Public Engagement Manager
• Full-time, permanent position
• Audience Engagement Division
• Reports to the Director, Audience Engagement
At the MCA, we work with the belief that contemporary art matters; it stimulates the imagination, engages our senses and has the power to transform lives.
We are positioned to have a key role in contemporary society as a catalyst for intercultural dialogue, learning, exchange and training. Museums play an important role in lifelong learning, social cohesion, and sustainable development and, in this sense, are accountable to society.
The MCA aims to be a national model of best practice in creative learning and visual arts education. All of our creative learning and access programs are delivered by artists and a team of artist educators. Through the National Centre for Creative Learning (NCCL), the MCA offers a wide range of programs using creative learning strategies to help audiences of all ages to engage with contemporary art, explore creativity and reflect on ideas and issues. The Centre features education facilities including digital and multimedia studios, two practical creative studios, an artist commission to be used by those with disability, a lecture theatre, seminar room and library.
Overview of the position
The position of Public Engagement Manager is one of a team of five supporting the Director, Audience Engagement, and is instrumental in leading MCA’s audience engagement initiatives and public engagement programs.
This Public Engagement Manager leads the development of dynamic public programs relating to the work of living artists. The position holder manages the strategic direction of public engagement programs for all ages, ensuring that the needs and interests of a broad range of audiences are met. They work closely with the Director, Audience Engagement to develop fundraising proposals to support the financial objectives of the organisation and work collaboratively with other institutions to develop mutually beneficial partnerships.
The Public Engagement Manager has delegated responsibility for budgets across the Public Engagement team and management of 6 direct reports: Young Creatives Coordinator, Public Programs Coordinator, Kids & Families Coordinator, Art & Dementia Coordinator, Art & Dementia Coordinator, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Programs, Public Engagement Assistant and a short-term contract role of MCA Late Coordinator. The position liaises with relevant internal departments to ensure programs are produced efficiently, profitably and with the highest level of customer service and attention to detail. The Public Engagement Manager frequently liaises with artists and curators, and other professionals in the arts, as well as working closely with the Marketing, Curatorial & Digital, Finance, and Corporate Partnerships.
Tasks and responsibilities of the position
Planning and delivery of a dynamic program of events and programs for MCA audiences
• In consultation with the Director, Audience Engagement, deliver a yearly revised public engagement strategy to connect new and existing audiences with contemporary art; and that aligns with the MCA’s Strategic Plan and relevant goals, objectives and KPIs.
• Create and implement innovative, diverse, rigorous, and experimental programs and events which engage a range of audiences with the work of living artists. This includes development and delivery of MCA’s new Creativity & Wellbeing program series as well as the MCA’s Corporate Creativity Workshops (in collaboration with the Development & Enterprises team).
• Manage the research elements of existing social impact programs (e.g., Art Parcel; Art Yarns), as well as evaluation models across all public programs.
• Pro-actively liaise and communicate with both external and internal stakeholders for programs. This includes artists (local and international), curators, speakers and performers, as well as internal project teams (such as Visitor Experience, Building Services, AV, Creative Learning) at all stages to ensure the smooth development and delivery of programs and events.
• Ensure accessibility and equity across all programs in line with the MCA Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Plan.
• Manage public program specific relationships, partnerships, and collaborations with external stakeholders (e.g. Festivals, Cultural Organisations, etc).
• In collaboration with the Marketing team, develop and implement audience development strategies for programs. This includes generating high quality marketing copy for programs and events and coordinate, proof and edit all public engagement marketing content.
• Coordinate, supervise and provide written briefs for casual members of staff including Artist Educators, AV Casuals and Hosts to facilitate and deliver events.
• Maintain awareness of contemporary art and gallery education practice in public programming.
• Produce and promote the MCA’s programs and mission.
Managing Public Engagement Programs
• Line manage a dynamic team of 7 direct reports and their programs in a fast-paced, high impact environment.
• Sign off on departmental invoices and timesheets.
• Manage all Public Engagement budgets.
• Prepare Board reports for Public Engagement.
• Deputise for Director, Audience Engagement when required.
• Support Director, Audience Engagement when required.
General requirements of all MCA employees
We require that all of our employees:
• demonstrate support for innovation and for organisational changes required to improve the MCA’s effectiveness
• work cooperatively with others to produce innovative solutions and recognise the merits of diverse perspectives and the ideas of others
• demonstrate commitment to, and knowledge of, the principles and application of equal employment opportunities and anti-discrimination legislation in the workplace
• work in accordance with the principles of equity, access and fairness. Respect WHS work practices and procedures; work with due care and consideration to safeguard your own health and safety and the health and safety of others.
Key selection criteria
Applicants must be able to demonstrate they have:
• minimum 5 years’ experience devising and presenting innovative, experimental and high-quality creative learning experiences which engage diverse audiences with contemporary art and artists
• the ability to develop programs which enable audiences to participate in rigorous, challenging, and critical discourse; social and participatory experiences; and hands-on creative learning activities
• previous experience managing staff and resources
• strong people leadership and management skills
• excellent written and verbal communication skills, including public speaking and an ability to develop compelling funding proposals
• experience developing programs for those with disability, from low socio-economic backgrounds, or for those with little or no experience of contemporary art
• ability to monitor and evaluate programs to inform the ongoing development of new activities
• internal and external stakeholder management skills
• demonstrated ability to work cooperatively in a team environment
• the ability to set objectives and reach targets to deliver programs on time and within budget
• organisational and project management skills, with the ability to manage multiple priorities and meet competing deadlines
• a commitment to the Museum’s objective of promoting the work of living artists and making contemporary art accessible to broad audiences through the imaginative and creative presentation of exhibitions and programs on contemporary visual culture.
It would be good if applicants have:
• tertiary education in contemporary visual culture
• a solid understanding of audience development
• previous experience managing a budget
• knowledge of Australian and international museums and galleries
• knowledge of theories of modern and contemporary visual practices
• previous experience in marketing/promotion of events.
The person we are looking for must have a passion for contemporary art and the ability to arouse curiosity and inspire others to learn about art through creative and interpretive programs and events. The ideal candidate will have leadership skills, outstanding program management skills, strong presentation skills, and the ability to devise high-quality, stimulating and dynamic programs. They will have knowledge of international models of best practice and the ability to translate program ideas into reality. They should be innovative, flexible and a motivated team player, with a desire to continue establishing the MCA as the leading national institution for contemporary visual arts education.
Terms and conditions of employment
This is a full-time, permanent position reporting to the Director, Audience Engagement. Some work out of normal hours (9am – 5.30pm) will be required to cover the MCA’s exhibitions and programs.
Salary package includes:
• annual leave: 4 weeks
• personal leave: 10 days
• superannuation: 10% super payments (in accordance with the Superannuation Guarantee (Administration) Act 1992).
The appointment will be conditional on an initial three-month probationary period, which may also be extended (at the MCA’s discretion) for an additional three months. Thereafter termination by either party will require written notice of four weeks.
MCA employees have access to additional paid leave, flexible work arrangements, and other benefits.
The current Public Health (COVID-19 General) Order 2021 (NSW) provides that occupiers of certain premises must take all reasonable steps to ensure that an unvaccinated adult is not on the premises. By virtue of what the MCA is, we fall within the definition of “information and education facilities” and accordingly, we must only have fully vaccinated persons on our premises, which includes workers, visitors and members of the general public who attend our premises from time to time.
Please visit the MCA website to view the full position description and for details on how to apply
Please email the application to email@example.com
9am, Monday 22 November 2021.
The MCA encourages applications from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, people with disability, and people from diverse cultures. The MCA acknowledges the enormous contribution Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists, staff, educators, arts professionals and guests have made to the fabric of the museum since its inception. Contemporary Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art practice has long been central to MCA collection and exhibition programs.
Working for the MCA
The MCA is committed to equal opportunity and diversity. The MCA promotes a work environment that is free from discrimination and harassment, and where individuals are treated with fairness, equality and dignity. Find out more about the MCA.
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