The Director of Curatorial Affairs and Education serves as an integral member of the Executive Director’s Leadership Team ensuring all activities are mission-centric and based in diversity, equity, access, and inclusion (DEAI) practices. Leads and directs the work of the Curatorial and Education Division to meet the strategic goals of the Columbia Museum of Art (CMA) by overseeing the museum’s unique and growing collection, and dynamic exhibitions, and expanding, multidimensional programs to ensure their relevancy to a broad and diverse range of audiences.
About the Museum:
The mission of the Columbia Museum of Art is to spark powerful connections through art from around the corner and around the world in an environment that is welcoming to all and stands as the largest international art museum in the state of South Carolina, located a short distance to Charleston, SC, Greenville, SC and Charlotte, NC. Columbia is the state capital and the second largest city in the state. In the heart of South Carolina at the convergence of three rivers, the area is home to thriving colleges and universities, award-winning hospital systems, and diverse and charming neighborhoods to suit any lifestyle. Several business and retail districts with outdoor cafés, coffee shops, art galleries, and shops present year-round opportunities for entertainment, socializing, and enjoying the outdoors. The city includes historic architecture of a bygone era while high-tech start-ups and artist venues make up Columbia’s diverse downtown areas. Established in 1950, the CMA is exceptional in its impact, attracting both national and state recognition, and is distinguished by its innovative exhibitions and creative educational programs. The museum now welcomes more than 135,000 visitors annually—including more than 28,000 children—and acts as a catalyst for community creativity and serves as the cultural anchor of Columbia’s downtown district. To serve even more audiences, the CMA recently underwent a renovation of the 1998 facility, including new collection galleries with a progressive thematic layout, new studios for art-making and cutting-edge program and event spaces. The newly renovated Boyd Plaza adjacent to the CMA provides an attractive outdoor art and gathering space downtown. The CMA is committed to the concept of an inclusive and participatory 21st century museum, where art is meant to be experienced, not just seen. The CMA is a collecting institution and maintains a collection numbering approximately 7,000 works of art. The CMA’s collecting emphasis is on American, Asian, European, and Contemporary art. The collection includes artists as aesthetically and stylistically varied as Sandro Botticelli, Renee Cox, Charles and Ray Eames, Sam Gilliam, Robert Henri, Claude Monet, Tintoretto, Pat Steir, and Andy Warhol. The governing Collections Committee has an eye to the future and embraces accessions of remarkable artworks that foster ideas through visual conversations. The CMA encompasses 124,000 square feet of permanent and temporary exhibition galleries, studios, public spaces, and storage. The museum actively mounts approximately four special exhibitions per year, with a dynamic menu of related public and educational programs. The CMA operates with an approximately $4.5 million budget and a staff of 33 full-time and 42 part-time employees (including security and special event staff).
- Ensure leadership, management, and accountability for all activities of the Curatorial and Education Division.
- Direct the day-to-day activities of the division to ensure the strategic development and implementation of exhibition and education/engagement programs are in alignment with overall organizational objectives and reflect the CMA’s core values.
- Provide DEAI leadership to deliver inclusive programming that reflects the diverse communities of the Greater Columbia region and the state of South Carolina to broaden CMA audiences.
- Lead and facilitate a culture of collaboration within the division and across the organization to meet audience and revenue goals for the dynamic CMA collections installations, special exhibitions, and a robust roster of dynamic programs for all audiences.
- Oversee the curatorial team to identify, create and manage exhibitions, safely care for the art, display objects, keep accurate records, and manage and grow the collection.
- Oversee the identification, planning and execution of the organization’s multiyear portfolio of exhibitions and the associated contracts, logistical planning, schedules, and implementation of individual shows.
- Oversee education and engagement team to engage, educate, entertain, and empower CMA target audiences through experiences that foster connections between art and dynamic and academic lifelong learning.
- Oversee the development and monitoring of annual division revenue and expense budgets, attendance projections, and program evaluation based on organizational goals and priorities.
- Leads exhibition planning, special project teams, and initiatives as assigned.
- Oversee updates of CMA Collections Plan and Collections Management Policy.
- Actively support the Advancement Division in fundraising activities to support the CMA priorities for annual operations and long-term goals, including exhibitions, education initiatives, capital projects, and collecting activities through individual, foundation, government, and corporate support.
- Identify, cultivate, and steward relationships with members of the broader arts and museum communities including colleagues, leaders, administrators, artists, curators, educators, collectors, and cultural institutions both nationally and internationally to strengthen their commitment with CMA.
- Champion the museum as the cultural hub of the greater Columbia region by serving as a representative of the CMA Leadership Team through participation in programs, development, media relations, and networking activities.
- Train, develop, motivate, and lead staff to encourage professional growth and performance alignment with the CMA Core Values and Team Member Culture. Write conduct, and review performance appraisals according to set deadlines.
- Oversee management and direction of board appointed governing committees and their efforts, including the Collections Committee and the Education Committee.
- Be a thought leader about organizational matters, overseeing and directing policies and procedures related to museum operations and leading efforts for process improvements and performance enhancement.
- Perform other duties or assume special projects as assigned.
Job Type: This is a full-time, exempt position with supervisory duties. Flexible work weeks with some teleworking hours; weekend and evening hours as required and occasional travel.
Knowledge and Experience:
- BA required, doctorate or master’s degree preferred in art administration and/or Museum/Arts Management, Art History, Art Education, or relevant fields.
- 10+ years of increasingly applied museum/museum-related experience
- 7+ years of demonstrated growth in management-level museum experience
- Knowledge and experience working in the museum’s collecting areas including American, Asian, European, and Modern and Contemporary art a plus.
- Proven ability to foster and encourage innovation around new models for partnering (both internally and externally), and for exploring new creative relationships central to the CMA mission.
- Strategically think, plan, and convey information to support and inform the objectives and direction of the institution.
- Demonstrated experience developing, communicating, and managing department projects, staff, budgets, and goals.
- Effectively navigate through the complexity of key issues, challenges, and opportunities to affect actions; guide staff to proactively build and align stakeholders, capabilities, and resources to achieve institutional objectives and direction of the institution.
- Proactively model the importance of timely collegial interaction, personal accountability, maturity, professionalism, communication, and exchange across disciplinary boundaries
- Self-directed and motivated
- Strong written and oral communication skills with a mastery of the English language and the ability to plan and deliver oral and written communications that clearly inform their intended audiences.
- Strong knowledge of and ability to effectively use Altru, Microsoft Office Suite, Past Perfect, and PowerPoint
- Experience handling art
Contact: The Columbia Museum of Art is an Equal Opportunity Employer, committed to diversity, accessibility, equity, and inclusion. Confidential inquiries, applications, and recommendations are welcome. Please email cover letter and resume to Mrs. Jeanna Dixon-McCray, at email@example.com with “Director of Curatorial Affairs & Education Position” in the subject line.
Salary Range: Commensurate with experience that demonstrates proven successes and results: $72,707 - $109,061, plus benefits.