The Vice President of Museum Experience is responsible for developing strategy and vision for the full, start-to-finish Cayton Children’s Museum visitor experience, including programs and guest services. The position plays a crucial role in shaping the organization’s success, impact, and reputation by ensuring quality, mission-driven programming and excellence in hospitality and guest experience. As a member of the executive leadership team, the Vice President of Museum Experience is an essential player in the development of organizational priorities and goals, and in supporting the staff in understanding and successfully executing on those goals. 


  • Lead long-range planning, decision-making, and innovation around Cayton programming, ensuring meaningful impact and sustainability, as well as alignment with and achievement of organizational mission, vision, and both operational and revenue goals.
  • Evaluate and refine existing programs and develop new and enhanced programming that activates museum exhibits, fosters meaningful staff engagement with guests, and demonstrates best practices in children’s museum programming, equity and access in play, and creativity and play as a tool for learning, building empathy, increasing connection, and celebrating diversity and shared community.  
  • Lead strategic and creative direction for the Cayton’s visitor experience, including guest services and admission, membership, events and parties, and retail store, all with a goal of increasing visitor satisfaction and loyalty, maximizing revenue potential, and building lifelong supporters of the museum.
  • Guide program and visitor experience staff in data collection, reporting, and analysis related to museum performance measurements, and lead strategic decision-making informed by that data.
  • Build out the Museum Experience team as needed and as resources permit; train, supervise and mentor staff; empower and support their leadership and professional development; provide clear direction on vision and expectations; and foster teamwork within and across teams.
  • Develop clear and measurable departmental outcome objectives and evaluation systems.
  • Act as a representative of the organization and an ambassador of our program vision with community partners, schools, supporters, and the public.
  • Collaborate with development department on funding proposals, reporting and stewardship, and with the marketing team on outreach to support museum activities.
  • Work with the operations and accounting team to develop annual department budgets and oversee the implementation of and adherence to these budgets, seeking to maximize efficiency and optimize revenue.
  • Provide training content and expertise to support staff professional development and institutional knowledge on substantive issues related to our work.
  • Serve as a member of the staff executive leadership team, work closely with leadership from all other departments to ensure smooth cross-team collaboration, communicate with the Board of Directors on program-related governance issues, and participate in organization-wide planning for growth and change. 
  • Other duties as needed. 


  • 15+ years’ experience in program design, planning, evaluation, and management.
  • Bachelor’s degree, plus graduate degree and/or extensive experience in museum programming, early childhood education, child development, or related field.
  • Demonstrated understanding of best practices in museum operations, hospitality, membership, and sales.
  • Proven leadership and people management skills, including the ability to clearly articulate a vision and strategy that motivates others to action.
  • Ability to simultaneously balance strategic, long-range, ambitious planning, with short-term objectives and an understanding of practical realities and available resources.
  • Experience developing and managing complex and collaborative programs, partnerships, and initiatives, including creating clear, measurable goals, ambitious but realistic revenue plans, and implementation plans that are efficient and impactful.
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office and other standard office software systems.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills.
  • Creative and strategic problem-solving abilities, a growth mindset, and grace under pressure.
  • Great interpersonal skills and ability to represent the organization and work with diverse staff, Board, volunteers, and vendors.
  • Adaptability, nimbleness, and ability and willingness to jump in and do what it takes to get the job done, and to motivate a team to do the same.
  • Commitment to the mission, vision, values, and leadership agreements of the Cayton Children’s Museum. 


The person in this position must be able to: 

  • Move about inside the office and museum space to access file cabinets, office machinery, storage shelves, exhibits, etc.
  • Lift up to 20 lbs.
  • Communicate via telephone, video conference, email and in-person.
  • Move about for sustained periods of time while overseeing and participating in program activities. 


  • Annual salary of $125,000-150,000, depending on experience.
  • 32-hour work week!
  • Health, dental, vision, life, and disability insurance.
  • Retirement plan after one year; 401k with 4% employer match.
  • Health and childcare flexible spending accounts.
  • Vacation and sick days; paid holidays.
  • Commuter benefits.
  • A friendly work environment with a passion for PLAY!
  • Plus, more. 


The Vice President of Museum Experience is a full-time, exempt position with a four-day, 32-hour regular workweek. The typical schedule will be Tuesday - Friday, with some evenings and weekends as needed. Schedule may vary and flexibility and responsiveness are required as our museum and staff operate seven days a week. Our team works fully in-person in our offices at the museum in Santa Monica.  


The Cayton Children’s Museum’s mission is to activate the power of play to enrich the lives of children and their families, build stronger and more connected communities, and create a better world. We envision a world where all children, and the adults they grow up to be, experience the transformational and lifelong benefits of abundant, creative, and purposeful play. Our experiential, immersive play and values-based programming foster connection and creativity in children ages 0-8, both in our museum space and out in the community.

The Cayton Children’s Museum is an Equal Opportunity Employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, gender identity, sexual orientation, pregnancy, disability, political affiliation, marital or family status, age, military service, or other non-merit factor. 

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