The position is located in the Center for Folklife and Cultural
Heritage (CFCH), a research, collection, and public education unit
of the Smithsonian Institution dedicated to the understanding,
preservation, and sustainability of diverse cultural traditions in
the U.S. and around the world. The Director, Smithsonian Folkways
manages the content and business operations of the Smithsonian
Folkways family of record labels and oversees the Ralph Rinzler
Folklife Archives and Collections.
ROLE AND RESPONSIBILITIES
Leading, Curating and Managing Smithsonian Folkways
Formulates policies, business plans,
programmatic, research documentary, and educational goals and
objectives for Smithsonian Folkways.
Determines guidelines, standards, and criteria for the
generation and/or acquisition of Smithsonian Folkways collections
of musical and other performance materials, and for the development
of recordings and accompanying photographic and explanatory (liner
note) content issued on Smithsonian Folkways labels and appearing
in other public products.
Oversees and monitors the development and execution of short-
and long-range plans to accomplish program goals and
Ensures appropriate coordination and integration of all program
components in accord with sound business decisions and the
achievement of high-quality products.
Serves ex officio on the Folkways Advisory Board to both
represent Smithsonian Folkways and process the Board’s advice and
Leading, Curating and Managing the Rinzler
Serves as the supervisory curator of the
Rinzler Archives and its collections, including developing its
goals, objectives, and annual plans in coordination with the Center
for Folklife and Cultural Heritage (CFCH or Center) Director and
its senior managers.
Serves as staff liaison to the CFCH Advisory Council and the
Folkways Advisory Board with regard to the Rinzler Archives.
Issues guidelines, standards, and criteria for the
generation/acquisition, care, processing, and physical and digital
accessibility of the Rinzler Archives consistent with acquisition
agreements, Smithsonian guidelines, and best practices.
Oversees the physical collection of artifacts in the
collections, their inventory, care, and display in the Center
offices, other Smithsonian museums, and venues.
Reviews and evaluates proposals for new collections, collection
management, preservation, security, storage, digitization, and
accessibility and major shifts or expansions in existing
Managing Human Resources
subordinates in the Smithsonian Folkways operation and oversees
their supervision of approximately 20 staff and dozens of fellows,
interns, contract producers, and relationships with participating
musicians, recording experts, and designers.
Supervises subordinates in the Rinzler Archives and oversees a
handful of staff, dozens of interns, fellows, visiting researchers,
educators, and contractors, and relationships with constituent
musicians, artists, field researchers and documentarians
represented in the archival collections.
Performs the full range of supervisory oversight
responsibilities for all assigned staff and contractors.
Seeking and Managing Allotments, Revenue, Gifts, Grants,
Develops, justifies, presents, and
executes annual operating budgets for Smithsonian Folkways and the
Rinzler Archives that meet program and financial objectives to the
Center Director and Smithsonian management.
Ensures that collections, products, and activities generate
sufficient income through grants, gifts, contract, mail order,
retail and wholesale sales, licenses, downloads, streams,
subscriptions, and other sources to meet expenses.
Oversees the development and terms of all Smithsonian Folkways
business activities, all contracts—including those with sponsors
and partners, wholesale and retail distributors, agents for
subscription sales, streaming, licensing companies and individuals,
online brokers, compilers, and service providers—to assure positive
results with regard to the generation of income and net
Identifies and actively pursues additional revenue-generating
and fundraising opportunities.
Smithsonian Collaboration and External
Represents Smithsonian Folkways and the
Rinzler Archives on the CFCH leadership team, regularly reporting
to colleagues on activities and issues.
Represents Smithsonian Folkways and the Rinzler Archives both
within and outside the Institution and maintains active
relationships with similar programs of other museums and
educational institutions throughout the U.S. and
Coordinates programmatic and operational efforts with other
programs of the CFCH including the Smithsonian Folklife Festival,
research, educational and sustainability programs.
Works with other Smithsonian units to assure high-quality,
high-impact programs through joint programs or activities such as
concerts or jointly produced publications and digital products.
Explores and develops joint products and activities in
cooperation with professional organizations, museums, Smithsonian
affiliates, national community organizations, and educational and
cultural associations to create high visibility and good will for
Participates in national and international forums, conferences,
symposia, and/or performances and produces exemplary leadership,
scholarly, artistic, and/or entrepreneurial presentations.
Applicants must clearly demonstrate the necessary level of
managerial and leadership skills and competence to perform
successfully in this position. This includes a degree in museum
work or an applicable subject-matter field, or a combination of
education and appropriate experience that provides knowledge
comparable to that normally acquired through successful completion
of a four-year course of study in an applicable subject-matter
applicants must have one year of specialized experience at or
equivalent to the GS-15 level. Specialized experience is defined as
the demonstrated knowledge and leadership skills as it relates to
managing programs and initiatives of a museum, cultural or
educational institution, business, or a similar organization with
an emphasis on musical and verbal culture, cultural heritage,
archiving, the recording, industry and/or education.
The applications that meet the basic qualifications will be
evaluated further against the following criteria:
1. Knowledge of the diverse musical traditions found in the United
States and among the world’s people.
2. Experience and demonstrated results in presenting musical and
verbal artistry through scholarly activity, recordings, artistic
performances and public programs, exhibitions, publications, and/or
3. Experience and demonstrated results in the preservation of
documentary and archival collections and increasing their
accessibility and use for scholarship, education, artistic
creativity, and/or community cultural development.
4. Demonstrated track record of developing, monitoring and
adjusting budgets for income and expenses, generating revenue from
the physical and/or digital production and distribution of sound
recordings and the raising funds from individuals, foundations,
corporations and governmental organizations through gifts, grants,
5. Demonstrated interpersonal and communications skills to build
relationships and lead collaborative initiatives with both internal
and external stakeholders. This includes ability to effectively
persuade and influence stakeholders, build trust and credibility,
and to form successful partnerships with a wide variety of
constituencies (i.e., senior leadership, boards, donors, and staff)
across an organization.
6. Demonstrated skills for leading and managing a multi-disciplined
and culturally diverse workforce, including fostering teamwork and
high morale, attracting, retaining, and mentoring staff, fellows,
interns, and volunteers, and implementing EEO/Affirmative Action
policies and programs.