My work at the museum this week focused on designing content for the Instagram page. I did several sketches since it is an image they plan to use in their Instagram story every time there is a new exhibit.
From the 5 sketches, I selected 3 and I digitized them. I will work on improving some details before I present it to my supervisor on Tuesday. As I was sketching and digitizing this week, I often asked for feedback from my supervisor. Although she liked what I was proposing, she told me it still did not fit with the museum’s style, which led me to go back to my sketchbook and do more research on their social media publications. Through this project, I have learned the importance of always doing enough research to deliver a product that reflects the brand and style of your client’s business.
On Saturday, there were different activities in the museum such as yoga classes and art workshops for children so I worked as a photographer and I edited the photos afterward. On the other hand, after two weeks of neglect due to the exhibits and all the work they entailed, this week I finally started working on the newsletter again. I finished resizing and uploading images to the online hosting service; I troubleshoot the whole newsletter since some of the tables had been giving me problems, and I added all the inline styles because it is not practical to use CSS stylesheets. I still need to add a few more tables and text, proofread everything, and add buttons before presenting it to my supervisor. Check out a video of the work in progress below.
So far, one of my favorite aspects of my internship has been working in different projects that relate to the courses I have taken this last academic year such as Graphic Design, Intro to Computing and Web Design.
This holiday week was a much needed reset for the education department and MOAS. Since we had no camp classes and no planned tours, we were only required to come in on Wednesday. Though of course unexpected things do happen and as such was the case of Monday, when a group appeared unexpectedly. A secondary group of younger students were suppose to show up on Wednesday but, they never did. That gave the cleaning staff a chance to give the Children’s Musuem and the classrooms a much needed deep clean. Additionally, inventory was taken and the classrooms were restocked for the latter half of summer camps.
In terms of projects, we finally culminated our work on the MOAS rocks and ended up with a grand total of 40+ rocks. They represent every permanent collection that the museum has as well as the planetarium in some form. This upcoming week we will most likely pick up where we left off in the touching up of the fossil cast and when Seth comes back from paternal leave we will touch bases with him about the mobile planetarium project.
So far, our actual hands on experience inside the classrooms has been limited but, that isn’t completely unexpected since there is an abundance of volunteers at least in the first half. Instead we’ve had a chance to see more clearly how the department works and interacts with other departments. We’ve helped expensively in terms of registration, tours and maintaining and updating the department’s teaching material. Our time there has been an understanding of how things work behind the curtents, of how much planning and human capital is actually put into a weekly project.
This week was the first of two weeks of Endstation’s Embark! Theatre Conservatory of which I was a teaching assistant for. I was the teaching assistant for the improvisation and acting classes which were taught as six classes throughout the day. Half of the day was spent with improv and the other half with acting. There were three levels of classes, the youngest class was C1 which was rising 3rd through 5th graders, C2 was rising 6th-8th graders, and C3 was rising 9th-12th graders. The first day we played a lot of different name games and a few short acting exercises. The first half of the week there was a large focus on volume and diction in the acting and improv classes and we spent a lot of time going around in a circle speaking phrases such as “eleven benevolent elephants” and really working on enunciating every sound in every word. During the week we played other games such as freeze which involves two people on the stage and then everyone sits on the ground and the two people begin a scene and at some point during the scene someone in the audience yells freeze and the people on stage freeze, the audience members comes on stage and quickly chooses one of the actors to tag out and then they proceed to take that persons position and begin a new two person scene and so on. The C3’s had a pretty easy time understanding that the goal of the game is not to see how many times you could be onstage but rather to work and develop scene based on the body position of the person that was in before them and to create an entirely new scene that has a relationship between the characters and a driving force behind the scene and all that good stuff. The C2’s sort of understood this but there were a number of them that just wanted to be in the scene as much as possible so it was hard for other people to get a turn and also hard for the scenes to develop without just getting cutoff. We played this version of freeze with the C1’s but it was just all kinds of a mess and that led to us playing a different version called ata-freeze where there was no talking and instead you start with one person onstage and they strike a pose and then the next person comes on and strikes a pose based off of the other person’s pose and as soon as they have done that the first person exits and so on and so forth. This ended up working really well for the C1’s and they were able to play the game and enjoy it instead of getting upset when they were tagged out or instead of not really creating a scene but instead just chasing each other around the room. We played a few other versions of freeze with the C2’s and C3’s including screaming british freeze and screaming southern freeze where the scenes could be about anything but they had to scream all dialogue in an accent. These types of freeze were almost more successful than regular freeze because it forces the actors to make bold decisions and therefore they have more energy and better scene content. There was one other version of freeze called blind freeze which I only learned myself a few months ago and it is basically regular freeze except you stand in a line while waiting to go onstage and the first person in line has their back turned to the scene and it is the second person in line that yells freeze, then the first person turns around and runs in and tags out one of the people in the scene and starts a new scene based on the body position they have acquired.
This week was rather unusual because the Planetarium curator, Seth, who also works with the education department, was having a baby. He had to leave work early, which meant that another intern, Julia, had to run the planetarium shows. Normally she would help us organize tour groups, and would even assist with groups if there were many of them, however, given the circumstances, me and Ariana had to deal with the groups on our until some visiting docents arrived.
This week was also the first time we had to manage groups that were “self-guided”, meaning that there wouldn’t be anyone working in the museum guiding them through, but we still had to make sure we kept an eye on them and making sure they were showing proper museum etiquette. The first self-guided tour was a large special-needs group. For the most part, the counselors of the group had everything under control, but I made sure to hand them maps so that no one would get lost or separated.
By the end of the week we also had to take photographs of the summer camp for a staff member in Administration to have. She let us borrow her camera, and we took pictures outside where the 7-9 yr olds were having their own Olympic games. For that particular group we had to help the instructor because the kids were rowdier than usual and kept getting distracted. We also faced a challenge of leaving out certain kids from photographs because their parents didn’t consent for their child to be photographed (they sent us paperwork during registration). After that, I photographed the 10-13 yr olds during their “Claymation” class while Ariana gave a tour to a small group of 4, and later we finished photographing the preschoolers in their “pirate class”.
Another week of camp at MOAS has passed and this one marks the end of the first half of SLI summer camps. As usual, on Monday, Thanya and me where in charge of overseeing the registration of 4-6 year olds. For the most part I saw an abundance of returning campers in all age levels with new ones here and there. Something interesting that I did notice was the fact that this week we had more issues with late arriving campers particularly in the 4-6 age group. Drop off begins at 9 am and usually run until 9:30 am but, on Monday we had someone come in as late as 10:30 am. That causes issues in maintaining our attendence records straight as parents forget to check in with us at the education office. Overall, the issue was handled by us or one of the department members when the parent came to pick up the child.
In terms of assisting in the classes this week, we had the chance to do so on Friday. The class was history based and as a final activity the kids were having there own version of the Olympic Games. We helped explain activities to student as well as maintained them organized to ensure that the activity ran as smoothly as possible. After that we took photos of the different classes and their final activities for our records and the marketing department.
Tours were definitely the low point of this week as Wednesday proved to be the busiest and most chaotic day thus far. For the group of 100 students we had already arranged a plan but, unfortunately mechanical issues with their buses forced us to rearrange our schedule. In the second group we had expected a smaller number of visitors yet, instead we ended up with nearly 90 in total. We obviously were caught off guard by the sheer number of visitors in terms of scheduling and staff (Nicole was teach class, Zach was at an outreach, Kelsey is in Hawaii and Seth and his wife just has there baby on Tuesday). In the end, we did our best to accommodate the groups but, this goes to show that we have to be prepared for anything and that communication with visiting group is of the utmost importance.
We’ve continued the MOAS rocks project from last week and have begun to work on the representation of the North Wing’s permanent collections. There has been discussions of the logistical aspect of the project such as where we plan to place the rocks, how often and if they should be exclusive to children’s admission. Discussions in regards to this will of course continue when the final project is presented to administration. The fossil cast touch up has momentarily been placed on hold since the department has a couple of outreach programs and is using the casts.
Next week we have no camps and that will give us a chance to clean classrooms and restock on supplies. We hope to wrap up the MOAS rock project and pick up on the touch up project and a new project for the planetarium’s mobile exhibit.
Since last week I took photos of the exhibits, I spent most of my Monday doing some editing and retouching work as well as sharing the images, which I included below. Like I mentioned in my previous post, last week I collaborated to create the certificates for the winners of the art contest for high school students, so this week I was given the task of working on the online certificates for all the participants, so I continued to work in InDesign on Tuesday and Wednesday to complete this assignment. This week was also particularly exciting because I was asked to work on images for the social media pages of the museum. Although the task was intimidating at first because I had never worked in content for a social media platform specifically, I had the chance to research the formats and resolutions that are generally used. Because I want to stick to the visual identity of the museum, I also went through the museum’s Facebook and Instagram pages to get a better understanding of their aesthetic.
Last semester, in Advanced Digital Arts studio, I learned to collaborate with people from different disciplines to complete a project; this week I was challenged to work similarly since in order to successfully create one of the images for social media, I had to verify the information with the people working in the education department (the post was for them) while I was regularly checking the design with my supervisor in the graphic design department and communicating with the community manager to effectively deliver the final product.
This upcoming week, I am excited to keep working on the other image for social media and go back to work on the newsletter.