CPE6.19 - South London Music Project Curator

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Posted: 14/03/2019 16:20
Start Date: Not Available
Salary: £31,200 pro rata (£31,836pro rata after probation)
Location: Horniman Museum and Gardens, Forest Hill
Level: Experienced (Non Manager)
Deadline: 11/04/2019 10:00
Hours: 21.00
Benefits: See "Working for Us" on the "Home" menu
Job Type: Part Time

Job title and reference:        South London Music Project Curator (Ref CPE6.19)

 Salary:                                    £31,200 p.a pro rata (rising to £31,836 p.a. pro rata after successful completion of probation)

Hours of work:                      21 hours per week including occasional evening and weekend working.

Contract                                 The post is fixed term for two years from commencement of the contract.               

The Horniman is London’s only museum where human cultures and natural environments can be seen alongside each other, a ‘one world’ museum where interconnecting global social and environmental issues can be understood and addressed. As well as internationally important collections of musical instruments, anthropology and natural history, we have an acclaimed aquarium and popular programme of performances and exhibitions, all set in 16 acres of beautiful Gardens offering breath-taking views across London. We are visited by over 900,000 people each year. Every year we host a wide range of music events and performances.

We are currently developing a major three-year programme called Music in the Making, which will engage audiences and artists with our musical instrument collection as well as with our other collections and programming. We have recently been awarded funding from the Esmee Fairbairn Foundation towards an experimental and ground breaking strand of work, the South London Music Project.

‘South London Music’ aims to offer a group of musicians from South London, with a particular focus on genres including Grime, R&B, Afrobeat and Jazz, the chance to work with the Horniman to create new music and to showcase this in a major exhibition and festival in 2020.  South London is one of the most important centres for music making, locally there is a vibrant community of musicians and a strong audience base. The project will make musicians and communities the starting point for events and activities connected to our collections, and represent local contemporary music in our programme and collection. It will provide creative opportunities for artists to develop new work and events that will engage new audiences, particularly young adults. It will also show our existing collections in a new light.

We need a new member of the team to lead this project. You don’t need to have worked in a museum before but you must be a team player with proven experience in sustaining collaborative and creative partnerships, as well as experience in coordinating music events.  You will need to have excellent knowledge about the current music scene in South London.

We are seeking an inspirational individual with a combination of imagination and the practical skills to bring bold ideas to fruition. You’ll have a passion for supporting emerging music-makers in South London and know how to translate their ideas into engaging, high quality projects. You’ll have experience of developing partnerships and working with creative artists, particularly musicians and have a well-developed understanding of the network of current musicians and communities in south London, particularly music like Grime, R&B, Afrobeat and Jazz.

The closing date for completed applications is 10am on Thursday 11 April Interviews will be held on Thursday 25 April 2019.

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.

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                                  South London Music Project Curator

Section                                   Curatorial and Public Engagement

Reports to                              Director of Curatorial and Public Engagement

Responsible for                    No line management responsibilities. However, the curator will supervise colleagues, and/or specialist providers involved in access and engagement initiatives.

Hours of work                       21 hours per week, worked flexibly and based at the Horniman, the role will require evening and weekend working. The curator will be based at the Horniman Forest Hill site but it is anticipated they will spend much of their time in outreach activities. The post is fixed term for two years, to commence from the start date.

Main purpose of the job                  

The curator will manage the South London Music project, delivering the following key objectives

  • Map current networks and activities relating to contemporary popular music in south London including genres like Grime, R&B, Afrobeat and Jazz.
  • Develop a web and social media profile for the project
  • Commission at least 3 musicians who will work in residence exploring the musical instrument collection primarily and other collections
  • Organise at least 3 workshops with musicians and partners to facilitate creation of new work
  • Organise a series of work in progress performances in autumn / winter  2019/20
  • Document the process with reference to the MI collection, enable the musicians to document their process and involve other organisations  and individuals in documenting south London music,
  • Develop the brief for a festival and exhibition for Autumn 2020
  • Manage the curation and production of the exhibition and festival working closely with Creative Producer, Collection Curators and the Exhibitions Manager

Main responsibilities

Developing networks and promoting the project 30%

  • Build and foster relationships with music artists, organisations, and build bridges between young adults, music, and the Horniman
  • Scout fresh talent that could work with the museum
  • Select and commission 4-5 artists for residencies
  • Lead youth and artist engagement activities around issues relating to the musical instrument collections and its relevance to south London communities
  • Organise gatherings, meetings and other events for artists and the advisory group

Supporting the commissioned musicians 30%

  • Act as the liaison between resident and visiting artists, musical partners, the museum and its musical instruments collections
  • Support musicians in creating new work based on their own experience and responding to the musical instrument collection

Manage and document the project to deliver the objectives 40%

  • Ensure the process is documented through film, photography, digital recording, personal testimony and lead on the curation of an exhibition for 2020 including interpretation.
  • Identify relevant networks on behalf of the museum which will promote the South London Project to new audiences
  • Project management – negotiate contract terms including copyright, develop project structure and documentation, budgeting and evaluation.
  • Coordinate delivery of the South London artistic programme and ensure effective monitoring, evaluation and documentation is maintained
  • Advise the museum on developing new collections and documentation
  • Be part of the curatorial and public engagement team building links between the South London project and the wider museum programmes.

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 ensure the effective running of the Section and the Music Matters project


Knowledge and experience

  • Strong network within the music industry, particularly the South London music scene (E)
  • Very strong passion for music, particularly genres such as Grime, R&B, Afrobeat and Jazz (E)
  • An interest in museums and a commitment to using museum collections to inspire new ideas and create new work (D)
  • Relevant experience in music programming or associated work, with responsibilities in planning development and implementation of educational/creative programmes and workshops (E)
  • Experience in developing collaborative projects/programmes (E)
  • Experience in artist / musician outreach and developing relationships with cultural, community, social, and educational organisations (E)
  • Experience of successfully evaluating a wide range of programmes using a range of methods appropriate to community audiences (E)
  • A successful track record in building positive and effective working relationships (E)
  • A working knowledge of the benefits, issues and initiatives related to community engagement in relevant settings (E)
  • Experience of monitoring and supervising freelance/ project staff to meet programme objectives (E)
  • Experience of co-ordinating music festivals or events (E)

Skills and abilities

  • Excellent project management skills (E)
  • Working knowledge of video and sound recording (E)
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills with an ability to communicate effectively with a broad range of community groups and colleagues (E)
  • Computer literate, with knowledge of MS Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook. (E)
  • Able to work successfully as part of a team and on own initiative (E)
  • Ability to work with close attention to detail and to maintain confidentiality (E)
  • Ability to work professionally and tactfully, to represent the museum with a high level of integrity and professionalism, to adhere to Museum policies and to support management decisions in a positive, professional manner (E)
  • Ability to assess and manage multiple competing priorities and work well under pressure: excellent time management, problem solving and analytical skills (E)

Personal attributes

  • A passion for music and an active engagement with in the south London music scene (E)
  • An appreciation for the diverse nature of community groups and the need to be sensitive to different needs, interests and beliefs (E)
  • An empathy with the Horniman mission and an interest in its exhibitions, activities and events (E)
  • Commitment to equality and diversity (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
  • There will be a requirement in the job for occasional weekend and evening working, for which time off in lieu will be given

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


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