Director of Visitor Experience

South Santa Barbara County
Santa Barbara
Full Time
Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation

Scope of Position

The Director of Visitor Experience is responsible for the content and quality of the visitor experience at El Presidio de Santa Bárbara State Historic Park and Casa de la Guerra. This includes managing and scheduling a team of Visitor Experience Assistants, developing and overseeing a visitor evaluation program, creating a visitor experience that meets SBTHP programmatic objectives, working closely with staff on the maintenance and planning for new exhibits, supporting the SBTHP Programs team for public and school programs on site, and managing site opening and closing, gift shop, and cash register during operational hours.


Duties & Responsibilities


Recruit, train, and manage a team of Assistant Interpreters who will serve as the primary public interface during regular hours of operation for SBTHP at El Presidio SHP and Casa de la Guerra. Duties include hiring and scheduling staff, delivering annual performance evaluations, and ensure accountability.  The Director will also develop and manage an ongoing program for professional development, and also coordinate with SBTHP Programs team for staff support for school and public programs.
Historic Site Interpretation

Under the guidance and supervision of the Associate Director for Public Engagement and in conjunction with related staff, develop an interactive orientation experience for visitors. Develop and manage other visitor programs like regular, guided park and Presidio Neighborhood tours, hands-on activities and dialogic programs. Train and manage staff to implement these activities.

Evaluation Program

Develop and implement a formative and summative evaluation program for the visitor experience and collect and report on visitor demographics and evaluations to appropriate staff and committees. Train Visitor Experience Assistants to help with this process.


Exhibit Maintenance and Site Care

Responsible for the Park and Casa opening and closing during public hours. Light cleaning of exhibit spaces, and assessment for maintenance needs in areas accessible to visitors. Assist staff with exhibit updates and planning.


Cash management

Handle cash and credit card transactions including admission and gift shop sales. Oversee accurate cash handling and reconciliation of cash register, and prepare daily sales closeout report.
Gift Shop/online gift shop sales

Plan and implement strategies for increasing sales and integrating the gift shop into museum operations.  Select, purchase, and display appropriate merchandise.  Manage and track inventory, conduct sales, stock merchandise.

Ensure reception duties are performed for both telephone and in-person contact during weekend public open hours at El Presidio SHP, and provide backup reception support to the Office Manager during regular business hours.

The Trust is a diverse organization with a small staff and many activities; all staff members must be versatile and cooperative in carrying out a variety of responsibilities and duties as assigned by the Executive Director.



Minimum two years’ experience in a comparable position required.  Degree in education, history, archaeology, or related field desired; graduate degree or coursework preferred.  Previous retail, cash-handling, and customer service experience preferred.  Requires strong oral, organizational and interpersonal skills, along with good office skills, including Excel, Square, and Wix platforms (preparedness to learn specific programs when direct experience is not available is desirable).  Outgoing and confident manner; leadership skills and the ability to work independently and collaboratively.  Demonstrated ability to perform well under pressure and deal with awkward situations. Proficiency in a second language is desirable. Must be available to work occasional evenings, weekends, and holidays.

Applicants with demonstrated experience that will support the implementation of SBTHP’s Diversity Equity and Inclusion Plan as well as the organization’s mission and values will be prioritized.


Start date



Typical schedule

To be determined with supervisor. Priority based on Park public hours (currently Thursday – Sunday 11AM – 4PM), and one weekend day worked a couple of times a month. Must be available to work weekends, and evenings and holidays on occasion.



$24/hour plus benefit package


Application Process

A complete application form, cover letter and resume are required. The cover letter should include a statement about how your experience will support implementation of SBTHP’s Diversity Equity and Inclusion Plan, and also support the organization’s mission and values. Please send application package to Kevin McGarry >> kevin@sbthp.org

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