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Program Associate, Public Gallery Talks and Tours

Art transforms lives. It provokes us to think, to express, to explore our own creativity, to envision new possibilities. SFMOMA is expanding the museum to provide a better experience for our visitors and a better home for our expanding collections, including the SFMOMA collection and the Fisher Collection, one of the finest collections of contemporary art in the world. The new SFMOMA, designed in collaboration with the architecture firm Snøhetta, is scheduled to open in 2016. With this project, we are transforming not just the museum's physical presence, but also our contributions to the community, enhancing SFMOMA's role as a place for learning, inspiration, and interaction for visitors from the Bay Area and beyond. We are making SFMOMA a magnet for contemporary art and for the audiences who will engage with it.
Under the supervision of the Associate Curator of Public Dialogue, the Program Associate, Public Gallery Talks and Tours plans and implements public tours and other in-gallery public programs. This role is responsible for the successful coordination, scheduling and training of the volunteer public museum guides, working closely with many stakeholders. As part of the Guide Liaison Team, the Program Associate liaises with the museum guide leadership, especially with the public museum guide co-chair. Working closely with the School Initiatives team, the Program Associate, Public Gallery Talks and Tours shares the responsibility for building and supporting the culture of the museum guide community to ensure the effective contribution of the volunteer museum guides to SFMOMA. The Program Associate, Public Gallery Talks and Tours participates in the evaluation of in-gallery tours, talks and live interpretation for the public.


Public Museum Guides
  • Under the supervision of the Associate Curator of Public Dialogue, organize public museum guide program, including recruitment and training, in particular planning and implementing touring techniques workshops and exhibition lectures/walkthroughs, in coordination and collaboration with Program Associate, School Visits
  • Supervise approximately 75-100 volunteer public museum guides
  • Organize and participate in ongoing recruitment and training
  • Liaise with the Co-Chair for Public Museum Guides, and be regularly available to all public museum guides to respond to questions and concerns
  • Schedule and manage logistics of daily public museum guide tours, liaising with all relevant museum stakeholders (e.g. Visitor Services, Group Sales and School Visits)
  • Maintain accurate records for public museum guide programs and events
  • Assist with community building activities for museum guide events, liaising with the museum guide committee and the Program Associate, School Visits on event logistics, catering, and invitations
  • Coordinate and participate in program evaluations
  • Coordinate part-time and volunteer support for programs
  • Organize catering arrangements for programs, i.e. book, liaise and negotiate costs
  • Process contracts, logistical and financial paperwork related to these programs
  • Coordinate documentation of programs
  • Give tours of exhibitions when needed

Museum Guide Committee
  • Schedule and coordinate meetings of the Museum Guide Committee, prepare agendas, distribute materials, and take minutes

Gallery Talks
  • Coordinate and host public gallery talks (e.g. in-gallery talks by curators and staff, as well as external community members and other speakers. This involves close liaison with other members of Education and Public Practice, Operations, Security, Curatorial, outside consultants, lecturers, and others
  • Process contracts, logistical and financial paperwork related to these programs
  • Coordinate part-time and volunteer support for programs
  • Organize catering arrangements for programs, i.e. book, liaise and negotiate costs
  • Coordinate documentation of programs

Related Resources
  • Initiate and support content production about and for museum guides and the use of digital communication tools for guides, including the museum guide blog, in collaboration with the Program Associate, School Visits, the Program Associate, Research and Content and the Content Strategy and Digital Engagement department
  • Working with the Education and Public Practice Assistant, School Initiatives and the Museum Library staff, maintain usability of the Museum Guide Library and Touch-down Office
  • Coordinate and liaise with Content Strategy and Digital Engagement on interpretive strategies and programs, actively seeking to connect live and digital interpretative activities
  • Perform other duties as required


Education and Training: Undergraduate degree in art history, art education, museum studies, studio art or liberal arts with significant work in the visual arts. Demonstrable interest in modern and contemporary art required.
Work Experience: A minimum of two years' experience in an art museum or related non-profit organization, including experience in public event programming and volunteer management, with a focus on arts education a plus.
Skills and Abilities: Excellent interpersonal skills and the ability to work enthusiastically and effectively with volunteer museum guides, Museum staff, visitors, program participants and external vendors. Knowledge of modern and contemporary art and museum educational programming; ability to implement and administer educational programs. Proven time management skills with the ability to organize work, set priorities, meet critical deadlines, follow-up on assignments, and work effectively on several projects concurrently with a minimum of direction. Detail-oriented work habits, and effective at troubleshooting. Skill in researching, compiling, summarizing and sharing various informational materials. Excellent IT skills, including Microsoft Office Suite, project management software, database, blog and email applications. Patience and flexibility while working in a dynamic public environment. Excellent written and verbal communication skills with an aptitude for public speaking preferred. Availability to work evenings and some weekends.

Working Conditions:
Schedule: 9 a.m. - 5 p.m., with ability to work occasional weekend and frequent evening hours (in particular Thursday)
Physical Demands: Light lifting, walking long distances between building facilities
Special Environmental Factors: Close office setting

This is a union position subject to the provisions of the collective bargaining agreement.

Position:                                   Program Associate, Public Gallery Talks and Tours
Department:                             Education and Public Practice
Supervisor:                               Associate Curator of Public Dialogue
SCHEDULE:                                  Full time: 35 hours/week
PAY RATE:                                    $22.33/hour (starting rate)
                                                    $26.81/hour (position rate)

Job Details

Reference # 19781
Posted on Jan 4, 2016
Closes on Jan 24, 2016
Department Education
Expertise 2-5 years
Career level BA
Hours/Status Full-Time
More details (document)
We are an equal opportunity employer committed to diversity.

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