Posted August 22, 2023
The History Museum of Mobile is seeking a director. For more information on the position or to apply, please read the details below.
ABOUT THE MUSEUM
The History Museum of Mobile is the region’s leading history museum. Four campuses tell an engaging, exciting, and inclusive history of a city more than three hundred years old. The museum employs a staff of about 30 talented museum professionals and operates on a $2 million budget. With the main campus located in the heart of downtown, the museum enjoys widespread and enthusiastic support within the community.
History Museum of Mobile (historymuseumofmobile.com)
111 S. Royal Street
Established in 1965 and in its current location since 2001, the History Museum of Mobile boasts a collection of over 117,000 objects. In the heart of downtown, 20,000 square feet of exhibits include a timeline of Mobile history from about 1500 to 1980, as well as separate exhibitions on thematic topics, like the histories of Mardi Gras, disasters, and shipbuilding. In 2021, the museum opened a fully immersive children’s discovery room. The museum keeps audiences engaged through a rich calendar of programming, as well as traveling exhibitions and exhibitions curated from the museum’s collection. Major exhibitions have recently included “Egyptian Mummies and Eternal Life,” “The Vikings Begin,” “Dressing the Abbey.” In 2020, the museum opened “A History of Mobile in 22 Objects” and published a corresponding catalogue, with contributions from local historians.
Staff: 18 staff members who support staff at other sites, as well
“Clotilda: The Exhibition” at the Africatown Heritage House (clotilda.com)
2465 Wimbush Street
This new museum site opened on July 8 to national acclaim. “Clotilda: The Exhibition” tells the story of the 110 African men, women, and children brought to Mobile in 1860 aboard the Clotilda, the last US slave ship and the only US slave ship to have been discovered. It tells the story from its West African origins, to the horrific last voyage, to the remarkable and resilient community of Africatown established by the survivors – always with a focus on the people of the story. The pieces of the shipwreck that have been recovered from the Mobile River are on view. National Geographic named Africatown Heritage House at the top of the list of “Best Museums Opening in the US in 2023.”
Colonial Fort Condé
150 South Royal Street
Mobile’s colonial fort was reconstructed as a bicentennial project in 1976 in the heart of Mobile’s downtown. Exhibitions tell the story of Mobile’s French, Spanish, and British colonial history. In 2023, the museum established a new living history program, including a staff of 4 living history interpreters. Exhibition updates are currently underway. Programming and festivals (including a “Colonial Eats” food festival and a “Living History Day”) keep visitors engaged year-round. A local favorite is “Colonial Christmas at Fort Conde,” which includes horse-drawn carriage rides.
Pheonix Fire Museum
203 South Claiborne Street
A small museum housed in a restored firehouse and featuring historic fire trucks tells the story of volunteer fire companies in Mobile. Operated under the History Museum’s education department, programming includes family favorites like “Fire Safety Fridays.”
This is an exciting opportunity to lead an institution with four campuses – the History Museum of Mobile, Africatown Heritage House, Colonial Fort Condé, and Pheonix Fire Museum – into the next phase of growth and impact.
This position requires an energetic, collaborative, and creative leader who is skilled in strategic planning and eager to build strong relationships within the community.
The director is responsible for the administration of the museum, including business and financial operations, programming, facility management, marketing and public relations functions, and human resources. This position is responsible for directing a curatorial vision for the museum and, on occasion, directly curating exhibitions.
DUTIES & RESPONSIBILITIES
- Administrate four museum sites: the History Museum of Mobile, Africatown Heritage House, Colonial Fort Condé, and Pheonix Fire Museum.
- Manage and provide oversight to educational and programmatic functions for the museum. Develop engaging programs for a wide variety of ages and audiences that enrich visitors’ knowledge of history, especially local history.
- Supervise a robust schedule of exhibitions. Find and secure, with Board of Directors’ approval, outstanding traveling exhibitions. Curate vibrant exhibitions from the History Museum’s collection that highlight the strengths of the collection and engage visitors in local history.
- Build and maintain relationships with partner organizations, local historians, collectors, donors, sponsors, and local artists. Keep local government entities engaged in positive, productive relationships with the four museum sites.
- Oversee operations at Africatown Heritage House, with special attention to developing a robust calendar of educational programming and tours.
- Develop nascent living history program at Colonial Fort Condé, creating an immersive experience for visitors to learn about Mobile’s colonial history through live interpretations and revitalized exhibition spaces.
- Oversee management of the museum’s collection of over 117,000 objects, ensuring that they are protected, maintained, and interpreted according to museum best practices. Ensure development of the research library and acquisition of materials to support and further research and historical preservation. Supervise the research, collection, identification, classification, evaluation, recording and storing of Museum materials and assets.
- Work with Board of Directors to define strategic plans that fulfill the mission of the History Museum of Mobile. Advise, consult and participate in the development and implementation of goals, objectives, policies and priorities for the organization.
- Communicate effectively with the Board of Directors, via the Chair, and provide information necessary for the Board to make informed decisions.
- Magnify the History Museum of Mobile’s strong reputation by being active and visible in the community and by working closely with other professional, civic, governmental, and private organizations. Serve as the primary spokesperson for the organization.
- Develop and implement fundraising, grant writing, marketing, and other activities necessary to support the Museum’s mission.
- Oversee facility operations to include: security, maintenance, and custodial operations, and ensure that the museum facility is in sound operating condition. Recommend capital improvements to the Board as needed.
- Ensure the fiscal integrity of the Museum. Monitor and implement financial policies to ensure effective cost controls and cash flow. Prepare annual budget for approval by the Board.
- Foster a success-oriented, accountable, and cordial environment within the organization. Perform human resources functions in accordance with established policies and procedures including interviews, employee evaluations, and disciplinary procedures and makes staff/personnel related recommendations to the Board for final review/approval.
Board of Directors
Bachelor’s degree or higher from a recognized and accredited college or university in museum or business administration, history, or closely related field, preferably supplemented by a master’s degree in history, art history, museum administration or related field and three to five years management experience desired in a non-profit organization or cultural institution or a combination of education and experience equivalent to these requirements. Previous experience as director or senior curator in a museum setting preferred. Knowledge of historic museums and their role in the educational and cultural life of a community required. Previous success in public relations and fundraising preferred.
REQUIRED KNOWLEDGE, SKILLS AND ABILITIES
Thorough knowledge of operational management of a museum or similar institution. Excellent interpersonal skills and the ability to interface with various entities and handle relationships both externally and internally. Ability to facilitate, coach and develop employees and provide consistent feedback to help grow and develop internal talent. Skilled in leading and directing diverse and individual groups. Demonstrated polished written and oral communication skills, particularly public speaking. Able to communicate ideas clearly and concisely both orally and in writing. Demonstrated project management skills and the ability to oversee and manage multiple projects and priorities simultaneously. Proven track record of success in managing a museum or similar public non-profit entity. Strong ethical standards a must.
The History Museum of Mobile’s Board of Directors is conducting the search. To be considered for the submission, submit a cover letter and a resume/CV to firstname.lastname@example.org. Apply by October 1, 2023. Vacant until filled.