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26 Oct 2021

Full-Time Education Programs

Blithewold Mansion Gardens & Arboretum – Posted by [email protected] Bristol, Rhode Island, United States

Job Description

Title: Education Programs

Full-time, salaried, year round position

Blithewold is a 33-acre summer estate with grand views of Narragansett Bay and is nationally significant in American history as one of the most fully developed and authentic examples of the Country Place Era. The property features a 45-room mansion filled with family heirlooms, and is framed by a series of lovely gardens that range in character from mysterious to exotic and from poetic to practical. An exceptional collection of rare and unusual plants, specimen trees, an accessible greenhouse, and whimsical stonework project a character that is romantic, fresh, and inspiring – and unique to Blithewold.

Our Mission is to preserve New England’s finest garden estate through excellence in horticulture and historic preservation, and by our example to teach and inspire others.

The Opportunity

We are seeking an individual that is creative, energetic, and highly organized with experience in public program planning and logistics, who has a great eye for detail, hospitality, and customer service to run Blithewold’s education programs. The education programs person designs and implements a broad range of programs intended to reach visitors of all ages and abilities including children, families and adults that showcase the rich history and cultural landscape of the property.  Blithewold’s programs provide unique opportunities to inspire an appreciation of the horticulture, arboriculture, landscape design, historic preservation and the unique role of women in the development of Blithewold. Through programs that enrich, educate and entertain for beginners and experts alike.

The Education Programs staff member will increase reach of educational offerings growing program participation, associated revenue, and improving visitor satisfaction through the development of new experiences and high-quality programs. Candidates must be willing and available to work a flexible schedule that includes weekends and evening hours.

The Education Programs staff member reports to the Director of Communications and Visitor Experience and works closely with other staff in the visitor services, curatorial and horticultural teams. 


  • Create programming to include in-person and on-line programs, including workshops, lectures, and concerts.
  • Develop and oversee all aspects of programming including logistics, planning, production, setup and tear-down.
  • Responsible for managing budget and meeting expense/revenue goals related
    to programming.
  • Facilitate an education committee comprised of horticultural, curatorial, other staff members, and industry expert volunteers to develop education programs relating to:
    • Horticulture
    • Arboriculture
    • Our collection and archives
    • Preservation and conservation
    • Family fun
    • Lifestyle (i.e. decor, crafts, culinary, culture, design)
  • Implement and grow programs for and partnerships with:
    • Internships and work-study students
    • Professional development for teachers
    • Other industry-related organizations
    • Local school districts, colleges and universities.
  • Hire, train and manage all counselors for Camp Sequoia, an 8-week summer day camp. Manage administrative details and act as liaison to the parents 
  • Manages support staff including registrar, program assistants, interns, and volunteers. 
  • Seeks out industry experts in horticulture and garden design, musicians, artists and other community partners (i.e. Audubon, Herreshoff, Coggeshall) to create the annual
    program offerings.
  • Maintains program calendar, attendance statistics and evaluation data.
  • Provides accurate and timely program descriptions for website, on-line event calendars and semi-annual Members’ Magazine.
  • Negotiate speaker and performer fees, invoice and manage all experts, and artists associated with our programming.
  • Design and manage the annual garden design event, a fundraiser for Education Programs, featuring national speakers that are experts in horticulture.

Education and Experience:

  • A bachelor’s degree in horticulture, education, history, or museum studies or other relevant course of study
  • A minimum of 3-5 year experience in public program experience at a museum, botanic garden or comparable non-profit organization
  • Must be capable of working independently and cooperatively with staff, volunteers, board members, and visitors.
  • The candidate must show well-developed problem-solving and communication skills
  • Experience leading support staff and volunteers.
  • Ability to prioritize and to manage multiple projects at once.
  • Enjoys working with the public

Other requirements:

  • A valid drivers license and have access to a vehicle
  • Able to work varied hours including weekends and evenings
  • A satisfactory criminal background check (CORI and SORI)
  • Must have or be willing to obtain adult and pediatric First Aid and CPR/AED training
  • Able and willing to work across a 33-acre site both indoors and outdoors in all types
    of weather
  • Ability to lift 40 lbs
  • Proof of vaccination against COVID-19

Salary and benefits:

  • Salary is competitive and commensurate with experience
  • %75 health plan coverage
  • 6% match in our retirement plan
  • Vacation time begins accruing immediately up to 80 hours in the first year
  • 23 holiday/sick/personal days annually
  • Blithewold membership, which includes reciprocal membership (through NARM) to over 1200 museums in the United States

How to Apply

Please send a resume, cover letter, writing sample, three program ideas with description to Tree Callanan, Director of Communications and Visitor Experience at [email protected]

Job Categories: Environmental. Job Types: Full-Time. Salaries: 40,000 - 60,000.

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