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National Museum of the American Indian

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National Museum of the American Indian - Page Text Content

FC: National Museum of the American Indian, Washington, DC | Deborah Coblenz Spring 2013

1: The photographer, printer/publisher, editor, membership and development officers, and pubic relations/marketing manager create brochures, calendars and other informational and promotional material, available in several places in the museum. | Visitor Information | The educator, represented here by the assistant educator, plans and supervises the activities of volunteers as well as arranges the films, lectures, and cultural presentations featured in the schedule of events. (Schlatter 2008) | The visitor services manager or volunteer coordinator recruits and trains information desk volunteers. (Schlatter 2008) (Glaser and Zenetou 1996)

2: National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI) and Native American curators along with museum educators and content advisors develop themes and text. (Schlatter 2008) Collections managers join them in selecting appropriate objects from collections that are relevant to the museum's mission and programs (Concern at the core 2005) to impart specific information. | Pamunky Curators | Exhibits

3: The registrar and conservator ensure that these objects are in good condition or repaired as necessary and displayed in a protective environment. (Schlatter 2008) | The exhibition planner and designer work with curators and educators to execute the vision, consulting with lighting experts, fabricators, installers, and graphics designers to complete the project.

4: The media manager consults with curators, both NMAI and Native, as well as educators regarding content of the interactive multimedia activities and exhibitions. | H/she is responsible for the production of the films, participatory displays, and games. (Glaser and Zenetou 1996) | Technology

5: To produce an electronic newsletter, curators, the educator, and membership/development managers provide information they wish to disseminate and information and media managers coordinate the technology. | The information manager makes sure that computer hardware and software are as current as possible, even though museum computer systems tend to lag 3-5 years behind "cutting edge" technology. (Jacobson 2008)

6: Cultural interpreters teach children about Native American culture through "hands on" activities. According to one of the interpreters, they collaborated with educators, native peoples, IT staff and a program manager to create the imagiNations Activity Center. | Activity Center

7: A new exhibition, Ceramica de los Ancestros: Central America's Past Revealed, will be opening in late March, 2013. The following staff will be involved: registrar, curator, educator, exhibition staff, collections, conservator, public relations, marketing, editor, printing/publishing, photography, media, museum shop, security. | Future Exhibit

8: The NMAI offers its own membership, separate from membership to the Smithsonian Institution, which supplies additional revenue. The membership director leads the effort to recruit and retain members and encourage current members to increase their level of support (Schlatter 2008). In addition to working closely with the development staff on fundraising, the membership director works collaboratively with the public relations officer, editor, and print/publications staff to publish the magazine and other promotional literature, and the educator to provide interesting programs for members (Glaser and Zenetou 1996). | Membership and

9: The development officer is responsible for all fundraising activities (Schlatter 2008) and works closely with all museum staff, especially the director as well as public relations and marketing managers (Glaser and Zenetou 1996). | At the NMAI, s/he reaches out to Native Americans for support in addition to the usual sponsors, such as individuals in the local community, corporations, government bodies and foundations that Schlatter refers to (2008). The names of patrons and supporters, including Native American groups, are engraved on museum walls. The development officer at the NMAI is the "glue" that Olson (2008) speaks about in finding out people's interests, recognizing when they want to become more involved, and then meshing that with the museum's needs. | Development

10: The museum shop is "an extension of the museum's exhibition and educational programs." (Glaser and Zenetou 1996) The retail manager is responsible for displaying and selling merchandise of interest to museum visitors, maintaining accounts and supervising sales clerks (Schlatter 2008). In the Roanoke Store at the National Museum of the American Indian, s/he works closely with the marketing manager as well as curators, who may suggest the sale of thematic items to accompany featured exhibits. | Museum Shop

11: The restaurant falls under the jurisdiction of the facilities manager, with the involvement of chefs, servers and cashiers. Since the Mitsitam Cafe offers native foods of the Americas, curators are involved in helping to select representative regional meals. Designers help plan and arrange for the execution of the signage. Public relations and marketing staff help with branding and advertising. (Schlatter 2008) | Museum Restaurant

12: The security staff, supervised by the security chief, is concerned with the safety and security of the building and everything inside it,including collections and exhibitions, employees, volunteers, and visitors (Schlatter 2008). The National Museum of the American Indian uses its own security personnel to screen the public upon entering the museum and contracts with an outside company for the people who guard the exhibits. | Security

13: References | Glaser, J.R., & Zenetou, A.A. (1996). Museums: A place to work, planning museum career (pp. 84, 107-109, 116, 118). New York, NY: Routledge. Johns Hopkins University. (2008). Exploring Museum Professions: Interviews with Today's Museum Professionals. Interview with Steve Jacobson. Retrieved from Schlatter, N.E. (2008). Museum careers: A practical guide for students and novices (pp.55, 58, 60, 72, 75-77, 80-81,88-89, 90-94). Walnut Creek, CA: Left Coast Press. Smithsonian Institution, Office of Policy and Analysis. (2005, April) Concern at the core: Managing Smithsonian collections. Retrieved from

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