Reports To: Chief Curator
Who is moCa?
As the region’s only contemporary art museum, the Museum of Contemporary Art (moCa) leads the way in shaping and advancing contemporary culture. We are global and local, cosmopolitan and Cleveland at our core. We are grounded in our community, and our visitors are cultural adventurers who we engage with to explore ideas and nurture our humanity. Our work culture is passion-driven, inclusive, transparent, collaborative, and fun, and we value and support an enterprising staff that anticipates and reacts nimbly to change while embracing new opportunities and challenges. Success of the individual directly impacts success of the institution, so moCa holds every employee to a high standard of excellence with the expectation that everyone understands and participates in the institutional goals.
Who is the Curatorial Assistant?
Reporting directly to the Chief Curator, the Curatorial Assistant provides support for the Curatorial department’s daily operations and will have major involvement in the research and implementation of the museum’s ambitious exhibition program. S/he will manage contacts and correspondence; assist with the creation, development, and maintenance of exhibition checklists, object labels, and didactic materials; draft loan letters and assist in facilitating loan requests; field internal and external questions regarding the curatorial department;
The ideal candidate will be willing to embrace the full scope of tasks relevant to curatorial work, from photocopying to primary research on artists. S/he should be prepared to be an active collaborator with a wide range of staff across the museum, and comfortable working in a professional office environment. Excellent written communications skills are required, along with the ability to function in a fast-paced environment within a team. Applicants must be able to manage multiple projects at once with keen attention to detail, adaptability, and a positive attitude.
Who are you?
● You are creative in thought and impeccable when it comes to detail.
● You’ve recently completed your MA in Curatorial Studies or Art History.
● You’ve had previous internships and maybe a couple years of art world work experience that helped you identify your purpose and passion.
● You see contemporary art as a primary way that you help make a difference in the world.
What will you be doing?
On a daily basis, the Curatorial Assistant will:
● Conduct research for future exhibition projects, including scholarly research on artists and topics for exhibition publications.
● Create and maintains artist files and exhibition files.
● Coordinate rights and reproduction for moCa’s website, publications, and brochure needs, including securing photographic permissions and maintaining credit/captions for image use.
● Correspond with colleagues, artists, and galleries on behalf of the curatorial department.
● Coordinate artist and public program participants schedules including arranging honoraria, travel, lodging, meals, and any event-related logistics.
● Work with Chief Curator, Deputy Director, and Curator of Learning & Engagement to plan and coordinate public programs related to exhibitions.
● Field internal and external questions regarding the curatorial department and directs inquiries to appropriate staff, following up as required.
● Handle written correspondence as directed by the Chief Curator.
● Assist with general curatorial inquiries and directs correspondence accordingly.
● Assist Chief Curator and Director of Exhibitions with the maintenance of exhibition checklists and the production of object labels.
● Help create, coordinate, and collate exhibition descriptions and didactic materials such as wall text, website copy, newsletter copy, brochure texts, and publication materials.
● Manage publication mailings to donors and lenders.
● Work with the Director of Exhibitions to coordinate loan requests and manage correspondence related to exhibition loans.
● Work closely with the Development department to gather and write exhibition copy pertinent to grant applications, final reports, and other institutional needs.
● Work closely with the Development department on art auctions for benefit events, including tracking and creating labels for works of art to be sold.
● Create presentations for Board of Trustee’s Exhibition Committee and other meetings as needed.
● Attend and participate in exhibition-related programs.
To be successful in this role you’ll need:
● Advanced degree in art history, visual criticism, museum studies, or curatorial practice.
● Excellent working knowledge of art history, especially contemporary art and the international contemporary art world.
● Highly developed writing and copy-editing skills.
● Strong oral communication skills and confidence in public speaking.
● Excellent organizational skills, attention to detail, and the ability to multitask under pressure in a fast-paced, team-oriented environment.
● Ability to represent the museum with a high level of integrity and professionalism, adhere to museum policies, maintain confidentiality, and support management decisions in a positive, professional manner.
● Computer skills including proficiency in Microsoft Office and Adobe Creative Suite.
● Fluency in English: speaking, reading and writing.
● Current valid driver’s license and insurance.
Core Competencies of moCa Staff:
● Inspired by contemporary art and culture.
● Committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion.
● Responsive to frequently shifting priorities and adaptive to change.
● Able to manage time, resources, and priorities to complete tasks on time with high-quality results.
● Positive and professional.
● Eager to learn and take on new challenges, and open to constructive critical feedback.
Working Conditions & Physical Requirements
● Occasional evening and weekend hours as necessary.
● Ability to work regularly in an open environment with both visual and audible distractions.
● Able to stand or walk around work area approximately 20% of the workday; remaining time is generally spent seated.
● Must be able to lift up to 30 lbs.
● Must be able to push and pull entrance and exit doors open or closed.
● Ability to stoop and kneel.
● Have a valid US Driver’s License and be comfortable driving artists and visiting program participants through the city.
A few more details:
● Our office is an open work space with sitting/standing desks and informal and formal meeting spaces.
● Our salaries are consistent and competitive with similarly sized nonprofits and our health benefits are excellent.
● We encourage healthy work-life balance with a generous time-off policy and 12 paid holidays.
If you see yourself in this position, we want to hear from you! Email the following to firstname.lastname@example.org using the subject line “moCa Curatorial Assistant”.
● One-page cover letter or cover email that shows how your experience and ambitions match this position and our organization. Please highlight a particular area of professional or scholarly interest.
● Resume or CV that highlights relevant education and experience .
● Contact information for 2 references.
● Writing sample of no more than five pages.