The Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art at Northwestern University seeks an experienced transformative, dynamic, strategic thinker. They will have a wide-ranging curiosity and an excitement for learning, and the capacity to translate these into diverse, content-rich, and innovative programs and initiatives that embody the Block’s distinctive identity, culture, and values, and those of Northwestern. The position reports to the Block’s director and leads a team consisting of an Engagement Manager and an Engagement Coordinator, student works, and docents.
This position is responsible for the vision and strategies for education and engagement for the Museum, leading a departmental team focused on teaching, learning, and activating audience experience in the context of a top research university in a major cultural center. They proactively identify and cultivate opportunities for partnerships across the University and in the community that embody the Block’s commitment to global perspectives and interdisciplinary. They ensure departmental activities are aligned with the Museum’s mission and strategic goals by facilitating intra-and interdepartmental planning. They support their team’s capacity to plan, prioritize, scale, and evaluate their work and processes, and to make time for reflection and creative thinking. They are a recognized leader in museum education and engagement and represent the Block’s work in this area. They help to ensure that Northwestern’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion are embodied in the Block’s culture and programming. Applicants should highlight their background in developing strategies, platforms, and initiatives that engage a diverse community as participants and collaborators.
In consultation with the director, and in partnership with peers on the Museum’s senior staff, sets vision, strategy, goals, and priorities for the engagement and education department.
Manages the department’s staff, budget, and activities, including a broad range of public programming; student curricular, co-curricular, and social engagement; and community partnerships. Programs using multiple platforms and approaches with a strong emphasis on building partnerships across Northwestern and within the region.
Advocates for the Block as a teaching and learning resource. Pursues partnerships and develops initiatives with and for the University’s schools, its faculty, administrative departments, and students. Actively advances convergent efforts across museum departments in support of institution-wide goals around teaching and learning.
Creates multiple platforms for engagement in and outside the Block including projects focusing on art as a social practice.
Develops and executes public programs that engage the Block’s many campus communities. Works closely with faculty, students, staff and potential community-based organizations and individuals beyond the University to enlist them as both participants and partners in programming. Consults with the Block’s Senior Communications Manager to achieve a cohesive strategy for museum programming in order to maximize audience and participation goals.
Proactively seeks connections and confluences between Museum’s departments, exhibitions, and collection that advance institution-wide goals.
Demonstrates strong written and oral communication and public speaking skills. Contributes to grants, publications, and printed collateral.
Other related duties as assigned.
Commitment to Museum’s mission, vision, and values and to becoming integrated into Northwestern’s campus life and its surrounding communities.
5 years in a leadership position at a cultural or educational organization.
BA degree in arts, humanities, or education.
Excellent written, oral, and presentation skills.
Proven management and organizational skills.
Outstanding time management and strategic planning skills.
Commitment to collaboration, delegating, and giving agency to others.
Knowledge of best practices in the fields of engagement and museum education.
Comfortable and confident in interacting with and convening scholars, students, administrators, donors, artists, colleagues, and community members.
Minimum Competencies: (Skills, knowledge, and abilities.)
Adaptability – Works effectively in an environment in which the parameters may change daily; adjusts behavior to meet the needs of different people and situations.
Coaching/Mentoring – Trains people for current assignment and develops them for promotion; uses feedback and personal example to encourage higher performance.
Collaboration – Facilitates open and effective communication, cooperation and teamwork within and outside of one’s own team; respects the needs and contributions of others.
Communication – Communicates effectively one-to-one, in small groups and in public speaking contexts; writes precise, well-organized emails, letters and proposals while using appropriate vocabulary and grammar.
Customer Focus – Regularly monitors customer satisfaction; provides suggestions to improve quality and value to the customer.
Development of Self/Others – Stays current on technical/professional information; identifies methods for improving work procedures or systems; solicits feedback from customers, peers and superiors.
Diversity – Creates an environment of understanding and acceptance; solicits input from a wide variety of people and functions; challenges organizational policies and practices that may be exclusionary.
Efficiency/Dependability – Effectively performs duties and responsibilities; displays attention to detail; supports organizational policies; anticipates demands/pressures of assignments and adjusts accordingly..
Ethics and Integrity – Follows through on commitments; incorporates honesty, respect and fairness in daily actions; demands trustworthiness from others; demonstrates courage and objectivity.
Initiative – Exhibits energy and desire to achieve; sets ambitious goals and acts decisively; takes action that no one has requested to improve or enhance job results and avoid problems.
Innovation/Creativity – Explores alternatives to existing products and services; identifies opportunities to improve procedures and practices; shows imagination.
Management Change – Seeks projects that initiate changes in the organization; informs team members of upcoming changes; creates clear time frames and involves those who will be affected by changes in the planning and implementation process.
Multi-Tasking – Demonstrates ability to work on multiple projects simultaneously.
Organization – Plans, organizes and schedules in an efficient, productive manner; anticipates contingencies and pays attention to detail; targets projects or initiatives that require special attention and focuses on key tasks when faced with limited time and/or resources
Problem Solving – Formulates realistic plans and contingencies and establishes appropriate measurements of anticipated results.
Visionary Leadership – Inspires confidence and optimism through a clear vision and by personal example; reinforces and emphasizes organizational goals through words and actions.
Advanced degree or equivalent experience in engagement, education, or curating.
7–10 years in a leadership position at a cultural or educational organization, including managing a team and contributing to an organization’s strategic thinking.
Nuanced understanding of global perspectives and ability to work across cultures.
National recognition for innovation and contributions in museums, education, and/or engagement.
Northwestern University is an Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action Employer of all protected classes, including veterans and individuals with disabilities. Women, racial and ethnic minorities, individuals with disabilities, and veterans are encouraged to apply. Hiring is contingent upon eligibility to work in the United States.
Internal Number: 36706
About Northwestern University
Northwestern University is a major private research university with 12 academic divisions located on three campuses in Evanston, Chicago, and Education City in Doha, Qatar. We have approximately 2,500 full-time faculty members, 17,000 graduate and undergraduate students, and over 5,700 full and part-time staff. Northwestern University combines innovative teaching and pioneering research in a highly collaborative environment. It provides students and faculty exceptional opportunities for intellectual, personal and professional growth.