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Smithsonian Folkways Job - Spanish "highly desired"


Smithsonian Folkways Recordings is looking for a talented, creative, experienced, and proactive person with ethnomusicology, web technology, writing, and interpersonal skills to serve as Web Program Specialist to create, solicit, coordinate, and edit content for its websites. This position is located in the Smithsonian Folkways Recordings (SFR) division of the Smithsonian Institution’s Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage (CFCH) unit in Washington, D.C. The position functions as Web Content Development specialist for the Smithsonian Folkways Recordings and Smithsonian Global Sound (SGS) websites, www.folkways.si.edu and www.smithsonianglobalsound.org, and additionally as Financial Development Assistant to the Director & Curator of Smithsonian Folkways. It is a Smithsonian trust fund position, supported mainly by earned revenues and grants, and is based in Washington, D.C. The Smithsonian Institution is an equal opportunity employer.

Major job duties and requirements are described below. Applicants should send a statement of interest and qualifications no longer than 1,000 words and a resume to Smithsonian Folkways Director & Curator Dr. Daniel E. Sheehy at sheehyd@si.edu or Smithsonian Folkways, P.O. Box 37012, MRC 520, Washington, DC 20013-7012. Electronic submission is preferred. Application review will commence July 1, 2008. Employment would begin as soon as possible after selection has been made.


The major duties of this position are three-fold:

1) under the general guidance of the Director & Curator of SFR and its SGS initiative, independently initiates efforts to develop new content for the SFR/SGS websites; employing research skills and drawing from a broad knowledge of the world’s musical cultures, conceives and writes engaging thematic and multi-media “articles” for the website, e.g., a feature on harp music around the world, diverse dance musics of Southeast Asia, or women’s changing role in traditional music; performs secondary research on the SFR/SGS audio content and related materials; using ethnomusicological knowledge and approaches to music and culture, creates engaging new “albums” that cut across diverse albums in the collections, developing compilations of audio tracks elaborating specific themes; provides creative, collaborative feedback in response to content suggestions from curators and other content providers; employs web technology skills and familiarity with a wide range of musical cultures to!
function as managing editor of the upcoming Smithsonian GlobalSound e-magazine; edits content created by others; publishes content to the SFR/SGS websites; coordinates CFCH curators and other personnel in developing appropriate content; and, in collaboration with the SGS Technical Director and the Director of Marketing & Sales, ensures that the SGS content is maintained, updated, and marketed. [Approximately 60% of time]

2) works pro-actively with educators, educator networks, and education organizations to facilitate the development of culturally diverse educational materials, such as lesson plans, utilizing SFR/SGS content, and to facilitate their placement and availability on the SFR/SGS websites. Works to build and strengthen SFR/SGS connections to educators and educational institutions, via the SGS TNT (Teacher-Nexus-Teacher) network. Employs knowledge of web social networking to build broad-based teacher affinity groups. [Approximately 20% of time]

3) works closely with the Director & Curator and other appropriate CFCH staff in fundraising efforts to advance the missions and programs of SFR and SGS, including researching funding possibilities to match programmatic initiatives, drafting and tracking funding requests, and coordinating fundraising tasks with relevant persons within and outside the Smithsonian. [Approximately 20% of time]


An understanding and appreciation of the Folkways collections in its widely diverse cultural, stylistic, and historical context is required in order to carry out the duties of creating new “music exhibitions” on the SFR/SGS website and other content to be developed by curators, outside experts, and institutional partner archives, distributors, and collaborators.

A broad understanding of musical cultures worldwide and of the needs and opportunities for their utilization for educational purposes is necessary in order to facilitate the development of appropriate content by and for educators. At least a Master’s degree in ethnomusicology or closely related field and bilingual ability in Spanish and English are highly desired.

In order to create effective and visually engaging content for the website and its upcoming Smithsonian GlobalSound e-magazine, and in order to effectively reach a broad audience with its content, expertise in internet use is required, including knowledge of major search engines, new-media trends, social networking, music/video downloads, and podcasting and other web 2.0 applications, and with the ability to use effectively a range of computer software programs in order to create, edit, and publish text, audio, images, and moving images to the SFR/SGS website. Preferred programs include Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, and Powerpoint), web publishing software, media players, RSS, multiple browsers (Internet Explorer, Mozilla, Safari), and, at an intermediate level, html (ability to format content for web publishing, including text formatting, image formatting, hyperlinks, and tables), and database functions.

Knowledge of fundraising principles, entailing the ability to identify potential funding sources, to draft funding solicitations, and to track fundraising efforts accurately, are required in order to secure adequate financial support for a wide range of projects carried out by Smithsonian Folkways, as well as to provide timely and accurate reports to funders.

Strong interpersonal skills and the ability to communicate clearly and effectively both orally and in writing to a variety of constituents are required in order to relate to and organize a wide range of collaborators, including staff, curators, outside cultural experts, educators, institutional partner archives, corporate and foundation funders, artists, and others. This includes knowledge of a variety of formats required for reports, memoranda, correspondence, correct manner of address, spelling, punctuation and grammar to identify errors and type material in final format.

Recruitment is for a position to begin at the IS-9, Step 1 level (currently $48,108, plus standard Smithsonian benefits), with the potential for advancement to the IS-11 level.

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