MERCE CUNNINGHAM TRUST – AV ARCHIVIST

The Merce Cunningham Trust, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to furthering the legacy of visionary twentieth century artist Merce Cunningham, is hiring a part-time AV Archivist. The Trust, whose main activities include licensing Cunningham repertory, teaching his technique, holding workshops for dancers interested in his work, and creating new digital content also facilitates research around Cunningham and his creativity. Located at New York’s City Center, the Trust partners with organizations around the world in pursuing its mission to maintain and share Cunningham’s legacy with as broad and diverse an audience as possible. The Trust is overseen by nine Trustees who meet regularly.

This position oversees the extensive digital archives of the Trust, which include photographs, video files, written documents, and more. The Archivist is the main person responsible for upkeep of the archives through the Trust’s digital asset management system (DAMS). The Archivist negotiates, with the executive director, rights agreements and usages for some of the material. In addition, the position is the main coordinator for staff and researchers’ digital material needs, including work on the Trust Vimeo pages, transcoding of video and image formats, and working with the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, where the Cunningham archives are housed. The Archivist works closely with the executive director, the director of licensing, the program director, and the resident scholar in a coordinated effort to continuously make progress on Trust strategic goals and program delivery.

The main responsibilities of the AV Archivist include:

  • Overseeing the Merce Cunningham Media Archive and providing reference assistance for curators, scholars, and Trust staff

  • Ingesting and cataloging new acquisitions; transcoding access copies as needed

  • Managing assets and their associated metadata; overseeing data entry and consistency of metadata for Trust assets in the Trust DAMS

  • Communicating with IT staff and archive system programmers to ensure local system integrity, upkeep, and backup

  • Overseeing maintenance of Trust Dance Capsules and participating in the creation of new capsules

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  • Researching and acquiring films; negotiating licenses with rights holders to provide the broadest possible usage permissions

  • Providing access to Cunningham’s work including defining specifications for digitizing films

  • Liaising with the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts and its Cunningham Archives

  • Coordinating film distribution and streaming for the Trust

  • Providing in-house AV-tech support maintaining MCT YouTube and Vimeo pages and providing DVDs/music CDs/digital excerpts upon request

  • Editing video, photos, and digital documents when necessary

    The successful candidate must be able to work independently and, as necessary, remotely. This is a specialized position requiring specific knowledge and training in best practices and standards for archive management and maintenance. Skills in the following are required: Microsoft Word and Excel, Adobe Creative Cloud, Google Drive, Dropbox, Vimeo, and a high-level content management system (experience in Cantemo Portal will be very favorably looked upon).

    The Merce Cunningham Trust is committed to creating a diverse, welcoming, respectful environment and is proud to be an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, genetics, disability, age, or veteran status.

    The position is a part-time hourly non-exempt position that pays between $27.50 and $30.50 per hour for up to 15 hours per week. The archivist may participate in the Trust’s 403(b) plan.

    Interested candidates should forward a cover letter, resume, and three letters of reference to Ken Tabachnick, Executive Director, Merce Cunningham Trust, 130 West 56th Street, Suite 707, New York, NY 10019 or by email to: archivistjob@mercecunningham.org

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