These past few days in the gallery we welcomed Zinnia Willits, Director of Collections Administration at the Gibbes Museum in Charleston, SC and her shadow, Lauren Silberman, Program Officer for the Museum Assessment Program through the American Alliance of Museums.
About nine months ago, Dr. Juilee Decker and I wrote a Museum Assessment Program (MAP) grant that is sponsored by the American Alliance of Museums (AAM) to specifically assess our collections stewardship. The grant was long and laborious and I learned a lot of institutional knowledge (thanks to Dr. Decker) that I had not know. When writing such a grant you learn a lot about your institution as well as the distinctive writing style and skill it takes to apply for a grant.
The Georgetown College Fine Arts Galleries was awarded the grant though our writing did not stop there. Once we received word that our application was selected, we then needed to complete the necessary workbook. This series of questions reflected our day to day operations, our polices and procedures, and our hope for the future of the Galleries. We had three goals in mind: to strengthen our operation, to plan for the future of Georgetown College's collection, and to continue to strive to meet national museum standards.
The past two days Zinnia met with students, faculty, administrative staff, the CFO, and facilities. It was a wonderful experience for me to have a mini conference centered right around our collection and Galleries. Ideas were shared as well as concerns. But overall, the reception of these meetings was positive and I GREATLY appreciate all who were willing to participate.
Over the next month or so Zinnia will complete her report. This report will reflect how the Galleries are function now, if we are on the right track in turns of national standards, and how to improve. We have a lot to think about for the next few days as we combine all of our own thoughts on the subjects that were discussed.
I am so glad and honored with the opportunity that the Galleries were awarded. This will be a wonderful examination in how the Galleries continue to function and how to better serve the Georgetown College and its community.
(I wish I had a picture to show you!)