Curatorial Assistant







Position Summary:

The Curatorial Assistant is responsible for administrative, research, archival, and curatorial assistance for the Cruising J-Town: Nikkei Car Culture in Southern California exhibition. Position is part-time for up to 24 hours a week. Includes weekend hours as needed to support the exhibition. Position is temporary with funding through May 31, 2024.

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Essential Duties and Responsibilities

  1. Provides administrative assistance to the project curator of the Cruising J-Town exhibition.
  2. Provide research assistance, including initial outreach and searching in archival repositories to identify collections and artifacts of interest.
  3. Assist with communications with other institutions in borrowing materials/archives.
  4. Assist curator and project team with developing a list of materials/artifacts for the exhibition.
  5. Coordinates and schedules interviews, onsite and offsite, with individual subjects identified by curator.

This list is not exhaustive and may be supplemented as necessary. Incumbent will perform related duties as assigned.

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities

Qualification Requirements

To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions outlined above.


Bachelors degree in History, Sociology, Asian American Studies/Ethnic Studies, or an equivalent combination of education and experience. A background in Library and Information Sciences is also preferred but equivalent experience in conducting archival research is also acceptable.


At least 1 year of experience with administrative task management. At least 1 year (or equivalent) experience with archival research. Must be a self-starter and able to multi-task and prioritize. Ability to work well under pressure to meet deadlines and complete assignments in a timely manner. Must have excellent organizational skills and be detail oriented. Professional email/phone manner is essential. Ability to work in a team-environment and be able to negotiate multiple perspectives and provide tangible solutions. Demonstrate commitment and flexibility at all times in order to ensure high quality service. Knowledge of car culture/history and/or Japanese American history and culture a plus.


Excellent communication and negotiation skills. Must be able to provide courteous and effective service to co-workers, volunteers, and the general public. Ability to read and comprehend documents such as safety rules, operating and maintenance instructions, and procedure manuals. Ability to write routine reports and correspondence. Ability to effectively present information in one-on-one and small group format.


Experience using MS Office, Google Suite, and spreadsheet software (Excel, Google Sheets, Numbers, etc.) is preferred. Knowledge of Slack and Asana beneficial.


Act on own initiative. Must be able to comply with institutional policies and procedures. Ability to apply common sense understanding to carry out instructions furnished in written, oral, or diagram form. Perform successfully when juggling and re-prioritizing multiple assignments in a fast-paced, changing work environment. Reliable follow-through on assigned projects in a complete, well conceived, and timely manner.


The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly required to use hands to finger, handle, or feel objects, tools, or controls. The employee frequently is required to talk or hear. The employee is occasionally required to stand, walk, sit, reach with hands and arms, climb or balance, and stoop, kneel, crouch, or crawl. 

The employee must occasionally lift and/or move up to 50 pounds. Specific vision abilities required by this job include close vision, distance vision, and the ability to adjust focus.


The work environment characteristics described here are representative of those the employee encounters while performing the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

The noise level in the work environment is usually moderate.

All Employees are required to be up to date on the COVID-19 vaccinations and boosted with the bivalent (Fall 2022) dose when eligible.


The Curatorial Assistant is a Part-Time, Temporary position with project funding through May 31, 2024. Please note, however, that this is an at-will position, meaning that your employment may be terminated at any time, with or without notice, and with or without cause. There is, in other words, no guarantee that you will be employed until any date in the future, including May 31, 2024.


Reports To: Vice President of Exhibitions and Art Director, C. Hanami and consults with Project Curator

Positions Supervised: None

Salary Range

$16.75 - 17 per hour DOE