Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Quick Hit: Last Week to Apply for MuseumCamp... and Summer Internships at MAH

Dreaming of a summer filled with learning, community engagement, and sea lions? Time to stop dreaming and start doing.

This is the last week to apply for MuseumCamp 2014, a professional development experience in which diverse people from the arts, community activism, and social services will measure the immeasurable together. Our focus is on assessing social impact in communities, and we will encourage teams to look at complex outcomes--like safety, cohesion, compassion, and identity--that are not commonly covered in standard evaluative practices. We will do this by defining impacts of interest, identifying indicators of those impacts, developing creative ways to measure the indicators, actually doing the measurements, and reporting on the results. And we'll do this all in three days on July 30-August 2, 2014 in Santa Cruz, CA. The application period closes Friday, February 28... so get on it.

And, if you want to join us in Santa Cruz for more professional hijinks, consider an internship at the Santa Cruz Museum of Art & History. These internships all run from June 25 - Aug 26. There are seven different types available, and you are welcome to apply for more than one. Special additions this year include:
  • MuseumCamp internship. Bring out your closet camp director and help coordinate this killer professional development event.
  • Community Engagement internship. We're expanding our engagement with Latino families in our community, and we want your help with our first partnership in a multi-year effort.
  • Guerrilla Marketing internship. Want to cover the town in paper flowers with our street team? Yes you can.

All of these internships are unpaid. I know that is controversial, and believe me--we are well aware of the complexity of the issue. We offer unpaid internships for three reasons:
  1. We prefer to focus on developing paid opportunities for people who are in our community and can be a part of the museum for a long time. We have been slowly expanding paid entry-level positions here with a focus on local people from diverse backgrounds. We are also expanding paid opportunities for local artists. When we really thought about the options when it came to incremental dollars, we chose to spend them locally in this way.
  2. The demand is very high. We get many, many solicitations from people who would like to come intern, shadow, volunteer, etc. 
  3. We provide interns with opportunities to do real projects that (we think) they can't do anywhere else. We support our interns and their future careers both with the experiences they have here and relationships that stretch on after they leave. We feel strongly that we are following the requirement that unpaid interns get more than they give... though we prefer to think about it as a situation with shared benefits and sacrifices.
If you want to know more about what the intern experience is like at the MAH, check out their blog on Tumblr.

And finally, if you'll be at the California Association of Museums conference next week and you want to get together, please let me know.
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