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Job Listing: Executive Director/Curator

Job Postings ,

Virginia Quilt Museum - Harrisonburg, VA

Closes -  6/25/2021, and interviews will begin the week of 7/12/2021

Position Title – Executive Director/Curator

Salary - $35,000 - $40,000/annually

Job Type - Full-time

For more info and to apply, click here

The Virginia Quilt Museum (VQM) Board of Directors is seeking an Executive Director/Curator to manage the “Official Quilt Museum of the Commonwealth of Virginia.” The VQM is a 501(c) 3 non-profit organization. Its mission is to celebrate and nurture Virginia’s quilting heritage through education, exhibits, classes, conservation, and historical preservation and documentation. To fulfill its mission, the VQM serves as a repository for over 300 quilts from Virginia and related areas and hosts a variety of quilt exhibits throughout the year, both from its own collection and from traveling exhibits, representing a variety of traditional and contemporary quilts.

Founded in 1995 with a mission of “celebrating and nurturing Virginia's quilting heritage," the Museum occupies the historic 1856 Warren-Sipe House in downtown Harrisonburg, Virginia, a university town of over 50,000 residents nestled in the heart of the Shenandoah Valley. VQM, with a membership of over 500, promotes a unique blend of Virginia’s art and cultural heritage. The Museum offers three floors of curated gallery space, with exhibits rotating three times per year. Heirloom, contemporary, and art quilts are typically featured simultaneously, allowing our visitors the chance to experience the wide range of styles, techniques, and themes present in quilts. Educational programs, group tours, and special events further enhance the Museum’s mission.

Summary of Responsibilities:

The Executive Director/Curator of the VQM is a full-time employee who plans, implements and supervises the programming, operations and administration of the Museum while providing direction and accountability for staff and volunteers. The Executive Director/Curator is the essential link with the local community to fulfill the mission of the Museum to increase its local, statewide, national, and international prominence. The Executive Director/Curator also serves as the chief fundraiser, engaging effectively in developing relationships with potential donors and in planning and implementing fundraising campaigns. The Executive Director/Curator works to develop short and long-range strategic plans and leads the Board of Directors and staff in an annual review of the strategic plan.

The Executive Director/Curator performs diverse activities related to both collections and exhibitions, including research and curatorial activities. The Executive Director/Curator will develop original content for exhibitions, museum/gallery programs, provide essential conservation and documentation for the permanent collection of quilts and artifacts for the Museum, in accordance with relevant state and federal laws and regulations, and museum/gallery policies and procedures.

Specific Duties and Responsibilities

Resource Development

Create and implement a fundraising plan with short and long-term goals that meet the Museum’s needs. Develop resources for the VQM through grant writing, annual fund promotion, community outreach and other fundraising campaigns and events. Solicit and develop relationships with corporate sponsors and individual donors.

Organizational Leadership

Report to the Board of Directors and act as the Board’s chief liaison. Provide support for all activities associated with the Board of Directors and work with its Committees to ensure the success of the Virginia Quilt Museum. Participates in staff meetings, serves on working committees, and other museum functions.

Create and execute short-term and long-term strategic plans and develop organizational policies and procedures.

Oversee daily operations and administration of the museum and service to patrons.

Public Relations

Serve as the chief spokesperson to promote and enhance public recognition for the Museum’s mission and programs through written communication, speaking engagements and personal contact.

Develop and maintain partnerships with local businesses, community and statewide organizations, quilt guilds, and other museums.


Work with the Board Treasurer and bookkeeper to implement the annual budget, and that financial statements, tax returns and annual reports are prepared and filed in a timely manner.

Ensure that the museum follows appropriate accounting and financial procedures, and confirm the fiscal, legal and contractual responsibilities of the VQM are being fulfilled.

Curator of Exhibitions and Collections Management

Responsible for the museum's curatorial direction, to include research on collections for publications, exhibitions, and/or related to the documentation, care, and maintenance of the collection. Develops original curatorial content including exhibitions, curatorial text, publications, and educational programs and materials. Coordinates guest-curated exhibitions, touring exhibitions, outreach programs, and museum-related public programs/events.

Conducts research on proposed gifts and/or acquisitions Manages acquisitions and de-accessions, processing loans and research requests, cataloging, housing and storing objects, and managing inventory.

Oversees the Library to ensure that the staff and public have regular access to research and archival materials and that the institution’s digital and paper records are preserved according to best practices. Interacts with the local, scholarly, and museum community and responds to research or educational requests related to the collections.


BA or BS from an accredited university is required.

Advanced study in Non-Profit/Museum Studies, History/Art History/Art Education, Museum Studies, or Historic Preservation preferred but not required.

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities Required

Possess strong written, verbal and interpersonal skills and is able to effectively and diplomatically communicate with diverse audiences and engage with a variety of stakeholders.

Demonstrated ability to provide strong leadership, vision, and strategic direction. Ability to coordinate and organize meetings and/or special events. Ability to analyze project requirements and prepare work estimates.

Knowledge of research methodology, principles, and procedures. Prepare and draft all contracts for exhibits, tours, and events planned. Knowledge and understanding of the field represented by the collection; quilts, quilt history, or textiles.

Proficiency in the use of computers (PC and Mac), Microsoft Office, collections software, Google and social media applications.

Flexibility to meet leadership and management responsibilities outside of standard business hours (including weekends and evenings). Willingness to travel occasionally during non-business hours.