Today, the Walters serves Baltimore and Maryland by embracing its role as educators and storytellers, using the collection as a vehicle of knowledge and cultural expression to support learning, dialogue, and community engagement. The museum is committed to public education, offering essential programs that help people to connect art to their lives. The Walters’ Visitor Promise aligns staff and volunteers across the museum to preserve and share the works in our care for future generations, partner with communities, and create welcoming, accessible experiences for visitors. The museum offers challenging and creative work opportunities by promoting collaboration, teamwork, and a culture that celebrates the diversity and inclusion of all. In December 2020, the museum finalized a set of multiyear diversity, equity, accessibility, and inclusion (DEAI) goals in alignment with the museum’s Strategic Plan and grounded in the following commitments: expand the histories the museum examines and share; partner with our communities; and center equity, inclusion, and accountability in our culture and decision-making.
OVERVIEW OF ROLE
A commitment to community engagement is a core imperative of Walters Art Museum’s strategic plan (November 2015) and diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility plan (March 2021). The Walters strives to create a partnership of trust, open dialogue, and accountability with our communities and develop and institutionalize mechanisms for representation and feedback throughout our work.
The David Hirschhorn Head of Community Engagement is a new role at the Walters, and works with colleagues across the museum and partners across the region to engage and support Baltimore’s diverse communities. Reporting to the Ruth R. Marder Director of Learning & Community Engagement, this role serves as a bridge within the internal museum community as well as between the museum and external communities. The Head of Community Engagement seeks to build partnerships and relationships that establish the museum as a welcoming and neighborhood place for all members of the community, enhancing the quality of life for our communities through the arts.
In close partnership with the Director of Learning & Community Engagement, the Head of Community Engagement will develop, update, and implement the strategy for community engagement. The position will: develop and support reciprocal partnerships; create new opportunities and mechanisms for community representation in the museum; conduct outreach; execute strategic community projects; support capacity building within the museum; and manage the Community Engagement Unit and at least two staff members.
Develop and support reciprocal partnerships with established and emerging community leaders, organizations, accessibility partners, and local artists in alignment with the Strategic Plan and in support of these DEAI goals.
- Strengthen current strategic alliances with community organizations, neighboring organizations, local artists, and creative entrepreneurs to build and cultivate strong, sustainable relationships with Baltimore’s diverse communities.
- Develop new partnerships to extend the museum’s impact, particularly among historically under-represented and under-invited constituencies.
- Listen and understand the needs of potential partners and how the Walters could best support those needs.
- Build a bridge between surrounding communities and the Walters that establishes the museum as a welcoming and neighborhood place for all members of the community, enhancing quality of life for our communities through the arts.
- Establish and strengthen opportunities for emerging community leaders and artists to enhance their professional skills through the arts.
Create new opportunities and mechanisms for community representation, voices, and feedback in the Walters and its decision making.
- Develop community engagement strategies for all major exhibitions and installations.
- Collaborate with Evaluation and Audience Impact team in Visitor Experience to identify specific mechanisms for feedback in projects and ensure clarity of responsibilities.
- Develop and oversee community engagement advisory groups for identified projects.
- Facilitate advisory groups, group discussions, and dialogue among community members and partners.
- As needed, coach other departments and team members to design and facilitate.
- As needed, identify and manage external facilitators and partners for advisory groups and group discussions.
- Collaborate with Marketing & Communications and Visitor Experience teams to identify new opportunities to leverage the Walters digital and onsite assets to amplify community voices and engage community members.
- Throughout the ongoing development of relationships and community engagement, identify potential programmatic and curatorial partners. While the outcome of community engagement strategy is not necessarily programs, through the course of their work and engagement, this position will actively consider opportunities for programmatic partnership and act as an internal connector to colleagues in the Learning & Community Engagement department, curatorial, and other museum departments.
Outreach to current and potential community partners and members to facilitate engagement and welcome community partners at onsite and online events.
- Represent the museum and program work within the community and at internal / external meetings, events, and online, with a goal to inform and inspire increased active participation in Museum programs.
- Work with colleagues across the Museum to welcome community groups for special events at the Museum.
- Strengthen plans to effectively engage and outreach to target audiences with exhibitions and programs, and drive attendance at museum exhibitions and programs, on and offsite.
- Collaborate with colleagues in Development, Operations, and Visitor Experience to develop approach to hosting community events and community rentals of museum space.
In collaboration with the Director of Learning & Community Engagement, identify and execute high-impact strategic community projects that support the community and the institution’s DEAI goals and strategic plan.
- Sample projects (for illustrative purposes) could include: land acknowledgement, community history project for the expanded Walters history, participatory art projects, community public art installations, initiatives to engage teen communities, and community-led labels or welcome-materials.
Support the building of community engagement capacity across the Walters, with the goal of embedding community engagement as a core skill and value across the museum.
- In partnership with the Director of Learning & Community Engagement, identify opportunities for training and collaboration with external experts, trainers, and consultants.
- Research and identify potential community partners whose values and goals align with the museum’s work across divisions, including but not limited to Curatorial, Operations, and all units across the Learning & Community Engagement.
Manage the Community Engagement unit.
- Hire, train, mentor, and assess staff.
- Ensure staff performance meets and supports organizational needs by providing effective coaching and mentoring.
- Propose and manage budget for community engagement; ensure cross-departmental visibility into community engagement expenses that may reside in other departments’ budgets.
- Organize quarterly and yearly reports (and as needed) from associates on Community Engagement activity and impact, and as required by the Director.
- Support fundraising efforts for the unit, department, and institution, including collaboration on the writing, reporting, and administration of grants.
Establish the Walters as a leader in reciprocal, authentic community partnerships in the museum field.
- Serve as a spokesperson for the Walters by presenting on the Walters’ community engagement initiatives in publications and professional convenings.
- Five or more years experience working in museums, community or cultural organizations, or other relevant settings.
- Demonstrated commitment to equity, anti-racist pedagogy, and inclusive practices.
- Demonstrated management and administrative abilities.
- Experience with program evaluation and audience research.
- Experience with facilitation, including the ability to actively listen and find connections among multiple and sometimes differing perspectives.
- A working knowledge of fundraising and non-profit processes and budgeting.
- Hands-on knowledge of best practices in community engagement and sustainable, reciprocal community relationship building. Knowledge of community organizing preferred.
- Broad-based knowledge of a full range of techniques for community programs development, preferably in the greater Baltimore region
- The position needs enthusiasm and a commitment to the mission and vision of the museum. As a representative of the museum, this position requires the ability to represent the organization positively and through an asset-framing approach in all professional and personal communications, and an ability to foster trust and keep all internal-museum information confidential.
- Ability to navigate challenging situations and bring forward-looking approach to solving current challenges and initiatives.
- Critical thinker and self-starter who is willing to work proactively to identify key priorities and work across teams to implement the necessary solutions.
- Accurate verbal and written communication skills, able to influence and converse with, and present in an organized fashion.
- Strong organizational skills and the ability to manage numerous projects simultaneously
- An outgoing and generous member of the team; one who shares information clearly, actively listens as well as gives advice in support of shared goals, and respects the abilities and ways of knowing of others.
- Must have a high level of emotional intelligence, cultural sensitivity, and social and political awareness. Must be self-aware and empathetic.
- Strong and persuasive communication skills.
- Regular work week is Monday to Friday. Able to work evenings and weekends as needed.
Salary Range: $70,000 - $73,000 annually