The Oakland Museum of California (OMCA) is seeking an entrepreneurial, highly effective, mission-driven, and business savvy leader to serve as Director of Curatorial and Content Development, a new senior management role within the Center for Experience Development and Collections (CEDC). The Director of Curatorial and Content Development will serve as a thought partner to CEDC leadership. The position will act as a strategic and motivational leader to the curatorial staff, partner to Collections and Exhibitions colleagues, and effective collaborator across the Museum to provide dynamic, inspiring, and meaningful visitor experiences that create a positive social impact and enhance OMCA’s financial sustainability. The Director of Curatorial and Content Development will report to the Deputy Director.
About the Museum
OMCA’s mission is, “To inspire all Californians to create a more vibrant future for themselves and their communities.” The Museum is a blend of art, history, and natural science and is grounded in the belief that a museum should be welcoming and inclusive, making a difference by offering everyone access to inspiration, learning, and creativity. In 2013, OMCA completed an eight-year $63 million capital renovation project and unveiled completely transformed core collection galleries. The goals and approaches for the galleries were developed in response to intensive visitor evaluation and prototyping and were designed to make OMCA a more welcoming, accessible, and relevant cultural facility for a very broad and diverse community.
The Museum has also undergone profound organizational changes with the transition from the City of Oakland to independent governance and operation in 2011. This transition from the City coincided with the complete restructuring of the staff organization with the intent of truly placing the visitor at the center of the institution and breaking down the traditional silos of discipline, function, and expertise that have defined most museums for more than 100 years. Looking to the future, OMCA seeks to be Oakland’s public square and gathering space; a catalyst for the vitality of the region; and indispensable to the community, its residents, and its visitors.
The Museum has an annual operating budget of $15 million and employs 150 staff. OMCA staff is organized into four interdisciplinary function centers including the CEDC, the Center for Audience and Civic Engagement, the Center for Philanthropy and Institutional Advancement, and the Center for Administration and Business Operations. The CEDC has approximately 50 staff and an annual operating budget of $5 million.
The Director of Curatorial and Content Development’s responsibilities include:
- Lead the creation of the vision and strategy for the core galleries in collaboration with the Deputy Director and Director of Exhibition Strategy and Senior Curator of Art; ensure alignment with OMCA’s business and mission priorities
- Develop visitor-centered gallery experiences and exhibitions with internal and external partners
- Direct, supervise, and mentor the curatorial team
- Recruit, supervise, coach and train project collaborators, staff, volunteers, and interns
- Collaborate with Collections colleagues to define the focus of curatorial collections work and implement the Museum’s Collecting Plan and Policies
- Cultivate and steward lender and donor relationships
- Lead and serve on cross-functional teams and committees
- Participate in CEDC and cross-institutional priority setting, and strategic and annual business planning
- Contribute to OMCA development and public relations efforts as needed
- Cultivate a network and community of experts, thought and cultural leaders, and change makers as potential future collaborators and partners
- Engage in public outreach and serve as a spokesperson for the Museum with general public and media
Ideal Candidate Characteristics
The ideal candidate will possess a combination of the following:
- Innovative and collaborative leadership in museum field specifically related to curatorial, collections, and/or exhibition development work
- Effective administrative and management skills; high level of initiative; creative and flexible problem solving skills supported by a record of accomplishment
- A passion for OMCA’s visitor-centered mission and vision
- Knowledge of and interest in progressive trends in museums
- Excellent communication skills
- Ability to think and work across disciplines
- Entrepreneurial spirit to grow and change OMCA
A minimum 7-10 years of related experience. Possession of a Master’s degree in a related field is required.
Compensation will be commensurate with qualifications and experience. A benefits package will also be provided.
Procedure for Application
Individuals interested in applying for this position should send a resume and letter of interest to:
Museum Management Consultants, Inc.
Position open until filled
Oakland is the heart of the East Bay region in the San Francisco Bay Area and the most ethnically diverse major city in the United States. Surrounded by 19 miles of coastline to the west and rolling hills to the east, Oakland covers 54 square miles, has a population of over 419,000 (and a population of approximately 7.65 million in the greater San Francisco Bay Area), and is the eighth largest city in California. Its diverse population, temperate climate, thriving arts and culture scene, dramatically growing downtown, vibrant waterfront, world-class restaurants, popular professional sports teams, and myriad parks and open spaces make Oakland a dynamic place to live and work.
Today, Oakland is experiencing a renaissance as it seeks to balance diversity and equity, proud heritage and emerging energy – all while retaining heart and soul. Perhaps no single place is better positioned to support a thriving Oakland than OMCA – welcoming all, dedicated to making a difference, providing a joyful, inclusive, thought-provoking environment for dialogue and discovery.