad an audience as possible.

·         Work closely with Education staff and docents to ensure that the docent program meets expectations and adheres to current museum education standards. Ensure docents are prepared, capable, and inspired to create meaningful and engaging experiences with Museum visitors. Work with education staff to develop relevant tours; assess visitor learning and experiences on tours; ensure docent training meets docent and visitor needs.


Departmental Budget

  • Prepare and manage department, exhibition, and other special project budgets; monitor expenditures against established budgets and track the variance. 
  • Work with Development and Senior staff to identify and pursue opportunities for increased revenue through programs. Research grants to find appropriate funding sources, and write or assist in writing and submitting grants for funding. Build relationships with constituents to aid in fundraising efforts.



·         Ability to influence, motivate, and inspire employees.  Includes developing and communicating a vision, gaining commitment to the vision, building trust among colleagues, and providing guidance and direction.

·         Must be articulate with excellent presentation and writing skills.

·         Demonstrated ability to work professionally and tactfully to represent the BMA with a high level of integrity and professionalism.

·         Ability to assess and manage multiple competing priorities and work well under pressure; excellent organizational, time management, and creative problem solving skills.

·         Demonstrated ability in the successful development and maintenance of a wide variety of community partnerships.

·         Ability to adhere to museum policies and support management decisions in a professional manner.

·         Ability to work effectively in a changing environment.  Ability and willingness to adjust to changing work demands, procedures, technology, and/or priorities.

·         Ability to work without close supervision and ensure that work tasks are completed on time and with high quality. Includes being able to perform work tasks without significant amounts of direction and guidance.

·         Considers internal and external contacts as customers and makes prompt efforts to meet their needs.  Demonstrates a commitment to provide quality service and maintaining customer satisfaction.

·         Ability and willingness to work evenings and weekends to support museum and Education programs and initiatives.

·         Ability to effectively manage and resolve conflicts with coworkers and/or customers by identifying the disputed issues and developing and considering effective alternatives.

·         Respects people of all backgrounds.  Treats everyone in a fair and consistent manner by maintaining a consistent and appropriate set of standards to guide behavior.  Includes creating an environment that values and includes perspectives from differing backgrounds, cultures, and skill sets.

·         Ability to make quality and timely decisions.  Includes analyzing relevant information, weighing consequences, and selecting the most appropriate course(s) of action.

·         Ability to lift and carry 30lbs.

·         Demonstrate proficiency in Microsoft Office Suite.


Work Environment – Work is predominately performed indoors. Occasionally work outdoors to fulfill educational programs.

Physical Ability - Light work: ability to stand and walk for up to 6 hours in an 8 hour day and lift 10 lbs. frequently and 30 lbs. occasionally.


·         Master’s Degree in Museum Education, Art History, or related discipline required.

·         Minimum of ten years experience as an art museum educator/curator, and extensive knowledge of art museum education practices required.

·         Supervisory experience preferred.


Salary is commensurate with qualifications and experience and includes an excellent benefits package.


An offer of employment is contingent upon verifying the accuracy of the information provided by the candidate and the background check results will determine his/her suitability for employment at the BMA. Candidates should submit a letter of interest, resume, and names, addresses, and phone number of three references. Review of applications will be ongoing until the position is filled.

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