Art Center Educator

Burchfield Penney Art Center

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The Burchfield Penney Art Center in Buffalo, NY is seeking candidates for the newly created full-time role of Art Center Educator (ACE).

The Art Center Educator helps us develop, deliver and manage programs and experiences which utilize the Burchfield Penney’s resources– collections, volunteers, partners, exhibits, programs and facilities– to connect visitors of all ages and interests to our mission. We are looking for candidates who are both doers, willing to take ownership of existing programs and work hard to deliver and grow them, and dreamers, developing innovative content, partnerships and programs that take the Center in fresh directions.

The Burchfield Penney is a multi-disciplinary art center with three main components to our mission. First, we hold the largest collection in the world of the work of Charles Burchfield, an American painter who received the first-ever solo exhibit at MoMA, in 1930. Through exhibits, scholarship, programs and loans to museums across the country we further awareness of this extraordinary artist. Second, we collect, exhibit and interpret the work of artists working in our region—both historic and contemporary. And third, we are a community art organization with an active program of talks, performances, films, music and events that we hope to grow significantly in scale and community relevance—a key focus of this position.

Buffalo is changing as a city, as are our audiences—and The Center is committed to engaging a more diverse, and diversely interested, public. This position is critical to that effort. The Art Center Educator works to support two of our existing education and program staff via program development and delivery as well as via planning, administrative support and audience engagement work with school, adult, youth and family audiences.


Education programs and tours administration and planning.

Help hire, train and schedule a docent corps.

Hold responsibility for managing the tour program and ensuring docent and/or staff coverage for all tours.

Maintain positive relations with donors and volunteers.

Develop programs and lesson plans for audiences, programs and exhibits that clearly tie to NY State art standards and best practices in the museum field.

Write and edit communications, lesson plans, presentation materials, etcetera, working closely with curators and other colleagues as needed to build buy-in and ensure quality output.

Tour groups and classes of a variety of ages through the museum, and present to groups in both informal and formal settings.

Help cultivate and maintain healthy school/Center partnerships.

Help plan and facilitate evenings for educators and professional development classes for teachers.

Develop and implement evaluation and feedback protocols for docents, teachers and tours.

Other duties as assigned by the Education Program Manager.

Program administration and planning.

Deliver existing programs for a full range of audiences.

Develop, plan and test new innovative, exhibit-specific as well as ongoing programs.

Ensure a robust, active calendar of mission-relevant programs that attract audiences and sustain membership. Examples include artist or curator talks, partnership programs with other art or community organizations, community days, workshops, drop-in opportunities for families, specialized tours, Second Friday artmaking projects, gallery guides, offsite programs, and digital content.

Personally deliver programs when appropriate, welcoming and interacting with the public.

In partnership with the Events staff member, hold responsibility for developing and implementing mission-connected, revenue-producing public engagement offerings including birthday parties, one-day events such as art and craft fairs, partnership events, etcetera.

Hold responsibility for managing the program schedule and ensuring volunteer/staff coverage for programs delivered by others. Be physically present for the vast majority of programs to oversee quality.

Develop and implement evaluation and feedback protocols for programs.

Other duties as assigned by the Campus Engagement, Educational Projects, and Traveling Exhibitions Manager.

General Education and Program support

Maintain education spaces and resources.

Collect and analyze evaluations and visitor feedback, providing analysis to colleagues across the organization.

Advise co-managers of any potential time or resource conflicts that will impact her/his ability to accomplish tasks.

Ensure all education programs are properly calendared, spaces booked, and resource needs have been communicated in a timely manner to other departments to ensure successful program delivery.

Create invitations, coordinate event invite lists, and collect RSVP’s for education events as necessary.

Maintain adequate stocks of classroom and education supplies.

The position has joint reporting and duties that vary over the course of each calendar year, so requires excellent time management and communication skills, the ability to self-prioritize work, and the ability to manage expectations both across and up the organization. Prior experience in informal education, strong interpersonal skills, the ability to relate comfortably to diverse audiences and volunteers, and effective technology skills are important.


This position is highly visible to the public and requires a focus on customer service, quality of experience, and innovative approaches to connecting with contemporary audiences. Because of the focus on visitor experience and development/delivery of a wide array of programs during public hours, this position requires a Tuesday-Saturday schedule (off Sun/Mon), or very occasionally a Weds-Sunday schedule on peak weekends. The schedule will flex with season and program schedule, however, in order to maintain a healthy work/life balance.

Required Experience and Abilities:

Bachelor’s Degree in Education, Child Development, Museum Studies or a related field.

2+ years in education, program delivery, a museum education setting.

Excellent communication skills, including the ability to engage and hold the attention of groups.

Excellent organizational and interpersonal skills.

Warmth and a sincere love for working with diverse audiences, including children.

Experience with common business software and Google docs.

Demonstrated ability to work autonomously.

Demonstrated ability to effectively collaborate with others.

Preferred Knowledge and Abilities:

Previous experience recruiting and managing volunteers

Experience in developing or delivering object-based and/or inquiry-based informal learning models

Polished writing and editing skills

Familiarity with social media

Familiarity with current NY State art standards

Experience programming and booking an auditorium or theater space.

Personal interest in what’s happening in cutting-edge arts, music, theater, film and culture at large

The salary commensurate with experience for this position, comes with generous benefits including affordable health insurance, retirement matching, and paid vacation and sick leave.

How to Apply

Deadline to apply is September 15, 2019

Applicants must submit cover letter and resume to

The Burchfield Penney actively encourages members of diverse and traditionally under-represented groups to apply. We are an equal opportunity/ EEOC employer.

Posted on August 27