C o m m o n w e a l t h
A s s o c i a t i o n o f
M u s e u m s
CAM Bulletin Number 5 - Dec. 1998
Four Internships for CAM
The Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, Government of Canada, (DFAIT) offered the Youth International Internship Program for the second time during the 1998-9 fiscal year. Through this program, Canadian young people are provided with internships in other countries and given the opportunity to learn about their chosen fields and gain work experience to ease their transition into the job market. The Canadian Museums Association administers the part of the program which pertains to museums on behalf of DFAIT.
CAM was able to take advantage of the program in 1997-8 with two internships and this year applied for and received funding for four internships. Several Commonwealth museums were contacted and The National Museums of Kenya, Nairobi Museum, the National Museum, Monuments and Art Gallery of Botswana, the Barbados Museum and Historical Society and the Museums Association of the Caribbean agreed to host the internships. Job duties and qualifications were discussed and agreed and interns recruited. While the interviewing was done in Canada, the resumés and interview results were discussed with the hosts and then the interns were selected.
The four internship positions were GCAM Programme Assistant (Kenya), GCAM Programme Assistant (Botswana), Caribbean Database Assistant, (Museums Association of the Caribbean) and Community Exhibit Assistant (Barbados Museum). The first two internships were designed as a follow-up programme to the Nairobi workshop and the work on children's programming being pursued by GCAM (Group for Children in African Museums). Both interns were to work with the host institutions to design and record the development of new and existing children's programmes. If possible, at least part of the programme development would include working with and talking to the children themselves. For CAM the interns would compile the survey results obtained before the Nairobi workshop in November 1997, would write up the programmes in form to be distributed to GCAM members and would write an article on their experiences for the CAM Bulletin. The usual reports from interns for the host and for CAM would also be part of their responsibility. CAM in turn reports back to the funding body.
The Caribbean Database Assistant has as one task the creation of a website for the Museums Association of the Caribbean (www.sunbeach.net) which has been completed as far as getting the site up an running. The collection of data from Caribbean museums, English, French and Spanish, and assisting with the design and expansion of the MAC database are main aspects of the internship as well as helping with the MAC AGM and preparation for the CAM meeting in May 1999. The Community Exhibit Assistant will help with the development of a community outreach and exhibit centre. Assistance with funding, community contacts and interviews, preliminary exhibits and overall planning will form the main part of the job. The project will be documented for the host museum, CAM and other Caribbean museums and for the experience of other Commonwealth museums. As with the other internships an article will be prepared for the CAM Bulletin and the necessary reports will be completed.
The interns selected for the project are Andrea Gumpert (Kenya), Colleen Bauman (Botswana), Jonathan Murphy (MAC) and Caroline Lanthier (Barbados Museum). Andrea has a background in art and art history, majoring in art education with a focus in museums studies, as well as a first degree in English and Women's Studies. She intends to pursue her MA in Art Education. Her experience in museum work has included children's programming in museums and a variety of experience relevant to the present position. Already with some international travel experience, she is particularly interested in getting museum educational experience in a different cultural setting. Colleen has a history and art history degree with non-European history, a diploma in Museum Management and Curatorship and is especially interested in education and interpretation in museums. She has worked on children's programming in volunteer and education placement positions and has traveled extensively including a year teaching in the African country of Chad.
Jonathan is a recent graduate in archaeology with well-developed computer skills including knowledge of website design and database use. He has focused his attention in archaeology and in work experience on the Caribbean and is intensely interested in Caribbean history, archaeology and culture. He hopes to increase his knowledge of the region as well as gain experience in the museum field. Caroline is the most experienced of the interns with several year's in museum education at the Canadian Museum of Civilization, Children's Museum, and the McCord Museum of Canadian History. Her education is a BA in History and Ethnology and an MA in Museology from Leicester, England. Her interest in the Caribbean internship was the opportunity to develop skills in the areas of community development, building on those already acquired in her experience and especially to gain experience in exhibition development in all its aspects.
The internships are a little more than half-way through the term. There have been and continue to be a number of significant challenges to be met in the work undertaken along with some excellent progress. The results of the projects will appear over the next few months and the interns will describe their experiences for us in the next issues of the Bulletin. We look forward to the contributions they are making to CAM and their respective host institutions.