Job Listing

Curator of Public Programs

Lake Wales History Museum, Lake Wales

ABOUT THE MUSEUM
The Lake Wales History Museum is looking for an energetic, passionate, and creative individual to be part of our growing small museum team.  The museum was reorganized in 2015, and today is a hub of heritage experiences for the community and visitors.  This position plays a critical role in the museum’s ongoing interpretive programs and events, along with our daily visitor services and volunteer offerings.

Created in 1976, the Lake Wales History Museum is a long-standing historical museum located in Lake Wales, Florida. Long vacant and in need of historic preservation, the organization converted the 1928 Atlantic Coast Line Railroad station into the area’s historical museum. The Mediterranean-style train station is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is still home to the museum today.

The museum is open Wednesday – Saturday from 10 AM – 5 PM, offering self-guided tours of permanent exhibits with artifacts, images and documents in our main gallery, along with changing exhibits and train cars. Visitors learn about the natural history of the Lake Wales Ridge beginning with Florida’s native people to the development of Lake Wales’ railroad, industry and residents of the 20th century. Visitors can hear over 80 stories of Lake Wales’ pioneers and history through our audio tour. Guests may visit our newly restored 1926 Seaboard Air Line Railroad caboose, the 1916 office car and 1944 US Army locomotive engine. Three additional historic buildings are included on the property: 1) The 1920 office bungalow originally the site of the Lake Wales Women’s Club, library and chamber of commerce; 2) The 1916 Seaboard Airline Freight Station; and, 3) The 1920 originally built for Lake Wales’ founder, E.C. Stuart.  Educational programming, special events and school programs are offered throughout the year.

ABOUT THE MUSEUM’S PROGRAMMATIC OFFERINGS
The Lake Wales History Museum delivers a diverse range of exhibits, programs and events for all ages to the public through its calendar of events, and serves as the repository for historical items through its Mimi Hardman Collections and Research Center. The museum hosts an average of five changing exhibits about local and national history annually. The museum provides formal and informal learning experiences for all ages through a monthly non-fiction museum book club, nine Florida Humanities speakers, local history talks, artifact talks, architectural walking and history bus tours, and history happy hours which present cultural, culinary arts, folk arts, craftsman demonstrations and heritage presentations.  Special events are offered to celebrate local history and people, including the museum’s signature Pioneer Days Festival held in October of each year.  Curriculum is designed for K-8 grade students to learn and visit the museum.  Each grade will experience a range of activities, curriculum, and museum experiences that align with Florida’s new state standards. County-wide museum field trips, teacher curriculum & training, and promotional materials will be available for all schools as well. Museum suitcases can also be checked out and used in classrooms and with groups.  Each suitcase contains authentic objects, reproduction images and documents, curriculum-based lessons and activities. 

POSITION
The Curator of Public Programs serves as the museum’s interpretive and programmatic connection point for visitors and volunteers of all ages, races, and abilities to engage with the museum exhibits, programs, and events on a daily basis.  The Curator of Public Programs reports to the Executive Director.  The Curator of Public Programs develops and manages the museum’s daily interpretive, programmatic, event-based, and/or learning offerings for the public of all ages, schools, families, and children according to the educational mission, goals, and values of the museum; conducts tours; writes curriculum; manages the museum’s volunteer program; manages the museum’s rental and birthday party offerings; and provide general assistance in the preservation and management of the museum’s historic corridor.  This position will be responsible for developing a new volunteer program, new rental and birthday party offerings, and restarting the museum’s K-8th grade curriculum and field trip offerings.

QUALIFICATIONS
Preferred candidates should have a passion for history, humanities and/or museum studies, and a creativity to use that passion to create interpretive experiences for the public.  Applicants should be collaborative, organized, and experienced conducting museum tours and programs, and visitor services for all ages; possess excellent verbal and written communication skills; have the ability to write educational curriculum, and carry out museum best practices, policies, and procedures; have the ability and passion to work with wide variety of audiences from multicultural and social backgrounds, problem solve, and work on their own and with a team to accomplish tasks.

REQUIREMENTS
Bachelor’s Degree required in education, history, or museum studies preferred, or other degree with applicable experience in history and museum management.  Master’s Degree preferred.  Minimum 1-3 years of experience working in museum education, visitor services, and/or with programmatic offerings in a historic or cultural attraction or public setting; Proven track record of developing and conducting museum programs and tours; Knowledge of museum best practices in museum interpretation, tours and programs; Proficiency in the use of computer software, excellent organizational skills, highly organized and detail-oriented, good interpersonal skills, and the ability to work independently are crucial.  Interest in museum education standards, trends, and emerging technologies in the museum and interpretive field.  Ability to take initiative and knowing when to ask questions. Valid driver’s license or other official government identification.

COMPENSATION AND SCHEDULE
$40,000 - $45,000 and benefits package

Full-time, salary, exempt

Tuesday – Saturday, with night and weekend work for special events and programs

APPLY
Send a cover letter and resume to Jennifer D’hollander, Executive Director at jdhollander@lakewaleshistory.org.  The position is open until filled.

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