Interning at ContemPlace

When I put the address for ContemPlace into my Google Maps I was certain that I’d made a mistake. Why did it look like the “Kansas City, Missouri based” non-profit I was about to start interning for was somewhere out in Leavenworth, Kansas? I didn’t even know that KC proper extended past the Missouri River, let alone so far out into the countryside; when I pulled up the gravel driveway surrounded by ripe rows of grape vines stretching out across the hills, I became increasingly excited and mildly concerned that I had been mistakenly placed in an internship at a vineyard.

ContemPlace, founded by exhibit designer and vintner Jerry Eisterhold, is an umbrella non-profit for educational initiatives, trying to make a name for itself in national conversations surrounding civic engagement taking place among organizations such as American Public Square and the American Association for State and Local History. I was hired on to assist in the development of its premier project: a scalable, customizable poster exhibit titled Seeing Through the Census, designed for display in libraries and community centers to help inform the public of the history, purpose, utility, and wide-ranging implications of the United States’ decennial census. Several of these educational panels had already been designed before I started at ContemPlace, my initial task was to generate content for an additional 7 panels. My days were spent researching the history of the census, its successes, its failures, and its controversies. The first panel I wrote addressed LGBTQIA+ visibility in the census, something I had honestly never given a moment’s consideration to. I learned that, by tracing concentrated usage of the word “partner” rather than “husband” or “wife” to denote the relationship between two heads of household, we can use census data from 1900 on to visualize historic queer neighborhoods in U.S. cities. I also learned that, while the 2020 census will be the first to provide the option of clear distinctions between same-sex and opposite-sex relationships, it will not provide any visibility for trans and non-binary folks. And that the 21st census in 2000 was the first to allow Americans to choose more than one option when describing their racial identity. I learned, above all, that the census was not an apolitical exercise but rather a battleground for social justice and reform.

Most of my peers, and in fact, much of mainstream America, came to the same realization over the last six months due to political controversy over President Trump’s attempt at including a citizenship question in the 2020 census. Many worried that the information would be used unlawfully to identify so called “illegal immigrants” for deportation by the Trump administration’s zealous ICE raids. Though his efforts were blocked by the courts after 17 states sued the Census Bureau, significant damage had been done to the institution’s reputation as a safe and benevolent custodian of private data. Consequently, states with a high immigrant population are now facing the serious threat of an undercount that could result in the loss of millions of dollars of federal funding.

Seeing Through the Census couldn’t constitute even a drop in the bucket when it comes to the amount of census awareness needed to combat a PR catastrophe of that magnitude. Yet, however modest its impact, the project has heart. I wrote 6 more panels for the exhibit, on hard-to-count census tracts, visualizing the history of racial segregation in Kansas City, the undercounting of young children, congressional reapportionment, prison gerrymandering, and the difficulties of reconstructing Native American genealogies using historic census data. I began promoting the exhibit by contacting every public library and as many community centers as I could find in Missouri before reaching out to library systems across the nation. As of today, December 13th, only a handful have accepted the exhibit and agreed to display it. However, I’ve also had the opportunity to present a project to a meeting of regional library professionals put on by the Kansas City Public Library and to meet with members of the Mid-America Regional Council’s Complete Count Committee to discuss strategies for encouraging census participation. I have learned valuable lessons in panel design, written my first grant, collaborated with colleagues and made true friends. I continue to promote and seek funding for Seeing Through the Census and hope to have it displayed at several more venues.

Paid Internship Opportunity: Third Grade Program Assistant at the Truman Library

The Harry S. Truman Presidential Library in Independence, MO, is looking for a number of interns that will help provide an interactive learning experience to third graders through an educational program. This short term paid internship opportunity is available February – April, 2020. The interns will help conduct a 3rd grade outreach program in school classrooms. The interns will work with other interns and volunteers and lead groups of 3rd grade students (8/9 yrs old) and move students to stations in the classroom and work with students to complete tasks in those areas. Interns will also need to keep the students on track and focused. Interns will also have to keep track of time as students will be accomplishing multiple tasks in various locations.

The interns will be paid $12.50 an hour for a minimum of 100 hours and a maximum of 125 hours during late February to mid-April 2020. The hours will be during the work week, Monday through Friday and are approximately 9:30am – 2:30pm. The days and hours worked each week may vary.

The deadline for applications is December 15, 2019. Interviews will be conducted in late December or January and interns notified shortly afterwards. The internship will start in early February, 2020.

COMMITMENT REQUIRED:
A minimum commitment of two programs a week from late February-April is required. Training will take place in January or February.

  • QUALIFICATIONS NEEDED:
  • Current enrollment in a 2 or 4-year degree program
  • Good organizational and communication skills
  • Ability to work independently and effectively
  • Ability to balance multiple tasks
  • Dependable and punctual
  • Enjoy interacting and be comfortable with third graders
  • Extensive prior knowledge of the Truman Presidency is not required but a working knowledge of American history and government is helpful.

Interested candidates should reach out to Mark P. Adams, the Education Director at the Truman Library and Museum at mark.adams@nara.gov.

So, What Does a Humanities Council Do, Anyway?

That was my first question when I began my internship at the Missouri Humanities Council (MH) this semester. I quickly learned that humanities councils work with a wide network of organizations to provide residents high quality exhibits and programming, often in communities that might not have been able to access them otherwise. Every state has a humanities council, and ours is particularly active: 

 “MH provides programming that encourages family reading, highlights Missouri’s heritage, supports creative writing by veterans, and assists local museums, libraries, and other organizations promoting education—facilitating public conversations on topics that include history, religion, archaeology, anthropology, philosophy, literature, law, ethics, and languages.”

As you might imagine, it is nearly impossible to describe a “typical work day” at the Missouri Humanities Council. As a graduate intern this semester, however, I was able to glimpse a small part of their widespread impact. 

Most days I worked with Dr. Monique Johnston, Director of Education Programs, helping to facilitate history education on a statewide level. My major project was managing the Show Me Missouri Speakers’ Bureau, which connects history speakers to organizations across the state. I was offered many opportunities to provide input and take leadership of projects as well. Using my knowledge of the current Speakers’ Bureau program and seeing a need for teen-related humanities content in the state, I created a project proposal for adding young adult presentations to the bureau roster in the future. I was also responsible for scheduling the tour of Rightfully Hers, a pop-up exhibit from the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) celebrating the centennial of 19th Amendment. So far, the exhibit has been viewed by students in four high school and university libraries in the KC metro area. It was even used as part of an extra credit assignment for a Liberty High School social studies class!

Some days offered experiences that were just plain fun! In September, I helped children (and a few adults!) create their own story books as a stop on a Where the Wild Things Are themed literary scavenger hunt in the Crossroads neighborhood. Though not something that I would have expected to do as a history intern, it was a great opportunity to see how MH gets children and their families engaged with the humanities. 

One of the most interesting days was spent in Columbia, MO. I attended and helped prepare for a statewide planning meeting for organizations hosting the upcoming WaterWays exhibit, about the human connection to water. Missouri Humanities is bringing this exhibit to the state in 2020 via the Smithsonian’s Museums on Main Street (MOMS) program, which works exclusively with humanities councils to offer high quality exhibits to small towns across the nation. The meeting was fascinating, as each host organization discussed their town’s historic connections to Missouri’s water system, and their plans for engaging their communities in those stories. 

Though no two were the same, each day at MH provided opportunities to learn something new, and helped me gain skills to add to my public historian’s tool belt. 

So, what does a Humanities Council do? A better question might be: What don’t they do? 

The Chiefs have an Art Collection??!!

From the first day of my fellowship, I’ve been on a mission to spread the word about the amazing art collection at Arrowhead Stadium. There are over 50 local and regional artists in the collection and the range of size, style, and medium is unmatched in the Kansas City area. In fact, the Chiefs were applauded by the National Endowment for the Arts as wonderful example on how large sports franchises can support the arts.

The Arrowhead Art Collection is nationally acclaimed and yet those in Kansas City are often shocked when I tell them my role with the organization. So the primary focus of my fellowship, in addition to supporting the day to day operations involved with the collection, is to forge strategic partnerships in the community.

I am the fourth fellow from UMKC to have the opportunity to work with this collection. The ground work that those before me laid has allowed me to advance the collection. Matt Reeves, Austin Williams, and Brooke Leisinger all had a major role in curriculum development for the children’s groups who tour the art collection at the stadium. Up until recently, the children’s groups had been the primary focus of the fellows. The organization wanted to support the children’s tour with Visual Thinking Strategies developed by the fellows. They are awesome!

Over the last year, in addition to the children’s groups, the fellows were able to organize events such as “paint and sip” and “cookie decorating” that allowed adult groups the opportunity to engage with the collection for a fun event.

Since I started, I have met with organizations in the Kansas City art community to expand the opportunities for adult groups and specifically arts related groups in the city to experience the collection. Over the last five years working in the Kansas City art community, I’ve found that the best partnerships are formed when both parties have a deeper sense about the mission of the other organization. So, I have been working on bringing outside arts organizations in and the Chiefs organization out into the arts community.

I have been pleasantly surprised with the enthusiasm and support that I have received both internally and externally in the work I have done this semester.

On November 2nd, November First Friday, I organized an event for members of the Chiefs organization to visit six (!) arts organizations in the Crossroads. I led the group through the venues and spoke a bit about the differences in the arts organizations and the exhibitions. The variety in the Kansas City arts community is vast and something to be celebrated. I believed that if the Chiefs organization was to begin thinking about strategic partnerships with organizations, they should have a better idea of the different types of organizations in the community.

Conversely, on the night of November 20th, I was able to successfully plan and execute an event for the members of the KCPT to come into Arrowhead to experience the art collection. The event invited 150 of the patrons who support KCPT to come to the stadium for a behind the scenes experience with the art. I was able to recruit ten of the artists who are affiliated with the collection to come for the event to share some of their personal inspiration behind the works. The response to the event was overwhelmingly positive and many avenues to continued partnership discussed.

Although its only my first semester with the organization, I feel that I have been able to make a positive impact. I’ve honed some of the skill I’ve developed in my school and professional work and have been able to translate that to a large-scale organization.

I’m excited to see what next semester will bring!!

Paid Internship Opportunity at the National Museum of Toys and Miniatures

The National Museum of Toys and Miniatures currently has an opportunity for a Programming Intern. The Intern will facilitate the museum’s 2020 Spring Break programming and KC Urban Advantage group visit programming, as well as assist with other programming projects as needed.

The internship will be approximately 200 hours (14 weeks) between February 10, 2020 – May 15, 2020 and includes a $2,100 stipend.

Minimum Qualifications
Ideal applicants will have completed their junior year in college and must have demonstrated experience with public speaking and working with the public, especially children and families. History, art, education, museum studies, or any students interested in a career in the museum field are encouraged to apply.

To apply, candidates should submit a resume, cover letter, and a list of two references by Sunday, January 5, 2020 to Kelly Burns, Museum Educator at burnskel@toyandminiaturemuseum.org.  

For more information on the internship position click here or visit https://toyandminiaturemuseum.org/internships/.

Fort Osage National Historic Landmark Living History Interpreter

Jackson County Parks + Rec is looking for the next Interpreter at Fort Osage National Historic Landmark. This full-time, year-round position comes with great benefits, an excellent workplace culture, and is filled with great opportunities for professional growth.

Department: Parks + Rec
Grade: g06
Salary: $13.40/hour

Job Duties
The Interpreter is responsible for presenting on-site historic interpretive programs and for the planning and implementing special events. The position is also responsible for recruiting, training, and scheduling volunteers and assisting in the daily maintenance of site.
The Interpreter may work in a supervisory capacity regarding seasonal staff and volunteers, and directs work tasks when Supervisor is not present.

Minimum Qualifications
Candidates must have a Bachelor’s Degree in History or related field and at least one (1) year of work experience in museum administration, historic interpretation, special promotions, or an equivalent combination of education and experience. They must also submit to and pass a pre-employment drug and background screen.

To apply visit: https://www.jacksongov.org/jobs

Story Center Customer Service Associate II

Position Overview: The Customer Service Associate is a key member of The Story Center team.  Working from the historic Woodneath home and the Woodneath Library Center, they help to deliver core Story Center services and resources by hosting public programs, printing publications on the Espresso Book Machine, and orienting customers to the Story Center Collection, among other duties.  The person is passionate about providing excellent service to all customers and about The Story Center’s mission to empower library customers to create stories, share those stories, and connect with the stories of others. 

Salary/Wage:
$14.53 per hour
This is a part-time, non-exempt position

Employee Expectations:

  • Models excellent customer service attitude and assists customers in a tactful and effective manner
  • Provides a proactive level of customer service and assists customers through various aspects of utilizing the Library
  • Supports, promotes, implements, and makes decisions based on established Library policies, guidelines, and programs
  • Contributes positively to the efforts of the Library
  • Establishes and maintains supportive working relationships with internal and external customers
  • Knowledge and support of the principles of intellectual freedom including the Library Bill of Rights and the Freedom to Read statement
  • Models excellent customer service attitude and delivery, supporting a collaborative and inclusive workplace
  • Exhibits self-motivation in managing changing priorities
  • Negotiates for win-win solution
  • Exhibits characteristics of life-long learner in willingness to investigate new ideas

Essential Job Functions:

  • Hosts Story Center programs, including preparing event space, introducing presenter, and distributing, collecting, and recording program evaluations
  • Operates Espresso Book Machine to print customer publishing projects
  • Acts as a guide for customers in use of Story Center resources and programs
  • Develops familiarity with and actively promotes The Story Center Collection and online resources 
  • Assists with planning and creating eye-catching displays for Story Center Collection
  • Orients customers to the historic Woodneath home and property
  • Recommends resources to customers based on interests, needs, and availability
  • Ensures that Story Center area and its grounds are clean and orderly
  • Assists with opening and closing historic Woodneath home, as necessary
  • Provides administrative support for the Director, Publication Manager, and Program Manager as necessary
  • Possession of a valid driver license and a reliable personal vehicle for use in carrying out the duties of this position including transportation of materials and equipment (mileage reimbursed)
  • Other duties as assigned

Required Skills:

  • Exhibits excellent public presentation abilities
  • Demonstrates key organizational skills, including attention to detail and follow through
  • Uses effective verbal, written, and discreet communications
  • Performs duties requiring the exercise of professional skill, initiative, and independent judgment
  • Successfully handles matters of conflict
  • Demonstrates proficiency in office productivity and other software

Experience and Training:

  • Associate’s degree required, but Bachelor’s Degree preferred
  • Customer service experience and demonstrated aptitude for learning technology
  • Experience with some aspect of “story” or storytelling preferred
  • Experience with public program planning and implementation and/or publications preferred
  • Experience in public speaking

To apply visit: https://www.mymcpl.org/library-information/working-with-MCPL/employment-opportunities

Job Alert: Graduate Student Assistant Position at LaBudde Special Collections

UMKC’s LaBudde Special Collections is hiring a Graduate Student Assistant position for Spring Semester 2020. This position provides an opportunity for graduate students to leverage their archival experience. Applications are due by November 18.

Job description: Student assistants provide public access and reference support for LaBudde Special Collections and the Gay and Lesbian Archive of Mid-America (GLAMA) for researchers and patrons from any and all communities. This entails searching for, retrieving, and shelving manuscript materials and rare books as well as the inventory and processing of archival collections. Student assistants perform additional tasks as assigned including scanning projects and Reading Room maintenance (cleaning).

Physical effort: Minimal/infrequent physical effort. Must be able to lift a weight of approximately 30lbs for some manuscript boxes.

Job attitude: LaBudde is a Safe Space, therefore students will be expected to sustain a work environment that is communicative, inclusive, and mutually respectful with colleagues, staff, faculty, and patrons.

Job requirements: Must be able to work 10 – 20 hours per week (flexible work arrangements are available at the supervisor’s discretion). Students must be dependable and punctual, display attention to detail, and possess interpersonal skills adequate for public access/reference work and interaction with patrons. This position also requires the applicant have a Bachelor’s Degree in their field and be enrolled as a student at UMKC with at least one credit hour.

Starting pay rate: $10.25/hr

Application Process: Students will need to fill out the basic application for student employment at the libraries, found here, and send PDFs of their resume and cover letter to Anthony LaBat, Senior Library Information Specialist at LaBudde Special Collections, via email at labata@umkc.edu.

Paid Internship Opportunity: Money Museum

Consider a career with an organization focused on promoting a healthy regional and national economy. As an intern, you will contribute to the daily operations of the Money Museum as well as the development and creation of exhibits, tours, and educational materials that promote public understanding of the nation’s central bank, economics, personal finance, and financial literacy. We lead the work of the Bank through an uncompromising commitment to integrity, a strong customer service orientation, and an investment in the personal growth and development of our diverse staff. You will gain practical experience in museum operations and visitor services while contributing to larger scale exhibit creation and educational content initiatives. 

This paid internship is for the 2020 spring/summer semesters at the Kansas City Fed; an intern may work up to 20 hours/week between 9:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m., at a schedule to be agreed upon. Opportunities are only available in Kansas City. 

What does a Money Museum Intern do?
• Visitor service responsibilities like assisting at the Money Museum front desk, checking out guests and stocking the Vault Store, exhibit maintenance, restocking economic education materials, and assisting in guest relations.
• Conducting tours and economic education presentations for area educational groups.
• Creating content and developing proposals for new permanent and temporary exhibits. 
• Developing plans to promote tours, programs, and educational products, and assessing the effectiveness of these through appropriate evaluation methods.
• Researching new opportunities for outreach and potential contacts for the museum. 
• Serving as “consultants” to Bank management and Money Museum staff by completing projects and preparing recommendations for implementing or improving exhibits, partnerships, tours and educational programs.

What skills and experience do Money Museum Interns need?
• Undergraduate or graduate students within two years of graduation. Seeking a degree in public history, museum studies, art and design, English, marketing, finance or a closely related field preferred.
• Effective oral and written communication skills, including the ability to work independently or in team environments.
• Strong analytical and problem solving skills.
• Demonstrated initiative, independence, creativeness and leadership skills.
• Computer skills in programs including, but not limited to, Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.

Apply Online Here
• Please attach a resume and cover letter.  
• Apply on or before December 6, 2019.
• Applications will be pre-screened prior to interview selections. You will receive an email notification if you have been selected to interview.

The Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City is an equal opportunity employer. As such, the Bank recruits, hires, trains, and promotes individuals without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability and/or sexual orientation.

Job Alert: Missouri Town 1855 and Fort Osage National Historic Landmark

Jackson County Parks + Rec Department is hiring two seasonal museum interpreter positions: one at Missouri Town 1855 in Lee’s Summit, MO, and the other at Fort Osage National Historic Landmark in Sibley, MO. Public History students interested in gaining experience in living history, gift shop management, working with livestock, historic firearms, blacksmithing, interpretive programming, and educational programming, are invited to apply.

The two positions promise to be immersive, meaningful, and fun professional development for aspiring museum professionals. The positions also promise flexible schedule and will gladly work around the successful applicant’s school schedule. Jackson County Parks + Rec will also provide period-appropriate attire and on-site training.

Jackson County Parks + Rec is hoping to hire as soon as possible. The positions will run until December 2019.

To apply for the Missouri Town 1855 position click here.
To apply for the Fort Osage National Historic Landmark position click here.