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Senior Director of Interpretation

Genesee Country Museum
Mumford, New York
Closing date
Mar 30, 2023

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Position Type
Dean / Department Head
Full Time
Museum Studies
Organization Type
Position: Senior Director of Interpretation
Reports to President & CEO
Primary Function: Provide leadership and management for of interpretive functions of an 1800s historic village including village life, historic trades, foodways, agriculture, gardening, costuming, and base ball.
Reports: Seven direct and 80+ year-round PT and seasonal staff indirect
Salary Range: $62,000-$70,000 plus benefits outlined below.
Genesee Country Village & Museum, located outside of Rochester, NY, is the country's third largest living history museum and also includes a nature center and art gallery. GCV&M is embarking on a new strategic plan as we move towards our 50th anniversary in 2026 that will mark an exciting new chapter in the evolution of the Museum as a more engaging, relevant, and sustainable community asset and attraction.
GCV&M seeks a creative, collaborative, energetic leader for its interpretive functions to achieve the ambitious strategic goals of the organization. The Senior Director will be a creative yet pragmatic thinker who can:
- manage and develop a diverse staff;
- incorporate new interpretive stories to tell a more complete, inclusive history of the region;
- develop informative and interesting programs for a wide range of audiences; and
- assist with implementing new strategic initiatives.
The position requires extensive collaboration with other key staff across the Museum and with outside organizations, while driving attendance and revenue.
Staff and Program Management - 50%
Provide the following support for all departments under Interpretation:
- Lead, mentor, delegate to, and evaluate the performance of a diverse team of year-round managers, providing opportunities to develop programs and interpretation that support Museum strategic priorities.
- Oversee the recruitment, hiring, training, and evaluation of 80+ seasonal interpreters who work in the Historic Village, ensuring that they are providing an informative and relevant experience for visitors.
- Work with colleagues across the Museum to provide programming to support special events, school field trips, group tours, development activities, etc.
- Oversee coordination of and provide creative solutions to potentially improve a variety of Interpretation-led programs including the Base Ball program, Pioneer Weekends, After Hours Tours, Historic Dining and food tastings, and other thematic events.
- Ensure that all interpretation and programs are of the highest quality. Programs must be mission and value driven - supporting the Museum's goals, incorporating diverse voices, and providing both educational and engaging experiences for those attending.
- Develop budgets for all Interpretation departments on an annual basis. Regularly monitor all budgets and promptly address any resulting issues/concerns to ensure that budget goals are met, particularly as they relate to revenue.
- Drive interpretive impact with audiences not on-site through virtual programs and digital offerings.
Implementation of Strategic Priorities - 35%
- Work with the Collections staff to manage the research and interpretation of stories that diversify, contextualize, and inspire curiosity throughout the visitor experience in the Historic Village.
- Develop and implement alternative on-site program delivery techniques across Interpretation, including innovative uses of technology, first-person interpretation, and exhibits.
- Develop and implement creative revenue-generating programs and retail opportunities across all Interpretation departments.
- Work closely with the Development Department to identify, prepare, and execute grants (particularly Federal ones), sponsorship requests, and other donor-related activities.
Other - 15%
- Serve as a member of the Administrative Committee
- Frequently interact with Board of Trustees, key donors, and volunteers
- Build relationships throughout the local community with individuals and organizations who can support strategic priorities.
- Maintain relationships with professional organizations and stay informed of the latest trends in museums and non-profits, particularly living history museums.
- Other duties as assigned
- 8+ years of experience in a museum or educational institution, with a preference for Master's degree in American Studies, Anthropology, History, Museum Studies, or other relevant field of study.
- Proven ability in management and leadership including supervision, mentoring, training, project planning, budgeting, and oral and written communications.
- Proven ability in creating, implementing, fundraising for, and evaluating creative and relevant visitor experiences for diverse audiences using a variety of interpretative tools. Experience with strategic planning is a plus.
- Ability and desire to work in a team environment, managing multiple tasks simultaneously and collaborating inter- and cross-departmentally to plan and problem solve.
- Ability to work nights and weekends, particularly during the summer; and to travel to museum conferences and other museums to observe and share best practices.
- Ability and willingness to perform tasks that require some physical exertion; regular movement around a large, open-air campus in all weather conditions. Must also be willing to occasionally wear historical clothing.
- Must complete a background check.
- Excellent interpersonal and collaboration skills and comfort with navigating an organization through change.

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