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Manager, Visitor Services

Rhode Island School of Design
Rhode Island, United States
Salary Not Specified
Posted date
Jul 23, 2021

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Position Type
Administrative, Academic Affairs, Arts Administration, Business & Administrative Affairs, Business & Administrative Support, Other Business & Administrative Affairs, Community Relations & Institutional Outreach, Conference & Special Event Administration
Employment Type
Full Time
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Job Summary

Rhode Island School of Design is seeking a Visitor Services Manager to join the RISD Museum. The RISD Museum was founded on the belief that art, artists, and the institutions that support them play pivotal roles in promoting broad civic engagement and creating more open societies. Established alongside the college in 1877 as part of RISD’s vibrant creative community, the RISD Museum stewards works of art representing diverse cultures from ancient times to the present. The Museum's collection currently contains more than 100,000 works of art and design dating from ancient times to today including paintings, sculpture, decorative arts, costume and textiles, and furniture from all over the world. It aspires to create an accessible and inclusive environment that builds meaningful relationships across all communities.

The Visitor Services Manager is responsible for creating and promoting a welcoming and engaging museum visitor experience. The incumbent manages the front desk activities and staff, supports efforts to improve visitor access, and recommends and implements enhancements and/or changes based on feedback and observation. The Manager anticipates communication needs, schedule staff and group visits, and liaise with RISD Conferences and Events staff, and manages logistical aspects/support for tours. The manager also promotes and ensures the collection of visitor data, works collaboratively with the Museum Database Manager to maintain Visitor Services related-data, and generates analytical reports on a variety of information related to visitor and program experiences; traffic and logistic flow within the museum; and/or ease, availability, and effectiveness of information. Identify and present visitation trends and make recommendations based on findings. This position provides input to, and promotes the Museum through, marketing materials and other means to proactively sell memberships and special events activities to meet financial goals.

As an employer, RISD offers a supportive, collegial and inclusive work environment and a competitive benefits package.

Essential Functions

  • Manage all front desk activities, including but not limited to; visitor reception, orientation, information, and ticket sales. Hire, train, supervise, and evaluate visitor service staff. Monitor front desk traffic and assist with front desk duties as necessary to ensure a positive visitor experience and general flow within the lobbies. Oversee cash process and daily deposits, and ensure all front desk financial transactions are performed in compliance with RISD standard operating procedures and internal controls in coordination with the Museum Business and Finance Manager. Prepare, review and submit attendance, event and progress to goal reports to senior leadership. Look for upcoming ticket sales, dates, trends to identify when a marketing push is needed, or conflicts/issues might arise on-site.
  • Manage logistical aspects and support for tours, coordinating tour-related activities with the Museum’s Education and Marketing & Public Relations Departments as appropriate. Provide assistance to schools and other tour groups upon arrival. Ensure that visitors with special needs, including wheelchairs or other adaptive devices, are assisted. Possess and maintain knowledge of RISD and Providence community in order to make appropriate referrals and suggest additional sites, restaurants, attractions or venues of interest.
  • Coordinate with the Museum’s Cafe Pearl partner as relationship and operations manager. Act as the contract manager to maintain a positive guest experience. Oversee and ensure adherence to contract agreements, such as space and noise issues, troubleshooting with cafe managers about crowd issues. Serve as point person for all questions from Cafe staff. Share monthly attendance estimates and special events at the museum or on campus, and regularly update the Cafe staff on upcoming exhibitions and other items guests might ask about.
  • Maintain guest-related data by engaging in the timely and accurate input of information (either personally or through the Museum Database Manager) into the Museum’s data-tracking system. Generate analytical reports on a variety of information related to visitor and program experiences; traffic and logistic flow within the museum; and/or ease, availability, and effectiveness of information. Identify and present visitation trends and make recommendations based on data and findings.
  • Promote RISD Museum’s visitor experience survey and gather information (either personally or in conjunction with the Museum’s Associate Director of Institutional Giving and Evaluation, including sharing challenges and implementing solutions to enable ease of survey completion process. Support the Education and Membership departments by helping to distribute any media necessary.
  • Liaise with staff in RISD Conferences and Events office as the internal point person for all rental events at the Museum to help ensure flow within the museum, ensure there are no conflicting space usage issues or guest capacity issues in parts of the museum at one time. Responsible for the scheduling of events on various platforms.

Additional Functions:

  • Represent and attend regularly scheduled meetings on behalf of visitor services. Maintain operations calendar and serve as a liaison with other departments, such as facilities and public safety, to ensure building appearance, safety, and operational effectiveness.


  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent combination of education and experience preferred
  • Minimum three years of progressively responsible customer service experience in a retail or service-oriented environment with at least one year of experience in a supervisory role
  • Understanding and experience working in a museum is a plus
  • Must be able to independently solve problems, work with numbers, complete written reports, and plan and implement new programs
  • Ability to manage visitor services-oriented programs, define and implement best practices and policies, and promote teamwork to accomplish program goals
  • Demonstrated excellence in oral and written communication skills and proficiency with word-processing, spreadsheet, and database software required
  • Must recognize, support, and promote diversity and inclusion as central to excellence



Work Schedule

35 hours/week; 12 months/year

Employment Status

Full-Time, Regular. Exempt.



Documents Needed to Apply

Resume (required)

Cover Letter (required)

Incomplete applications will not be considered. Please upload all required documents.

The successful candidate will be required to meet our pre-employment background screening requirements.

For certain positions, RISD is currently supporting remote work arrangements due to the pandemic. When work resumes in person, employees are expected to perform work on campus.

RISD recognizes diversity and inclusivity as fundamental to its learning community and integral to an art and design education. We welcome candidates whose experience has prepared them to contribute to our commitment to diversity and excellence. RISD is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Employment decisions are made without regard to race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, genetics, or any other protected characteristic as established by law.

For internal use only - Job Family:

Museum Visitor Services
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