Director of Media Arts Center




Media Arts Center





Position Summary:

The media arts are a transformative means of expression and the Museum founders made a visionary commitment to integrating moving images into exhibitions, educational programs, and outreach. An in-house media arts center accomplished the goal of providing JANM with a wide range of broadcast-quality, digital productions and services at a fraction of the expense of outside contractors and insured a creative process that is highly informed, resourceful, responsive, and accountable to JANM staff.

The Director of the Frank H. Watase Media Arts Center is responsible for the administration, management, and creative productions of the Center. The Director will work closely with other JANM units—including Exhibitions, Production, Public Programs, Education, Collections, Marketing, Development, and the Store—to provide leadership and guidance of programs undertaken by these units. As a member of Senior Management, the Director of Media Arts will work towards the full integration and implementation of Programs, Development, Marketing, and Administration.


Essential Duties and Responsibilities

  1. Oversees and coordinates the productions, operations, and services of the Watase Media Arts Center. 
  2. Directs, produces, shoots, and/or edits select Media Arts Center productions, on time and within budget.
  3. Provides creative direction for productions of the Media Arts Center staff.
  4. Hires, instructs, and supervises MAC staff, contractors, interns, and volunteers in creative, technical, and administrative areas and provides professional guidance and support of performance evaluation goals for direct reports. 
  5. Develops and oversees annual budget, work plan, and goals for unit and coordinates unit with other JANM departments.
  6. Acts as the primary producer and point of contact on collaborative and contracted media projects with outside institutions and individuals.
  7. As a member of the Programs/Exhibitions Committee, participates in the long-range planning of exhibitions, programs, stand-alone media productions, and website media, and participates in setting goals and strategies related to programs.
  8. Represents and promotes the Watase Media Arts Center and JANM externally in local, regional, and national activities such as screenings, film festivals, conferences, and outreach activities.
  9. Participates in the development and creation of JANM’s new Core Story exhibition.
  10. Produces video interviews for JANM’s Life History Program, in collaboration with Discover Nikkei and Development.
  11. Produces media products in collaboration with other departments that support revenue generation for JANM.
  12. Plans, coordinates, and produces media components for JANM’s Gala fundraiser, for both in-person and virtual events.
  13. Serves on the Directors Committee and participates in the development and implementation of institution-wide policies and procedures. Integrates the Media Arts Center’s goals, objectives, and work plan with enterprise-wide goals and objectives.
  14. Works with Development to author media-related grants that maximize resources and increase the Museum’s visibility and reputation, and that are in alignment with JANM’s strategic plans. Assists Grants Manager with narrative and budget for media-related grants and provides work samples for reports to funders.
  15. Staff members must be able to work with visitors of all ages to support the various events sponsored by JANM. Each staff member will be expected to work on a minimum of three museum-wide events per year: 
    • JANM’s Gala and Online Auction—(off-site) typically held in the Spring (April-May) 
    • Oshogatsu Family Festival (January)
    • Natsumatsuri Family Festival (August)

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 as outlined above. 


Bachelors degree in Media Production, Education, or English; Master of Fine Arts in Media Production preferred, or an equivalent combination of education and experience. Familiarity with Japanese American and Asian American communities.


At least 10 years of production and/or non-profit management experience. Three years of direct supervisory experience and experience working in a museum desired. Willingness to learn and apply new skills. Ability to multi-task and prioritize. Ability to work well under pressure to meet deadlines. Excellent organizational skills and be detail-oriented. Professional phone manner is essential. Ability to work in a team-environment, be a self-starter. Demonstrate commitment and flexibility at all times in order to ensure high quality service. Knowledge of Japanese American National Museum’s mission, projects, exhibitions, and events. Must be up-to-date on all of above. Also, a working knowledge of Japanese American history and the Japanese American community required. Important to know current events in the Japanese American and Asian American communities.


Has excellent communication and negotiation skills. Must be able to provide courteous and effective service to co-workers, volunteers, and the general public. Is able to read, write, and comprehend routine reports and correspondence, including safety rules, operating and maintenance instructions, and procedural manuals. Is able to effectively present information in one-on-one and small group format and large group format.  


Computer literate, Internet savvy, and experience with Apple Macintosh systems and software (Photoshop, AfterEffects, Final Cut Pro) and MS Word, Excel, and PowerPoint essential. Accuracy and attention to detail are essential.


Ability to calculate figures and amounts such as discounts, interest, proportions, percentages, area, circumference, and volume.  Ability to apply concepts of basic algebra and geometry.


Ability to act on own initiative, making consistently sound decisions. Must be able to comply with institutional policies and procedures. Perform successfully when juggling and re-prioritizing multiple assignments in a fast-paced, changing work environment. Is able to apply common sense understanding to carry out instructions furnished in written, oral, or diagram form.  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 40 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.

Employees working on site are required to be fully vaccinated and boosted for COVID-19 when eligible.


The Director of Media Arts Center is a regular, full-time position. 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 be employed until any date in the future.


Reports To: Chief Operating Officer

Positions Supervised: Media Arts Specialist, Media Arts Assistant, Consultants, Interns, and Unit Volunteers