Under the direction of the Executive Director & Curator, the Senior Manager of Public Programs & Interpretation manages the various ways the site and its human history are interpreted and engaged with by the public. The Senior Manager will develop and/or enhance guided and self-guided tours, group and educational tours, exhibitions, programs, marketing, and special events to design inspirational multi-sensory experiences for the public. The Senior Manager will develop and manage the ongoing implementation of an Interpretive Framework Plan that will advance the National Trust agenda for historic sites and the strategic objectives of the Edith Farnsworth House Historic Site. This position supervises the Senior Assistant of Exhibitions & Programs and the Marketing & Events Coordinator. It also guides the content delivered by the Senior Assistant of Educational Tours & Guest Services and site guides.

This position is grant funded for a period of two years from the date of hire, with potential to become an ongoing position based on performance and increased revenues, and subject to the availability of continued funding. The successful candidate will have relevant experience developing and managing dynamic interpretation and programs at a historic site, museum, or comparable venue. Experience in interpretive planning is required, and proven experience cultivating/strengthening community relationships and community-based programs with diverse communities is a plus. Managerial experience, including some supervisory experience, and outstanding communication and organizational skills are needed to perform this job.

This position offers flexibility for a hybrid work arrangement but does require a minimum of two days working on-site, therefore candidates will need to be Chicago-area residents.


Program Development 

  • Collaborate with the Executive Director, senior site staff, the National Trust’s Director of Interpretation & Education, and the Senior Vice President of Historic Sites to:
    • Develop, implement, and evaluate a comprehensive interpretive plan that advances the organization’s mission of telling the full American story and that reflects the needs and interests of the local community.
    • Plan, implement and evaluate interpretive programs and products. This includes, but is not limited to, on-site and remote programs, activities, demonstrations, tours, events, community engagement opportunities, social media, web-based digital projects, brochures, maps, etc.
  • Plan and manage public programs and activities for adults and children that foster social justice, sustainability, and wellbeing in ways that connect them to the site’s natural and historical resources in relevant and meaningful ways.
  • Determine and develop programming
  • Build trust and foster ongoing relationships with local community groups and organizations.
  • Collaborate with community members in the development and delivery of interpretation at the site.
  • Position the site to integrate Justice, Equity, Diversity, Access, and Inclusion measures site wide as it relates to public programs and interpretation, and ensure metrics are tracked, targets are reached, and timely maturation of the site in these practices.
  • Through interpretation and public programs, grow visitation, engage new and repeat visitors, analyze, and evolve experiences.
  • Ensure the National Trust agenda for historic sites and the strategic objectives of the Edith Farnsworth House Historic Site are met, including increased in-person and virtual participation, audience and revenue increases, and audience diversification.


  • At least 6 years of relevant experience in the field of history interpretation and/or informal education at historic sites, museums, or related organization, including at least 3 years of supervisory experience.
  • Certified National Association for Interpretation Guide, Trainer and/or Planner preferred.
  • Knowledge of Mies van der Rohe, Farnsworth House or related Modernist architecture and design a plus. Demonstrated experience with the fundamentals and key practices of interpretation, including site interpretation for both adult and child audiences. Demonstrated knowledge of and experience with public history, history, museum studies or equivalent work experience.
  • Advanced analytical and problem-solving skills, including issue identification and prioritization.
  • Advanced project-management skills, including project budgeting, staffing and planning. Ability to achieve results with general supervision.
  • Effective presentation skills. Excellent writing, spelling, grammar, and proofreading skills, as well as strong verbal communication and customer service skills. Strong organizational skills. Excellent attention to detail.
  • Experience successfully managing key stakeholders and relationships. Proven ability to collaborate across departments to implement processes and achieve results. Track record of building and maintaining productive relationships with multiple stakeholders. When working onsite, public contact and ability to work successfully in close proximity to others required.  When working off site, ability work effectively in a remote environment, maintaining productivity and communications to meet deadlines and goals, is required.


Date posted: November 6, 2022