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WonderTrek Children's Museum - Playful Connections Program Manager

  • 19 Jan 2022 2:57 PM
    Message # 12283481

    POSITION/TITLE: Playful Connections Program Manager 

    SUPERVISOR: Museum Project Director

    PART-TIME:  20 to 30 hours per week

    WonderTrek Children’s Museum, an emerging museum in North Central Minnesota for children, families, and educators, is looking for a dynamic and dedicated employee to fill the role of Program Manager for its Playful Connections studio explorations programming.  This position will join the project  team in developing and implementing Playful Connections, a new 18-month regional program funded by the Minnesota Legacy, Arts, Culture, and Heritage Fund.   Through Playful Connections, WonderTrek will engage children and adults in play-based studio explorations to help design an "up north" signature climber experience reflecting regional art, culture, and heritage.  Special attention will be paid to engaging families from a diversity of backgrounds and lived experiences at WonderTrek’s studio space at the Franklin Arts Center and at remote venues through the region.  Particular attention will be paid to reaching families experiencing participation barriers.  By bringing together diverse perspectives to share ideas in a studio learning process adapted for WonderTrek’s audience, Playful Connections empowers children to lead the way to a more connected region and state through the power of play. 

    The Program Manager will start by joining the highly collaborative Playful Connections project team to develop WonderTrek’s Studio Explorations Framework describing an adapted studio learning process to engage and learn from children, parents, and educators.   Planning, commenting, and interpreting studio activities will be at the center of the Studio Explorations Framework .   In addition, the Program Manager joins the project team in the role of lead implementer and coordinator of most aspects of Playful Connections studio explorations programming and collaborates closely with the Executive Director to ensure thorough documentation and effective communications.  Working between 20 to 30 hours per week and reporting to the Museum Project Director, the Program Manager proactively makes the most of mentorship opportunities with each project team member, ensuring the same for Program Assistants, interns, and volunteers.  

    Carrying out all aspects of program delivery in close collaboration with the project team, the Program Manager leads the team in achieving the goals and measurable outcomes identified in the Playful Connections grant application.   The Program Manager is responsible for thorough documentation of studio activities and timely, accurate, and comprehensive reporting to the project team, Board of Directors, and the Minnesota Humanities Center.  Externally, the right candidate will excel at building and nurturing long-term  relationships with key regional partners.  Recruiting, supervising, and mentoring part-time Program Assistants and/or interns in various roles to carry out Playful Connections is an important responsibility of the Program Manager. 


    The successful candidate will implement and coordinate all aspects of the 18-month Playful Connections program, including but not limited to:

    • Work closely with the entire Playful Connections project team to conceptualize, develop, implement, document, evaluate, and report on the Playful Connections project , ultimately carrying out activities and achieving all goals and measurable outcomes as described in Playful Connection’s grant narrative.  
    • Hire, supervise, and mentor the Program Assistant position and Fellowship and/or Internship part-time positions.
    • With the oversight of the Executive Director, manage WonderTrek’s studio site at the Franklin Arts Center as a welcoming “campaign headquarters” as well as the central hub for implementing Playful Connections studio explorations.
    • In collaboration with the Executive Director, develop and nurture long-term relationships with WonderTrek’s core strategic partners.
    • Starting with WonderTrek’s established program partners, collaborate with the project team to solicit, vet, and schedule all studio explorations venues in communities throughout the five-county region. 
    • Research/become familiar with similar processes and approaches such as studio learning and involving children in experience development at other children’s museums.
    • Follow evaluation and data collection protocols as established by the Program Evaluator and the project team. 
    • Set up reporting systems with best practices and carry out regular reporting to the project team, WonderTrek Board of Directors, and MN Humanities Center (per their requirements).
    • Coordinate and acquire/order all supplies needed for studio explorations programming within budget.
    • Closely track and report on the Playful Connections budget.
    • Collaborate with the Executive Director on newsletter content, and continually update WonderTrek’s website and social media platforms with Playful Connections related content
    • Build-up WonderTrek’s local capacity and children’s museum expertise by making the most of mentorship opportunities with each member of the project team and ensure the same for all Program Assistants, Interns, and volunteers
    • Other duties as assigned


    • B.A. degree in Education, Museum Studies, Child Development, or related field, and three to five years experience in public programs, informal learning setting, or museum education
    • Experience facilitating artist and community partnerships
    • Excels at relationship building
    • Experience working with children ages 0 – 12 and their caregivers
    • An interest in and aptitude for documentation and evaluation in an adapted studio learning setting
    • Demonstrated ability to take initiative and handle multiple tasks
    • Experience in a managerial role, supervising staff and fostering accountability
    • Ability to work collaboratively in team based environment while ensuring personal responsibility and follow-up
    • Adaptable to collaborative work settings that are both virtual and in-person
    • Exemplary verbal and written communication skills and project management skills
    • Flexible and passionate about working with children and youth in a museum setting
    • Knowledge of North Central Minnesota communities
    • Proficient with Macs, PCs, Microsoft Office, Google Apps, Dropbox, and database programs
    • Must own fully insured vehicle with ability to drive to transport program materials


    Hourly, commensurate with experience, up to $25 per hour

    Transportation per diem allowance


    Highly flexible, some weekends and evenings required


    Please send a cover letter and resume as 1 combined PDF document to peter@wondertrekmuseum.org with “[Your Last Name] – Programs Manager” in the subject header. 

    Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis with priority given to those received by January 30, 2022. Only those candidates selected for an interview will be contacted. No telephone calls for position inquiries, please.


    WonderTrek Children’s Museum is an emerging 501(c)3 non-profit organization currently in development to bring together the region’s children and families in shared experiences that are grounded locally and open onto the wider world. Dynamic, material-rich environments, exhibits, events, and programs will engage children in the joy of play and the wonder of learning.  Children’s museums improve the quality of life in more than 300 communities across the country, and WonderTrek children’s museum and its partners envision a more vibrant and connected region because all children will enjoy the supportive relationships, expanding opportunities, and well-being they need to thrive.  WonderTrek primarily serves residents and visitors to the north central Minnesota counties of Cass, Crow Wing, Morrison, Todd, and Wadena.

All content and articles may be used for educational purposes with proper citation (Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License).

Reggio-Inspired Network of Minnesota is a 501(c)3 non-profit located at 525 Pelham Blvd. N., Saint Paul, MN 55104 

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