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The Hub of Art Foundations

 

 

 

Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art: Outdoor Interpretation Specialist

 

Position Summary

Are you a passionate, trained nature aficionado who also loves the arts?

Do you love helping people make meaningful connections between themselves and the natural world?

Are you an energetic, optimistic lover of art, architecture, and nature and believe in their power to change lives?

The Outdoor Interpretation Specialist plays a key role in the Museum’s Exhibitions & Interpretation department, and closely liaises with the Trails & Grounds and Education departments. With broad knowledge in natural history and the humanities, the Outdoor Interpretation Specialist’s combined skills as a communicator, writer, researcher, editor, content developer, and educator, place them at the center of the museum’s mission to interpret the natural world, art, and architecture, providing access to all.

The position requires a creative, passionate, collaborative, and diplomatic professional who is a persuasive communicator and engaging writer; one who can interpret a variety of subjects in many ways, for a variety of audiences. This position works in close collaboration with curators, educators, audience researchers, horticulturalists, groundskeepers, and designers. The Outdoor Interpretation Specialist develops, delivers, and helps evaluate a broad range of interpretive strategies and materials for guests, volunteers and staff; enabling all to explore and understand the museum’s outdoor artworks, trails, plants, animals, and architecture in a meaningful way. They are responsible for a portfolio of interpretive projects, often juggling a variety of projects in various stages of completion. Organizational skills, attention to detail, and outstanding writing skills are required.

The Outdoor Interpretation Specialist reports to the Head of Interpretation, and works closely with the Director of Exhibitions & Interpretation and the Director of Trails & Grounds.

Principal Responsibilities

  • Develops and implements interpretive strategies and tools, in collaboration with curators, educators, and horticulturalists, based on the most current approaches to interpretation, audience engagement, and nature and art education. Such tools include texts, images, digital and hands-on activities, printed guides, audio content, and other interpretive materials and experiences which enhance the outdoor experience

  • Negotiates with collaborators to ensure outdoor interpretive content is organized, understandable, relevant, and engaging

  • Creates (and oversees the creation of) a large volume of interpretive and didactic materials with overlapping deadlines and for a variety of audiences including:

    • Seasoned Museum visitors, members, and their guests

    • Specialized, diverse, and emerging audiences

    • Families and children

    • Guests with special needs

    • Local, regional, and national guests

    • Continually evaluates the effectiveness of outdoor interpretive materials through formal and informal assessment, in collaboration with colleagues in the research and evaluation department and applies learnings to future projects

    • Works closely with Education team to develop content for outdoor guide training and public programs

    • Participates on a variety of cross-departmental teams as requested

    • Represents the Museum regionally and nationally, and makes innovative contributions to the field of museum interpretation, with a focus on outdoor sculpture, architecture, and the natural world

    • Prepares materials for grants; gives occasional tours; makes presentations

    • Creates, refines, champions and advances interpretive planning and execution for all of our outdoor locations

    • Organizes their own workflow; sets and meets deadlines, creates and manages schedules for interpretive work; facilitates interpretive meetings

    • Builds on existing research to create relevant contexts for art, nature, and architecture content

Minimum Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s Degree required: preferred areas of focus include humanities, communications, multi-disciplinary learning, history, art, architecture, science, art education, languages (i.e. Spanish) or related field (or equivalent experience).

  • Degree in or advanced knowledge of plant/natural science, ecology, environmental studies, biological sciences, horticulture, forestry, wildlife management or related field (or equivalent experience) desired

  • Substantial experience writing and editing for general audiences; writing samples are required

  • Demonstrated understanding and general knowledge of flora and fauna

  • Ability to interpret scholarly information, making it accessible for various audiences

  • Experience in public speaking; conducting public tours a plus

  • Outstanding oral and written communication skills

  • Familiarity with, and the ability to write and talk about, art and architecture

  • Demonstrated ability to juggle multiple and overlapping projects from small to large scale, and delivering quality work in a fast-paced environment

  • Experience working successfully on collaborative teams, as project coordinator and as team member

  • Proficiency in the use of Microsoft Office including Outlook and PowerPoint

  • Ability to use (or learn) specialized software

  • Ability and willingness to work occasional weekends and evenings

  • Ability to travel regionally and/or nationally from time-to-time

  • Patience, a sense of humor, and a genuine love of the arts and nature are essential!

Preferred Qualifications

  • Master’s degree in a humanities-related field as specified above (or equivalent experience) preferred but not required

  • Spanish-language proficiency highly desired

  • Knowledge of regional (Ozark) flora and fauna is a plus

  • Minimum two years’ experience in creating interpretive materials in a museum or outdoor interpretative setting is preferred, but not required

  • Knowledge and understanding of different learning styles

Physical Demands and Work Environment

The characteristics described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this position. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

  • Physical demands: From time to time, while performing the duties of this job, the employee may be required to travel independently. In the work environment described below, position requires working at a desk and utilizing a computer and a telephone, good eye/hand coordination, bending and stretching, working in the galleries and classrooms, and moving from building to building. Visual acuity to accurately review written materials is required for this job.

  • Work environment: Work will be performed in an office environment, Museum galleries, studios and spaces and on the grounds, and in communities served. Outdoor work may be required, and will require navigating a network of trails on uneven surfaces with some grade changes. Regular hours are Monday through Friday, 8am – 5pm with occasional evening and weekend hours. While performing the duties of this job, the employee is exposed to weather conditions prevalent at the time. The noise level in the Museum work environment is usually low to moderate. Outdoor work will include exposure to the sounds of machinery from time to time.

About the Museum

About Crystal Bridges 

The mission of Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art is to welcome all to celebrate the American spirit in a setting that unites the power of art with the beauty of nature. We explore the unfolding story of America by actively collecting, exhibiting, interpreting, and preserving outstanding American art. Crystal Bridges was founded in 2005 as a non-profit charitable organization by arts patron and chair of the museum’s board of directors, Alice Walton. Since opening to the public on 11-11-11, the museum has welcomed more than 5 million visitors and garnered 15,000 membership households. Some 280,000 school children have participated in the Willard and Pat Walker School Visit program, which provides educational experiences for school groups at no cost. 

Crystal Bridges takes its name from a nearby natural spring and the bridge construction incorporated in the building, designed by world-renowned architect Moshe Safdie. A series of pavilions nestled around two spring-fed ponds house the galleries and amenities such as a restaurant, museum store designed by architect Marlon Blackwell, and a library featuring more than 50,000 volumes of art reference material. In addition to the museum’s architecture, a Usonian house designed by Frank Lloyd Wright was preserved, acquired, and moved to the museum grounds in 2015, and a rare Buckminster Fuller’s Fly’s Eye Dome was installed in 2017, both providing access to American architectural masterworks in a natural setting. 

Sculpture and walking trails link the museum’s 120-acre park to downtown Bentonville, Arkansas. A new entrance, elevator tower, and pedestrian bridge was added to the north side of the building in 2017, increasing access to the museum’s north lawn and newly enhanced North Forest Trail. More than 600,000 visitors a year utilize the museum’s five miles of walking trails. 

Crystal Bridges’ permanent collection spans five centuries of American artworks from early American to the present, and is always free to view. Crystal Bridges is committed to telling broad and inclusive stories by acquiring and showcasing the highest quality works by artists underrepresented in art history and conventional museum frameworks. Works such as Asher B. Durand’s Kindred Spirits, Gilbert Stuart’s George Washington, and Georgia O’Keeffe’s Jimson Weed are displayed alongside contemporary artists such as Kerry James Marshall, Maya Lin, Fritz Scholder, Jaune Quick-To-See-Smith, Felix Gonzales-Torres, and Amy Sherald represent some of the finest achievements in American art. The collection continues to grow, while the museum also offers temporary exhibitions that complement the collection and can also reveal art’s connections to equality and justice.

Crystal Bridges provides year-round programming for all ages. In 2019, more than 800 public programs and events were offered, including lectures, performances, classes, and continuing education for K-12 teachers. Crystal Bridges stays connected online with the full collection available via eMuseum, an award-winning app, a podcast called Museum Way, all available for free, and many of the museum’s lectures such as the Distinguished Speaker Series are on Crystal Bridges’ YouTube channel. An online-learning initiative provides opportunities for students and teachers with arts-based courses, as well as SmartHistory with arts history videos and essays. Crystal Bridges also offers two research fellowship programs. The Tyson Scholars in American Art program encourages and supports full-time scholarship that seeks to expand boundaries and traditional categories of investigation into American art and visual culture. The Reese Teacher Fellowship provides for research into the development of interdisciplinary connections between American art and core curriculum subjects of language arts, history, social studies, and the sciences. In addition, Crystal Bridges administers the awarding of the Don Tyson Prize, an unprecedented award recognizing significant achievements in the field of American art. Additional information about Crystal Bridges is available online at CrystalBridges.org. 

About the Momentary 

The Momentary is a new contemporary art space that opened to the public on February 22, 2020, in downtown Bentonville, Arkansas. A satellite to Crystal Bridges, the Momentary presents visual, performing, and culinary arts. The mission of the Momentary is to champion contemporary art’s role in everyday life and explore the unfolding story of contemporary American arts in an international context by actively commissioning and exhibiting outstanding works that explore new ideas and inspire action. The Momentary was founded by the Walton family, based on the vision of Tom, Olivia, and Steuart Walton. The Walton Family Foundation is supporting this project as a way to enhance the quality of life in Northwest Arkansas. The Momentary welcomes all with free general admission. Additional offerings include an artist-in-residence program, culinary experiences including an Onyx Coffee Lab, indoor and outdoor gathering spaces, an outdoor festival space, and a gift store. For more information, visit theMomentary.org. The Momentary is located at 507 SE E Street, Bentonville, Arkansas 72712.

Equal Opportunity Statement

Crystal Bridges/ the Momentary is committed to creating an institution that reflects the diversity of our region and nation.  We are especially mindful of those in our community impacted by inequity due to ability, language, class, age, gender, religion, sexuality, race and ethnicity, and are working diligently to address perceived and real barriers that keep anyone from fully experiencing the museum as a guest, volunteer, or employee.  To achieve true reform, we must have a diverse, highly qualified team. Crystal Bridges / the Momentary is proud to be an equal opportunity employer, and is committed to creating a diverse environment. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, genetics, disability, age, or veteran status.

We actively encourage minority candidates to apply for this position.

 

To apply, visit: https://www.paycomonline.net/v4/ats/web.php/jobs/ViewJobDetails?job=25060&clientkey=BC9586F35E70BD74D59EC08D93D8EDD5

 

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