The San Jose Museum of Quilts & Textiles (Museum) is the first museum in the United States to focus exclusively on quilts and textiles as an art form and stands proudly in the worlds of both art and craft. The mission of the San Jose Museum of Quilts & Textiles is to preserve, celebrate, and promote knowledge about quilts and textiles, their creation, their beauty, and their relationship to human culture and expression.
Founded in 1977 and incorporated in 1991 as a 501c3, the Museum’s California-focused permanent collection comprises more than 1,400 objects, including historic and contemporary quilts, world textiles, and wearable art. The Museum has cultivated an environment that allows it to present makers both as finely skilled artisans and as professional contemporary artists who reflect on and display social matters within their work. Many of its exhibitions highlight the connection between fiber arts and current cultural, political, and environmental issues, such as Guns: Loaded Conversations,” (2018) an exploration of U.S. gun rights, violence, and history; and the upcoming Queer Threads, (2023) featuring contemporary works by U.S. LGBTQIA textile artists. Museum exhibitions, representing both local and world textile pieces and historic and contemporary art works, appeal to the diversity of Bay Area residents and tourists.
The Museum is an anchor cultural institution in San Jose’s downtown South of Market Area (SoFA). Prior to pandemic closures, the Museum hosted 18 to 20 exhibitions annually, along with related workshops, lectures, panels, performances, docent-led tours, and other events. The Museum has historically welcomed 12,000 local, national, and international visitors and has served 500 K-12 students and their families annually. Admission is free to the public on SoFA First Fridays and the Museum typically attracts more than 300 visitors in an evening.
The Museum is committed to providing a welcoming environment for all and strives to create an inclusive educational, cultural, and artistic space through on-going practice and reflection in the following areas:
Exhibitions & Interpretation
- Represent a diverse range of perspectives within the textile medium. Exhibitions and interpretive materials are intended to highlight, empower, and celebrate the creative work of textile artists both local and global.
- Preserve historic and contemporary textiles and increase the Museum’s cultural resources to reflect diversity in the field of fiber arts.
Education & Community Outreach
- Offer educational programs that invite all learners to join creative dialogues that promote cultural respect and mutual understanding. Through outreach programs, the Museum seeks to provide access and participatory opportunities for everyone in the community.
- Have a positive, welcoming, and inclusive experience for the Museum visitors, both in person and virtually. The Museum is dedicated to assisting all communities and is working to continually improve physical, financial, and cultural accessibility.
Governance & Support Organizations
- Advance the Museum’s mission of sharing and celebrating the art and culture of textiles and support staff endeavors to increase diverse representation in programs and exhibitions through specific Diversity, Equity, Accessibility, and Inclusion (DEAI) initiatives.
- Build and maintain a culture that provides professional development and ongoing reflection on eliminating bias and inequity. The Museum supports hiring and collaborating with a diversity of staff, artists, educators, and administrators who are demographically representative of the communities the Museum serves.
Development & Institutional Giving
- Recognize, discuss, and rectify the ways in which fundraising upholds systems of power. Board members, donors, and members are current and potential allies who will support programs that focus on diversity, equity, accessibility, and inclusion, and are partnering with funders who prioritize and uphold these values.
At a critical juncture for renewal and growth, the Museum’s Board of Directors has set goals to expand and diversify programming, membership, and community connections with an enhanced commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion. The Museum’s board and staff leadership teams actively participated in the American Alliance of Museum’s Facing Change Initiative to diversify museum boards and leadership, amplifying the Museum’s commitment to building an inclusive culture that more closely reflects the San Jose community.
The Museum’s operating budget for 2021-22 was approximately $750,000 and is led by a Board of Directors, Chaired by Melissa Leventon. The Museum is a proud partner, and receives support from, donors, members and sponsors including San Jose Office of Cultural Affairs, SVCreates, Veggielution, School of Arts and Culture/Mexican Heritage Plaza, Applied Materials, The David and Lucille Packard Foundation, Cal Humanities, Heritage Bank, California Natural Resources Agency, and The Alberta S. Kimball – Mary L. Anhaltzer Foundation.
Populated by more than a million residents, San Jose is the third largest city in California, the 10th largest city in the United States, and the county seat of Santa Clara County—the most affluent county in California. It is a vibrant city at the south end of the San Francisco Bay and is considered the “Capital of Silicon Valley.”. Silicon Valley is an iconic hub of innovation, creativity, and technology—home to thousands of tech start-up companies and headquarters to many of the largest high-tech companies in the world, such as Apple, Google, Applied Materials, Intel, and Zoom.
With a Mediterranean climate and more than 300 days of sunshine each year, outdoor activities are a local favorite. San Jose features 193 regional and city parks and gardens, including 60 miles of trails for hiking, biking, and walking. In addition, San Jose’s vibrant dining scene offers a kaleidoscope of authentic global flavors with more than 250 dining and entertainment options.
Diversity is the most frequently mentioned element of San Jose’s culture, both as a demographic fact and as a long-held civic commitment. Two-thirds of San Jose’s residents are either foreign-born or have foreign-born parents, representing 176 of the 194 nations in the world. More than half of the adults living in Silicon Valley hold a college degree.
San Jose State University is part of the California State University system and offers intellectual, artistic, and commercial opportunities to its 30,000 students and the broader community. In 2020, San Jose State was named the most transformative college in the United States by Money magazine. Other nearby educational institutions include Santa Clara University, Stanford University, and the University of California, Berkeley.
Sources: census.gov; sanjose.org; sanjoseca.gov/home; sjsw.edu
Reporting to the Board of Directors, the Museum Director will lead the Museum through an exciting period of growth and stabilization. With board and staff, the Director will rebuild the visitor experience and programs by creating deeper and authentic connections with former and new community, school, and corporate partners. The Director will maximize new revenue streams while stewarding existing supporters of the Museum. The Director will oversee the local, national, and international reputation of the Museum and champion its mission, building trust and positive relationships with its diverse constituencies.
Roles and Responsibilities
- Work with the board and management staff to develop strategies for achieving mission goals and financial viability.
- Maintain and utilize a working knowledge of significant developments and trends in the field (examples: museum education approaches, fashion design, and the environment).
- Build respect and increase the visibility of the organization among its constituencies.
- Establishes ambitious goals and initiates, maintains, and adapts programs to a high degree of excellence and impact.
- Serve as an effective spokesperson, representing the organization well to its constituencies, including clients/members/patrons, other nonprofits, government agencies, elected officials, funders, and the public.
- Work with the staff, finance committee, and the board to prepare budgets, monitor progress, and initiate changes (to operations and/or to budgets), as appropriate.
- Assure adequate control and accounting of all funds, including maintaining sound financial practices.
- Retains official records and documents and complies with federal state and local regulations (examples: Form 990, payroll withholding).
- Develop realistic, ambitious plans for acquiring funds and involve others in fundraising and earned income generation. Establish positive relationships with individual donors and institutional funders, such as foundations, government agencies, corporations, etc.
- Cultivate a welcoming space for all visitors across race, age, ethnicity, abilities, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, political affiliation, religion, geography, and culture.
- Develop an active presence in the community, building positive connections and authentic relationships, and identifying opportunities for new initiatives and partnerships that support museum attendance and participation.
- Represent the Museum in person and through public talks and communication, actively seeking opportunities to engage with the broader community and participating in events that inspire and cultivate increased support.
- Engage board members, donors, and members as allies to support programs that focus on diversity, equity, accessibility, and inclusion, partnering with funders who prioritize and uphold these values.
Planning, Organization, and Operations
- Ensure the development of exhibition programs that are consistent with the organization’s mission, a collection management program that supports the preservation and growth of the permanent collection, and that all programs and activities are developed, executed, modified, and dismantled to maximize mission impact.
- Interview, hire, and manage staff, delegate, and provide performance appraisals on a regular basis in compliance with federal and state employment laws and American Alliance of Museum’s best practices.
- Ensure that the necessary organizational and operational structure, policies, systems controls, and procedures are in place and regularly reviewed for effectiveness.
- Develop and foster an internal culture that maintains the highest standards for customer service, excellence of visitor experience, and fiscal, operational, and organizational integrity.
- Embrace other planning, organization and operations duties as required.
Board of Directors
- With the Board Chair, decides when to involve board members in decisions.
- Provide appropriate leadership to the board and its committees.
- Informs board members in a timely way on the condition of the organization and important factors influencing it.
- Ensures that board committees are appropriately supported.
- Work with the board officers to ensure that the board is an effective body, and that recruitment, involvement, and departures of individual board members are effective.
Traits and Characteristics
The Director will be an assertive, decisive leader driven by experience and practical results which maximize resources and efficiency. An effective communicator, they are receptive to new ideas, concepts, and ways of approaching material. They can systemically analyze information, look at all aspects of a situation, and evaluate the consequences of their decisions.
Other key competencies include:
- Personal Accountability, Decision Making, and Self Starting – The ability to answer for their decisions and actions, to make thorough decisions in a timely manner, and to demonstrate initiative.
- Interpersonal Skills and Influencing Others – The facility to effectively communicate and build rapport with all kinds of people while being capable of affecting others’ actions and decisions.
- Resiliency and Planning – The flexibility to quickly adapt to adversity and to develop courses of action that ensure work is completed effectively.
Qualified candidates must have demonstrated success in a leadership position, ideally in a cultural organization, and maintained a proven track record as an effective fundraiser. A minimum of five years of senior nonprofit management experience is required alongside a demonstrated commitment to community inclusion and social change. Museum leadership experience, an advanced degree in the fine arts or arts education, is a plus.
Compensation and Benefits
The Museum provides a competitive and equitable compensation package, with a salary range between $120,000 and $145,000, commensurate with experience. A comprehensive range of benefits includes paid vacation, sick leave, holidays, health insurance, and the quality of life that the San Jose Area has to offer.
Applications and Inquiries
To submit a cover letter and resume with a summary of demonstrable accomplishments (electronic submissions preferred), please click here or visit artsconsulting.com/employment. For questions or general inquiries about this job opportunity, please contact:
Nan Keeton, Senior Vice President
268 Bush Street, Suite 4100
San Francisco, CA 94104
Tel (888) 234.4236 Ext. 203
The staff and board of San Jose Museum of Quilts & Textiles are devoted to cultivating a welcoming space for all visitors across race, age, ethnicity, abilities, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, political affiliation, religion, geography, or culture.
San Jose Museum of Quilts & Textiles is a progressive, equal opportunity employer.
All candidates are encouraged to apply.