As students look to the future, their concepts of career possibilities can be limited. Art students, for instance, may never have considered that museums have use for their talents in areas such as curating, marketing, and education. History students may not have thought that research for museum exhibits as a way to continue their love of the past. Museums offer many ways for individuals to express their skills and abilities, and get paid in the process.
The National Quilt Museum is the world’s largest and most prestigious museum devoted to quilts and fiber art. A destination for art enthusiasts worldwide, annually the Museum welcomes visitors from all 50 US states and over 40 foreign countries from every continent. The Museum’s onsite and travelling exhibits are viewed by over 160,000 people per year. In addition, over 6,000 youth and adults participate in the Museum’s educational opportunities on an annual basis.
Located in a 27,000 square foot facility in historic downtown Paducah, Kentucky, the Museum’s three galleries feature exhibits of the finest quilt and fiber art in the world. The Museum’s vibrant and breathtaking exhibits are rotated 8-10 times per year. The primary gallery features quilts from the Museum’s own collections which include over 450 works of art. The Museum’s additional galleries feature touring and thematic exhibits of unique and diverse works of textile art.
The Museum has gained a reputation for its educational programs. Throughout the year, the Museum hosts educational programs on a variety of topics for quilters of all skill sets. Quilters come from all over the world to attend the Museum’s educational programs taught by master quilters.
The Museum’s youth education programs are attended by over 4,000 young people of all ages. Several of these programs have received national media attention. The School Block Challenge, sponsored by Moda Fabrics, is an annual contest in which participanting youth are challenged to make a quilt block out of a packet of three fabrics. Now in its 21st year, this challenge continues to be utilized by schools, community organizations, and home schools as part of their art curriculum in over 24 states. Other popular youth programs include the annual Quilt Camp for Kids, Kidz Day in the Arts, and the Junior Quilters and Textile Artists Club.
The Museum aims to advance the art of quilting by bringing quilt and fiber art to new audiences around the world. Interns can be part of this endeavor through the curatorial, education, and marketing departments. Curatorial interns will work with the Curator of Collections and Registrar preparing for exhibits, installing exhibits, caring for the museum’s collection works, and archiving ephemera and documentation. Education interns will assist the Director of Education with creating lessons plans centering on Core Curriculum and the collections, teaching hands-on activities to visiting school groups, and preparing for upcoming events. Marketing interns will create promotional items for the museum, assist with museum events, and aid in website updates while working with the Director of Marketing.
As the intern gains real-world experience with the above staff members, they will also develop marketable job skills through interacting with volunteers, other staff, and visitors. People skills can only be learned by working with people, and the museum offers exposure to people of all ages, and nationalities.
Interns will be evaluated by the department head to which they are assigned. Interns are expected to keep a diary of their activities. Part of the final evaluation by the department head will be of a written report by the intern.