Interpretive Specialist (Intern) - Holland Museum

Department:      Education

Reports to:         Education and Volunteer Coordinator


A $800 stipend will be paid upon successful completion of the internship. Housing is not included as part of this internship.

Basic Purpose

At the Holland Museum, we strive to share the stories behind the historic objects in our collection and encourage our visitors to make personal connections with the people and places of the past. This position will be responsible for supporting that goal through skilled historic interpretation and daily positive interaction with visitors. This position will also contribute to the museum’s knowledge of the past through historic research and the development of new interpretive tours, programs, and displays, specifically at the historic Cappon House and Settlers House sites.

Built by Holland’s first mayor, Isaac Cappon, in 1874, the Cappon House was a testament to the will of early Holland residents. Just three years prior, Mr. Cappon’s first home and his tannery business had been destroyed in the Great Fire of 1871 that had also decimated over two-thirds of the city of Holland. His new home was designed and built to exacting standards.

Mr. Cappon was married twice and had 16 children, many of whom grew up in the Cappon House. One of his youngest daughters, Lavina Cappon, lived in the house her entire life and ultimately donated it to the City of Holland so it could become a museum.

Now one of the Holland Museum’s historic properties, the Cappon House needs updated research on the Cappon family and children, as well as revised, interactive interpretation to help meet our goal of making history exciting, relevant, and accessible to all.

Responsibilities and Accountabilities

  • Greet and interact with museum visitors in an open, friendly manner.
  • Interpret historic events and facts for a wide range of audiences, from early childhood through retirees, in groups of 1 to 30.
  • Staff all operating hours at the historic Cappon House site, as well as additional office hours as assigned.
  • Perform tours, assist visitors as a docent, and assist with public programs on occasion and/or when requested.
  • Perform historic research using sources from archival documents, Internet databases, etc.
  • Generate reports, tour scripts, etc. as assigned based on findings from historic research.
  • Maintain a professional demeanor, including during training sessions and with other staff and volunteers.
  • Perform a variety of other administrative and clerical functions in support of the department’s mission including: assisting with correspondence; coordinating mass mailings; preparing materials for tours, programs, and exhibits, etc.
  • Act as part of a Summer Intern Council that will tackle issues of cultural importance for the community that the Museum serves. The Council will be guided by the Museum staff to complete a project that will develop leadership and communication skills. Responsibilities include:
  • Look for opportunities to address issues that require cross functional skills, creative problem solving, relationship building, and an understanding of the greater organizational strategy of the Museum.
  • Meet with other interns over the course of the summer to develop sub teams and plans to address the project(s) they have chosen.
  • Commit to roughly 5 hours of work for the Council per week.
  • Sub teams will report back to the museum staff to present results of project(s) at the end of the summer.
  • Other duties as requested or assigned.

Education and Experience

High school diploma or equivalent required. Must be currently enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate degree program, or a recent graduate. Demonstrated experience performing historic research in an academic setting. One to three years’ experience working in customer service.

Job Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities

- Must have exceptional customer service and communication (verbal and written) skills.
- Willingness to learn, a “can do” mentality.
- Creative, with analytical and problem-solving skills.
- Able to work independently and follow through on tasks to completion.
- Ability to work with a diverse public and a diverse workforce.
- Ability to perform physical tasks (lift 30 lbs.) with physical mobility and ability to climb stairs.
- Demonstrated computer proficiency, including an excellent working knowledge of Microsoft Windows/Mac OS, email, the Internet, etc.

Work Schedule

15-20 hours per week. Must be available to work on Fridays and Saturdays.


A $800 stipend will be paid upon successful completion of the internship. Housing is not included as part of this internship.

To Apply

Submit cover letter, resume, and the names and contact information for three professional references to Lexie White, Education and Volunteer Coordinator, at Review of applications will begin immediately. Applications will be accepted until the position is filled.

Posted on MMA website 2/17/2020


Michigan Museums Association       313-334-7643       PO Box 5246, Cheboygan, MI 49721

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