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Associate Curator of Collections

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The Obama Foundation-Chicago | Chicago, IL
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The Obama Foundation-Chicago


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Published 9 days ago

About the Obama Foundation

At the Obama Foundation, we are guided by a core belief: that ordinary people working together can change history. Our mission is to inspire those people to take action, empower them to change their world for the better, and connect them so they can achieve more together than they can alone.

We were founded by community organizers, so when we seek change, we do it by bringing people together. 

That approach begins at home, on the South Side of Chicago, where we are building the Obama Presidential Center. The Center represents a historic opportunity for Chicago: a chance to build a world-class museum and public gathering space that celebrates our nation’s first African American President and First Lady, steps away from where he began his career, where she was raised, and where—together—they made their home. 

But that approach extends to all our work, whether it’s holding leadership training sessions in communities throughout the U.S., bringing local leaders together in countries around the world, working to support the global education of girls, or ensuring young men of color have pathways to opportunity.

As President Obama has said, “we cannot solve the challenges of our time unless we solve them together.” So join us. 

For more information, please visit www.obama.org.

About the Role

As a member of the Museum team, the Associate Curator of Collections will actively support the curatorial content of the inaugural core exhibits for the Obama Presidential Center (OPC) Museum by conducting focused research on artifacts for the Museum’s collection and the specific needs of the inaugural core exhibits, including the future rotation of objects over time. The Associate Curator of Collections will work collaboratively with Museum Team members, the exhibition design team, and other researchers, consultants, and stakeholders on content development and related programming. The Associate Curator will provide important oversight for the Special Exhibitions Gallery and programming, including pre-opening events. The Associate Curator of Collections currently reports to the Museum Director.

Outcomes

The Associate Curator of Collections will be responsible for achieving the following outcomes within the first two months:

  • Drafting a calendar and work plan for conducting focused research on artifacts for the inaugural core exhibits
  • Drafting a calendar and work plan for the development of materials related to the OPC Museum’s exhibits and the Obama Presidential Center interpretive master plan

The Associate Curator of Collections will be responsible for achieving the following outcomes within the first year:

  • Generating and completing research assignments in support of the inaugural core exhibits, working closely with the Foundation’s content team, research consultants, exhibit design team, key advisors, and other stakeholders 
  • Reviewing all areas of exhibit development (content outlines, exhibit layouts, exhibit documentation, script outlines and script development, artifacts and images, media program, and graphic production) as it relates to the Design Development and Final Design phases -- working closely and collaboratively with members of the Museum’s Content Team and the exhibit designers

The Associate Curator of Collections will be responsible for achieving the following Special Exhibitions-related outcomes as the Foundation approaches the opening of the Obama Presidential Center (OPC):

  • Within 4 months of joining the Foundation, draft a strategic plan and preliminary budget for the Special Exhibitions program, including pre-opening events and expenses
  • At least 24 months prior to the OPC’s public opening, establish a fully-rounded vision for the Special Exhibitions program, planning for the inaugural exhibition along with a calendar for the Program’s first three years 

Responsibilities

In addition to the outcomes listed above, we imagine that the Associate Curator of Collections will also spend their time in the following ways:

  • Participating in any Collections-related development activities, as well as overall institutional advancement of the Obama Foundation and the OPC
  • Providing “surge” capacity as needed to support essential events, meetings, and processes 
  • Once the OPC has opened, managing the special exhibition program on an ongoing basis

Qualifications

  • A minimum of five years of hands-on museum experience especially in the curatorial field, or equivalent, is required
  • An advanced degree in the Humanities is preferred, as is a working knowledge of American history/politics and an understanding of interdisciplinary cultural production. Publication history and exhibition experience are also desirable
  • Exceptional communication skills, both verbal and written, for a general audience
  • Demonstrated skill in using presentation software (both Google Slides and PowerPoint) and word processing tools (both Google Docs and Microsoft Word) to convey a story in a concise yet impactful way
  • A track record of developing strategies to meet goals in a timely and efficient manner
  • Demonstrated ability to quickly and proficiently understand and absorb new information; can sift between important details and noise; sees the end result and can make quick and thoughtful decisions to get there; excellent attention to detail
  • Collaborative team-player at home in a faced-paced start-up environment; flexible and nimble enough to execute on projects with short lead times; maintains quality control for all deliverables
  • Committed to the Obama Foundation’s mission of inspiring, empowering, and connecting people to change their world

Equal Opportunity Employer

The Foundation is committed to creating a diverse work environment and is proud to be an equal opportunity employer. The Foundation does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, gender identity, religion, sexual orientation, age, disability, parental status, veteran status, or any other protected status under applicable laws. We encourage individuals of all backgrounds to apply. If you are a qualified candidate with a disability, please e-mail us at careers@obama.org if you require a reasonable accommodation to complete this application.

About the Obama Foundation

At the Obama Foundation, we are guided by a core belief: that ordinary people working together can change history. Our mission is to inspire those people to take action, empower them to change their world for the…

Details at a glance

  • On-site Location
  • Full Time Schedule

Location

Chicago, IL

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