Reagan Ranch Curator
LOCATION: SANTA BARBARA, CALIFORNIA
Young America’s Foundation is seeking a curator who will work to preserve and protect one of our country’s premier presidential properties, Rancho del Cielo, known across the globe as Ronald Reagan’s Western White House, as well as manage the archives and exhibits at the Reagan Ranch Center. The curator will work with YAF’s leadership and program team to advance the public outreach and educational impact of the Ranch and the Reagan Ranch Center. The ideal candidate will have a strong grounding in history, experience in preservation and curation, and a commitment to the mission and work of Young America’s Foundation. The candidate should also have excellent research, communication, and problem-solving skills and display enthusiasm for sharing the life and ideas of Ronald Reagan.
Projects will vary and will include:
- Managing unique and high value historic collections, both original artifacts from the Reagan Ranch and gifted collections (including letters, memorabilia, artwork, etc.)
- Preparing exhibits for display at the Reagan Ranch Center, Young America’s Foundation’s state-of-the-art museum located in downtown Santa Barbara, both using internal resources and working with exhibit design professionals
- Sharing the exhibit galleries and presidential home with students, key stakeholders, historians, and Reagan contemporaries, as well as developing creative approaches to marketing public visitation to the Exhibit Galleries at the Reagan Ranch Center
- Preserving artifacts from the Ranch and finding creative ways to protect original features on the property as they age
- Completing research projects that further the mission of Young America’s Foundation programs
- Conducting oral histories with those connected to the history of the Reagan presidency, the Ranch, and Young America’s Foundation
- Working with and managing dedicated corps of volunteer docents
This position is a unique opportunity to advance professionally within the field of curation, historic preservation, and non-profit work, and provides extensive growth potential.
- Collection Management
Management and preservation of original historic artifacts from the collections located at both the Reagan Ranch and the Reagan Ranch Center Archives. This includes monitoring and recording environmental conditions, assessing and addressing preservation issues, archives accessioning and cataloguing – all with the purpose of preserving Reagan Ranch history for future generations to enjoy.
Assess, monitor, and complete preservation needs and projects, working with YAF operations staff and outside consultants as necessary
- Volunteer & Intern Management
Manage Docent Volunteer program at the Reagan Ranch Center, coordinate volunteer assistance with Ranch tours and other events, and assign tasks, as appropriate, to interns
- Exhibit Design & Creation
Execute design and installation of rotating displays in the Reagan Ranch Center Education Galleries, making the best use of extensive archival collections, and work with design firms to create both traveling and permanent exhibits
- Tours & Oral Histories
Work with program team to arrange and lead tours of the Reagan Ranch and Reagan Ranch Center for classes and other student groups; host tours for academics, authors, and approved media; host Reagan administration members, Secret Service agents, and other contemporaries while conducting oral histories
- Research and Research Requests
Undertake research projects that will continue to expand YAF’s knowledge of the Reagan Ranch, Ronald Reagan’s life and presidency, and the Conservative Movement broadly; provide research support for YAF projects and special events highlighting significant anniversaries; respond to external research requests
The responsibilities above are not all-inclusive or limiting, and candidates are expected to help fulfill the mission of Young America’s Foundation and the Reagan Ranch project by working closely with YAF leadership and staff on institutional priorities.
- Committed to and enthusiastic about Young America’s Foundation’s mission and programs
- Self-motivated, resourceful, and flexible
- Ability to create excitement and energy around Young America’s Foundation’s exhibits and programs
- Persuasive, persistent, and determined in the pursuit of the organization’s goals
- Committed to ongoing education and training in the preservation and curatorial fields
- Excellent verbal and written communication skills, including some public speaking
College Degree required; a Masters in a related field preferred. Ideally, the candidate has fulfilled course curriculum in Museum-related Studies, American History Studies, and/or Education and has knowledge, or has interned in the field of historic preservation. Must be willing to research and work independently, as well as be a team player. Must be flexible and willing to assist with programs and special events throughout the year. Excellent communications skills required.
HOURS AND BENEFITS:
Full-time; salary commensurate with experience. Complete and very competitive benefits package offered.
YOUNG AMERICA’S FOUNDATION & THE REAGAN RANCH:
Young America’s Foundation is committed to ensuring that increasing numbers of young Americans understand and are inspired by the ideas of individual freedom, a strong national defense, free enterprise, and traditional values. Young America’s Foundation stepped forward to save the Reagan Ranch in 1998, acquiring the 688-acre property directly from the Reagan family. YAF has since worked to preserve it in perpetuity as a premier presidential home and as a living monument to Ronald Reagan, ensuring future generations are inspired by his lasting accomplishments. The mountaintop Ranch is enhanced by Young America’s Foundation’s Reagan Ranch Center—a 4-story, 22,000 square foot “schoolhouse for Reaganism” in downtown Santa Barbara.
There is no better place to understand Reagan’s principles, and his practical, down-to-earth manner, than at Rancho del Cielo, his “Ranch in the Sky” – a counterpoint to the busy pace of Washington, D.C. Rancho del Cielo conveys the true spirit of Reagan – for it is at the Ranch that you meet Ronald Reagan, the man.
Please submit a comprehensive resume with full work history and organization affiliations/involvement, references, and a cover letter to Andrew Coffin, Director of the Reagan Ranch.
Applications may be submitted by email:
Or, hard copies mailed to:
The Reagan Ranch Center
217 State Street
Santa Barbara, California 93101
While we thank all applicants in advance for their interest in this position, we are only able to contact those to whom we can offer an interview. Only complete and direct applications will be considered. No phone calls, please.