Director of Learning & Experience – Southern Utah Museum of Art

Title of Supervisor: Executive Director

Status: Full-time (40 hours/week, 12 months)

Salary: $51,802

About SUMA

Southern Utah Museum of Art, on the campus of Southern Utah University, features the artwork of regional artists known for their landscapes, faculty and student artists from the SUU Department of Art & Design, as well as emerging and distinguished artists from around the country and the world. Strengths of the nearly 2,000-object permanent collection include several works by famed Western artist Maynard Dixon, important regional women artists Eve Drewelowe and Edith Hamlin, and a comprehensive collection of work by Jimmie F. Jones that exemplifies his notable career in the region. Within SUMA’s holdings is an especially robust collection of prints that includes well-known artists such as Marc Chagall, James McNeill Whistler, Kawase Hasui, Thomas Hart Benton, and Käthe Kollwitz, among others. A number of gifts and acquisitions have focused on photography, such as Brett Weston, Gary Edward Adams, and a portfolio called DE | MARCATION: A Survey of Contemporary Photography in Utah. Named the best-designed museum in Utah by Architectural Digest, SUMA’s building, designed by Brooks + Scarpa and inspired by the region’s famed slot canyons, is an artwork in and of itself.

General Summary

Under the direction of the Executive Director, and as a member of the Senior Staff team, the Director of Learning & Experience is responsible for the efficient, effective, and productive management of the institution’s educational initiatives and visitor experience. This position will oversee the daily operations as they relate to Leadership, Formal Learning (SUU and K-12), MFA Assistantships, Internships & Volunteers, and Visitor Experience. Understanding that the museum experiences high turnover due to the volume of student employees, this position will ensure SUMA activates learning for people of all ages and backgrounds, as well as maintaining a high quality visitor experience.

The Director of Learning & Experience is expected to maintain an appropriately high standard of professionalism directly and through subordinates, and will work collegially and cooperatively with other members of the Senior Staff team, team leads, staff, board, and others. This position manages the Coordinator of Community Engagement and Coordinator of Visitor Experience.

Duties and Responsibilities

  1. Leadership
    1. Provide vision and direction as it relates to learning and experience initiatives, goals, and objectives
    2. Oversee the department’s event/programming calendar, in coordination with the Coordinator of Community Engagement and other team members
    3. Manage the department’s budget, in coordination with the Business Manager
    4. Assist the Coordinator of Community Engagement with onboarding and training responsibilities
    5. Develop methods for acquiring, monitoring, and tracking visitor and participant feedback
    6. Maintain certification such as Prevent Child Abuse UT and oversee background checks of staff and volunteers involved with minors
    7. Oversee time reporting, performance evaluation, and coordination of professional development for all Learning & Experience team members
  1. Formal Learning (SUU and K-12)
    1. Develop and evaluate curriculum with a focus on K-12, in consultation with the Iron County School District Arts Integration Coach & Instruction Specialist, the Beverley Taylor Sorenson Endowed Chair in Elementary Arts Education, the Assistant Professor of Art Education in the SUU Department of Art & Design, and educators in the community
    2. Identify key teachers to lead workshops/classes, and other public programs or events to elevate learning outcomes
    3. Assist with leading tours and other outreach programs to build SUMA’s capacity
    4. Provide in-depth tour/classroom and learning styles training for staff and volunteers
    5. Work with the Director of Curatorial Affairs on bolstering SUU faculty engagement by developing resources, structures, and systems for curricular connections and class visits (both on- and off-site)
    6. Oversee the planning and implementation of teen initiatives, with the understanding that meaningful tasks can be delegated to MFA students as available
  1. MFA Assistantships, Internships, & Volunteers
    1. Serve as a mentor for MFA Assistantships, regardless of student placement or SUMA team
    2. Collaborate with the SUU Arts Administration program as it relates to the selection process, the annual orientation, midterm check-ins, and end-of-semester reviews
    3. Maintain a robust internship program for SUMA that will benefit SUU students needing internship hours for credit
    4. Oversee the internship application process and intern placement
    5. Conduct regular check-ins with interns and supervisors
    6. Act as a liaison with any academic departments such as the SUU Arts Administration program, SUU Department of Film, Art & Design, SUU College of Education & Human Development, the Career Center, and others
    7. Revitalize the museum’s volunteer program through recruitment, training, and retention efforts through recognition and rewards
  1. Campus & Community Outreach
    1. Develop and maintain relationships with community partners needed in the success of Learning team initiatives such as SUU STEM Center, artsFUSION, Utah Shakespeare Festival, Iron County School District, Frontier Homestead Museum & State Park, Cedar Breaks National Monument, Cedar City Public Library, and more
    2. Assist in maintaining relationships with campus partners needed in the success of engaging SUMA’s target audience: Southern Utah University faculty, staff, and students
  1. Visitor Experience
    1. Oversee planning and implementation of gallery activities and learning guides for all exhibitions
    2. Collaborate with the Director of Curatorial Affairs and Coordinator of Visitor Experience on visitor response activities for select exhibitions
    3. Ensure the visitor experience is of outstanding quality, assisting the Coordinator of Visitor Experience as issues arise
    4. Be familiar with all aspects of front desk operations and able to cover the desk in the event of an emergency or staffing shortage
    5. Assist with ongoing training and resources for Visitor Experience staff and volunteers
    6. Ensure all public areas are clean, safe, and ready to welcome visitors, program participants, and patrons

Required Qualifications

  • Master’s degree
  • Demonstrated supervisory skills and experience managing a team
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills; the ability to communicate effectively in speaking to both individuals and groups is required
  • Proven organizational and interpersonal skills including the ability to work across departments and with colleagues, stakeholders, volunteers, and community leaders
  • Ability to maintain a positive, calm disposition in an ever-changing environment and during demanding times

Preferred Qualifications

  • Master’s degree in one of the following areas: Art Education, Education, Museum Studies, Museum Education, Art History, Fine Arts
  • Minimum of 3 years of experience in a classroom, studio, or museum setting
  • Knowledge of learning styles, museum education theory and practice, and the ability to apply them creatively to programming and interpretation
  • Previous work experience with K-12 programs or schools
  • Grant writing experience

Required with Application

  • Resume
  • Cover Letter
  • References
  • Sample lesson plans, event plan, or other writing samples

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