Associate Director of Learning and Interpretation – Smith College Museum of Art, Northampton, MA

The Smith College Museum of Art is recognized as a leading academic museum, contributing meaningfully to Smith College’s mission to educate women of promise for lives of distinction and purpose. The museum’s collection now comprises more than 27,000 objects, representing the diversity of art and material culture across periods and geographies.

As a member of the museum’s senior leadership team, contribute to the development of short- and long-range educational, artistic, and engagement goals for the museum.  Lead a staff responsible for interdisciplinary teaching, learning and engagement, serving both the Smith community and the broader public. Oversee all aspects of academic engagement, public and student programming, K-12 activities, and museum interpretation.

Exercising strategic and tactical leadership, guide museum-wide efforts to conceptualize and implement experiences advancing SCMA’s mission to promote inquiry and reflection by connecting people to art, ideas and each other. Work closely and collaboratively with museum colleagues to make the museum a center of curricular learning and cocurricular activity, promoting civic and cultural engagement. Oversee the development, delivery and analysis of public and student programs, working in coordination with colleagues across museum departments.

Provide leadership and vision for SCMA’s interpretive plan to create a critical and inclusive lens through which visitors can consider art through multiple perspectives and expanded narratives.  Working with colleagues across museum departments, develop new strategies for interpretation that enhance visitor experiences of exhibitions and collections for diverse audiences in the museum’s galleries and digitally. Assess the effectiveness of interpretive resources for continuing improvement.

SCMA supports Smith College’s commitment to building a just and inclusive campus community founded in respect and trust by fostering an environment that elevates and amplifies diverse perspectives and voices. Work with museum staff and leadership to cultivate a culture of openness, curiosity and empathy and to advance SCMA’s commitments to diversity, equity, accessibility and inclusion (DEAI).

All College staff are expected to take appropriate actions to support a diverse workforce and participate in the College’s efforts to create a respectful, inclusive, and welcoming work environment.                

Essential Functions        

Work with SCMA’s senior leadership team to set overall learning and interpretive goals for the museum and devise strategies and plans to achieve these goals.

Manage departmental staff in day-to-day operations, including developing and monitoring annual budget.

Develop strategic vision for museum programs, including coordination of annual institutional program plan, budget and contract development, and developing grants and other proposals for funding.

Provide vision for and oversee the development and assessment of interpretive materials for the museum’s collections and temporary exhibitions, using a variety of interpretive methods and technologies.

Cultivate academic exchange across campus and help conceptualize and promote interdisciplinary programs organized with academic departments and centers, including the activity of the Museums Concentration in concert with the SCMA Director and the Educator for Academic Programs.

Promote activities and programs that attract new and marginalized audiences to the museum.

Serve as an ambassador for SCMA to the campus, Five College, local, regional and alumnae communities and within the national museum education professional network.

Provide strategic leadership and manage efforts to assess educational programs and initiatives, including gathering and analyzing qualitative and quantitative data to evaluate programs, measuring and reporting impact, and seeking grants and funding.

Support funding efforts and participation in programs by partnering with colleagues in development and communications.                        

Other Functions

All employees are expected to participate in the College’s efforts to create a respectful, inclusive, and welcoming work environment.

Minimum Qualifications (knowledge, skills, education, experience, certifications, licenses)            

Minimum of 8 years’ relevant experience and at least 3 years supervisory experience or in a leadership position in museums.

Strong academic, education and art history background: Master’s degree required. Combination of education and relevant experience may be considered.               

Experience working with individuals from diverse backgrounds.

Preferred Qualifications                                     

Demonstrated knowledge of effective and inclusive museum education practices, diverse pedagogical approaches to education and various modes of learning.

Familiarity with the academic environment and the ability to work with faculty, students, curatorial, and other museum staff.

Proven ability to develop interpretive programs and experience in and familiarity with the use of new technologies in developing and implementing interpretive strategies for a range of audiences.


Excellent oral and written communication skills, including public speaking.

Understanding of diversity, equity, social justice, accessibility, and inclusion issues, as well as a commitment to working across differences.

Demonstrated ability to challenge and change norms and assumptions to create a more inclusive work culture and to help others recognize and adapt to the need for change.

Ability and experience to effectively lead a department and manage complex budgets, assignments, and staff.

Demonstrated ability to provide creative and intellectual oversight and proven managerial capabilities to mentor a team of staff and student workers.

A proven ability to work collaboratively with others and forge mutually respectful relationships.

Skilled at managing within a compact and nimble organization, with demonstrated ability to project-manage and problem-solve, responsible for both high-level strategy and logistical implementation.

Other key abilities and characteristics: commitment to inclusive leadership, emotional intelligence, flexibility, intellectual curiosity, empathy, passion for art, digital adeptness, available and willing to work some evenings and weekends, and openness in working with a wide range of staff in a fast-paced environment.            

Additional Information

As a condition of employment employees must be immunized against COVID-19 on or before their first day of employment. Proof of vaccination status will be required. Individuals may seek medical or religious exemption with HR, but must do so prior to their arrival.

Please attach BOTH a current resume and a cover letter in order for your application to be considered for this position. You may combine your resume and cover letter into a single file or attach multiple files to your application, but BE SURE you have provided all attachments BEFORE SUBMITTING your application.

You will NOT be able to attach additional files after you have hit the Submit button.

Review of applications will begin

October 8, 2021

Apply online at:

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