New Bedford Whaling Museum

18 Johnny Cake Hill
New Bedford, MA 02740

Date Posted:
January 23, 2022

Eastern Massachusetts



Common Ground Project Coordinator (Part-time)


The Common Ground Project Coordinator is a key participant in organizing, coordinating, and executing this ambitious oral history project and subsequent exhibitions. The Coordinator will manage the logistical components of this complex project, acting as a key player in facilitating story collection, its cataloguing and organization in the museum collection, and the execution of the final exhibition. This is a two-year part-time position with the expectation of 16-hours per week, from early 2022 through the end of 2023.

About Common Ground:Common Ground: A Community Mosaic is an ambitious oral history project and exhibition that aims to create a full picture of the Greater New Bedford region and its residents through story collection. A key goal of the project is to give voice to community members in the region. By gathering the stories of individuals, Common Ground presents a diverse, inclusive, and celebratory accounting of the lived experiences of South Coast residents.

The project creates an Archive of oral histories and supporting documentation provided by storytellers (either loaned, photographed/scanned, or donated) – including historic images, audio and video files, objects, ephemera, and photographs of individuals and significant places. All materials will be accessioned into the New Bedford Whaling Museum’s permanent collection, where they will receive the same care and preservation as any other collection object.

In addition to the Archive, the New Bedford Whaling Museum will launch a special exhibition, also titled Common Ground: A Community Mosaic, which will span July 11, 2022 through August 6, 2023. The exhibition will select and present highlights from the Archive of oral histories and spotlight select documentary materials, including photographs, video, and material objects. Following the close of the special exhibition in 2023, Common Ground may continue in an alternate format as a semi-permanent gallery installation showcasing community stories from the region.


  • Maintain technology inventory and equipment, in concert with digital initiatives team
  • Monitor online video submission platform
  • Monitor and reply to project email
  • Monitor and coordinate story collection with two co-curators via Calendly and Outlook calendar
  • Send follow-up emails to contributing story tellers; keep communication channels open
  • Coordinate with and execute outreach to existing community partners
  • Identify new community partners and serve as point of contact in outreach
  • Assist with Apprenticeship program story collection efforts
  • Assist with the Education department on story collection efforts
  • Assist with training through Lesley University College credit course
  • Manage and schedule mobile story collection unit(s) with community partners
  • Work with programming to execute project PR and collection at Museum events
  • Catalogue stories using our CMS (Collections Management System), in concert with Curatorial staff
  • Transcribe and add meta-data tags to the oral histories
  • Edit stories as needed for archive and exhibition (audio and video files)
  • Conduct on and off-site story collection
  • Coordinate the donation, scanning, or loan of documentary materials pertaining to stories
  • Organize translation of stories into other languages, as needed
  • File permissions paperwork
  • Work with Marketing and PR to advertise the project and local story collecting initiatives and events
  • Play an essential role in exhibition planning and execution with the curatorial team


  • must be reliable, punctual, dependable, and professional;
  • must be personable with interview skills;
  • audio and video editing;
  • should have reliable transportation and a willingness to travel within the region to recording sites;
  • self-starter with strong organizational and time management skills;
  • should have good verbal communication skills and enjoy interacting with others.


  • current college student, graduate, or graduate student majoring in: Art, Art History, Public History, Journalism or Communications, or Museum Studies preferred.
  • work experience with museums, libraries, or cultural organizations;
  • experience with or interest in curatorial practice or exhibition concept and design;
  • experience with or interest in story collection, oral histories, digital humanities projects, and public history;
  • Bilingual is preferred but not required (Spanish or Portuguese).
  • current college student or graduate student majoring in: Art, Art History, Public History, Journalism or Communications, or Museum Studies preferred.
How To Apply:

Send cover letter and resume to Naomi Slipp, Chief Curator at No phone calls, please.

Apply by:
February 28, 2022
About this Organization:
The New Bedford Whaling Museum ignites learning through explorations of art, history, science, and culture rooted in the stories of people, the region, and an international seaport. The Museum seeks to advance understanding related to the influence of the whaling industry and the port of New Bedford on the history, economy, ecology, arts, and cultures of the region, the nation, and the world. We will expand our capacity to tell the stories of the many diverse communities that shared in the creation of this history, through excellence in our collections, scholarship, and all forms of public engagement. In doing so the Museum will be recognized as a compelling destination that inspires all visitors to reflect on the complex issues that shaped the past, remain critical today, and inform a sustainable future. The New Bedford Whaling Museum is an equal opportunity employer.