CPE8.17 - Curator of Studio Programmes

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Posted: 08/09/2017 15:10
Start Date: Not Available
Salary: £30,588 pa pro rata (£31,200 after probation)
Location: Horniman Museum and Gardens, Forest Hill
Level: Experienced (Non Manager)
Deadline: 25/09/2017 10:00
Hours: 21.00
Benefits: See "Working for us" on the Home menu
Job Type: Part Time

Job title and reference:        Curator of Studio Programmes (Ref: CPE8.17)

Salary:                                    £30,588 per annum (pro rata) rising to £31,200 (pro rata) on successful completion of probation

Hours of work:                      21 hours per week with some weekend working

Contract:                                Fixed term for two years                                                                                                   

The Horniman Museum and Gardens in south east London has been open since Victorian times, when the tea trader and philanthropist, Frederick John Horniman first opened his house and extraordinary collection of objects to the local community. Since then, our collection has grown significantly and includes internationally important collections of anthropology and musical instruments, as well as an acclaimed aquarium and natural history gallery – all surrounded by 16 acres of beautiful Gardens offering breathtaking views across London.

The Horniman is well respected for excellence in curatorial practice and engagement, its learning and participation work and more recently for its creative programming. As part of a project running from 2016 to 2020, the Horniman will open a new cultural space - the Studio - which will be programmed by the Collective, a decision-making and programming group made up of community partners, a contemporary artist and our Curatorial and Learning teams.

Following our recent successful funding bid to the Esmee Fairbairn Foundation we are seeking a Curator of Studio Programmes, with the appropriate skills and experience to work with the Collective and develop, deliver and document an innovative new series of exhibitions and events which will appeal to a diverse audience. The Curator will be responsible for the overall content and interpretation of the programme which includes exhibitions, events and activities.

You’ll be an enthusiastic and confident communicator with a good track record of developing participatory arts programmes, extensive knowledge of contemporary arts and an established professional network. You’ll also be an excellent team player and have a strong affinity with the Horniman’s mission and values.

The closing date for completed applications is 10am on Monday 25 September 2017. Interviews will be held on Tuesday 10 October 2017.

The Horniman is committed to equality of opportunity and welcomes applications from all sections of the community. 

How to Apply

Click on “Apply Now” at the top or bottom of this page. When you apply you will be asked to upload a covering statement in Microsoft Word format (the document must be in .doc  format and the maximum file size is 2 MB). Please also ensure that you have uploaded your CV as a separate document which you can do when you create an account or login.

In your covering statement please provide an overview of no more than 2 pages describing your experience relevant to the role as outlined in the Job Description and Person Specification.  


Job title                                  Curator of Studio Programmes

Section                                   Curatorial and Public Engagement

Reports to                              Director, Curatorial & Public Engagement

Responsible for                    No responsibility for staff       

Hours of work                       21 hours per week, normally Tue-Thu with some weekend working

Contract                                 Fixed term – 2 years

Background and main purpose of the role

The Horniman is well known in London as a family friendly museum and within the sector as committed to excellence in curatorial practice and engagement. Apart from its world-class collections, it is also well respected for its learning and participation work and more recently for its creative programming.

As part of a project running from 2016 to 2020, the Horniman will open a new cultural space - the Studio - which will be programmed in partnership with contemporary artists and communities.  This will be led by the Curator of Studio Programmes, working closely with the Learning team, Communications and Income Generation, Collections Management, Collections Keepers, external production companies, artists’ agencies and consultants. 

Main responsibilities (100%)

  • Develop a contemporary arts programme for the Studio Space, building on the Horniman’s strengths - its collections, local communities, and intriguing spaces - which is inspiring and meaningful for our visitors and the cultural sector
  • Develop partnerships, exhibitions and events which have a strong sense of integrity with the site, visitors, participatory practice and collections
  • Oversee development of sustainable and successful relationships with artists, including preparing and managing contracts for events, commissions and residencies
  • Work closely with the Curatorial and Community Learning Teams to ensure that all events build on and incorporate the strengths of our existing curatorial and community engagement practices and relationships
  • Share their knowledge and experience of working with artists with the wider project team developing expertise in contemporary programming amongst curatorial and learning staff
  • Ensure the programme is documented and disseminated amongst museum, community and cultural partners
  • Contribute to the development of the Horniman’s integrated public programme
  • Support the delivery of events when required including being the event manager for major events on site

General Responsibilities

  • Act in a professional manner and uphold the Horniman’s Code of Conduct
  • Follow and promote safe systems of work and observe health and safety regulations
  • Any other duties that may be required to contribute to the success of the programme

Job activities may vary and evolve over time to meet business needs.


(E = essential, D = desirable)


  • Excellent level of literacy and written communication ( E)
  • Relevant IT skills - MS Office, databases (E)

Knowledge and experience

  • Experience of developing excellent participatory and audience-focussed creative programmes (E)
  • Experience of developing contemporary programmes of events / exhibitions in the arts, museums or galleries sector (E)
  • Experience of successful project coordination in arts, museums or galleries (E)
  • Have a well-established professional network and profile in curation and contemporary programming ( E)
  • Experience of successful fundraising for programmes (E)
  • Experience of successfully evaluating events using a range of methods appropriate to different audiences (E)

Skills and abilities

  • The energy and enthusiasm to lead the development of a creative and participatory programme which helps develop excellence in the art form (E)
  • Ability to use initiative to plan and organise own workload, manage multiple tasks and meet deadlines (E)
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills, the ability to rapidly develop good organisational awareness and to work effectively with the creative sector (E)
  • Excellent team working skills, with the ability to lead teams, coordinate the work of others and operate successfully as part of a team, while establishing supportive and constructive relationships with team members(E)

Personal attributes

  • An empathy with the Horniman mission and an interest in its exhibitions, activities and events (E)
  • Commitment to equality and diversity (E)
  • Commitment to meeting the needs of our customers (E)
  • Willingness to work flexibly to achieve corporate objectives (E)
  • Commitment to own learning and professional development (E)


  • A basic DBS check is required for this post
  • Some weekend working will be required, for which time off in lieu will be given

September 2017

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