Manager of Tour Programs

Department: Learning and Engagement
Supervisor: Director of Learning and Engagement

The Manager of Tour Programs serves a critical role in object-based teaching and visitor engagement at the BMA through oversight of the Museum’s public education tours and experiences. The Manager is responsible for the conceptualization and coordination of all in-gallery, educator-led experiences and group tours at the Museum, which serve Kindergarten through 12th grade students, as well as university and adult audiences. These experiences include self-guided visits as well as interactive and engaging guided tours through exploration of the Museum’s collection and special exhibitions. As a central part of this position, the Manager recruits, trains, and evaluates the Museum’s Teaching Fellows, students from area colleges and universities who serve as gallery educators for the Museum’s guided tours.


Primary Responsibilities

  • Cultivates deep knowledge of the Museum’s permanent collection and special exhibitions to lead tours and in-gallery experiences, as well as to create a curriculum of training sessions as part of the Teaching Fellowship program
  • Establishes goals and content for school and adult tours, incorporating the curricular needs, interests, and feedback of area teachers and students for K-12 tours, as well as best practices in audience engagement for adult visitors
  • Develops strong relationships with Birmingham colleges and universities, as well as Birmingham, Jefferson County, and surrounding school systems. Actively promotes the BMA as a destination for tours as well as recruitment in the Teaching Fellowship program
  • Oversees the recruitment, training, and support of Teaching Fellows every two years to give public tours of the permanent collection and special exhibitions. Provides evaluation for Teaching Fellows, including tour shadowing and tour surveys, to create an excellent visitor experience, ensuring skills, information, and best practices in Museum Education are utilized and provides coaching or corrective action if needed.
  • Creates a group tour online system each semester for self-guided visits and guided experiences by coordinating the Teaching Fellow schedule. Assists visitors with tour queries and scheduling.
  • In addition to the Teaching Fellows body, this individual will develop a new corps of gallery educators to lead Spanish-language tours on a consistent basis and on visitor request
  • Greets self-guided visitors on entry, providing gallery materials as needed. Collaborates with the Associate Director of Learning and Engagement, who creates gallery guides and activities, on visitor needs.
  • Collaborates with Manager of School and Community Programs on Teacher Professional Development programs, creating gallery experiences and tours that align with art activities and curriculum standards
  • Supports editing of gallery and exhibition texts, ensuring language is clear, accessible, inclusive, and engaging for a diverse public audience in accordance with the Museum’s Style and Interpretation guides.
  • Meets regularly with Security Department to ensure best practices in visitor and art safety is followed
  • Works in alliance with the Advancement department to develop materials, such as project narratives, budgets, and reporting, to secure and manage grants.
  • Participates as an active member of the Learning and Engagement Department team related to ways in which work through partners, interpretation, and teaching is aligned with the Museum’s commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, and access
  • Other duties as assigned


Knowledge, Skills, Abilities

  • Excellent ability to speak with a variety of audiences in a clear, concise, and organized manner in order to effectively convey information
  • Experience in leadership and supervising team members
  • Deep and current knowledge of museum interpretation and visitor engagement theories, practices, and techniques
  • Experience in writing and editing text for a general audience
  • Demonstrated experience in teaching on diverse cultures and perspectives, embedding DEAI practices into all aspects of work.
  • Ability to work in a fast-paced environment, adhere to deadlines, and effectively respond to Teaching Fellow and visitor needs.
  • Strong project and time management skills, including meeting benchmarks for both self and individuals under supervision
  • Ability to take a novel approach to work tasks or problems, including thinking outside of organizational norms in order to generate unique or original ideas and/or solutions
  • Ability to establish and maintain positive working relationships within a team environment of staff, Fellows, and members of the public, exercising tact and diplomacy at all times
  • Respects people of all backgrounds. Treats everyone in a fair and consistent manner, including creating an environment that values and includes perspectives from differing backgrounds, cultures, and skill sets.
  • Comfortable and familiar with PC computers or willingness to learn


Education and Experience:

  • Bachelor’s Degree in Art History, Museum Studies, or related field. Master’s degree preferred.
  • Three years of experience teaching in a museum or college environment
  • Two years of supervisory experience preferred


About the Museum

Founded in 1951, the Birmingham Museum of Art is deeply invested in education and engagement and serves as a resource for communities locally, nationally, and internationally. It houses one of the finest collections in the Southeast of the United States. More than 27,000 objects displayed and housed within the Museum represent a rich panorama of cultures, including those from Asia, Europe, the Americas, and Africa, including work by both Pre-Columbian and Native North American artists. Highlights include the Museum’s collection of the arts of Asia, Vietnamese ceramics, the Kress collection of Renaissance and Baroque paintings, sculpture, and decorative arts from the late 13th century to the 1750s, and the Museum’s world-renowned collection of Wedgwood, the largest outside of England.


Salary commensurate with qualifications and experience and includes an excellent benefits package.

To apply

Please apply via email with a letter of interest; curriculum vitae; names, addresses, and phone numbers of three references; and a writing sample

Review of applications will be ongoing until the position is filled.

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