Wenham Museum

Executive Director


The Wenham Museum, located in Wenham, Massachusetts, is a treasured, century-old cultural institution with a rich legacy of preserving and sharing local history and culture. Its mission centers on celebrating childhood, interpreting history, and exploring culture to enrich generations in the North Shore community and beyond. Founded in 1921 with the preservation of the Claflin-Gerrish-Richards House, the museum evolved over the decades, culminating in its incorporation in 1952 and undergoing significant renovation and expansion between 1996 and 1997. In 2023, the museum celebrated its 100th anniversary, marking a milestone in its journey. The museum envisions a vibrant second century, aiming to become a more distinctive and visible cultural resource for local and regional audiences. Through its comprehensive exhibits, family-centered, educational programs, and community outreach initiatives, the Wenham Museum has become a cornerstone of historical preservation and learning in the region. Its commitment to accessibility and inclusivity ensures that everyone, regardless of background or age, can participate in and benefit from its offerings.

Led by a dedicated staff and invaluable volunteers, the Wenham Museum continues to honor its values of excellence, curiosity, and innovation. Its Bennett E. Merry Train Gallery is a perennial favorite for train fans of all ages, showcasing 21 trains that can be operated at the push of a button. Recent exhibits include “Celebrating a Century: Our Stories and Yours,” which featured objects, textiles, and historic documents that explored themes of children and family, community, philanthropy, citizenship, and justice. The museum’s strategic partnerships and collaborations, such as the National Black Doll Museum of History and Culture’s visiting exhibition, further enhance its impact, allowing the museum to reach broader audiences and create meaningful experiences for all. Recently, the Wenham Museum acquired the Patton Archives, containing artifacts and multigenerational family stories of deeply rooted historical significance from the time of the Revolutionary War to the present day. With a focus on continuous improvement and adaptation to evolving needs, the Wenham Museum remains committed to preserving the past, celebrating the present, and shaping the future for generations to come.

The Wenham Museum is governed by a Board of Trustees, currently led by Michael S. Lucy as President. The staff comprises two full-time and four part-time employees and a corps of long-time, dedicated volunteers. For the 2023 fiscal year, annual revenues were $1.6 million with approximately $1.2 million from contributions and grants, reflecting a successful 100th anniversary fundraising campaign, and $240,000 in earned revenue. For the 2024 fiscal year, the total annual revenue and expenses are budgeted at $865,000.


Wenham, Massachusetts, nestled in Essex County, blends rich history, educational excellence, and a strong sense of community with natural beauty, making it an enticing choice for those seeking a balanced lifestyle in the dynamic Greater Boston area. From its founding in 1635 to its incorporation in 1643, Wenham has preserved its rural charm while embracing contemporary living. Scenic farmlands, serene lakes, and lush woodlands create a tranquil backdrop, complemented by winding roads bordered by ancient stone walls.

Education flourishes in Wenham's vibrant community, boasting an exceptional regional school system shared with nearby Hamilton. Gordon College anchors a culture of learning and innovation, while the Wenham Village Improvement Society enriches the town through scholarships and inclusive events like the beloved "Free Lunch for Voters." Collaboration with the Town of Hamilton enhances Wenham's offerings, including top-notch schools and shared library resources. The area boasts abundant green spaces and parks such as the J.C. Phillips Nature Reserve, Brandley Palmer State Park, Mass Audubon’s Ipswich Wildlife Sanctuary, and Pine and Hemlock Knoll, managed by the Trustees of Reservations. While property taxes reflect the town's dedication to quality services, the result is a well-maintained infrastructure and a high quality of life.

Wenham's tight knit community cherishes its roots while embracing progress. The charming town center, with its historic homes and welcoming locals, offers a timeless New England experience. Despite its peaceful atmosphere, Wenham's proximity to Salem and Boston (a mere 22 miles away), ensures effortless access to urban amenities via commuter rail.

Sources: www.wenhamma.gov, www.wenhamma.gov, northofboston.org

Position Summary

The Wenham Museum seeks an experienced Executive Director to lead its team and advance its mission of preserving and sharing local history and culture. The Executive Director will oversee all museum operations, including financial management, community outreach, staff leadership, and strategic planning. The ideal leader will possess a hands-on approach, financial acumen, strong leadership skills, and a passion for engaging with diverse audiences. Working in alignment with a Board of Trustees, the Executive Director will be responsible for maintaining the museum's visibility within the community, fostering positive relationships with stakeholders, and ensuring the museum’s continued growth and success.

Roles and Responsibilities

Strategic and Administrative Leadership

  • Preserve, develop, and sustain the Wenham Museum’s unique historical collections and exhibitions, engaging both internal and external partners and resources.
  • Build new and revise existing policies and procedures to accept receiving financial contributions, including in-kind bequests.
  • Foster a supportive environment where staff feel valued and motivated to contribute to the museum's success.
  • Maintain professional standards and pursue initiatives in alignment with professional museum organizations such as the American Alliance of Museums.
  • Attract, hire, train, retain, and supervise both paid and volunteer staff, prioritizing a positive work culture and empowering team members.
  • Engage in a hands-on approach to museum operations, assisting with day-to-day tasks and ensuring flexibility in roles among paid and volunteer staff members.
  • Invest strategically in facilities maintenance, addressing preservation needs while ensuring compliance with safety standards.
  • Embrace other strategic and administrative leadership responsibilities, as needed.

Financial Management and Donor Cultivation

  • Collaborate with staff, board of trustees, and donors in fundraising initiatives and strategies to meaningfully increase revenue from gifts, memberships, special events, and admissions.
  • Oversee annual operating and capital budgeting processes, collaborating with staff, board, and volunteers to both ensure proper resourcing and maintaining fiscal responsibility.
  • Obtain consensus for and drive periodic capital campaign(s) and annual fund-raising activities.
  • Explore and identify opportunities to grow and diversify sources of earned revenue which may include seeking grants and awards at the local, state, and federal level, and through collaboration with regional museums and other institutions.
  • Embrace other financial management and donor cultivation responsibilities, as needed.

Civic and Community Engagement

  • Advocate as the face and voice of the organization within the community and amplify its mission at the local, regional, and national networks.
  • Develop an active, annual marketing calendar and robust public relations campaign, as well as expand the Museum’s dynamic website content to reflect and connect with all audiences.
  • Increase the organization’s visibility and relevance through participation in civic functions, community celebrations, conferences, and partnerships with other institutions.
  • Foster new and strengthen existing community relationships to support ongoing operations and strategic initiatives.
  • Sustain and deepen working relationships with local and state government agencies, legislators and public and private museums, universities, and related professional organizations to enhance appreciation for Wenham Museum’s visibility, importance, and unique collections.
  • Advance programming and initiatives to increase opportunities and access for local schools and new visitors of all ages and backgrounds locally, regionally, and nationally.
  • Embrace other responsibilities civic and community engagement, as needed.

Traits and Characteristics

The next Executive Director at the Wenham Museum requires a broad range of people skills. Strengths will include practical thinking and systems judgment, an openness and desire to grow in understanding others, and role awareness. The next leader will be versatile and navigate change capably, ensuring the safety of staff and the continuity of the organization. The job thrives on a harmonious, collaborative, resourceful, and open-to-new-ideas approach. The ideal Executive Director navigates interpersonal dynamics adeptly, makes strategic decisions, and embraces collaboration and innovation, recognizing the experience and contributions of staff while exploring opportunities to apply their collective expertise and maximize the organization’s reach and impact.

Other key competencies include:

  • Leadership and Personal Accountability – Organize and influence others to align with a vision while creating a shared sense of purpose and direction while staying answerable for personal actions.
  • Customer Focus – Anticipating, meeting, and/or exceeding visitor and community needs, wants, and expectations.
  • Project Management – Identifying, prioritizing, and overseeing all resources, tasks, systems, and people to obtain results.
  • Problem Solving, Creativity, and Innovation – Define, analyze, and diagnose key components of a problem to formulate solutions while creating new approaches, designs, processes, technologies, and/or systems to achieve desired results.


Five years of hands-on, leadership role(s), demonstrating proven success in fundraising, programming, and relationship building in a nonprofit organization is essential. Demonstrated comprehensive revenue building skills. Experience navigating change and inspiring a high-achieving team of museum and arts education professionals and volunteers is required. Extensive experience in financial and operational management is crucial. In addition to exceptional verbal and written communication skills, a profound and demonstrated commitment to creating welcoming, accessible, and safe spaces is required.

Compensation and Benefits

The anticipated salary range for this role is $85,000 to $100,000. The compensation package includes four weeks of paid vacation, accrued sick time (in accordance with Massachusetts law), and voluntary short-term disability, accidental injury, and cancer insurance programs.

Applications and Inquiries

To submit a cover letter and resume with a summary of demonstrable accomplishments, please click here or visit artsconsulting.com/opensearches. For questions or general inquiries about this job opportunity, please contact:

Dat Ngo (he/him/his)

Arts Consulting Group logo.
1030 15th Street NW, Suite 283
Washington, DC 20005-1500
Tel (888) 234.4236 Ext. 235
Email WenhamMuseum@ArtsConsulting.com
The Wenham Museum eagerly welcomes diverse perspectives and talents to enhance our team, ensuring all qualified applicants are considered regardless of race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, age, or disability. We are committed to finding the ideal candidate and appreciate those from non-traditional backgrounds. Your unique experiences and skills are valued; we encourage you to apply and showcase how you can contribute to our mission.

Click here for the downloadable PDF.

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