|Learning and Engagement Manager
The Barber Institute of Fine Arts was founded in 1932. The founding mission states that the Barber was established for ‘the study and encouragement of art and music’. It is recognised internationally as one of the finest small art galleries in the world and houses one of the most outstanding and internationally significant art collections assembled during the 20th century. Housed in an architecturally important listed Art Deco building, the collection comprises Old Master and modern paintings, drawings, prints, sculpture and coins which are displayed alongside a programme of temporary exhibitions, high-profile loans and displays which are curated to compliment the collection. The collection is displayed in the purpose-built 1930s galleries which to this day, still offer a unique, atmospheric and very special visitor experience. The Barber also has a remarkable concert hall and a vibrant public music programme which is managed by the University’s Department of Music.
This an exciting time to join the Barber – in 2017, more people visited the Barber galleries than in any previous year in our history with 65,590 visits being made. In 2018, the Barber entered a new strategic phase with a central focus on public engagement and the delivery of sector-leading Visitor Experience and Learning and Engagement. This year, our summer exhibition The Paper Museum: The Curious Eye of Cassiano dal Pozzo attracted a five-star review in The Guardian and in the spring our current coin exhibition was discussed on Radio 4’s Saturday Review. The Barber’s much-loved and well-established Learning and Engagement programme continues to grow and evolve – for example, in January 2019, the team launched Barber Lates, a programme of cross-disciplinary, experimental evening events designed to attract new audiences to the Barber. These strong foundations provide a platform for the Learning and Engagement programme to innovate, experiment and develop in the years ahead.
Being part of the University of Birmingham offers a wealth of exciting possibilities for the Barber, and the Learning and Engagement team in particular. As outlined in the Barber’s Audience Development Plan, the Barber aims to strengthen, grow and explore our relationships with the University community. Through action research, the Barber is exploring how it can play a core role in University life, whether that be through academic, extracurricular or staff engagement. Collaborations, partnerships and new initiatives are central to this work. Our University engagement sits holistically alongside our public engagement, with the two informing each other to facilitate unique interpretations and conversations.
Through our programmes the Barber aims to enhance learning, facilitate the big conversations and change lives:
“Thank you for welcoming me in to the art group at the Barber today. I enjoyed being out and meeting new people and trying a new activity. It’s things like joining your group that helps me stay focused and positive about moving my life forward…”
“The seminar was inspiring and engaging and a great way to approach a topic which is usually quite difficult and heavy for people to talk about. This was probably one of my favourite parts of Medical School in the three years. I think it should be a compulsory part of the course as it was a brilliant way to approach the topic.”
“The workshop was super de-stressing. I now feel calm and positive. It’s the best thing I’ve done at uni to date.”
“Thank you so much for discussing such important questions. This helped me to explore wide-ranging contexts and understand why and how every form of oppression is different.”
“I loved tonight’s Lates event so much – it opened my thinking and I saw things differently. Thank you for enhancing my life.”
“Through volunteering, [name deleted] is in such a good and happy place at the moment and fulfilling her dream, so thank you so much again for your support, it really does make a difference to the lives of people we work with.”
Learning and Engagement programme 2018-19, participant feedback
If you think you have the skills, experience and attitude to be instrumental in making this happen, then please read on.
The role of Learning and Engagement Manager sits within the Barber’s newly-formed Public Engagement team (see chart below). The creation of the Public Engagement team represents a significant and timely development for the Barber, being part of a renewed strategic commitment to visitor experience, learning and public engagement. The post-holder will play a significant role in this new team, contributing to new and revised strategies and making a major contribution to the development of Learning and Engagement at the Barber.
The post-holder is responsible for developing and managing the delivery of a dynamic and critically-engaged Learning and Engagement programme that will enable the Barber to achieve its mission and both retain and extend its reputation for excellence and innovation in this area. The role requires an ability to understand, articulate and apply the big ideas whilst day-to-day maintaining attention to detail and excellent organisational skills to ensure the efficient and effective running of the department.
Inspiring and motivational leadership, alongside delivery of best-practice line management, are essential for the role as the post-holder will be managing the Learning and Engagement team and the Barber’s team of freelance learning practitioners and volunteers.
The post-holder will be working closely with colleagues across the Barber, being the keystone for communication and collaboration between Learning and Engagement and the Visitor Services, Curatorial and Communications and Marketing teams. The role is line managed by the Head of Public Engagement (HPE) and the post-holder will work closely with the HPE. Beyond the Barber, the post-holder will play an active part in institutional, city-wide and regional conversations, collaborations and initiatives, being a key representative and advocate.
Planning, development and communication to achieve strategic aims:
• Develop and oversee the delivery of a dynamic and critically-engaged Learning and Engagement programme that will enable the Barber to achieve its mission
• Contribute to the creation and development of the Barber’s revised Audience Development Plan
• Contribute to the creation of the Barber’s new Public Engagement Strategy
• Deliver effective management of all Learning and Engagement operations
• Be responsible for efficient, timely and effective communications with the Visitor Services Manager and Visitor Services Team to integrate the Learning and Engagement programme into wider operational planning to ensure smooth delivery of the programme
• Be responsible for ensuring that all departments and colleagues across the Barber are kept fully and appropriately briefed on the Learning and Engagement programme, being responsible for developing productive working relationships and communication channels across the organisation
• Proactively and positively contribute to Barber staff and project meetings, representing Learning and Engagement appropriately and effectively
Programmes, Activities and Partnerships:
• Responsively design, develop, plan and manage the Barber’s Learning and Engagement programme creating engaging and accessible programmes including early years, families, schools and formal education settings, FE and HE, young people’s programmes, student engagement and adult public programme, communities and outreach
• Demonstrate a commitment to public-facing Learning and Engagement practice by contributing appropriately to the delivery of the Barber’s Learning and Engagement programme, as agreed with the HPE
• Respond creatively and appropriately to wider University of Birmingham (UoB), city, regional and national initiatives (e.g. the Big Draw, Arts and Science festival) to achieve the Barber’s audience development and public engagement aims
• Actively and positively contribute to identifying and building new relationships with targeted UoB academics from all five UoB colleges and professional services staff to contribute to the Barber’s strategic aims and objectives
• Oversee the development, design and delivery of innovative undergraduate and postgraduate teaching and extracurricular projects for departments from all five UoB colleges
• Initiate and sustain constructive and productive working relationships with curatorial colleagues to ensure that Learning and Engagement practice and audience development objectives inform the interpretation and presentation of permanent displays and temporary exhibitions
• Be responsible for the development of the concept, content and design of the Learning Space, ensuring delivery of engaging, dynamic and accessible content to support the learning aims of each temporary exhibition
• Oversee the development and commissioning of engaging, accessible, high-quality learning resources
• Be responsible for producing, editing and compiling well-written and engaging Learning and Engagement copy to deadline for print (e.g. What’s On brochure, Families First leaflet) and digital
• Proactively sustain constructive and productive working relationships with communications and marketing colleagues and collaborate on creative, timely and effective approaches to promote the Learning and Engagement programme
• Working with the HPE, review, develop and sustain strategic partnerships in the sector (to include University of Birmingham, city, regional and national) to build effective collaborations that maximise resources and deliver on the Barber’s strategic aims and objectives
• Take the lead on sharing the Barber’s Learning and Engagement practice within the sector and with key UoB and external stakeholders, seeking out opportunities for advocacy and contributing via channels such as presentations, workshops, articles and case studies.
• Be responsible for monitoring and evaluating the effectiveness of the Learning and Engagement programme against agreed KPIs and strategic objectives, using quantitative and qualitative data, and report on this as required
People and Financial Management
• Line manage the Learning and Engagement Co-ordinator, Student Engagement Co-ordinator, Learning and Engagement Administrator and Learning and Engagement Intern, delivering effective and supportive line-management
• Conduct constructive regular one to ones and annual reviews for all team members
• Working with the UoB HR department manage the annual recruitment of two Learning and Engagement interns and deliver a best practice recruitment process
• Proactively and positively manage, support and develop the Barber’s team of freelance learning practitioners, volunteers and volunteer Gallery Guides, to ensure delivery of a best practice
Learning and Engagement programme
• Ensure that the Learning and Engagement team maintain up to date knowledge of Learning and Engagement practice, pedagogy, museum practice and working practices.
• Build a Learning and Engagement team culture of sharing practice, critical analysis and self-reflection, leading by example and implementing a framework to enable all staff to engage in this process
• Plan and monitor Learning and Engagement expenditure and income, to maximise the resources available
• Report on Learning and Engagement expenditure and income, as required
• Ensure that the Learning and Engagement department adheres to financial protocols
• Be responsible for overseeing the efficient administration of the Learning and Engagement department
• Be responsible for ensuring that Learning and Engagement staff, freelancers and volunteers adhere to health and safety legislation, safeguarding policy and procedure and all other statutory requirements relating to the supervision and participation of children and vulnerable adults at the Barber.
• In partnership with the HPE and other Barber colleagues, proactively identify potential sources of external funding and income as required, and contribute to securing identified funding, as agreed with the HPE
• Keep abreast of developments in Learning and Engagement practice, the formal education sector and the cultural and creative sectors
• Any other duties commensurate with the post.
• The post-holder must be prepared to work occasional evenings, weekends and Bank Holidays, for which time can be taken off in lieu.
• The successful applicant will be required to undertake an enhanced DBS check.
|Required Knowledge, Skills, Qualifications, Experience |
• Demonstrable ability to manage a department and oversee programmes of work to deliver agreed objectives and contribute to achieving strategic aims
• Proven and relevant experience of successfully leading, motivating and developing a team to deliver agreed outputs and contribute to achieving strategic aims
• Demonstrable ability to proactively build and sustain productive and effective relationships with colleagues and external partners/stakeholders to achieve agreed aims and objectives
• Proven budget management experience, to include responsively monitoring and effectively reporting income and expenditure
• Demonstrable experience of allocating and utilising a set amount of staff and financial resources to deliver a high quality output that contributes to agreed strategic objectives
• The ability to ensure a team adheres to legislation, policies and procedures (e.g. health and safety legislation, risk assessment procedures, safeguarding policies and procedures, financial protocols and GDPR)
• Excellent communication skills, to include written, verbal and listening skills, with the proven ability to apply them in a wide range of contexts and settings
• Demonstrable networking and public speaking skills, excellent interpersonal skills and proven ability to create and draw upon relevant strategic contacts and networks
• Proven excellent organisational skills including attention to detail, time management and working to deadlines
• Demonstrable high level of motivation to work towards and achieve predetermined goals within specific deadlines
• Proven ability to work quickly and accurately under pressure and to use judgement to inform decision making
• Proven ability to approach both challenges and opportunities with a creative, innovative, positive and collaborative attitude
• A demonstrable engagement with, and enthusiasm for, arts, heritage and culture
• Experience working in a museum, gallery, cultural/heritage organisation or creative sector environment
• Strategic and up to date knowledge of the arts and cultural sector and the ability to apply this knowledge to inform planning and decision making
• Experience in a learning/education role, particularly within the creative or cultural sector
• Experience of successfully managing a department and leading a team
• A degree in a creative discipline such as Fine Art, History of Art or a related subject/discipline
• Post-graduate qualification in a relevant subject and/or a teaching qualification.
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