The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Head of Education, New York, NY
HEAD OF EDUCATION
"The Metropolitan Museum of Art collects, studies, conserves, and presents significant works of art across all times and cultures in order to connect people to creativity, knowledge, and ideas."
ABOUT THE METROPOLITAN MUSEUM OF ART
The Metropolitan Museum of Art ("The Met") presents more than 5,000 years of art from around the world for everyone to experience and enjoy. The Museum lives in three iconic sites in New York City The Met Fifth Avenue, The Met Breuer, and The Met Cloisters. Since it was founded in 1870, The Met has always aspired to be more than a treasury of rare and beautiful objects. Every day, art comes alive in the Museum's galleries and through its exhibitions and events, revealing both new ideas and unexpected connections across time and across cultures.
BACKGROUND AND OVERVIEW
The Met is, and sees itself as, an educational institution. The Education Department ensures, with the Director's emphatic support, that the vast assets and resources of art, science, scholarship, programs, culture, and history are accessible and inviting to truly all regardless of background, ability, age, or experience. As one of the few departments to interface across the entire institution and with the public directly, Education works daily to connect, inspire, collaborate, and innovate with its colleagues within The Met in order to better connect with and inspire its local, national, and international audience beyond it.
Before the Covid-19 crisis, more than seven million people entered The Met as New York City's most visited cultural attraction (40 percent from the New York City/Tri-State Area, 20 percent national, and almost 40 percent international, from 189 countries). Complementary digital visitorship is also on the rise and increasingly global, with the website welcoming 30 million visits in FY2019 and social media reaching more than nine million combined on Facebook, Twitter, and its Webby award-winning IG sites, and an additional one million via e-mail listserv.
Education currently presents over 39,000 programs a year to an audience of over 845,000. The Department is a national and international leader in museum-based education and public programming, pushing boundaries through continuous innovation and experimentation. Programs include: high school and college internships that promote career development and diversity; pre-K to grade 12 educator programs that train teachers to integrate art into curricula across disciplines; performances, concerts, lectures, and symposia that feature preeminent artists and scholarship; daily tours in multiple languages; and so much more. The Department is organized by five divisions:
- Teaching and Learning;
- Public Programs and Engagement;
- Met Live Arts;
- Academic and Professional Programs, including its renowned Fellowship and Internship programs;
- Administration, Communications, and Operations.
It is comprised of approximately 110 full- and part-time, exempt and non-exempt, and union and non-union staff members and works closely with an independent and active volunteer organization of 1,300 members to realize many of its programs.
The Head of Education leads a $16 million operation one of the largest departments within The Met and serves as a leader and co-collaborator with their peers across the 17 curatorial departments, 5 conservation departments, and Scientific Research each a mini-museum for all three Met sites. The Head works closely with Digital, External Affairs, and the volunteer organization to create opportunities to maximize reach and results on behalf of its audience. The Met sees great potential in expansively scaling up educational offerings by disseminating them through its various digital platforms and further enhancing its role as a leader in online and digital arts education. Education also partners with most, if not all, administrative departments in order to present its vast array of programs, lectures, tours, classes, performances, and pop-up offerings across the Museum, the city, and online.
An ambassador for The Met, the Head is responsible for building and maintaining strong relationships with local, national, and international partners in education, government, philanthropy, peer institutions, and the artists' communities that are involved in any given offering.
GENERAL STATEMENT OF RESPONSIBILITIES & DUTIES
The Met seeks a proven leader and team player to closely partner with the Director to ensure the successful implementation of education strategies across the Museum. The Head of Education will also work closely with and report to the Deputy Director for Digital, Education, Publications, Imaging, and Libraries ("DEPIL"). They will drive innovation and new initiatives to connect broader audiences with The Met's collection and their interpretation, committed to the highest quality of public engagement, scholarship, and user experiences.
PRIMARY RESPONSIBILITIES & DUTIES
Vision and Innovation
- Possess and convey a passion for art, education, scholarship, and engagement to design and champion ongoing creative programmatic development consistent with The Met's scale, mission, and values that consistently meet and surpass expectations.
- Envision and execute a comprehensive strategy for education across The Met that distinguishes it as an institution of learning as it is of culture.
- Invigorate and invest in the tours, lectures, classes, scholar, collection, and exhibition programs as core areas of museum education, ensuring they are as compelling as new experimental efforts and grounded in scholarship as befits a top educational institution.
- Spark visitors' curiosity and create meaningful personal experiences for visitors with The Met's collections and exhibitions. Identify opportunities to leverage The Met's unique assets.
- Drive experimentation in developing and enhancing programs and learning experiences that actively encourage new and diverse audiences to explore art and the Museum.
- Affirm The Met as a leader in the museum education field, tracking and implementing new developments and contributing to its advancement. Support staff in related endeavors.
- Understand The Met's specific institutional culture and history and its role within the museum field and New York City and for a global audience.
- Reach across The Met to build bridges that will build trust and help enrich established programs as well as identify and execute new ones and attract new converts to art, The Met, and Education.
- Expand and continually improve the Museum's engagement with the greater New York City community. Aim to make The Met every local's must-see destination on par with its tourist fanbase.
- Deepen and enhance the partnerships with public school systems across New York State including New York City's as the nation's largest and most complex. Help educators understand the value the Museum can bring to the core curriculum and inspire greater future involvement for both teachers and students.
- Forge new institutional partnerships especially those with other educational, philanthropic, and cultural institutions and enhance existing partnerships to reach new audiences both directly, through programming efforts, and indirectly, through incorporation of new ideas into relevant curricula.
Leadership and Team Building
- Attract, develop, support, and retain a high-performing team, maintaining a service- and team-oriented departmental culture.
- Lead by example and encourage ever greater levels of trust and collaboration among Museum staff, especially with regard to partnerships between Education and Curatorial, Conservation, Digital, Publications, Communications, and Design. Actively support individuals and divisions in their efforts to foster productive collaborations and creative endeavors.
- Emphasize and model best practices. Oversee all educational and cultural programs to prioritize efforts and resources. Introduce transparency and order. Provide decisive direction, clear communication and policies, and timely follow through. Ensure effective execution and evaluate impact. Set standards. Reward and credit strong performance.
- Embody and ensure exceptional service and programs to the Museum and program participants. Evaluate and strengthen the Department's structure and staffing so it results in success. Embrace yet wear lightly leadership. Permit and encourage staff to shine and contribute.
- Identify and advocate for ways Education, Curatorial, Development, Digital, Publications, Design, Installation, Marketing, Public Programs, etc. are included early and systematically in programming to ensure exhibitions connect with audiences and excellence overall.
REQUIREMENTS & QUALIFICATIONS
Experience and Skills
- Demonstrated experience in articulating and driving a distinctive organizational, cultural, or educational vision and mobilizing internal and external support for programs to realize new levels of success.
- A respected and visionary leader for and of the Department, inside and out. Practiced and compelling advocate for educational programming at the Museum to generate excitement and to attract new audiences. National and international reach a plus.
- Demonstrate deep knowledge of and passion for art, commitment to education and lifelong learning, intellectual inquiry, visitor engagement, and, specifically, The Met's potential in each.
- Superlative communication, interpersonal, and negotiation skills grounded in excellent judgment; a diplomatic ambassador who can listen, hold a position, engage diverse partners, and drive complicated projects to closure.
- Tested and accomplished administrator effective with budgets, staffing, deadlines, deliverables, and competing agendas. Strong natural ability to organize, set priorities, create an action plan, delegate, coordinate, and deliver results. Able to navigate a hierarchical complex multisite organization, establish cross-functional relationships, and build consensus.
- Experience in building and managing a high-performing staff and facilitating their ability to work collaboratively and deliver results as a team.
- Keen fundraiser able to analyze and optimize established revenue streams and identify departmental and Museum-wide opportunities for new ones.
- Digitally adept. Attuned to ways technology, education, and communications mutually support and improve each other's objectives and the Museum's overall.
- Experience engaging a board and/or multiple stakeholders including volunteers, donors, local government and public-school officials, and community leaders.
- Strategic and collaborative by nature, self-confident and secure; unflappable; pragmatic, grounded, authoritative, decisive, and disciplined. An honest broker and a true collaborator about whom, all sides considered, possesses a strong sense of integrity and an unerring ethical compass in a dynamic cultural arena.
Knowledge and Education
- Advanced degree in education or art history preferred.
- Tested organizational and administrative experience required.
- In-depth knowledge of current and emerging educational trends required.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art provides equal opportunity to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, creed, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, ancestry, age, mental or physical disability, pregnancy, alienage or citizenship status, marital status or domestic partner status, genetic information, genetic predisposition or carrier status, gender identity, HIV status, military status, and any other category protected by law in all employment decisions, including but not limited to recruitment, hiring, compensation, training and apprenticeship, promotion, upgrading, demotion, downgrading, transfer, lay-off and termination, and all other terms and conditions of employment.
The Met seeks a diverse candidate pool. Please send applications or nominations to Sarah James at MetMuseumEducation@PhillipsOppenheim.com.