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Jack LeSieur

 lesiur pic

Jack LeSieur

Director, Downing Museum

Bowling Green, KY

Graduated: 2014

 

Where do you currently work?

I am the Director at the Downing Museum in Bowling Green, KY. I came into this job actually through an internship that I did while working on the M.A. During the summer of 2013, I worked with Sandy Staebell, who is the Collections Curator at the Kentucky Museum, on a large textile collections inventory project. I began that summer inventorying quilts, but my internship took a completely different turn toward the middle of that summer. On June 27, we received a call informing us that the Downing Museum was on fire and we needed to go assist with removing artwork from the building. My time at the Kentucky Museum was reallocated so that I could assist in compiling a complete damage inventory of the Downing Museum's collection. A year later, after graduation, I came on board with the Jerry E. Baker Foundation as the Collection's Manager for the Downing Museum. Initially, my job was to facilitate efforts to ensure both short and long term preservation of the collection. In February of 2016, I stepped up as Interim Director of the Downing Museum and have served as Director since the summer of 2016.  

How has folklore prepared you for your career?

On the surface, learning the core tenants of historic preservation and museology were highly valuable and important aspects of my training, as well as learning to work with the variety of individuals that I've encountered in the small museum setting. I learned a great deal about museum education, exhibition, curation, and collection's management during my time at WKU. More importantly, studying folklore gave me the skills that have assisted me in establishing programs that expand the Jerry E. Baker Foundation's core value of community outreach. One of my main goals in my first year as director here at the Downing Museum has been to develop and implement a variety of art education programs geared to enrich the lives of all members of our community. Two of the most memorable groups that we've worked with include the Boys and Girls Club of Bowling Green and the WKU Intercultural Student Engagement Center. With each of these groups, we were able to demonstrate how art can provide a safe environment for self expression. To quote Henry Glassie, folklore deals with the "dynamic association of the ideas and individual creativity and collective order". Seeing these individual expressions and collective order working together as a dynamic force is very rewarding not only to myself, but more importantly, to the group. It allows for enrichment on both the personal and community level. 

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 Last Modified 11/22/16