Well today is my last day at the Children's Museum. I cannot believe it is already over, this summer has flown by! Just in a small reflection, I have learned a great deal here. I have thoroughly enjoyed my experience. Not only have I met fabulous people and gotten a chance to work with them, I gained lifelong skills that extend farther than just a part time job or even a possible career. I have coordinated birthday parties and talked with parents, talked to different media outlets and promoted our events, gone to offsite events to promote the museum and do art activities with kids, Organized and put together school lists information for promotion of camps and classes, learned to work the front desk and the gift shop, updated social media via facebook and twitter and attended many speaker series, board meetings, marketing meetings etc. It really makes you think what if I worked in a non-profit??
Sometimes the tradeoff is considered. Would you rather have a more open schedule and the time off to spend with family and getting paid a little less than a for profit company? or the other way around. The first one is beginning to sound more appealing! So we will see where I would go with this. Hopefully on the other end I will be able to see the other side and intern at a for profit to experience that. Then I will have a better idea of what is to come!
Well, thanks so much for listening and following this summer, hope that you found some information you thought was helpful if not in the work setting but real life.
Offsites, Meetings and a little bit of Development thrown in!
Once again, my apologies for the late response to updating my blog. However, this gives me a great opportunity to catch everyone up to speed on whatís been going on around here.I guess letís just start from where we left off a few weeks ago. As I described in my last post, that coming weekend I was to go to the Savor the Summer Event for Farm Bureau. This event went very well as we had a kids corner/family friendly large space where we set up three different art projects for the kids. These were farm stamps on colored paper, paper bag hats, and tissue paper flowers. We also had once again face painting set up and this time we had little tractors that kids could ride around in. It was an event inside, so there was air conditioning and they had amazing food and vendors, so that after setting up/ when we were done we could walk around and try samples and check out everything. Sarah the birthday party coordinator, Haley the junior marketing intern, Kate the graphics intern and I all ran our tables, with the help of 4-5 volunteers. We were pretty steadily busy the whole time so it was fun to be at this offsite event and be a part of it. I have included some photos of this event!!
One of the events that I was actually very nervous about was attending the Richmond Tourism Summit Meetingheld at the Virginia Historical Society on July 28th. When my supervisor Suzie approached me about this, she explained that she had a meeting that day and would like me to attend this summit in her place. I was super nervous not only because I am extremely directionally challenged but because I often am not the person to be very independent and go to these sort of things on my own. I tend to over think and over-complicate many of these occurrences! Luckily, as always I went to the meeting and it was very interesting as many businesses in the Virginia Metropolitan area gathered to listen to keynote speakers, presentations and panel discussions made by many honorable associates of the state of Virginia. The keynote speaker was Mr. Alex Nyerges from the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts which gave a very interesting speech with slideshow about the importance of tourism to the many fine historical places available in Richmond. Although I felt that most of the presentation was meant for restaurants and hotels, there was still some great feedback that I was getting from many people all throughout Virginia about ways to keep people wanting to travel here not just within the US but internationally as well. It was a great experience and I am glad that I just kept an open mind and got to represent the Childrenís Museum and be a part of it.
Also this week, we had another Speaker Series with Meredith Timberlake who is the director of our art programs and the art studio here at the museum.These are one of my favorite things we have done as I think I have said because it not only gives us an excuse for free lunch for all the interns and employees involved but it is a great way to find out the inner workings of each personís day to day work in their given department.I always knew that Meredith was an incredible artist and had great ideas that I saw in the art studio every day, but never knew how much she was really involved in and how many connections she had with fellow artists in the Richmond area. It is always a treat to hear about how someone started out when they were exiting college and how many experiences and jobs they have had up until this point.
Other than that, in between all of these events have just been day to day office duties. Some of the smaller projects I have been working on have been updating our online sites throughout all of Richmond for our fall and winter events which has taken a while!! I have also been in the process of compiling some of the volunteers questionnaires in order to eventually work with Kate the graphics intern in creating the Volunteers Spotlight mini posters and bioís that will have the volunteerís picture and be posted around the museum. Another new opportunity that has been brought to me is starting to work in the development department for my last couple of weeks, since Amber the development intern has left for school. This will be a great outlet to learn about one of the most important and valuable sectors of the non-profit world. This is all about how the museum raises money so we can do all the great things we are doing like remodeling and updating the exhibits to make them better and safer. It will be a bit of a switch from the marketing and events but I am sure an interesting and valuable one.
Sorry it has been awhile, things have been beyond crazy here at work.Some of the specific events such as our second Target Night last Friday, as well as coordinating the volunteers for an offsite event called Christmas in July held last Saturday at Short Pump Town Center. This event in particular was an interesting one in which bands and businesses in the Richmond area gathered to promote the area Food Bank. Among some artists that were popular with the kids were Hope Harris and boy did she wear a fun outfit, I think that she will be coming to the museum at some point to supply her musical talents! She was a big hit with the kids. Hopefully I will be able to show you some pictures from the event if I can get them uploaded in the next couple days. That day, I probably tried to get pictures with every mascotÖ I guess the inner kid came out in me! That is the great think about the Childrenís Museum, you are able to have that aspect shine through and be creative in daily projects. I can tell that most of the staff members have their own child creativity that shines through in their work.. not sure if that makes sense but we are going to go with it!
Switching gears a bit, this weekend we are participating in another event called Savor thesummer for Farm Bureau that will be held in Doswell, aka the country, where my sister lives in the middle of nowhere! For some of you that may not know that, itís near Kings Dominion but that is probably one of the only main attractions I know of there. This event like many others we participate in will consist of setting up a table and having multiple art projects that we will do with the kids at the event! Kids get very excited and run to the table and then quickly run away when they see that I have zero artistic abilityÖ well they donít run away but you catch my drift. All I have to say is that for the good of all the guests at the event, I better not be face painting!
I am hoping that everyone had a relaxing and enjoyable 4th of July weekend! I spent mine actually working all day Saturday and Sunday at my other job of about four for this summer, hostessing at Ruby Tuesday in Ashland haha (come visit me if you are in the area!). Before I switched over to hostessing for the whole weekend, I had one last event to finish up the week at my internship before I would be off Saturday- Monday. This past Friday, I went to Genworth Financials 27th Annual Independence Day Concert to represent the Childrenís Museum. Our booth was face painting and paper hat making with the kids. I had never been to this event and did not realize how many people would be attending. I was a bit nervous considering that I have absolutely NO artistic ability/ my little amount is probably comparable to a small child! I have literally never been asked to do face painting so it was going to be a challenge, and I think people thought I was more artistic being an Arts Management Major even though my major for me had more to do with visual arts rather than drawing and painting.
When meeting the rest of the crew at the event around 4pm to set up even though the event did not start until 6:30! We had an opportunity to get some bonding time in. I found out that the other intern Logan, who is working as a Guest Services Associate also had no artistic ability. So I began to feel better knowing that both of us would be experimenting with our lack of art talent! I also found out that the two ladies who work in the art studio of the museum had connections to my hometown in upstate New York, which is very rare. One of them had lived there a few years back, and the other is dating a guy that is from there! What a small world! It was fun to talk about some of our favorite places in my hometown and the memories we have from there, especially since I will not be going home until the end of the summer.
Also, while we were waiting for the event to start, the men operating the moon bounces needed test runners, so we were able to have some fun on those before the event started and all the kids swarmed in. Let me tell you, it is a good thing we had some time to relax beforehand because once 6pm hit it was non-stop face painting from 6 to 9. I probably painted 50 + American Flags on kids faces which I was lucky with most because of the patriotic theme of the event that most kids I could recommend flags or red/white/blue stars and they were so thrilled! Other kids asked for strange things like Abraham Lincoln, Scars, and Dragonís destroying a castle. Letís just say that my attempts were scary and resembled nothing of those sorts whatsoever.
Handing over the events and getting on with the marketing
This week hasnít been as crazy as the past couple. However, there are some pretty exciting things that happened that were new and also challenges. Firstly, I have been continuing to be the birthday party and event coordinator for the past couple of weeks due to the hiring of a new person. Her name is Sarah Goldstein, and she started this Thursday. For coming into a very fast pace job I felt very confident when I met her that she was going to do a great job. She is organized, friendly and very knowledgeable about children, especially in the early childhood education topics. Starting on Thursday, I sat down with her and went over everything I had learned and taught myself the last couple of weeks when I temporarily took on the position.I felt really bad because I was just rattling off information for what seemed like an hour and she probably was so lost just as I was when my supervisor did the same thing for me. Scheduling birthday parties and events is a lot of work and takes lots of organization but once you get the facts down, everything just flows. On Friday we also sat down with her joined by Candace the Database and Information Coordinator who deals with our computer system entering in all of the birthday parties after we have taken down the information on a hard copy. Overall, it was a lot of information but it was nice knowing that after a couple days I would be lightening the load and focusing back on marketing and volunteer tasks.
As for Saturday, my supervisor had to work at the short pump location so she put me in charge of teaching a volunteer training and the summer camp volunteer training throughout the day while also assisting with birthday party reservations. We had a small group of four people attend the volunteer training where I handed out the packets of information and we went through it and prepared them to get started. The summer camp training went well also. It is becoming more apparent that volunteers are a huge part of the reason the museum is so successful and a well rounded organization.
Not too many things went on this week as far as new experiences, but I realize I am growing because not only am I teaching volunteer trainings but also training the new events person, something I could not see myself doing back in the beginning. I am beginning to feel more comfortable in my position, love the people I am working with, and learn new things every day. Today is the last day of workI have until Tuesday, which happens to be my birthday so next week should be an exciting week as I move back to concentrating on more of my marketing and volunteer duties being free from event coordination, at least for a little while.