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Job Listing: Curator of African American History and Special Projects

Job Postings ,

Fredericksburg Area Museum (FAM), Fredericksburg, VA

Position Title – Curator of African American History and Special Projects

Closes  August 13, 2021

Salary $55,000 – $67,000/annually

Job Type  Full-Time

Apply – Please send a cover letter, numeric salary requirements, CV/resume, three (3) examples of previous work on the topic of African American History, references to with ‘Curator’ and your first and last name in the subject line. Incomplete application packet will not be considered. No phone calls please.

Summary – The Fredericksburg Area Museum (FAM) is seeking a Curator of African American History and Special Projects position that will be directly responsible for leading a citywide interpretive initiative for African American History in the City of Fredericksburg and at the Fredericksburg Area Museum.




In 2017, the City of Fredericksburg engaged the International Coalition of Sites of Conscience in a year-long study to conduct an initiative to better understand the community’s telling of their African American history. In response to this study, and the decision by City Council to remove a slave auction block from the public right away, the Fredericksburg Area Museum seeks to identify a Curator of African American History & Cultural Heritage that can lead the community through a city-wide interpretive plan for African American history. This Curator will provide professional subject matter expertise on the public interpretation of African American history by developing, implementing, and monitoring an ongoing comprehensive program for the identification, recording, and interpretation of resources through a variety of media—onsite exhibits, museum exhibits, publications, and digital. 

The position works under the supervision of the President and CEO.


Primary Duties include, but are not limited to:

  • Create a strategic plan for the interpretive initiative for the City of Fredericksburg’s African American history.
  • Lead the development and implementation of a signature exhibition on African American history as it relates to the regional and national story.
  • Coordinate and work directly with the City of Fredericksburg, community committees, and other public institutions on the research, interpretation, and implementation of interpretative materials, programming, and media.
  • Contribute to a positive organizational culture based on mutual respect, a spirit of collegiality, cooperation, and openness to many perspectives. Participate in a culture of ongoing learning, collaboration, innovation, creativity, and community engagement.

General Project and Management

  • Manage all aspects of project management functions related to the development and implementation of temporary and permanent interpretive materials city-wide.
  • Develop and oversee project budgets and work schedules; monitor project expenditures and report against targets; track and continually revise schedules and timelines. 
  • Plan, lead and facilitate core and cross-functional team meetings; foster productive relationships and mutual understanding between project team members and stakeholders.
  • Collaborate with community committees, history organizations, and Fredericksburg City staff as equal and pivotal members of the interpretive core team.
  • Manage cross-departmental projects as assigned.


Minimum Qualifications

Master's degree (preferred) in museum studies, public history, or closely related fields and three-year experience in the collection, synthesis, evaluation, and presentation of historical data using multi-faceted approaches. OR five-years of curatorial, exhibit development, and public interpretation beyond a bachelor’s degree. Candidate must have demonstrated knowledge of Black history and cultural heritage, cross-cultural sensitivity, and a thorough understanding of museum ethics and best practices.

Addition Qualifications


  • Experience and ability to envision, write, and implement a variety of media in interpretation—exhibits, video, digital, publications, and onsite exhibits.
  • Knowledge of the process of planning public interpretation, exhibition development, and installation.
  • Knowledge of the roles played by educators, developers, designers, programmers, curators, and marketers.
  • Experience and ability to mobilize and lead community work groups.
  • Strong communication and written skills; ability to draft plans to determine the feasibility of undertaking projects.
  • MS Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint), Adobe Creative Suite to include InDesign and Illustrator, Smartsheet, Google Apps, Filemaker. 

 Also Required:

  • Good communication skills, both written and oral
  • Ability to work both independently with minimal supervision and collaboratively in a team environment.
  • A minimum of three years of progressively responsible experience working with artifact collections in a museum or other collecting institution with a public audience.
  • Experience developing exhibits in a team environment, including demonstrated knowledge and experience with serving as a lead developer of content for exhibits.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of museum practices working with museum collections and proven ability in processing, preservation, and digitization of artifact collections.
  • Experience with information management techniques and database systems used in museums.
  • Oversight for departmental operations, including good organizational skills, time management, budget management, meeting facilitation, and professional objectivity.


The successful candidate will be a forward-thinking and dynamic individual who possesses a passion for preserving and sharing the past and a belief in the power of original documents/photographs/artifacts and the stories they embody to engage people in making personal connections to history through research, exhibit experiences, and educational programs. A creative imagination, the ability to recognize and deal with sensitive issues and diverse cultures, and a willingness to step outside the traditional curatorial role are highly desirable.


Additional requirements for this position:

  • Ability to work occasional evenings and weekends.
  • Ability to lift boxes of up to 40 lbs. from 14 ft. shelves while on a ladder.

We believe that equity, diversity, and inclusion drive our success, and we encourage candidates from all identities, backgrounds, and abilities to apply. The Fredericksburg Area Museum is an equal opportunity employer committed to building inclusive, innovative work environments with employees who reflect our communities and enthusiastically serve them. Therefore, in all aspects of the employment process, we provide employment opportunities to all qualified applicants without regard to race, color, religion, sex, disability, age, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, pregnancy, medical condition related to pregnancy, creed, ancestry, national origin, marital status, genetic information, or military status or any other protected status in accordance with applicable law.