Director of Algonquian Exhibits and Interpretation

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This is an opportunity to work at one of the country's most prestigious living history museums. Operating on a remarkable property overlooking Cape Cod Bay, Plimoth Patuxet Museums (PPM) is a non-profit organization that brings the history of this Indigenous homeland and Plymouth Colony to life for hundreds of thousands of visitors each year.  The Director of Algonquian Exhibits and Interpretation (DAEI) is responsible for the continued success and further development of the Museum’s Indigenous programs, exhibits and interpretation of regional Algonquian history, heritage and lifeways. The Museum melds the natural and cultural history of this ancient landscape and its people with environmental history, offering a unique blend of indoor and outdoor exhibits, living history and both living and archeological collections.

By maintaining excellent standards of research, presentation and interpretation the DAEI contributes to visitors’ experience of this cultural treasure. We are seeking an individual who will greet with energy and enthusiasm the challenges and opportunities inherent in envisioning and implementing plans to broaden the Museum’s Indigenous programming and exhibits.

You will need to have the requisite training, skills and knowledge for this position – through experience or formal education or a combination of the two. You should have a verifiable reputation for excellence in your work. You are an innovator, and possess the energy, vision and drive to advance the Museum’s educational mission; achieving great results for the public that PPM exists to serve. Experience working or volunteering in a museum or other arts/cultural or educational organization is essential.

We are looking for someone with solid skills as a historian and an understanding of Indigenous history, heritage and culture of this region’s (broadly defined Northeast coastal and woodlands region) first people. 

If you have the relevant skills, proven experience, and are committed to high standards in your work; if you are enthusiastic about sharing information with the public and engaging them in thought-stirring conversations about Indigenous history; if you would like to be part of further developing the Museum’s programs and exhibits; if you enjoy working in a busy, collaborative environment, and are excited about sharing your knowledge and skills, then this may be the perfect job for you. 

SUMMARY

This position is part of the Guest Experience and Historic Sites Team. The intent is to create and facilitate engaging experiences and informative conversations with the Museum’s varied audiences – onsite and online. From hands-on experiences to dramatized scenarios resulting in a lively, active, and thought-stirring museum visit. Ongoing educational programs include tours, talks, hands-on experiences, museum theater, interactive experiences, and activities for children.

In this role, you will develop and implement new programs that will take place on the historic Patuxet Homesite and in the new Indigenous program building (opening in 2022).  This is a highly collaborative position, working closely with the Deputy Executive Director, the Director of the Guest Experience/Historic Sites, the Director and Associate Director of Education, the Collections Manager, and the Director of Public Programs and Hospitality. 

During the months the Museum is open (late March through late November) 60-80 percent of your work week consists of talking with visitors. In the winter months, in-person workshops and online programs are provided to schools and other groups.

The DAEI serves as the primary connection with Natives Studies Programs at colleges and universities with two goals: recruiting Native students for internships or employment at the Museum, and for ensuring that the Museum’s training materials are updated to reflect current thinking on Native history and lifeways. 

Responsible for creating a positive, and welcoming learning atmosphere at all times for Museum guests, staff and volunteers. Assists with ongoing training and mentoring for guest-facing staff on PPM’s sites.

ESSENTIAL DUTIES and RESPONSIBILITIES

  • Design, implement and assess programs and exhibits broadly related to Algonquian history, and specifically to the history of Wampanoag Patuxet and the surrounding region

  • Align programs with the Museum’s mission, collections, and strategic goals so that visitors can learn about a wide range of relevant subjects related to history as well as contemporary Indigenous arts and culture

  • Work with the Education Department to develop and implement innovative programs aimed at engaging audiences of all ages; help develop supplementary educational resources

  • Build appreciation for Indigenous history, heritage, arts and culture on the Museum’s campus as well as online; in collaboration with Public Programs department, develop and implement community engagement programs to extend our reach and deepen the impact of PPM’s educational mission – locally, regionally and nationally

  • Train and mentor staff in the historical interpretation of Indigenous people

  • Serve as the Museum’s primary contact with Native Studies Programs at colleges and universities for the recruitment of Native interns and staff, and to maintain academic relationships that will ensure the Museum’s training materials reflect current thinking on Native history and lifeways.

  • Deliver educational programs at schools and other offsite locations when needed

  • Serve on teams advancing special projects, exhibits, grant proposals, public relations, fundraising and special events

  • Build and maintain ongoing relationships with Native/Indigenous communities

  • Coordinate with the Marketing/Communications Team to represent the Museum as needed in a variety of media, including social media, print, photography and video

  • Support ongoing efforts to attract funding to advance the organization’s mission and programs; work with the team on grant proposals and on implementation of grants

This description is not intended to be a complete list of all responsibilities, duties, skills, requirements or working conditions associated with the job. While this is intended to be an accurate reflection of key responsibilities of the job as it is at present, management reserves the right to revise the job or to require that other or different tasks be performed as assigned. This job description may be reviewed by management at any time either to ensure that it relates to the job currently being performed, or to incorporate changes. Management reserves the right to change a job description; and if/when doing so will discuss with the employees concerned so that any changes are understood by employees.

EDUCATION and EXPERIENCE

We acknowledge and respect that the qualifications required to excel in this position can come from a range of both professional and lived experiences. Below we describe what we believe to be important qualifications for a candidate to possess, but we are open to the diversity of experiences that can lead to these skill sets. Position descriptions are sometimes presented in a way that leaves some people feeling unqualified to apply. Recognizing that, we strongly encourage you to apply if you feel passionate about this work and believe you have what it takes to help PPM fulfill its educational mission. 

  • Knowledge of Indigenous history and traditional lifeways

  • A Bachelor’s degree in the humanities helpful; an advanced degree is preferred, however, we will consider all candidates who possess relevant knowledge and experience but do not have a formal education

  • A strong interest in education, performing arts and visual culture, history and/or anthropology

  • Must have a passion for serving the public and a strong commitment to both teaching and learning. 

  • Energetic, innovative, flexible, imperturbable and resourceful. 

  • Ability to communicate and work collaboratively with a diverse range of individuals, groups and institutions is essential. This includes the public, tribal nations, schools, museums, universities, other non-profit arts and cultural organizations

  • Fluency in English is required. Excellent communication skills, especially in speaking to groups of people. Ability to engage and communicate skillfully with a wide range of people from different cultural and social backgrounds, ages and abilities.

  • Capacity to analyze, synthesize and accurately discuss varied primary and secondary historical sources, both documentary and material. Ability to interpret and apply the information you learn

  • Organized and detail-oriented while handling projects and working to deadlines

  • Demonstrate a positive professional presence, inspiring and building confidence both within the Museum and outside the institution among a broad range of constituencies.

  • A motivated and creative thinker who has the ability to work directly with culturally and geographically diverse audiences

  • Excellent interpersonal skills and the ability to engage the public, an interest and/or background in teaching and/or community engagement

  • Able to work independently and as part of a team in a professional environment 

CORE COMMITMENT

Whether part-time or full-time, year-round or seasonal, all staff and volunteers at PPM advance the museum’s educational mission and strategic goals; they uphold the museum’s core values and principles in their work and in all their interactions with the public and coworkers. This commitment helps to ensure that PPM’s reputation for excellence is maintained and that we, as stewards of the museum, are helping to create a relevant and sustainable future for Plimoth Patuxet. The core principles that guide us in our work are:

  • Safety and Comfort

  • Compassionate Customer Engagement

  • Professional Excellence

  • Practice Personal Accountability

  • Create a Culture of Philanthropy

  • Teamwork 

PHYSICAL REQUIREMENTS

The physical demands outlined here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to perform successfully the essential functions of the job. The work requires strenuous activity necessitating good cardiovascular condition, and there can be significant repetitive or strenuous motion necessary to accomplish certain tasks. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

  • Work sitting, standing, kneeling, or bent over, sometimes for extended periods of time.

  • Should be capable of lifting and moving objects up to 25 pounds.

  • Should be able to drive or ride in vehicles for extended periods. 

  • Must have a valid driver’s license.

WORK ENVIRONMENT

The work environment characteristics described here are representative of those an employee encounters while performing the essential functions of this job. 

  • The work place is not climate controlled, must be able to work in a variety of temperatures, and much of the work occurs outdoors in a variety of weather conditions. 

  • Work may be performed in dusty and smoky environments, in poorly lit areas, near open fires, and in cramped and crowded places. 

  • The noise level in the workplace varies from quiet to loud. 

We are open 7 days a week. Must be available to work Saturdays, or Sundays and some holidays when needed. Some evening work or work before opening may be required from time to time.  Flexibility in work hours and days off is essential.