Read more to find out how things have been going!
What I do
I'm currently in the Public Programs Office; I'm working on an assortment of projects along with staffing evening events. Most projects are small internal paper work things, organizing things in Excel, or helping with the Family Days. I kind of want to work through a few mini-classes in Excel. My experience with tutoring and teaching has been really useful for prepping for the Family Days. I think the most exciting part of the internship is staffing the events: it gives you a real sense of the role the museum plays in the community.
Where I am
I'm in the Public Programs Office, External Affairs. The Public Programs Office is really great. Everyone is super friendly at the Smithsonian. That was one of the first things that struck me about the environment. But this office just goes beyond, filled with enthusiastic and cheerful people. I'm amazed by the scope of these women's work: they do so many programs for the American Art and Renwick. And there are just five of them!
The space itself is an office in the Smithsonian American Art Museum offices in the Victor Building and the museum itself, which is right across the street. This is all right outside of the Gallery/Chinatown metro stop; I just ride the yellow line straight in. I also sometimes make my way to the other Smithsonian museums for research, trainings, special events, or just for my own pleasure.
What I'm learning
I'm trying to take the time this summer to learn as much as I can about the Smithsonian and it's programs. I want to leave with a strong understanding of how museums organize themselves and how individuals can best help a museum. I'd love to see how my understanding of the museum's role for the community changes as I help to staff events rather than just attend them as a guest.
I also want to learn more about professional development; I feel very disconnected at MIT since we don't have a strong program for Art History or Studio Art. Hopefully, I can take the resources and people to find out and connect to the career of conservation.
Why I'm sharing
I'm going to start writing about my internship; I do want to give it a little bit of time so that I can process my experiences and deliver the best information. Also, there is the consideration of privacy and respecting the museum. I doubt that any posts on proper attire or behavior would brush against that, but I need the time to go over things and make sure they are fully in line with the museum's policies.
I might also write about interesting things that are in the museum's catalogue. As I do research, I come across all sorts of neat little gems within the catalogues. Not to mention that it would help to expand my knowledge and yours too!