Linda Hall Library, one of the world’s foremost independent research libraries devoted to science, engineering, and technology, is seeking a Vice President of Exhibitions and Project Management to join its senior leadership team.
About the Library
Founded in 1946, the Linda Hall Library, situated in Kansas City's Cultural District, is an institution with a focus on knowledge, history, and innovation. The Library houses extensive science, engineering, and technology collections, including a History of Science collection dating back to the 15th century. It collaborates nationally through the Center for Research Libraries (CRL) and the Independent Research Library Association (IRLA) and is an institutional member of the American Alliance of Museums (AAM). The Library offers a serene urban oasis on its fourteen-acre property, complete with an arboretum that features 11 champion trees, a variety of native plants, woodland and peony gardens. It also supports intellectual exploration through its Fellowship Program and engages in public exhibitions and programming to promote science, history, and innovation. Additionally, the Library hosts the Kansas City Invention Convention, an official affiliate of the Invention Convention Worldwide program, and provides accessible online resources. For more information, visit https://www.lindahall.org/
PURPOSE OF THE POSITION
Reporting to the President & CEO, the Vice President of Exhibitions and Project Management is member of Linda Hall Library’s leadership team, providing vision, direction, and oversight for all exhibitions and major strategic projects, as well as contributing to the overall strategic management of the organization.
The Vice President will develop and oversee a robust calendar of onsite, virtual, and potentially offsite exhibitions that draw upon the strengths of the Library’s collections and leverage strategic partnerships. The role will serve as the chief project manager for all exhibitions and other major Library initiatives. They will work closely with subject matter experts to ensure exhibitions and public engagement activities are accessible, diverse, engaging, and align with the Library’s brand.
The Vice President of Exhibitions and Project Management will be the first incumbent in the role and will enhance and amplify the Library’s exhibition program, recruit and support (over time) a high-performing project management team, and – as part of a master plan - re-imagine the overall visitor experience including existing spaces and venues.
Other major aspects of the role include identifying relevant traveling exhibitions to bring in-house, crafting a program of outgoing traveling exhibitions, creating a master plan for the facility, and programming capital works.
KEY ACCOUNTABILITIES AND ESSENTIAL FUNCTIONS
- Leads the development of the Library’s annual themes and individual programmatic expressions through developing opportunities for exhibitions and engagement, while ascertaining that all efforts are institutionally aligned, creative, and innovative.
- Builds and maintains a comprehensive, strategic calendar of exhibitions and organizational activities. Uses project management best practices, such as detailed project schedules, budgets, and communication platforms. Oversees the development, implementation, and refinement of cross-departmental processes and procedures for the planning of exhibitions and strategic projects.
- Assumes responsibility for exhibition stewardship, including coordination of conceptualization, scheduling, design, production, and installation of virtual and in-person exhibitions. Ensures that all projects are completed on time and within budget. Liaises with the teams for Development and Communication to ensure maximal uptake.
- Partners with Library subject matter experts to interpret and highlight themes, stories, and content represented in the Library’s collection. Is responsible for coordinating the creation and writing of didactics, object label texts, and other interpretive elements.
- Oversees exhibition and artwork production; may include fabrication, sourcing materials, supplies and vendors for special projects, including framing and mounting.
- Manages project logistics, including shipping and receiving, preparation, installation/deinstallation, construction and carpentry, painting, lighting, development and installing wall labels and texts, etc.
- Works with the Finance department to review all legal contracts and letters of agreement for approved exhibitions and assure implementation and compliance with the terms and conditions of all contracts/agreements including shared costs, image use, marketing materials, and exhibition credit lines.
- Creates and manages project budgets and ensures project-related invoices and payments are handled in a timely manner.
- Manages the Exhibitions and Project Management department staff, which currently includes a Graphic Designer.
- Engages in strategic partnerships to broaden the reach of the institution.
- Manages incoming and outgoing loans of objects and materials associated with exhibitions, including contracts and documentation.
- Other duties as assigned.
EDUCATION AND EXPERIENCE
- Bachelor's degree in fine art, design, industrial design, architecture, or related subject is required.
- 7-10 years of professional experience in project management, ambitious installations, exhibition organization, or other relevant experience in the field.
- A minimum of 3 years of experience hiring, mentoring, coaching and supervising staff.
- Master's degree in related field.
- Project Management Professional (PMP) or related certification.
KNOWLEDGE, SKILLS, AND ABILITIES
- An influential strategic thinker that moves others to action by translating organizational values, ideas, and priorities into tangible activities that people want to support.
- An Informed and innovative professional that adopts and advances best practices, new methods in the field, and emerging technologies. Sees possibilities in present day challenges.
- A strong facilitator who expertly uses group processes and techniques to deliver information and guide group discussions related to complex ideas, new concepts, or new work directions.
- Overall outstanding communication (written and verbal) and negotiation skills; diplomatic attitude.
- A people-oriented leader who identifies growth opportunities, encourages learning, emphasizes transfer of knowledge, and supports targeted professional development efforts.
- Strong organizational skills. Possesses a high level of attention to detail, accuracy, and ability to meet deadlines.
- Demonstrated ability to develop and manage effective budgets.
- Proficiency in design software such as AutoCAD, SketchUp, and Adobe Creative Suite. Experience assisting with object handling and installation, understanding of condition reporting processes, familiarity with gallery layouts. Knowledge of preservation needs and handling practices for special collections materials.
- Experience with HTML/CSS, WordPress, or general website and digital literacy.
- Familiarity with universal design concepts.
- Working knowledge of audio-visual equipment and installation.
Working conditions are typically that of an office environment. Works primarily at a desk, uses a PC/ Perform with frequent interruptions and/or distractions. Performs effectively under conditions of fluctuating workload. Occasionally lifts up to 30lbs.
Position occasionally requires the incumbent to work flexible hours, including evenings and weekends during installation periods or during after-hour events. Some travel (e.g., to view external exhibitions) may be required.
The Linda Hall Library is an Equal Opportunity Employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, non-disqualifying physical or mental disability, national origin, veteran status or any other basis covered by appropriate law. All employment is decided on the basis of qualifications, merit, and business need.
The Linda Hall Library is an Equal Opportunity Employer M/F/D/V.