February 5, 2010

In the News: Civil Rights Museum Opens in North Carolina

Did you know that February is Black History Month? It’s also the 50th anniversary of the Greensboro, North Carolina Woolworth lunch counter sit-ins that helped to launch the Civil Rights moments.

The confluence of these two events has is the perfect setting for the inauguration of the new International Civil Rights Center and Museum, opened Monday in the original Woolworth’s building. (Blending historical sites with museum artifacts is an established trend; the Lorraine hotel in Memphis, where Dr. Martin Luther King was assassinated in 1968, is the National Civil Rights Museum.)

On February 1, 1960, four black college students sat down at the “whites only” lunch counter and ordered a cup of coffee and a piece of apple pie. They weren’t served, but they refused to leave. Within five days, the four students were joined by 1,000 other protesters. Within six months, the Woolworth counter had been desegregated.

This first sit-in battleground will now house a collection artifacts and data about the Civil Rights movement, including the original stools sat on by those four students.

So, why am I telling you about this new museum in North Carolina? Because the JobMonkey recently launched a new section about working in museums. From being the curator of a civil rights museum to taking tickets at your local zoo, working at a museum (which, for our purposes, includes museums, zoos and aquariums) offers a huge range of possibilities.

A few of the job titles at traditional museums include:




Business Manager

Tour Guide / Docent


Development Director (and staff)

Marketing Manager (and staff)

Exhibit Director (and staff)

IT Director (and staff)

Membership administrator



Gift shop manager (and staff)

Café manager (and staff)

Not only is there a wide variety, but there is also steady stream of museum jobs, which is especially good news in this economy. More Americans attend zoos and museums each year than any other type of attraction (except for movie theaters). In fact, Chicago’s Sun Times recently reported that despite the recession, Chicago area museums and zoos “saw a 7 percent overall jump in attendance from 2008 to 2009.”

Have you ever worked at a museum? Tell us about your experience!

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