Living Historian (PT)

TITLE: Living Historian - PT
DEPARTMENT: DiMenna Children’s History Museum
REPORTS TO: Coordinator of Living History Programs

JOB SUMMARY:
The New-York Historical Society seeks dynamic costumed educators to join the family programs team to lead Living History programs and assist with additional family programs. This work will usually take place on weekends and holidays.

Living Historians primarily lead educational experiences for families in the Museum galleries while dressed in historical clothing. In addition to period garments, they use accessories, dialogue, and activities from the past to create impressions of individuals from certain periods in time. Impressions can portray specific and/or composite individuals and each Living Historian will have a profile of a set of impressions they portray. The impression profiles (containing both specific and composite individuals)  are:

  • Railroad Worker (Mid-19th Century) and Detective (Late 19th Century)
  • Abraham Lincoln (From 1858 to 1865), Railroad Worker (Mid-19th Century), and Detective (Late 19th Century)
  • Harriet Tubman (From 1849 to 1865), Railroad Worker (Mid-19th Century), and Detective (Late 19th Century)
  • Frederick Douglass (From 1838 to 1865), Railroad Worker (Mid-19th Century), and Detective (Late 19th Century)

Applicants must identify in their cover letters which of the above impression profiles they are applying to portray and are welcome to apply for more than one. Applicants for impression profiles with specific individuals must be comfortable interacting with visitors while ‘in-character.’ Composite individuals are portrayed by speaking about the past with present-day language or in third-person. By selecting an impression profile, candidates agree to play all of its impressions.  As this is an ongoing position, new impressions will be added to profiles as needed.

In addition to the above responsibilities, Living Historians will be expected to assist with additional family programs such as birthday parties, history holiday programming, and drop-in weekend activities, on an as needed basis.

COMPENSATION:
$25/hr for program leadership and $18/hr for training, prep, and program assistance

EDUCATION:
Candidates must hold a Bachelor’s Degree. Concentration in acting, museum or educational theatre, history, museum studies, art history, a specific field that supports one of the above impressions, or other related disciplines preferred.

EXPERIENCE:
Qualified candidates will have:

  • Experience working with children between the ages of 4 and 14.
  • Paid or volunteer experience as a historical reenactor, costumed interpreter, living historian, or actor in period productions.
  • Strong commitment to the ongoing development and study of impressions using resources provided by the Museum or pursued by the candidate.
  • Ability to provide your own historical garments preferred.
  • Expertise in a historical skill, trade, or craft related to one of the above impressions a plus.
  • Experience engaging visitors with disabilities a plus.
  • Bilingual abilities a plus.

ESSENTIAL JOB DUTIES:

  • Must maintain flexible schedule; availability to work weekends, holidays, and occasional weekdays as needed; and ability to commit to scheduled programs months in advance.
  • Educate families with children of all ages through informal, interactive, drop-in activities in the Museum galleries and other spaces.
  • Wear and interpret historical and reproduction garments, accessories, and/or objects.
  • Be outgoing and professionally represent the Museum with excellent visitor service.
  • Professionally and promptly communicate with program coordinator(s) about scheduling, preparations, and other logistics related to all upcoming programs, trainings, and other meetings.
  • Attend trainings and study and review resources outside of and during scheduled work hours as needed to maintain and build your impressions.
  • Prepare program materials for all programs you lead or assist with.
  • Assist with additional family programs as needed.
  • Additional duties as requested.

Physical Demands:
The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee with or without accommodation, to successfully perform the essential functions of this job.

Work involves moving throughout the Museum, lifting program materials and wearing historical garments (up to 30 lbs), and performing other similar actions while historically costumed for long periods of time.

For consideration, please send a cover letter and resume to resumes@nyhistory.orgPlease reference the job title in the subject line.

The New-York Historical Society is an Equal Opportunity Employer

Creative: Tronvig Group