Associate Director of Visitor Experience

Ford’s Theatre is seeking a full-time Associate Director of Visitor Experience. Ford’s is proud to be an equal opportunity employer where all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, gender, gender identity or expression, family status, sexual orientation, disability, age, veteran status or any other characteristic protected by law.

The Associate Director of Visitor Experience is integral to ensuring that the Ford’s Theatre campus is a welcoming, accessible and engaging site for visitors. The position is responsible for implementing organization-wide customer service standards; evaluating and implementing safety and security protocol for visitors; improving the accessibility of the Ford’s Theatre campus for visitors; and overseeing all aspects of front-of-house operations. Working closely with the education and programming teams, this position is responsible for bringing a visitor-centered perspective during development and implementation of new exhibits, events or programs.

Responsibilities:

  • Create, implement and ensure continued adherence to customer service standards and protocol to ensure Ford’s Theatre is a welcoming, accessible and inclusive environment providing the highest level of customer service, customer safety and patron relations.
  • Lead regular training for the institution’s front-line staff, volunteers and occasionally other staff, ensuring all are trained in health and safety procedures, emergency evacuation, customer service and accessibility.
  • As a member of the safety and security team, contribute regularly to evaluating, establishing and implementing safety and security protocols for the campus as they pertain to visitors.
  • Assist with resolving customer disputes and other customer care issues.
  • Coordinate First Aid and CPR/AED company-wide training.
  • Ensure that Ford’s Theatre adheres to and, when reasonably feasible, exceeds relevant ADA requirements; stay abreast of how other institutions are improving accessibility; make and implement recommendations to improve accessibility at Ford’s; and share Ford’s efforts externally through venues like the Leadership Exchange in Arts and Disability, AAM and blog posts in the field of Accessibility.
  • Assist House Manager and Visitor Services Manager with development and implementation of accessibility offerings, including captioning, audio-description, sign-interpretation and sensory-friendly events and performances.
  • Coordinate and oversee internal Access Committee and lead team to develop and implement new initiatives and programs based around access and inclusion.
  • Serve as liaison with external Access Advisors, maintaining positive and professional relationships.
  • Serve on cross-functional teams to bring the visitor perspective to interpretive and exhibit design and implementation, as well as creation of interpretive materials, and to ensure adherence to the interpretive plan.
  • Working with the education team and Visitor Services Manager, create regular robust interpretive theme training for visitor services associates and other relevant staff while also developing and maintaining tour resources.
  • Coordinate and oversee internal Audience Survey Committee, leading team to develop and implement post-visit surveys and sharing out results as appropriate across the institution.
  • Hire and oversee training, development and evaluation of Visitor Services Manager and House Manager, serving as their back-up when necessary.
  • Assist House Manager in recruiting and training volunteer ushers, ensuring a diverse, enthusiastic and stable volunteer corps.
  • In partnership with the National Park Service, assist the Visitor Services Manager in recruiting and training historic site volunteers, ensuring a diverse, enthusiastic and stable volunteer corps.
  • In partnership with the National Park Service, ensure front-line team and volunteers regularly receive recognition and appreciation.
  • Regularly review and update the customer service standards and protocol manual, making necessary recommendations for changes, and communicate and monitor implementation.
  • With Facilities Manager, coordinate cleaning and maintenance of public spaces operated by the Society, reporting any irregularities or emergency cleaning situations.
  • Work closely with all departments in preparation and implementation of events taking place on site and offering assistance as necessary.
  • Regularly assess visitor flow, making recommendations and changes as necessary.
  • Lead daytime visit programming evaluation, planning, testing, and implementation as part of the museum redesign process.
  • Primary point of contact with Acoustiguide regarding equipment contracts and renewal. Coordinate with Assistant Ticket Service Manager the day to day Acoustiguide operations.
  • Serve as liaison and primary point of contact with National Park Service partner for day-to-day and front-line operations. Attend bi-weekly meetings with FOTH Site Manager and share high-level concerns with Deputy Director and Director of Communications.
  • In coordination with production and NPS, create daytime visitation schedules.
  • Maintain a department environment that supports an enthusiastic front-line staff and a good working rapport with management and other departments.
  • Respond to patron inquiries by phone, mail, and email.
  • Manage the visitor services budget, maintaining an accurate record of weekly, monthly and seasonal costs, including payroll, supplies and equipment.
  • All visitor services employees are required to see at least one performance or final dress rehearsal of each production as early in the run as possible.
  • Serve as a member of the core team for the exhibition redesign.
  • Evaluate and lead implementation of changes or replacement of Acoustiguide devices and content as part of the museum redesign, including accessibility upgrades of device offerings.
  • Assist the Visitor Services Manager in responding to on-site emergencies and keep senior staff informed of high-level emergency issues
  • Maintain FTS collection
  • Oversee the monitoring and maintenance of the Aftermath Exhibits, including lighting levels and case environments, and stay in regular contact with NPS Curatorial team regarding case and artifact concerns.
  • With Visitor Services Manager, oversee maintenance and repair of A/V components of exhibits in both Aftermath exhibits and basement museum.
  • Work with NPS Curator and Associate Director of Interpretive Resources to respond to history and research inquiries.
  • Other duties as assigned.

Requirements:

  • Minimum of five years of visitor services experience. Experience in a high-volume museum or professional theatre setting preferred.
  • A proven record of managing a large and diverse group of employees including hiring, development and evaluation responsibilities.
  • Cheerful, team-spirited, organized, detail-oriented and efficient but flexible with strong organizational and communication skills.
  • Ability to develop, build, motivate, train, and supervise a strong team of employees to achieve customer service goals.
  • Must have superior knowledge of customer service protocols and be capable of maintaining an enthusiastic rapport with customers.
  • Understanding of budgeting and financial accounting responsibilities.
  • Stamina to work long shifts on occasion in very busy environment.
  • Proficiency in Microsoft office.
  • Standard First Aid and CPR certification are requested.
  • Must be available to work some evening and weekend hours for performances and special events.
  • Passion for history or the performing arts.
  • Experience in public speaking or historic site interpretation preferred.
  • Basic understanding of, or interest in learning about, standard collections management practices preferred.

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