Director of Interpretation
The Children's Museum of Indianapolis - Indianapolis, IN

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DATE: January 2012

REPORTS TO: Vice President of Experience Development and Family Learning

OVERVIEW: Provides the vision for the content and operations of the world's largest children's museum's interpretative family learning experiences throughout its exhibits, galleries and theaters. Develops and implements interpretation and facilitation programs which of the highest quality and that foster family learning. Ensures the operational effectiveness of the interpretative experiences within the Museum including those within: exhibits, galleries and theaters. Stays current on effective interpretative and theater techniques and works to implement new experiences in museum learning environments to grow new and repeat attendance and further engage audiences. Works collaboratively with all division directors to provide an effective and extraordinary learning environment/experience for visitors.


1. Ensures that all interpretation activities are both age-appropriate and appropriate for fostering family learning relative to the content presented in exhibits.

2. Develops and implements a comprehensive interpretation program for all exhibits including museum theater and facilitated experiences for the museum environment in general. Works collaboratively with other directors in the to provide a seamless visitor experience.

3. Actively recruits, hires, nurtures and retains well-qualified staff and volunteers who have proven ability to work effectively with families and exemplify the museum's belief in family learning. Serves as a mentor to staff members, providing for their continuing professional development needs. Works with staff to ensure that all interpretative activities are of the highest quality.

4. Responsible for the development and implementation of the professional development/training programs for interpretation staff to ensure high quality interpretive staff. Identifies, seeks, secures and nurtures relationships with theater education programs in Indiana and Midwest colleges and universities to grow a viable pool of interns and entry level staff candidates. Motivates and inspires staff to stay focused on their positive and effective interactions with visitors, helping each to see his/her value to the total visitor experience. Supervises staff positively, performing timely assessments.

5. Ensures that efficient and effective departmental organizational structures are in place to carry out daily operations and decision-making. Works closely with other operational leadership staff to facilitate a seamless visitor experience.

6. Tracks metrics related to program attendance, audience engagement and capacity of total attendance participating in interpretation activities; utilizes findings to effective schedule programs to best serve audiences.

7. Oversees the financial planning and expenditure of resources throughout the operational areas of responsibility, i.e, all galleries/exhibits including Dinosphere, Lilly Theater and the Planetarium.

8. Works with director of school services to find synergy and ensure that the interpretation programs meld with the needs of all audiences. Provides interpretative staff for the school services exhibit experience.

9. Maintains contact with museum professionals and external stakeholders related to interpretation programs. Stays current in the latest interpretative techniques as well as in the area of acting/theatre and creative drama. Represents the museum in fund-raising efforts as needed in these areas.

10. Oversees the development of comprehensive show seasons for the Lilly Theater and Planetarium. Selects and develops shows that meet Museum family learning expectations and attract audiences.


1. Bachelor's degree in liberal arts field from an accredited college or university. Master's degree preferred. Strong background in theatre, arts, humanities or sciences or related areas including, but not limited to, early childhood /elementary/secondary education, and/or arts administration or museum studies.

2. Comprehensive knowledge of how children and families learn; minimum of five years experience in museum interpretation work, or formal or informal educational environments and/or theatre or combination of all three.

3. Five years of leadership and management experience. Sound knowledge of acting and interpretative techniques and educational concepts and methods that dictate strong interpretation programs.

4. Proven skills in motivating and inspiring staff by keeping tasks focused on strategic direction and results. Ability to model a collaborative work environment, through interactions with peers and staff reporting to others. Ability to bring a very diverse staff together to create a working team.

5. Proven leadership skills in mentoring and nurturing a diverse staff. Ability to develop/implement appropriate professional development programs for staff. Personally exhibits the belief in life-long learning.

6. Excellent communication skills; i.e. outstanding interpersonal skills, both verbal and written, ability to ôget alongö and nurture relationships with a wide variety of people; good organizational skills and ability to distinguish and communicate priorities and processes.

7. Experience in developing and sustaining a network of external professional and stakeholder relationships and the skills to negotiate, develop partnerships and represent the institution in development efforts.


1. Must be able to perform extensive work in indoor environments, to perceive space, to read documents and diagrams and to view computer monitor.

2. Must be able to communicate in planning and execution of projects; strong presentations of ideas. Team and group dialog required for communication of plans and concepts.

3. Must be able to effectively communicate during group work, for telephone work, for group conversations for planning work.

4. Must be able to safely use equipment and materials.

5. Must be able to lift objects up to 30 pounds of weight.

6. Required ability to visit and work at multiple locations. Must possess ability to negotiate local travel via conventional transportation, as well as regional and international travel.

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