Coordinator of Educational Programming & Community Outreach
Kentucky Museum of Art and Craft, Louisville, KY
Where do you currently work?
In my job as Coordinator of Educational Programming and Community Outreach at the Kentucky Museum of Art and Craft, I initiate, coordinate, and implement all of our public programs in the Education Department and community, including youth and adult workshops, classes, lectures, field trips, camps, mobile museums, and off-site collaborations. I work closely with a variety of community members, especially with schools, teachers, teaching artists, community centers, local church organizations, grassroots organizations, city and state arts councils, and nonprofits. One of my main goals here is to extend our programming to a wider community, increasing access to arts-rich experiences for all. In a museum where the bulk of our permanent collection consists of folk art, I have been fortunate to serve as an in-house folklorist.
I also recruit, train, and inspire (hopefully) docents and volunteers who become an integral part of our organization. Moreover, I'm responsible for all public relations and communications related to the Education Department, including our blog, printings, press releases, grant writing, website, brochures, photo documentation, and more. Each day is different and exciting!
How has folklore prepared you for your career?
Folk studies at WKU prepared me with skills to build and maintain relationships with a variety of constituents, and helped me understand how best to serve a community. Working as the Assistant Project Coordinator for the Allen County Folklife and Oral History Project prepared me for knocking on doors and documenting aspects of culture that the community deems important. Additionally, professional development preparation at WKU readied me for a lifetime of participating in professional societies (like the American Folklore Society) and activities to stay up to date on current trends, research, and best practices. All of my courses in the graduate folk studies program prepared me for the motivation, determination, and skills required for community program development.