Students fill many part-time paid positions at the museum. Work-study students are welcome.

Gallery Guides lead tours of the museum for K-12 students, adult groups and the public. Students must commit to 3 semesters. Recruiting is done at the end of the spring semester. If interested contact, Associate Curator of Education, Jessica Kay Ruhle (jessica.ruhle@duke.edu).

Periodically, work-study positions are available with specific museum departments, including curatorial, education, membership, registrar, special events and public affairs. For information about possible openings, contact Michelle Seymour michelle.seymour@duke.edu or 919-668-0603.

Security guards patrol the galleries to ensure the protection of artwork, report safety violations, and answer visitors’ questions during business hours, including weekends, and for evening events. If interested, contact Protection Services Manager, Sgt. Jimmie Jones (jimmie.jones@duke.edu) or 919-684-3352.

For general information on application and hiring procedures, please contact Michelle Seymour michelle.seymour@duke.edu or 919-668-0603.

Special Events Manager

Occupational Summary

Develop, organize and manage a wide variety of special events and rentals at the Nasher Museum of Art to provide cultivation and stewardship of major donors, support the exhibition and educational missions of the museum, attract unique audiences and increase revenues for the museum.

Work Performed:

Under the direction of the director of development, propose, manage and implement special event programs for the museum. Coordinate and oversee receptions for exhibition openings, lecture series, and other public relations events. Develop and implement event programs and plans for highest level donors, including, but not limited to, local and national board meetings, director’s previews, artist and lenders dinners, alumni receptions and annual benefit gala.

Manage and oversee all aspects of facility rental sales and operations including correspondence with client, vendor, and security liaison; pricing and billing; staffing for on-site support. Serve as the liaison between museum and the Nasher Café. Serve as bridge from the museum to other university departments, including dialogue with the university registrar on use of classroom spaces in museum. Work with museum director and development director on choice of external clients.

Lead strategic programming initiatives to drive exhibition ticket sales, member engagement, museum attendance and café revenues. Analyze current programs and design/refine in order to enhance attendance, fiscal responsibility and cultivation and stewardship of major donors. Assist in determining fiscal requirements and preparation of annual budget. Track expenses and revenue to meet annual budget targets.

Manage off-campus Nasher events in major art locations (Los Angeles, New York, Miami, New Orleans). Lead site selection and preparation, conduct site visits, negotiate contracts, coordinate support services and vendors, and exercise judgment to determine feasibility for use in future events.

Key Responsibilities include

  • Supervise team of part-time special events specialists.
  • Serve as team leader for special programs with museum staff
  • Coordinate all event activities with colleagues, support staff, students, interns and volunteers.
  • Manage print and electronic event communications, attendee RSVP and registration.
  • Design, source and create event décor and select entertainment.
  • Negotiate contracts with museum’s approved caterers.
  • Coordinate master events calendar for all special events, rentals, and university classes held in the museum auditorium, and the classrooms.
  • Maintain inventory of special event equipment and furniture.
  • Oversee museum café operation.

Perform other related duties incidental to the work described herein.

The above statements describe the general nature and level of work being performed by individuals assigned to this classification. This is not intended to be an exhaustive list of all responsibilities and duties required of personnel so classified.

Required Qualifications at this Level

This position requires night and weekend hours.


Must be able to stand for long periods of time

Must be able to lift and/or move at least 25 pounds


Work requires communications, analytical and organizational skills generally acquired through completion of a bachelor’s degree program.

Work requires five years of experience in events management, sales and promotions, fund raising, or a related field.

Position requires a senior-level professional with direct experience, discretion, strategic thinking and polish.

Job Level:  12
Job Family: 34- External Affairs

Requisition Number: 401041975

Please send letter of interest, resume and contact information for three references to: Nasher Special Events Program Director Search Committee, Nasher Museum of Art, Box 90732, Durham, NC 27708.  Candidates must also apply via req#401041975 at hr.duke.edu/jobs/apply/


ARTHIST 310 is a practicum at the Nasher Museum designed to provide professional museum experience as well as an opportunity to explore the museum and its operations from a variety of viewpoints.  Students must be available for a total commitment of 6 hours/week: the one-hour weekly seminar with museum staff, plus 5 hours working in an assigned department (schedule to be arranged between the student and supervising staff). Interns may be assigned to the following departments: curatorial, academic programs, museum education, development/external relations, registrar/collections management, or communications/marketing. NOTE: only one student each semester will be assigned to the curatorial department.

Want to learn about museum career paths? Find out more.

Students are evaluated on their work in their assigned departments, participation in the weekly seminar, and the completion of short, written assignments: a blog post, artwork spotlight, and exhibition analysis. Grades are assigned by the supervising staff in consultation with the Academic Program Coordinator.

To apply for the internship send a resumé and cover letter with a statement of interest, including first and second choices for departments and how a museum internship furthers your career goals, to Marianne Wardle, Andrew W. Mellon Coordinator of Academic Programs (marianne.wardle@duke.edu). Students will be interviewed by the pertinent museum department, and if selected will be given a permission number to enroll.


Duke students can apply for paid internship positions or funds to support internships at other museums:

Note: The deadline for the Peggy Guggenheim internship has passed. All other internship applications should be submitted by April 20, 2015.


Volunteer opportunities at the Nasher Museum are open to those aged 16 years and older.

The museum does not have a volunteer coordinator on staff, therefore volunteer requests are handled exclusively via e-mail.

Volunteer opportunities include, but are not limited to:

  • Helping children with craft projects during our free Family Days
  • Staffing the information desk on our free Thursday evenings
  • Representing the museum at local festivals and fairs
  • Stuffing envelopes
  • Data entry
  • Miscellaneous office support

Please join the Nasher volunteers e-mail listserv to receive updates on volunteer opportunities. Send an e-mail to sympa@duke.edu with “subscribe nasher-volunteers” in the subject (not the body) of the e-mail (without the quotation marks).

When volunteers are needed, announcements will be made via e-mail through the listserv and you will be asked to directly contact the appropriate museum staff member.