MCAAD is seeking script writing and editing support for exhibit text, including both graphic and digital content. This contract role will support a multidisciplinary curatorial team who have outlined content across all exhibition galleries and will work closely with that team to confirm final script matches the curatorial intent.
MCAAD exhibits content features a blend of personal first-person stories, and educational content around the four pillars. The former’s goal is primarily to help visitors connect and be inspired by people who have achieved or are working towards the American Dream. The latter’s is to offer a greater understanding of the foundations that make up the Dream as well as tools and context to open greater possibility. MCAAD is also a tech-forward experience and will feature several new digital interactives.
This role will play a key role in crafting language that is approachable, conversational and clear, as well as speak with a consistent voice. It will also support the content and editorial team in ensuring exhibit script hierarchy conveys the main messages. It will edit, proof, and copywrite depending on the form of the content, and work closely with content team to put text into recommended hierarchical structure to share with graphic designers. The role will also edit for word counts for various label formats. Finally, it will support the content team in proofing and reviewing and recommending changes to final graphic designs as provided by outside designers reflect the intent and are easy to understand.
Depending on expertise, the role may also be asked to support script writing for UX for MCAAD’s digital interactives, alongside MCAAD’s digital production team, to ensure clear and consistent tone and flow for the visitor.
Main responsibilities include:
- Transforming preliminary draft script into final print-ready text, working with curators to ensure content conveys key messages in the graphic hierarchy, and uses language that is both approachable and precise.
- Editing existing text for tone, voice, and word count. Ensure a singular voice across all MCAAD content, based on direction of MCAAD content leadership. Edit text to ensure it is clear and concise, while still accurate, and that it fits word counts and headline/content structures
- Proofread all text for grammar, spelling, and other details
- Work iteratively and collaboratively with the exhibit team
- Incorporate 2-3 rounds of formal review in each space
- Review all text with an eye for diversity, equity, and inclusion. Revise text in line with recommendations from external accessibility consultant.
Edit/copywrite/proof (all numbers approximate):
- Hall of Generations – 50 labels (10-50 words)
- Wayfinding labels (throughout complex) – 15 panels (5-15 words)
- Hall of Dreams – 25 labels (20-40 words)
- Foundations gallery – 50 labels/instructional text (20-40 words) + 100 short bios (Tapestry, 50-75 words) + 30 object captions (10-30 words)
- Vault corridor – 20 panels (75-100 words) + 20 image captions (10-20 words)
- Finance gallery – 30 panels (100-125 words) + 15-20 object labels and captions (10-30 words) + 5 panels of rail content (30-50 words)
Review: Approximately 15-20 digital interactive screens
Initial test labels for tone, etc
The ideal candidate will:
- Have at least 5-8 years experience working in museums or cultural institutions in a writing, communications, or exhibit development capacity
- Experience writing across varied content types, style and tones, and audience
- Experience working as consultant with complex stakeholder matrix of approvals
- Experience with both traditional graphic labels as well as online-based content and digital scripts for visitor UX interactives
- Be able to work with complex topics and edit to ensure it is presented with simple engaging text, approachable for a variety of ages and backgrounds
- Be able to write in an engaging, informal, tone
This role will be a contract role anticipated to start in fall 2023 and extend through fall 2024. Hours are anticipated to vary, between 5 to 20 hours per week depending on the phase of the project. Work can be done remotely.
MCAAD believes our differences make us stronger and recognizes that careers take many paths. We are committed to creating an inclusive and supportive working environment for people of all backgrounds, including a dedicated focus on diversity, equity, accessibility, and inclusion.
Please submit resume and 4-6 writing samples of varying lengths of related materials that demonstrate an ability to write with this context. Ideally samples would include a mix of: short biographies of a person, wayfinding or similar functional text, instructional/activity text, and didactic content.
The Milken Center for Advancing the American Dream (MCAAD) is a new type of cultural center, located on historic Pennsylvania Avenue across from the White House, in the heart of Washington, D.C. Our mission is to advance economic and social mobility in the U.S. and around the world, through inspirational stories and catalyzing solutions. We believe the ideal at the heart of the American Dream speaks to the aspirations of people everywhere: No matter who you are or where you come from, you should have equal opportunity to create a thriving, prosperous life. We aim to inspire visitors to discover and pursue their own dreams, find their path, and achieve their goals.
MCAAD’s purpose is to explore the ideas and vision of the American Dream as a powerful driving force for people everywhere. We view the Dream through the lens of four foundational pillars: education, health and wellbeing, economic freedom, and an entrepreneurial mindset. We are a nonpartisan destination for people from different backgrounds and beliefs to discover new possibilities, forge connections, and spark the type of dynamic and thoughtful conversation that leads to meaningful action.
MCAAD’s physical home, with a planned opening beginning in late 2024, is a remarkable renovation of several 120-year-old historic bank buildings, including Riggs Bank, known as the “Bank of Presidents.” The Center’s main halls are in the National Register of Historic Places, and our stewardship of the property—along with adjacent buildings on 15th St NW—will showcase and honor the history of these buildings while adapting them for re-use as a state-of-the-art Center with immersive exhibit galleries.
Within the Center, the galleries will be devoted to celebrating and exploring the idea of the American Dream and our four pillars, featuring cutting-edge experiences blending learning, design, technology, and interactivity to create a sense of inspiration for visitors of all ages. Our exhibits showcase stories of people who followed their passion and made a difference in the world, highlighting individual stories of struggle and triumph in defining and achieving the American Dream. From inventors and entrepreneurs to educators and activists, they will celebrate the diversity and creativity of the American spirit and those who have triumphed to realize their American Dream.
MCAAD will also feature a state-of-the-art theater, a holodeck, and an atrium with café. The entire six-building complex spans nearly 300,000 square feet and will also include a conference center, recording and broadcast studios, and the Washington, D.C., headquarters of the Milken Institute.