About the Shadows on the Teche:
Situated on the ancestral land of the Atakapan-Ishak and Chitimacha peoples, the Shadows-on-the-Teche is an antebellum home and former site of enslavement in New Iberia, Louisiana. Today, the property is open to the public, and the experiences of those who occupied the property in the 19th and 20th centuries, both free and enslaved, are shared through tours and public programming.
The Shadows’ significant architecture, mature grounds, history related to the cultivation of sugar cane, and extensive decorative arts collection have, for many years, been the focus of tours for adults and thousands of local school students. Emphasis during this time was placed on the home’s white owners, and tours subsequently mirrored messages of wealth and opulence. More recently, work has begun to address these narrative inequities through an honest accounting of its history and the many who shaped and were shaped by this important historic site.
As a site of the National Trust with a significant history of slavery, The Shadows is dedicated to improving its commitment to justice and equity. Over the past two years, it has committed to using the Engaging Descendant Communities in the Interpretation of Slavery at Museums and Historic Sites “rubric” to guide its research into the site’s true history, expanding its storytelling to include the names and stories of enslaved people and engaging local communities of color in a more meaningful and substantial way. In particular, the Shadows is formalizing a significant, long-time partnership with the Iberian African American Historical Society. The property has a rich history related to the arts as well and partnerships with contemporary artists are also central to efforts to tell its full history and serving the surrounding community. The Shadows is also committed to developing relationships with local Indigenous communities and their cultural institutions, as well as other educational and historical institutions for additional partnerships. The site also has an unexplored but dynamic LGBTQ+ history that the Shadows is committed to interpreting.
The Executive Director will provide impactful leadership to the Shadows-on-the-Teche (the Shadows) a Stewardship Site that is owned and operated by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. The ED will ensure that the Shadows embodies best practices in historic preservation, interpretation, and education, but in making historic sites highly relevant today by exemplifying equity, inclusion, justice and diversity in all aspects of its operation. The ED will lead the expansion of full and truthful interpretation and public programming at the site, especially relating to the site’s African American, Indigenous peoples, LGBTQ+, gender and plantation histories at the site, the broader community and in the region. The Shadows will make manifest the Trust’s strategic priority of “Telling the Full American Story” through on-site and virtual programs, school tours, exhibitions, local, regional and national partnerships, and staff training and other relevant actions.
ED’s core responsibilities will be to oversee site operations by meeting earned revenue targets, balancing the budget, promotions and marketing and fundraising. The ED is responsible for individual, corporate, foundation, and government fundraising to support the ongoing operations at the site, and expansion of the site’s reserves to sustain its long-term operations. They will work with, and also continue the development of, a diverse and inclusive advisory council to achieve the site’s financial self-sufficiency and to strengthen governance practices in keeping with the National Trust’s vision for its historic sites.
The ED will develop ethical and equitable community partnerships, and strategic institutional partnerships, including K-12 school partners, that will impact community-based programming. The ED will develop and maintain a community presence and ensure that relevant programming and activities directly serve local needs and are drivers for long-term viability of the site. In particular, the ED will work in close collaboration with the Iberia African American Historical Society to accomplish these goals.
The Executive Director will report to SVP for Historic Sites and will work in collaboration with National Trust for Historic Preservation (NTHP) headquarters staff, especially the Historic Sites Department’s technical support positions in collections, finance, interpretation, and architecture, as well as staff in the Trust’s legal, public affairs, marketing, fundraising, and other departments.
The Executive Director will be positioned full-time at the Shadows and will manage full-time staff of 3 and additional 6 part-time guide and facilities staff. The Executive Director will provide daily leadership and strategic direction to the other full-time positions to ensure cohesive and effective operations and comprehensive, meaningful impact of mission-related activities. The ED is responsible for developing and maintaining a collaborative and proactive management structure that allows the entire site team to work together with clarity, strategic integration, and accountability. To effectively carry out these responsibilities, the ED must exhibit a collaborative, solution-oriented management style. A demonstrated commitment to utilizing historic places to advance justice and equity is essential.
Date posted: May 29, 2022