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Interpretation Volunteer and Docent Coordinator  


Purpose: Supervise and support the interpretation volunteer program to ensure that the museum’s visiting public has an enjoyable, personalized, relevant and authentic experience. Coordinate with interpretation supervisors and Volunteer Services department staff to establish a volunteer training program and promote volunteer retention within the interpretation department. Establish and build a docent program within the interpretation department, which includes advanced interpretation and content training for volunteers working in more complex exhibit spaces.


Essential Functions

Volunteer Recruitment: Work with the Director and department supervisors to recruit and retain interpretation volunteers to meet departmental needs. Assist in the oversight of interpretation programming, including but not limited to department trainings, exhibit interpretation content creation, and weekend management shifts. Coordinate with the Volunteer Services department to recruit, screen, onboard, and train interpretation volunteers.

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development opportunities focused on interpretive techniques, customer service, visitor learning styles, relevant historical content, visitor studies, and other relevant topics.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.

Volunteer Retention: work with the Director, department supervisors, and Volunteer Services department to develop a volunteer training and retention plan, with the goal of keeping volunteers engaged and providing volunteer specific programming within the department.

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 volunteer interpreters working in exhibits under this position’s supervision. Strive to make this content thematic, organized, relevant, and enjoyable for 21st-century audiences.

Operations Management: Manage resources and supplies associated with the exhibits and programs under position’s purview. Serve as watch captain on weekends in a rotation with Director and department supervisors. Assist with processing of payroll and filling gaps in the schedule as needed.

Interdepartmental Collaboration: Work closely with the Volunteer Services Department to recruit, screen, and train volunteers for the Interpretation Department. Coordinate with the Exhibits Department to plan volunteer needs for upcoming exhibitions, coordinate with exhibit curators to develop exhibit training content, prepare volunteer training materials, and schedule training sessions in advance of exhibit openings. Work collaboratively with all other departments as necessary.

Social Media and Virtual Content: Work actively on grounds to collect and curate online content for social media and virtual programming.

Other: Perform other administrative functions and duties as assigned.

Position Requirements
  • Must have received or be willing to receive the COVID-19 vaccination and booster by date of hire to be considered. Proof of vaccination will be required.
  • Demonstrated success in volunteer program development and management
  • Demonstrated experience in museum program development and operations
  • Superior organizational skills with an ability to manage the details of a highly complex department.
  • Ability to research and develop department training materials that cover a wide range of subjects
  • Highly developed written and oral communication skills and technological competency (Microsoft Office Suite, Google Suite, E-Mail, telephones, etc.).
  • BA/BS required; American studies, history, museum studies or a related field preferred.
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.  

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