As a major research university embedded within a thriving and diverse urban center, VCU is well positioned to offer its students learning opportunities that extend beyond the classroom. The undergraduate and graduate curriculums place a high value on experiential learning, creativity, innovation, and practical educational opportunities that help students prepare for work and life after college. While our building is under construction, there is an immense amount of activity happening behind the scenes to prepare for primetime in 2017. We are conducting research for our opening programs and the first two years of exhibitions; planning a robust communications strategy for the opening year and beyond; developing operating procedures and administrative protocols; creating a retail plan for our cafe, shop, and event rentals; and more. With so much happening, we decided to launch our internship program before opening our doors. Internships at the ICA offer participants hands-on training in museum professions and a comprehensive overview of museum operations. Interns also gain insight into the national and international world of contemporary art, as well as experience in the non-profit sector—skills that are relevant and transferable to a variety of professional fields beyond art and museum work.
Introducing the Fall 2015 Intern Team
Britnie Dates, a senior in the School of the Arts (VCUarts) Fashion Merchandising program, joined the ICA team in September 2015. Dates’ internship focuses on research for the gift shop, looking at what works—and what doesn’t—at a variety of museum gift shops nationally as well as other retail gift stores in Richmond. With a focus on the unique, the handmade, and the intersection of the local and the global, Dates is researching retail strategies from product selection and pricing, to display cases and visual merchandising.
Kimberly Jacobs is a Ph.D. student in the VCUarts Art History department. Jacobs is the recipient of the ICA’s first competitive internship for course credit and is working closely with Curator Lauren Ross on research for exhibitions and public programs that the ICA will present during its first two years. Jacobs has over five years of experience in community engagement, museum education, and curatorial research. In 2013, she was the recipient of the Romare Bearden Fellowship at the Saint Louis Art Museum, where she co-curated the exhibition Anything but Civil: Kara Walker’s Vision of the Old South.
Susan Moser is a graduate student in the VCUarts Art History program with a concentration in Museum Studies. Her research interests focus on k-12 educational and outreach programs in non-collecting arts institutions. In 2014, Moser worked as an intern for Director Lisa Freiman, and in addition to her day-to-day research activities, she served as producer for the ICA’s 5-minute Missing Piece video. Moser rejoined the ICA team in 2015 as a part-time administrative assistant.
In the coming months, the ICA will be announcing several more internship opportunities for VCU students, with a focus on providing valuable experiences related to fields not typically associated with museum studies. New opportunities will be posted on our website as they become available.