How to Be a Sinner
with Author Peter Bouteneff
Visitor Engagement Program Manager
Grace Farms, 365 Lukes Wood Rd. New Canaan, CT
Grace Farms Foundation’s interdisciplinary humanitarian mission is to pursue peace through five initiatives — nature, arts, justice, community, and faith — and Grace Farms, a SANAA-designed site for convening people across sectors. Our stake in the ground is to end modern slavery and gender-based violence, and create more grace and peace in our local and global communities. As a part of this work, Grace Farms recently launched Design for Freedom, a new movement to eradicate forced labor in the building materials supply chain.
The Foundation carries out its work through the publicly available facilities and integrated programs of Grace Farms, an 80-acre property owned and operated by the Foundation. Grace Farms was established as an essential platform for the Foundation, serving as a welcoming place where individuals, not-for-profit organizations, and government entities come together to collaborate for the common good.
The Visitor Engagement Program Manager (VEPM) will be responsible for designing, building, implementing, managing, evaluating, and expanding Grace Farm Foundation’s portfolio of daily visitor engagement programs that will take place on site throughout each day as the means to interpret, share, and invite the visiting public into the Work of Grace Farms Foundation. The VEPM will also have direct oversight and supervisory responsibility of an efficient and highly effective cross-functional team of Visitor Engagement Specialists who will facilitate these programs using a wide range of innovative platforms, tactics, and techniques to engage and inspire a broad audience of diverse, multi-generational families, adults and children. At their core, the VEPM is a lifelong learner, a creative thinker and exceptional storyteller who can collaborate with the Foundation’s content matter experts, absorb the key take-aways from their Work, and then translate that information in ingenious, compelling and interactive ways utilizing traditional and emerging interpretive modalities and approaches to share with the public when they are visiting on site.
The key work-related responsibilities for the VEPM include, but are not limited to:
- Immerse themselves into the Culture, Value, Mission and Work of Grace Farms Foundation. And, in doing so, build strong relationships with all significant stake holders at all levels of the organization, across all Initiatives, as well as Place and the Design for Freedom movement.
- Generate new and innovative site-specific family-friendly programming that effectively communicates in 10-20 minutes the essence of Grace Farms Foundation and the wide spectrum of Work that it does to Advance Good in the World. Ideally, visitors who engage with these programs on site during their visit are inspired to want to learn more about the Work of the Foundation, about the Foundation itself, and how they can come alongside in the Work in their own daily lives.
- Working closely with the Communications team and the Foundation’s content matter experts, develop an efficient, effective and expedient review system for all new programming ideas and messaging, obtaining appropriate approvals prior to executing.
- Establish parameters of the daily visitor engagement program suite including the setting of goals, schedule, logistics, necessary supplies, deadlines, and budget.
- Create all training materials & educational programs necessary for those that will deliver and facilitate the on-site visitor engagement programming.
- Build, lead, coach, mentor, professionally develop, inspire and manage the day a team of highly invested, energetic, enthusiastic and motivated Visitor Engagement professionals who themselves will be lifelong learners and informal educators who thrive on inspiration, creativity and sharing knowledge with others.
- Provide leadership to Visitor Engagement professionals within the organization. This will include supporting events, registration and membership.
- Manage the day to day operations of the Visitor Engagement team including scheduling, budget, expense reports, performance management, and reporting. Establish, track and regularly report on key visitor engagement metrics.
- Evaluate interpretive efforts to understand the impact on visitors including informal observations, beta-testing, front-end, formative, remedial and summative evaluation techniques using appropriate metrics and methods. Possesses ability to analyze and interpret evaluation data to make appropriate changes to the program itself and facilitation of the program to ensure the greatest impact on the visitors. Instinctively knows when to sunset a particular program that is not meeting its intended goals or outcomes and considers that not a failure but an important teachable moment to use in future program development.
- Delivers and facilitates daily programming on site as needed.
- Other duties as assigned.
- Bachelor’s degree in education, museum studies, public history or other related field required. Master’s degree in related field preferred.
- Minimum 3 years of experience developing and managing public programs and visitor facing public programming staff in an informal learning environment such as a museum, cultural attraction, aquarium/zoo, educational farm/nature center, or other community organization. Must have experience in the full program production cycle: planning, development, budgeting, implementation, evaluation and continuous improvement.
- Skilled facilitator with demonstrated experience working with and across diverse, inter-generational audiences with multiple perspectives. Poses applied, working knowledge of current museum and informal educational practices as well as a demonstrated understanding of best practices and emerging approaches to site/work interpretation and narrative storytelling.
- Proven track record of outstanding leadership and supervisory skills. Has at least 3 years’ experience directly supervising teams of visitor facing professionals and/or volunteers.
- Possesses superior communication and interpersonal skills. Is cool under pressure; can be counted on to hold things together during stressful situations; is not knocked off balance by the unexpected; is a settling influence during moments of tension, and has a hearty sense of humor. Embodies the values of grace & peace and exhibits kindness in all interactions.
- Highly organized with strong attention to detail and excellent project management skills. Plans, organizes and schedules in an efficient, productive manner. Anticipates contingencies and has ability to prioritize key tasks when faced with limited time and/or resources.
- Ability to work in a collegial, collaborative environment and to develop the necessary trust and credibility to work with a broad range of stakeholders.
- Ability to lift up to 25 lbs, bend, climb stairs, and stand for an extended period of time.
- This position will work on site in New Canaan. Must have flexible schedule, as well as the willingness and ability to work nights and weekends as needed.
Events and Production Specialist
Grace Farms, 365 Lukes Wood Rd. New Canaan, CT
In the Events & Production Specialist role, you will serve as part of a team that coordinates and executes programs and events in support of our place and five initiatives: Nature, Arts, Justice, Community, and Faith and our not-for-profit Space Grant program.
Our environment is not a typical corporate events space—our clients are not-for-profits, foundations, community partners, government entities, and our own internal Initiative Directors. You will be part of a team with a strong collaborative work ethic that is passionate about putting their events management skills to work in a mission-driven environment.
- Execute all major aspects of event management from planning through completion for internal events, conferences, workshops, trainings, performances and other events from small to large.
- Direct and coordinate event-related correspondences and meetings with internal teams, partners, vendors, contractors and key staff, including on-site staff coordination and logistics.
- Serve as Day-of-Event Lead, responsible for ensuring successful event attendee experience.
- Work with operational departments to ensure each team is prepared, including, but not limited to: talent relations, hospitality, safety/security, food and beverage, production, AV/IT, and facilities.
- Ensure that all administrative duties are delivered with efficiency, high quality and in a timely manner.
- Work collaboratively to coordinate and execute Space Grant Program events with efficiency.
- Develop, plan and oversee on-site and virtual events.
- Research and implement new tools and trends in the virtual event space, bringing those key findings and recommendations back to Leadership.
- Support the development of materials such as Virtual Events Best Practices, FAQs, and training manuals for meeting hosts, speakers, and the events team.
- Manage communications with presenters and hosts to ensure they have the necessary equipment, connectivity, and schedule technical rehearsals as needed.
- Assist Technical Director in receiving, reviewing, and coordinating production /AV requests for internal and external events.
- Bachelor’s Degree in Event Management, Production Management or Communications preferred.
- Minimum of three (3) years of event planning or production management for cultural institutions or corporate spaces with a proven track record of success with both in-person and virtual events and production.
- Strong interpersonal, administrative, and communication skills, and the ability to execute tasks with a high degree of professionalism and excellence, especially under pressure.
- Must exhibit a strong ability to re-prioritize tasks on-the-fly while making sound, independent decisions that are consistent with the organization’s mission.
- Possess a confident customer service orientation, and professional demeanor. Must be comfortable in a front of house position, and able to handle the unexpected stressors with grace and peace.
- Competencies in fact finding, planning, problem solving and innovative thinking.
- Must be proficient in Microsoft Office, Outlook, and Excel. Mac skills preferred.
- Requires a flexible schedule with weekend and evening work.
- Ability to lift up to 50lbs, bend, climb stairs, and stand for an extended period of time.
- Background check required.