The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission (M-NCPPC), a six-time National Recreation and Parks Association Gold Medal Award Winner, is seeking a Sr. History Specialist/Museum Manager I (Historic Site Manager) for the Josiah Henson Museum & Park. The Department has a career staff complement of nearly 800 employees and serves a diverse population of more than one million residents. The Department manages 421 parks on nearly 37,000 acres of parkland with an annual operating budget of over $100 million, and a six-year Capital Improvements Program of over $200 million.
This is an exciting opportunity to join a team that is working to help shape the future of one of nation's largest and most diverse park systems in the nation. In addition to having a world-class park system, Montgomery County, Maryland is a metropolitan destination for technological innovation, world-class higher education, performing arts, hospitality and tourism, and entrepreneurship.
Parkland managed by the Department of Parks makes up more than 11% of the County's land and serves as the County's "back yard", providing safe, green outdoor spaces; fun, educational programs and events; and a wide variety of recreational opportunities. Our mission is to protect and interpret our valuable natural and cultural resources, balance the demand for recreation with the need for conservation, offer a variety of enjoyable recreational activities, and provide clean, safe, and accessible places for leisure-time activities.
The Josiah Henson Museum & Park interprets the life of Reverend Josiah Henson (1789 – 1883) and his resilience and strength in overcoming slavery. Renowned as an Underground Railroad hero, abolitionist and author, Rev. Henson was enslaved on the former Isaac Riley plantation over 30 years. Henson's 1849 memoir of his extraordinary life story became one of the pivotal sources for the abolitionist fiction work, Uncle Tom's Cabin. Henson went on to establish the Dawn Settlement in Canada and is a revered public figure there.
The park today contains the historic Riley/Bolten House (built 1800-1815), its attached log kitchen that was occupied by enslaved laborers (built 1850-51), a newly constructed 3,000 square foot visitor center, and just under four acres of grounds from the former plantation, much of which has been explored in an archaeological excavation and will contain an interpretive loop and outdoor educational programming areas.
The museum opens in Fall 2020 after a $6 million construction project. The new visitor center will have an 80-person orientation theater/community room, gift shop, observation deck, film and exhibits, and restrooms. The historic house will contain permanent exhibits (both static and multimedia) throughout the first floor and office spaces and a small research library on the second floor. The site is considered one of the most important cultural parks of the County's 421 parks.
The Historic Site Manager collaborates with many divisions within Montgomery County Department of Parks and external community partners to foster meaningful and engaging programming for a diverse audience. This position represents the Museum at local, regional and national meetings, delivering dynamic public presentations.
We welcome candidates with prior demonstrable experience using innovation and creativity to make impactful solutions, especially within African American historical and/or cultural museums or historic sites. We believe that an inclusive culture among our staff is critical to implementing the museum's mission to better understand Reverend Henson's journey from slavery to freedom, the history of slavery in Maryland, and its impact on our lives today.
The Historic Site Manager is responsible for generating effective business strategies and processes for the museum's optimal operation, including maintenance of the historic and new buildings and permanent exhibits; establishing a research library and museum gift shop; and setting the strategic goals for the museum as an inclusive place of learning and reflection. This position reports to the Countywide Museum Manager as part of the Cultural Resources Stewardship Section of the Park Planning & Stewardship Division of Montgomery County Department of Parks.
Examples of Important Duties:
Assists with the initial planning, set up and programming decisions prior to the official launch of the museum, as part of the project team.
Manages operations, establishes operating procedures and defines goals and objectives in making the museum a premier heritage tourism destination.
Supervises designated full-time and seasonal/part-time staff. Assists with recruitment, selection, training and evaluation of staff. Plans, schedules and assigns work.
Responsible for the annual facility Operating and Special Revenue Budgets.
Prepares financial reports and assists with recommendations of fees.
Further develops, implements and enhances the Draft Strategic Business Plan for the Josiah Henson Museum and Park with Parks' Cultural Resources Stewardship staff and managers.
Manages the retail museum shop. Maintains inventory of retail products and prepares its financial reports.
Coordinates the maintenance and repairs of the facility and grounds and ensures they are promptly addressed with minimal disruption to facility programs or schedules.
Assists Department's Marketing staff in developing marketing strategies and materials for facilities, programs community outreach, and partnerships.
Delivers dynamic public presentations both to the public and to elected and appointed officials promoting facility programs.
Promotes a public focused inclusive environment, ensuring customers are treated promptly, professionally, and with respect.
Establishes a scholarly research library on Reverend Henson's life and the lives of enslaved persons in Montgomery County and Maryland. Note: Some materials are already available and set aside for the library.
Experience managing an African American historical site, museum or cultural center and/or strong, working knowledge of African American cultural history.
Bachelor's and/or advanced degree in a museum-related field; African American History; Public History; Education; Ethnicity, Race, and Migration; and/or American History.
Four years of advanced experience with museum or historic site management and administration, including exhibit or program development, and supervising staff.
Demonstrated commitment to inclusion, diversity, equity and access.
Demonstrated experience in preparation and management of operational budgets.
Ability to communicate effectively, be detail orientated, maintain stability under pressure and exhibit flexibility to multitask.
1. Bachelor's degree in history, American studies, museum studies, archaeology, historic preservation, or a related field; and
2. Three years of professional or related experience, including one year as a program coordinator or supervisor; or
3. Master's degree in one of the above fields; and one year of experience; or
4. An equivalent combination of education and experience.
5. Valid driver's license, or the ability to acquire one.
Internal Number: 14892
About The Maryland National Capital Park and Planning Commission
Created in 1927, The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission embodies the vision of forward-looking community leaders who saw the need to plan for orderly development and protection of the natural resources in the two suburban counties bordering the District of Columbia. During the Commission's proud 80 plus years of existence, the population of the area it serves has increased to more than 1.6 million residents who inhabit a bi-county area of great economic, racial, ethnic and geographic diversity.The Commission's facilities, programs and responsibilities have constantly evolved and expanded to keep pace with the needs of this vibrant community. From assuming responsibility for the entire public recreation program in Prince George's County in the '70s, to building and strengthening ongoing regional business partnerships, the Commission has continued to plan, fund and deliver quality, innovative programs, facilities and services for over three-quarters of a century. M-NCPPC benefits the citizens of Montgomery and Prince George's Counties by Turning Visions Into Reality.