London, UK
Friday Late programme curator and coordinator
at the Victoria and Albert Museum

There is an opportunity for a programme curator and coordinator to join the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. 

We are seeking a full-time curator and coordinator to manage V&A’s programme of curated Friday Late events. The successful candidate will oversee ten events on the last Friday of the month per year, from creative planning to logistical coordination. They will have a passion for and experience of planning cultural events for the public and be able to undertake a busy workload, coordinating external collaborators and V&A staff as well as handling programme budgets.

Working in the department of design, architecture and digital, the successful candidate will be a self-starter, confident in managing a wide variety of collaborators within and beyond the museum, will have a problem-solving attitude and the desire to develop broad contacts in London’s creative community and beyond.

The V&A Friday Late began in 1999, establishing the original format for museum late-night events, celebrating all aspects of contemporary visual culture and design in society by bringing audiences face-to-face with leading and emerging artists and designers through live performance, film, installation, debate DJs and exhibition openings.

Job description 

Job title: Friday Late programme curator and coordinator
Division: collections
Department/section: design, architecture and digital
Reporting to: senior curator of design and digital


The V&A Friday Late began in 1999, establishing the original format for museum Late-night events, celebrating all aspects of contemporary visual culture by bringing emerging practitioners in design, art, performance and technology into the museum experience.

Purpose of job

The Friday Late curator and coordinator is responsible for conceiving and delivering a programme of 10 events per year on the last Friday evening of each month for 3,000 – 6,000 visitors. The role is autonomous, creatively driven and very practical. The post is based in the design architecture and digital -DAD department and the postholder is tasked with delivering a curated programme of events that aligns with the wider interests of this collections department. As a team, DAD is motivated by the civic role of the museum in contemporary society, and works to collect and exhibit objects, and host events that tell stories about design and public life.

Planning each Friday Late happens in three stages:

Developing content – research curatorial themes, approach participants/call-out for proposals, engage participants based on proposals, commission programme design.

Arrange logistics and deliver event – oversee realisation of commissions, organise and communicate schedule and budget allocations, consider and act on AV and health and safety requirements; oversee and manage event including participants and event assistants, installation and de-installation

Follow-up – record event content for communication, archiving and record keeping purposes, process payments and thank participants.

The most important operational aspect of this role is leading communication amongst a range of internal V&A teams, including curatorial departments, visitor services -front of house and security staff, learning and bookings staff, marketing and development for sponsorship and social media, and cleaning and technical services.

Main tasks

  • research and conceive curatorial content for the Friday Late programme across the year to meet and expand the curatorial ambitions of the design, architecture and digital department
  • research, conceive and commission content for each individual Friday Late working with designers and practitioners across the creative practices, as well as museum colleagues where appropriate, to realise events that appeal to new, young and diverse audiences
  • write, edit and format programme text, oversee and meet text deadlines for printed programme, What’s On listings, web and social media
  • meet all artists and contributors to develop content and agree placements, brief on the possibilities and restraints of creating and working within the Museum context
  • liaise with V&A curators on permission for use of gallery spaces within the Museum; book rooms and gallery spaces using Museum booking systems
  • liaise with commissioned designers and illustrators and Museum design and marketing teams in the preparation of the printed programme, web and social media content
  • chair Friday Late project team meetings and brief all participants, assistants and Museum colleagues prior, during and after individual events
  • manage the Friday Late programme assistant and work collaboratively to realise and deliver the Late programme. Manage event assistants in liaison with the Friday Late programme assistant prior, during and after each Friday Late
  • devise an installation and de-installation schedule and work rota for assistants. Order or rent AV equipment and general supplies where necessary. Ensure visitor services, security teams are aware of and approve the use of spaces. Liaise with the museum café managers on operation of bars and use of meal and drink vouchers
  • independently manage the Friday Late budget; raise purchase orders and pay invoices with the assistance of the DAD departmental administrator as appropriate
  • assess the risk of contractors and ensure they hold the correct public liability insurance where necessary; liaise closely with health and safety on all details of each programme and provide relevant risk assessments
  • be committed to health and safety and ensure familiarity with all of the Museum’s health and safety policies and procedures
  • be security conscious, ensure familiarity and co-operation with all Museum security procedures and ensure you wear a security pass at all times when on Museum premises
  • promote equality and diversity in all aspects of your work by developing and maintaining positive working relationships, ensuring that colleagues are treated fairly and with respect/dignity and actively contributing to developments that support the museum’s strategy for widening access, inclusion and diversity
  • carry out ad hoc duties as requested by appropriate managers within your department

Person specification 

Essential requirements

  • a degree/or equivalent professional experience in design, architecture, music, film, performance or visual arts, with excellent general knowledge of both local and international contemporary design and visual culture
  • experience of having successfully curated and organised design and art-related events for public audiences
  • able to plan events in quick succession, and planning ahead for future Friday Lates
  • relationship management – able to anticipate issues, pay attention to the needs and expectations of participants, collaborators and visitors
  • experience with managing a budget and invoicing systems
  • able to organise your time and the time of others well
  • able to inspire and lead groups of participants and assistants
  • able to communicate effectively, good writing and interpersonal skills
  • capable of recognising priorities, able to mine the expertise and good will of others
  • comfortable making decisions independently; confident, assertive, and cooperative

Desirable requirements

  • willingness to develop projects that may not be your primary area of interest
  • experience of working with a diverse range of audiences
  • experience of working with or within a large cultural institution

Apply for this postion 

To apply for this job, follow this link to the Victoria and Albert Museum vacancies site. Cover letters and CVs will not be accepted.

Previous job

Experienced Part-III architect
at Paul Vick Architects

Next job

Part-II architectural assistant/architect
at Gibson Thornley

Click here
to post
a job advert
from just £100