UMKC Public History Interns Matt Reeves and Leah Palmer stand in front of Arrowhead Stadium.
The University of Missouri-Kansas City’s Department of History and the Kansas City Chiefs Football Club have joined together to focus on enhancing the community’s cultural life and advancing the university’s educational mission. Beginning this semester, two graduate students from the Department of History’s Public History emphasis will intern with the Arrowhead Art Collection at Arrowhead Stadium to develop the collection’s interpretative materials and public programs. The interns, in return, receive a graduate assistantship that covers both tuition and a stipend.“These are exactly the kinds of high-impact learning experiences UMKC values and our public history program hopes to generate,” said Christopher D. Cantwell, an Assistant Professor of Public History and director of the department’s Public History emphasis. “Not only do they allow students to apply the skills they learn in the classroom, but they are also essential in helping our graduates find fulfilling careers in the humanities.”
Opened in the fall of 2012, the Arrowhead Art Collection currently has 26 pieces on display, which range from photographs and oil paintings to both indoor and outdoor sculptures. All of the pieces focus on the history and culture of the region and feature artists from Missouri, Kansas, Iowa, Nebraska, and Arkansas. The Arrowhead Art Collection is designed to celebrate regional art while providing educational opportunities and engaging the community in a way that touches individuals of all ages and walks of life. UMKC’s Public History students will be working with the Collection to build upon its already strong elementary education program by developing other kinds of interpretative materials.
“The Chiefs and the Arrowhead Art Collection are honored and proud to join with UMKC’s Department of History in this unique opportunity,” said Sharron Hunt, Chairwoman of the Collection and daughter of team founder Lamar Hunt. “By utilizing the talents of students in this UMKC graduate program, we can advance the objectives of our art program far beyond the scope of what we originally envisioned. This relationship exemplifies how the Chiefs can be an asset to the community and will be beneficial for both parties.”
Started in the fall of 2010, the Department of History’s Masters of Arts with an emphasis in Public History trains students for careers at museums, archives, historical societies, and other cultural institutions. Students take classes that focus not only on history, but also on exhibit design, digital media, and nonprofit management. The program’s graduates have already gone on to secure positions as curators, museum technicians, and archivists. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis, and students wishing to apply can visit: http://cas.umkc.edu/history/.