Costumed Interperters




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The Tenement Museum is seeking to hire Part-Time Costumed Interpreters/Educators. 

About the Museum: 

Founded in 1988, the Tenement Museum tells the uniquely American stories of migration in the ongoing creation of the United States.  We interpret the stories of European immigrants of the late 1800’s and early 1900’s and the stories of more recent immigrants from China and migrants from Puerto Rico.  In 2021, we began programs that interpret African American and Black history and experiences in Lower Manhattan. The museum is housed in two historic buildings located on Orchard Street in the Lower East Side of Manhattan. Guided by an Educator, visitors can hear the stories of the former tenants of Orchard Street and surrounding area, explore the neighborhood through walking tours or visit from afar on our virtual programs   

The Museum seeks dynamic storytellers from all backgrounds and abilities to join our Part-time Costumed Interpreter/Educator community. Because the museum is accessible via guided tour only, Educators are the face of the museum and interact with thousands of visitors from across generations and the globe. 

Position Description:  

Costumed Interpreterportray several real people who lived in the Museum’s historic tenement building at 97 Orchard Street, as part of the Museum’s Meet the Residents programming, which includes public tours and school group programs for visitors of all ages, backgrounds, and abilities. Most regularly, they will portray Victoria Confino, a fourteen-year-old Sephardic Jew from Kastoria (in modern-day Greece) who lived in the building in 1916.  

As a Part-time Educator you will lead public tours and school group programs for visitors of all ages, backgrounds, and abilities in 97 and 103 Orchard Street, the Museum’s historic tenement buildings, nearby satellite locations, as well as neighborhood walking tours. Our tours focus on narrative history, storytelling, and visitor engagement. You are an enthusiastic and engaging storyteller who is interested in history, migration, and related contemporary issues. You are committed to visitor engagement, flexible and creative in adjusting your tour to meet the needs of visitors and are interested in working with children and teens.  

The starting pay rate for Part-time Educators is $20.00 per hour, with a $1 increase after learning your first Costumed Interpreter role. Benefits include pre-tax transit passes, and matched contributions to the Museum’s pension plan. This is a unionized, non-exempt position.  

As a Costumed Interpreter/Educator you will: 

  • Provide an inclusive museum experience for all visitors and exhibit a genuine desire to work in a front-facing education role  
  • Engage visitors of all backgrounds and ages in interactive tour experiences  
  • Utilize onsite time wisely studying tour materials in preparation for paid training sessions 
  • Commit to learning multiple programs in a short period of time 
  • Maintain open and professional communication with managers 
  • Attend mandatory meetings including a monthly educator meeting on the evening of the third Tuesday each month  


  • Acting, performing, and teaching experience is strongly preferred. 
  • An eligible candidate should be comfortable with storytelling and interacting in character to generate visitor participation. The candidate should also be very comfortable with improvisation and speaking with an accent. 
  • A candidate should demonstrate a commitment to creating believable, fully-realized characters using the background and training materials compiled by the Museum, and to achieving the educational objectives of the programs. In character, the Costumed Interpreter will conduct tours that invite visitors to engage emotionally and critically with issues and themes related to the history of immigration, daily tenement life, religion and culture.  
  • Candidates must be available to work a set schedule of two weekdays and one weekend day per week.  
  • Applicants should also expect to work holiday hours as needed (the museum is closed only on New Year’s Day, Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas Day).  
  • Applicants fluent in English and one or more of the following languages are strongly encouraged to apply: Cantonese, Fujianese, Mandarin, and Spanish. 
  • Individuals with experience in museum or K-12 education, or with ELL teaching experience are encouraged to apply and will be given preference.  
  • Experience teaching virtually is a plus. 
  • Applicants with at least a high school diploma, a GED, or relevant experience are preferred. 
  • Proof of full vaccination and booster is required. 

Physical Considerations 

Applicants must feel confident ascending/descending multiple flights of stairs daily, and feel comfortable standing for long periods of time. 

As some of our historic spaces have minimal climate control, and our walking tours go into the neighborhood daily, applicants must be prepared to work in all weather conditions. 

How to Apply: 

Please submit your resume and cover letter via our career portal.  In your cover letter tell us why you want to work as an Educator at the museum, how your experience is relevant, and why you feel connected to the work we do here.  Applications without a cover letter will not be reviewed.