Exhibitions Coordinator

Company Name: 

Whatcom Museum Foundation



Contact Name: 

Tatiana Beiting





Job Description: 

JOB TITLE:            Exhibitions Coordinator

DEPARTMENT:      Exhibitions

CLASSIFICATION: Non-exempt; Part-time or Full-time (30-40 hours weekly); Hourly

RATE OF PAY:        $28 to $32 per hour DOE

BENEFITS:              Medical, Dental, Vision, Holidays, PTO, Simple IRA Savings Plan



The Whatcom Museum in Bellingham, Wash., is an American Alliance of Museums (AAM) accredited museum and a Smithsonian Affiliate. With a campus of three buildings, including the historic Old City Hall, the Leed Certified Lightcatcher Building, and the Old Fire Station #1. The Whatcom Museum Foundation is a non-profit organization entrusted with operating the Whatcom Museum and caring for the collection which contains more than 200,000 artifacts and art works of regional importance, including a vast photographic archive. 


The Whatcom Museum offers a variety of exhibitions, programs, tours and activities about art, nature, and Northwest history for all ages. Its multi-building campus is in the heart of Bellingham’s downtown Arts District. Notable projects include the 2019 retrospective exhibition Ed Bereal: WANTED: For Disturbing the Peace, featured in The New York Times, the touring exhibition Katazome Today: Migrations of a Japanese Art, and the co-curated, nationally touring exhibition Many Wests: Artists Shape an American Idea, exhibited at the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, D.C. and four partner museums in the West. Many Wests received the Western Museum Association’s Charles Redd Exhibition Excellence Award for its showing at the Whatcom Museum in 2022, and was recently recognized by AAM for advancing Diversity, Equity, Accessibility, and Inclusion. 



The Exhibition Coordinator is responsible for coordinating multiple projects within the Exhibitions Department. An integral part of the Exhibitions team, they will facilitate administrative aspects of the installations and exhibitions in collaboration with the team to create and implement dynamic and frequently rotated exhibitions and installations.


An essential function of the Exhibition Coordinator’s work is to facilitate the exhibition planning and implementation process for gallery installations and temporary exhibitions, often handling multiple of these activities simultaneously, while also ensuring that numerous day-to-day details are addressed.  Key areas of coordination include creating, tracking, and maintaining multiple project schedules, processing and organizing project invoices and documents, tracking budgets, and facilitating the teams’ forward movement through effective planning and communication. The Exhibition Coordinator ensures that the Chief Curator is informed of any issues or changes in project scope, and that all inter-departmental communications are clear, timely, productive and documented. 


The duties of this position are complex in nature, and the ideal candidate must be professional in all communications and actions, engaged and collaborative, proactive and highly organized, and a confident problem solver. The job calls for a combination of energy and ability to balance multiple tasks with careful attention to detail. The position requires considerable diplomacy, and discretion in the handling of sensitive information.


The Exhibition Coordinator works closely with the Chief Curator and team members in the Exhibitions and Collections departments and interacts with many other museum colleagues in the departments of Education, Communications, Guest and member services, Development, Security, and Facilities.



Reports to the Whatcom Museum Chief Curator and works closely with the Director of Collections. Works independently under department, city, state, and federal rules, regulations, and guidelines.  Provides supervision to Exhibit Preparators, as well as interns and volunteers as assigned. 



  • Develops, communicates, and tracks schedules for all exhibition and installation work such as painting and construction, and the design of interpretive elements, including texts, activities, digital tools and interacts with colleagues as needed to keep projects on track. 
  • Assists with exhibition installation, including handling of art objects and exhibition furniture, formatting of labels and other didactic materials all while in close communication and collaboration with the Exhibition Team.
  • Assists with the supervision of the preparation staff in receiving, unpacking, and crating loans and collection objects.
  • Processes exhibition-related invoices and payments, tracks project budgets, and generates expense reports and financial reports as directed.
  • Tracks work orders; prioritizes and schedules their execution by the preparations staff. Follows purchasing protocols; Orders and tracks inventory of materials, tools, equipment and supplies related to exhibitions, preparation, facilities and engineering projects and tasks.
  • Communicates with project-related consultants and vendors under the direction of Chief Curator to ensure obligations are met in a timely manner, including fabrication for exhibitions, as well as publications and graphics. 
  • Fosters team collegiality, timeliness, and mutual respect that leads to successful project completion reflecting high caliber exhibition standards.
  • Creates, maintains, and archives project files including organizing and archiving of exhibitions documentation.
  • Answers inquiries from the public and colleagues via phone and email in a prompt, professional manner.
  • Assists the Chief Curator in developing and monitoring project and fiscal year budgets.
  • Other duties as assigned.



Work is generally performed in an indoor office environment with frequent use of office equipment including computer, keyboard, and mouse. Work is also performed in storage and gallery areas for exhibit installation. May involve long periods of sitting and standing.  Requires some lifting of equipment and supplies. Must be able to bend, twist, reach, and lift 50 pounds.



PERFORMANCE REQUIREMENTS (Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities): 

  • A combination of related education and demonstrated experience totaling a minimum of six years, meaning a bachelor’s degree and two years of experience OR an associate degree and four years of experience OR a high school diploma (or equivalent) and six years of experience
  • Excellent project management and organizational skills that includes planning and goal setting; responsive resource allocation; successful management of overlapping project timelines; and working effectively with internal and external stakeholders
  • Ability work independently with minimal supervision to achieve project goals while collaborating with internal and external stakeholders
  • Ability to handle multiple projects, prioritize work, meet deadlines, and produce quality results on schedule with attention to detail
  • Computer literacy including strong digital file and data organization skills; proficiency in Microsoft Office Suite (Word, Excel, PowerPoint) 
  • Strong organizational and tasks management skills, problem analysis and decision-making, planning and organizing, management control, and adaptability/flexibility 
  • Strong oral communication and interpersonal skills for working with a diverse population including other employees, Museum patrons, specific community groups, and the general public 
  • Strong work ethic and a customer service orientation; always conducts self in accordance with the ethical standards required of Museum employees 
  • Ability to avoid conflicts of interest of Museum and City resources and personnel. 
  • Ability and willingness to demonstrate the Public Service Competencies of Service Orientation, Results Orientation, Teamwork and Cooperation. 
  • Prefer experience with Adobe InDesign


If you are qualified and interested in joining our team, we encourage you to apply!  

Send a resume and cover letter to: Attn:  Exhibition Coordinator at info@whatcommuseum.org 


Whatcom Museum Foundation is a 501©(3) organization and an equal opportunity employer. We are committed to creating a diverse work environment that fosters inclusion, diversity, equity and accessibility.