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Executive Director, Springfield and Central Illinois African American History Museum

Springfield, Illinois
Closing date
Oct 7, 2022

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Position Type
Executive / President
Full Time
Area Studies, African Studies, Museum Studies
Organization Type

TITLE: Executive Director, The Springfield And Central Illinois African American History Museum

WORKSITE: 1440 Monument Ave. Springfield, IL 62702

(217) 391-6323

OPENING DATE: August 1, 2022

CLOSING DATE: October 3, 2022

REPORTS TO: Board of Directors with management by Board President

EMPLOYMENT CLASSIFICATION: Exempt, Full-Time, 40-Hour Work week

· Please Note: This position is funded by a 3-year grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services. The Museum plans to continue to provide funding for this position beyond the grant period.


The Executive Director is responsible for leading and managing strategy execution, administration, operations, and programs of the Springfield and Central Illinois African American History Museum (AAHM). The Executive Director works with the Board of Directors to fulfill the museum's mission and manages the daily operations of business and administrative functions which includes program development and execution, financial performance management, customer and partner relationships, technology, and legal affairs. Develop and oversee strategies for increasing funding base and resources of the Museum. Additionally, the Executive Director provides supportive leadership to the Board President and Board of Directors.

Provide mission-focused vision and conceptual leadership to the Museum through professional knowledge of museums. Direct and administer the Museum (operations, collections, registration, exhibitions, and educational programs) in compliance with law and in accordance with national standards in the museum profession.

Create new knowledge through hands-on participation in the development of informal learning opportunities, such as exhibits and programs. Represent the Museum to, peer institutions, City officials, the community, professional peers, media, etc., models ideals of diversity, equity, accessibility, and inclusion as consistent within the museum field at large.


The mission of the AAHM is to tell authentic stories about African American life in Springfield and Central Illinois through exhibitions, education, collections, and programs to preserve, interpret and celebrate African American history and culture. By celebrating the contributions of Illinois African Americans, both the famous and the virtually unknown, the museum is placing the African American journey squarely at the heart of our state and national history. The Springfield and Central Illinois African American History Museum (AAHM) provides and supports many programs and projects on African American history and culture in Springfield and Central Illinois. Until the African American History Foundation (established in 2006) established AAHM (2012) there was not a central place or organization that showcased the African American experience in central Illinois. The Museum contains professionally researched exhibits and has a library of over 400 books on African American history and culture. It is used for research by adults and students. The AAHM is a partner with the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum (ALPLM), Illinois State Museum (ISM) and the National Park Service. Over the past 9 years, the Museum has provided exhibits on many aspects of the African American experience. The Museum has sponsored the traveling exhibit of the Tuskegee Airmen Red Tails; the traveling exhibits from the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in Kansas City, MO, Beisbol and is currently exhibiting the Springfield 1908 Race Riot, with plans to add an interactive kiosk to make that event into ‘relevant history for today". The Museum also sponsors and hosts book signings, dramatic performances, and educational lectures. The museum has recently received a state grant to expand and renovate the museum. Museum website .

The museum is located in the historical district of Springfield which is the state capital and Lincoln's hometown. The city has 117,000 residents and is the hub of state government.


· Direct and assume accountability for all Museum operations.

· Manage financial accounts and capital inventory.

· Supervise staff and oversee Museum's role in personnel matters (position requests, position descriptions, searches, hiring, payroll, evaluations, terminations).

· Provide a work environment that embraces principles of diversity, equity, access, and inclusion, and such that staff /volunteers may execute their duties and obligations effectively.

· Assure professionalism in curatorial research on collections, academic support, educational programs, public relations, and interpretation and presentation of collections.

· Oversee implementation of the Museum Strategic Plan.

· Write and administer grants for Museum operations and programs.

· Responsible for maintaining operational premises, interacting with Facilities Management and other City offices to report deficiencies, assure repairs and maintenance, monitor custodial standards and conservation environment, de-infest, and manage emergencies (City owns the museum building).

· Assure premises comply with ADA protocols and promote the safety of guests. Assure the readiness of premises and staff for emergency and recovery operations.

· Maintain and monitor secure access protocols with City Police, and Facilities Management.

· Negotiate and oversee program and loan contracts with peer institutions (Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum and IL State Museum).

· Maintain relations with vendors of professional museum services, such as contractors, preparators, and conservators.

· Other duties as assigned.

Required Knowledge/Skills/Abilities:

· Knowledge of American Alliance of Museums (AAM) standards and best practices in all museum disciplines (collections management, collections care and conservation issues, educational programming, exhibition design, curation and connoisseurship, risks management, disaster recovery, promotion, and marketing as it applies to museums).

· Knowledge of relevant state and federal regulations for nonprofits.

· Knowledge of small business management, budgeting, principles, and practices of organizational management.

· Knowledge of national conversations regarding diversity, equity, access, and inclusion as well as commitment to these principles.

Preferred Knowledge/Skills/Abilities:

· Knowledge of effective STEM/STEAM educational methodologies and other informal learning practices.

· Ability to review and draft museum contracts to ensure that (a) the Museum's interests are provided for and (b) contract language is in keeping with museum best practices and standards in the field.

· Write and administer grants for the museum operations and programs.

· Negotiate and oversee program and loan contracts with peer institutions (ALPLM and IL State Museum).

· Develop and oversee strategies for increasing funding base and resources of the museum.

· Ability to plan and administer museum programs.

· Ability to develop museum exhibits and supervise others in the development of exhibits.

Minimum Required Education and Work Experience:

A Bachelor's Degree in African American History, Museum Studies, History, Sociology, Anthropology, Public Relations, Business Administration, or related fields with documented coursework and/or work experience in museum practices.

One-year supervisory experience in museum administration, museum exhibitions or the curation of collections.

Preferred Education and Work Experience:

An earned master's degree in African American History, Museum Studies, Anthropology, History, Sociology, or a related field. Demonstrated interest in and understanding of operations of small museums and public interpretation of African American History.

Three (3) years' experience in museum administration, museum exhibition, or the curation of collections.

General Days/Hours:

9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.- 40-hour work week; occasional weekend or evening as per programming needs
Additional hours as requested and/or needed
Regular and reliable attendance.

Salary- $60,000 per year

TO APPLY by October 3, 2022:

Submit the following via email to , Subject: AAHM Executive Director Position

(Position will remain open until filled)

· A cover letter explaining your interest and qualifications for the position.

· A detailed resume, or curriculum vita.

· Three professional references with contact information (the search committee will contact references for final candidates).

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