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Museum Interpreter – Full Time

Winterthur Museum, Garden and Library

This is a Full-time position in Winterthur, DE posted September 22, 2021.

Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library encompasses an unrivaled museum of American decorative arts in its mansion and galleries and a magnificent 60-acre naturalistic garden—all set on 1,000 gorgeous acres.
Winterthur employs a wide array of positions in the areas of curatorial, horticulture, education, conservation, library, maintenance, marketing, development, technology, and administration.
At Winterthur, employment is more than just work.

The Winterthur employee is offered a unique and rewarding experience that is rich in culture and natural beauty.

Winterthur considers its employees and volunteers to be among its greatest assets and welcomes applications from candidates who will contribute their specific skills to its mission “to inspire, enlighten, and delight all of its visitors while preserving and enhancing (Winterthur)” and also uphold its core values of agility, excellence, innovation, integrity, inclusion, and transparency.
JOB DESCRIPTION:
Interpreters will, after training, engage visitors in the house and galleries to bring a cohesive and vibrant interpretation of the entire Winterthur estate.

In addition, Museum Interpreters will serve as Lead Interpreters, coordinating interpretive activities on assigned days.

Flexibility, enthusiasm, and a desire to embrace institutional change while safeguarding the intellectual integrity of the estate’s history will be critical for the success of this position.

Demonstrated leadership in an educational or museum setting as well as a familiarity with interpretive strategies for engaging diverse audiences is a plus.

Superb communications skills and a willingness to tackle new programmatic content will be required.

Interpreters will participate in ongoing training to continue to expand their knowledge of the collection, museum and estate, as well as to hone their interpretive skills.

An enthusiasm for creating a welcoming, dynamic and engaging experience at Winterthur for all our visitors is a must.
Evening and weekend hours will be required of the position, particularly during major estate-wide events including, but not limited to Yuletide (mid-November to early January), Point-to-Point (May) and others.
Responsibilities:
Guide tours and engage with visitors in the House and Galleries.

After training, guide regular and seasonal museum and gallery tours for general and specialist audiences.

Serve as the Lead Interpreter in the house on a rotating basis which will include attending the morning meeting with the interpretive staff, liaising with the Visitor Services Assistant on duty and other key staff to know all circumstances that will impact the guiding day and plan accommodations accordingly.

The Lead Interpreter responsibilities will be shared among all full-time Interpreters, each functioning in that capacity up to two days a week.

Support ongoing interpretive training in both content and technique in accordance with Winterthur’s interpretive goals.

After training, serve as mentor and lead interpreter for new and existing guide staff Support assessments of interpretive offerings using a variety of evaluation methodologies including tracking, surveys, and interviews to ascertain points of resonance with visitors and areas where opportunities exist to improve the visitor experience.

Assist in a variety of tour preparation functions, including research.

Complete Care-in-Handling training with the collections staff in preparation for assisting with occasional collections moves required to prepare the house for seasonal installations.

Willingness to participate in additional programming that supports interpretive goals which could include Terrific Tuesdays and other educational offerings.
Compensation: $15.00/hour
Benefits: Including, but not limited to, medical, dental, and vision insurance; generous paid time off plan; 403b with employer match for eligible employees.
JOB REQUIREMENTS:
Minimum Experience: 1 –2 years of experience guiding at a museum or historic site as a paid or volunteer guide, or one year of experience teaching at any grade level with a Bachelor’s degree in education, museum studies, art history or related field; equivalent experience accepted in lieu of education
Preferred Experience: 2+ years of experience working in an educational or museum setting that required interpretive work or public facing responsibilities
Knowledge/Skills:
Excellent communication skills Ability to quickly and efficiently synthesize new interpretive content Basic understanding of primary source research techniques A passion for offering a welcoming and dynamic visitor experience for all visitors Familiarity and demonstrated interest in art, architecture, American material culture, garden and landscape history Experience in creative interpretation and/or educational programming Sensitivity to and familiarity with interpretive techniques that encourage diversity, inclusion, equity and accessibility for all visitors Able to work both independently and collaboratively with multiple stakeholders.

Ability to develop interpretive program content.
Essential Functions:
Standing to lead tours and engaging visitors for periods up to 4 hours with prescribed breaks Valid Driver’s License free of moving violations, and ability to successfully complete a Defensive Driving Course.

Occasionally loading or unloading a guest who uses a wheelchair.

Ability to work with another staff member lowering and raising a 50-pound hinged wheelchair ramp.

Ability to position an occupied wheelchair onto a ramp or lift, and to bend and kneel to fasten and unfasten restraints.

Ability to navigate stairs and elevators Able to speak and hear in a normal range in order to answer guest inquiries
Work Schedule: Variable – weekday and weekend averaging 35 hours per week; occasional evening, early morning, and holiday work required.
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