TITLE: Museum Playworker
DEPARTMENT: Exhibitions and Education
REPORTS TO: Manager of Exhibition Development
TYPE OF POSITION: Part-time, Non-Exempt
- Option for off-site parking or MTS Bus/Trolley pass
- Option for 403 B Retirement plan with current 3% match
- Available a minimum of 24 per week
- Must be able to work, some evenings, holidays and weekends
- Mandatory availability during summer months: May to September
- Available to work peak holiday periods: November to January
Museum Playworkers at The New Children’s Museum (“NCM”) work to support open-ended, child-directed play experiences within the Museum’s installations and other public spaces. The Museum Playworker’s role is to observe what is happening at the Museum and to respond in ways that create an environment in which all can play. Museum Playworkers receive special training in playwork–a practice that originated on adventure playgrounds in the United Kingdom. Ideal Museum Playworker candidates are curious and playful people who enjoy working with people of all ages and backgrounds, who understand the needs of children of different ages, who like to help others and communicate information, and who thrive in a team setting. A passion for children’s play and welfare, a strong interest in the arts and a desire to learn about playwork practice is essential.
Play provision and visitor interaction
- Support the play process, modeling creative and respectful ways to interact with children in the ways children choose to play. Greet and engage adult visitors and support them in their chosen roles, which may include play partners, observers, learners, or mentors.
- Engage in a daily individual and group reflective practice that includes recording observations of children’s play and sharing them, in order to consistently improve and adjust to diverse play experience at the Museum.
- Learn about and be prepared to communicate information about Museum artworks and artists.
Exhibition cleaning, safety and artwork development
- Clean and stock galleries to ensure the safety and cleanliness of all public areas.
- Work as a team to open and set up exhibition spaces in the morning and close them at end of day.
- Troubleshoot visitor issues and be trained and prepared for emergencies.
- Ensure the safety, orientation and comfort of visitors.
- Assist parents/caregivers in administering first-aid and complete incident reports.
- Communicate with the Museum’s maintenance team to identify safety issues.
- When appropriate, assist commissioned Museum exhibition artists to test future artwork/installation components.
- Assist in formative, front-end, summative and remedial exhibition evaluation by documenting the experiences of children and adults.
- Troubleshoot artwork issues and notify Exhibitions Coordinator or Design and Fabrication Coordinator of any artwork damage that cannot be resolved.
- Participate in weekly deep cleanings that require some physical labor.
- Some higher education preferred.
- Experience with contemporary art, performance, improv and/or playspace design a plus.
- Experience working with children preferred.
- Available to commit to a consistent part-time schedule, at least three days a week, including at least one full weekend day, from 8:00am – 5:00pm.
- Available to work weekends, holidays and occasional evenings.
- Available to commit to a weekly, ongoing team meeting every Wednesday, from 4:00pm – 6:00pm.
- Ability to work successfully with children, parents and caregivers from a diversity of backgrounds.
- Positive attitude and team player.
- Solid communicator: participate as a member of our community in which collaboration, dialogue and exchange are practiced values.
- Outgoing, friendly manner and ability to engage with visitors with ease.
- Flexible and adaptable.
- Willing to be certified in First Aid and CPR.
- Bilingual a plus.
The physical demands described herein are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions. While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly required to sit, talk, see and hear. The employee is required to stand, walk and lift or move up to 30 pounds. The employee must be able to verbally communicate in a concise manner.
The majority of work is performed in a museum environment with attendant noise level and requires observance of safe work practices, fire regulations and avoidance of falls, trips and similar office work hazards. Due to the nature of the position, weekend hours will be required.
Please submit your resume, a thoughtful cover letter and three references by e-mail to email@example.com and reference “Museum Playworker” in the subject line. Failure to provide the requested information will render your application incomplete and not eligible for consideration. Every resume is carefully reviewed, but please note that due to the large number of applications received for each position at the Museum, only candidates whose backgrounds most closely complement the requirements of the position will be contacted directly.