Director, Connecticut Cultural Heritage Arts Program (CCHAP)

Organization Name Connecticut Historical Society
Organization URL
Submission Deadline 20180504
Job Type Full Time
Contact Email Address
Contact Phone Number

Director, Connecticut Cultural Heritage Arts Program (CCHAP)

Reports toChief Curator & COO

Department: Curatorial Office  (Collections, Exhibitions, Education and Folklife departments & marketing efforts)

Program Overview

The Connecticut Cultural Heritage Arts Program (CCHAP) Director oversees the planning, development, funding, implementation, and evaluation of this statewide folk and traditional arts program. CCHAP was created at the Institute for Community Research in 1991 to document the state’s rich and diverse cultural traditions and to share the excellent artistic work and community experiences of folk artists living here. In 2015, CCHAP became an initiative of the Connecticut Historical Society. CCHAP helps to express and enhance community cultural vitality through transforming research material (observations, recorded interviews, collection of artistic histories and music) into activities of interest to audiences. Commitment to authenticity of cultural representation and inclusion of members of the communities in research and program development are fundamental characteristics of CCHAP’s projects.

The program’s activities contribute to greater public understanding of Connecticut’s history, cultural character, and changing demographics, in line with the CHS mission Connecting you and the story of Connecticut. CCHAP partners with artists and their communities to record their traditional art forms and cultural practices, provides technical assistance that strengthens their resources, and develops public presentations that bring traditional artists and the stories of their communities to new audiences. Part of a nationwide network of public folklore programs, CCHAP serves as Connecticut’s official folk arts program with support from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Connecticut Office of the Arts/DECD, the Greater Hartford Arts Council, the Connecticut Humanities Council, and several local foundations. The program’s activities include (but are not limited to): fieldwork with Connecticut artists and communities; documentation through photography, videography, and oral history interviews; exhibits; publications; public programming such as gallery talks, workshops, artist demonstrations and performances, panel discussions; educational presentations; services to artists; information services to the public; collaborative initiatives; and special projects.

The Director builds and fosters relationships of trust with community groups and organizations; local colleges, universities and schools; artists, performers, and tradition bearers; scholars and community historians; cultural leaders; and related affinity groups. These mutual partnerships help to gather research and information, develop collaborative programming, and assist community-based artists to tell their stories and sustain their heritage while also increasing awareness of CHS and its programs. S/he works collaboratively with all departments and personnel at CHS to insure that the needs and interests of CHS members and other constituents are balanced and met.

Duties and Responsibilities:

Core CCHAP Work

  • Conduct fieldwork across Connecticut to identify traditional or occupational artists and communities; documentation of their community and artistic practices
  • Offer useful technical assistance to the artists/communities that helps them continue their cultural practices
  • Maintain the Southern New England Traditional Arts Program with colleagues in RI and MA
  • Collaborate with other organizations on projects that promote CCHAP constituents
  • Offer information services on Connecticut culturally diverse communities and artists to the public and organizations.

Programming & Exhibitions

  • In collaboration with the CHS Education department, the CCHAP Director will develop educational presentations for schools and other learning venues, as well as public activities that respond to artist and community cultural needs while contributing to CHS public programming
  • Work with CHS colleagues to identify folk artists, community scholars, cultural leaders, folklorists and ethnomusicologists, arts specialists, or performers for possible programs.
  • Carry out evaluation of the program and analyze the results to help the CHS improve its programs and services.
  • Work collaboratively with the Director of Exhibitions & Collections and the Curatorial Office staff to develop exhibitions that meet the needs and interests of diverse audiences.

 Financial Responsibilities

  • Develop and manage annual program budgets.
  • Apply for a variety of Federal, State and private foundation grants and manage the grants including relevant reporting
  • Work with CHS staff to raise funds for the program
  • Write reports or create presentations for funders, staff, or the Board upon request.

Other Institutional Responsibilities

  • Work with the Curatorial Office to incorporate the CCHAP archival materials into the CHS collections.
  • Work with the Curatorial Office and marketing resources to promote and market the program and its activities through traditional media, brochures/rack cards, the org website, online media and calendars, social media, e-blasts, and other appropriate tools.
  • Provide additional institution-wide support as necessary


  • Advanced degree in Folklore, Anthropology, Ethnomusicology, American Studies, or related field
  • Minimum of at least five years in a similar public sector folk arts program management position
  • Flexibility and creativity
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and ability to make and foster connections with people from diverse backgrounds and a wide range of community organizations and other institutions
  • Academic, research, fieldwork and oral history/interviewing skills and experience
  • Willingness to collaborate with members of cultural groups that may not be fluent English speakers
  • Track record of successful grant seeking and grants management
  • Superior writing and communication abilities, including public speaking
  • Ability to work collaboratively as well as independently, managing multiple priorities
  • Experience with collecting and managing archival materials
  • Knowledge of current trends and best practices in the public sector folklore field with museum field knowledge a plus
  • Reliability and personal organization to ensure that all commitments are met
  • Willingness to travel throughout the state and region

Hours: 35 hours/week year-round, some flexibility in schedule absolutely necessary; mostly weekdays (regular schedule of 5 days/week); at least one Saturday/month and some evenings (generally not more than 2-3 per month)

Salary: Commensurate with experience, range – mid $50,000 – mid $60,000 per year.

Excellent benefits package including health insurance, dental insurance, retirement plan and other benefits.

Anticipated start date:  August 6, 2018

To apply please send the following materials by May 4, 2018:

  • Cover letter that describes qualifications, experience, and reason for applying
  • A resumé or curriculum vitae
  • Three references with phone numbers and email addresses

Shortlisted candidates will be asked to send writing samples and other samples of folklore-related work, and will be invited for an on-site interview.

Materials should be sent to (email preferred):

Ilene Frank
Chief Curator and COO
Connecticut Historical Society
1 Elizabeth St.
Hartford CT 06105