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Supervisor of Interpretation, Working Waterfront Programs 


Purpose: Supervise and support the interpretation staff and volunteers to ensure that the museum’s visiting public has an enjoyable, personalized, relevant and authentic experience.

Exhibits under this position’s purview include the Buckingham-Hall house, Charles W. Morgan, cooperage, fisheries row, Joseph Conrad, L.A. Dunton, nautical instruments shop, print shop, sail loft, ship carver’s shop, shipsmith, and the shipyard gallery. Activities under this position’s supervisory purview include the demonstration squad, wood carving classes, cooking classes, coopering classes, printing classes, blacksmithing classes, teambuilding programs, and interpretation activities associated with visiting vessels. Supervision of changing exhibits will be assigned based on exhibit content and workflow of other projects.

Essential Functions:

Hiring: Work with the Director and department supervisors to recruit and hire seasonal, part-time, and full-time interpretation staff members to meet departmental needs. Provide creative solutions to attract and retain a diverse, personable and flexible team of interpreters. Work with Volunteer Services department to recruit, screen, onboard, and train interpretation volunteers.

Social Media and Virtual Content: Work actively on grounds to collect and curate online content for social media and virtual programming. This will include still photography, video, and audio. Content may include interviews with staff, musical performances, active demonstrations, and kids’ activities.

Professional Development and Training: Work with the Director and department supervisors to provide excellent training and professional development opportunities focused on interpretive techniques, customer service, visitor learning styles, relevant historical content, visitor studies, and other relevant topics. Coordinate exhibit-specific training for assigned areas.

Performance Assessment: Prepare performance appraisals for a portion of the interpretation staff.   Work with the Director and department supervisors to articulate specific performance goals for all Mystic Seaport interpretation staff and volunteers, and ensure accountability in meeting those goals.

Content and Experience Development: Working both independently and with interpretation staff, develop and maintain exhibit interpretation handbooks that can be used as training tools for interpreters working in exhibits under this position’s supervision. Strive to make this content thematic, organized, relevant, and enjoyable for 21st-century audiences. Envision, develop, and implement activities and demonstrations that can empower and engage audiences through creative, multi-sensory, relevant and active learning experiences. Work with the Director to network across different relevant professional disciplines and industries to bring new professional collaborators into the Mystic Seaport community.

Experience Assessment: Working in consultation with the Director and other relevant departments, develop exhibit and program-specific performance goals for the areas under this position’s purview. Utilize formative, remedial, and summative evaluation methods to assess programmatic impact(s) and identify areas for improvement as needed.

Operations Management: Manage resources and supplies associated with the exhibits and programs under position’s purview. Procure materials as needed while working within the department’s budgetary parameters. Make budgetary recommendations to Director for areas under supervision. Troubleshoot operational issues in areas under supervision and submit work orders as necessary. Serve as watch captain on weekends in a rotation with Director and other department supervisors. Assist with processing of payroll and filling gaps in the schedule as needed.

Interdepartmental Collaboration: Serve as the department’s primary liaison for communication with the museum’s preservation shipyard. Represent the department at weekly operations committee meetings. Prepare and submit marketing and communications worksheets and Event Coordination Summaries for programs under supervisory purview. Work directly with the education department to organize and provide training for education staff members in exhibits under supervisory purview. Work collaboratively with all other departments as necessary.

Other: Perform other administrative functions and duties as assigned.

Position Requirements
  • Must have received or be willing to receive the COVID-19 vaccination by date of hire to be considered. Proof of vaccination will be required.
  • Demonstrated success in supervisory/personnel management and evaluation
  • Demonstrated experience in museum program development and operations
  • Demonstrated knowledge of budget management
  • Demonstrated knowledge of social media platforms, including Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok. Video editing skills a plus.
  • Superior organizational skills with an ability to manage the details of a highly complex department.
  • Highly developed written and oral communication skills and technological competency (Microsoft Office Suite, Google Suite, E-Mail, telephones, etc.).
  • Knowledge of maritime history, sailing and historic trades / crafts preferred.
  • BA/BS required; MA in history, American studies, museum studies or a related field preferred. Significant and related museum or professional maritime work experience aboard traditional sailing vessels may serve as a substitute for the MA degree. USCG license desirable.

Please submit a cover letter with your application. 

Full-Time/Part-Time Full-Time  
EOE Statement Mystic Seaport Museum, Inc. is an equal opportunity employer. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 and state and federal laws prohibit discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. In addition, state and federal laws prohibit discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, gender, Veteran's status, age (40 years and over), physical or mental disability, religious affiliation or other protected status. It is our policy to comply fully with these laws and information requested on this application will not be used for any purpose prohibited by law.  
About the Organization Mystic Seaport Museum is the nation's leading maritime museum. Founded in 1929 to gather and preserve the rapidly disappearing artifacts of America's seafaring past, the Museum has grown to become a national center for research and education with the mission to 'inspire an enduring connection to the American maritime experience.'

The Museum's grounds cover 19 acres on the Mystic River in Mystic, CT and include a recreated New England coastal village, a working shipyard, formal exhibit halls, and state-of-the-art artifact storage facilities. The Museum is home to more than 500 historic watercraft, including four National Historic Landmark vessels, most notably the 1841 whaleship Charles W. Morgan, America's oldest commercial ship still in existence.  

This position is currently not accepting applications.

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