Engage audiences from California to Connecticut through conversations about American art!
Read the information below to find out more about our videoconference presenters. If you are interested in sharing your love of learning with far-flung audiences, please apply! Museum staff are accepting applications until July 25 and will conduct interviews on a rolling basis. The new class of presenters will be selected by mid-August. Apply now!
Needs and Objectives
The Smithsonian American Art Museum seeks volunteers to connect and inspire learners of all ages via our live, interactive videoconference program, Artful Connections. Using the Museum's vast collection of American art, presenters explore America's stories by conversing with students from Alaska to Florida, older adult learners throughout the U.S., and library patrons from Maine to Oregon. We are currently recruiting for a fall training class.
Using room-based videoconferencing equipment and a deck of PowerPoint slides, presenters facilitate 45-60 minute discussions that explore history, heritage, and art topics from the Museum's roster of 10 programs. Presenters collaborate with educators at host sites via email to select artworks that best support their audiences' learning. Independently, presenters research history, artworks, and artists to create inquiry-based lesson plans they'll use to engage participants in discovering more about American heritage.
The ideal candidate will have a love of learning to inspire all ages, with a special interest in language arts, American history, and art. Inquisitive, enthusiastic, conversational, and flexible, he or she will be comfortable using email and PowerPoint and is articulate in spoken and written word.
Active participation in a four month course taught by Museum staff on Wednesday afternoons from October 5, 2016 through January 2017 is required. The course covers learning theories, teaching techniques for informal learning, the Museum's collections, and videoconferencing technology. Each new trainee will be matched with an experienced Artful Connections mentor at the outset of the course and will present a program to their classmates and staff as their final project.
Videoconferences are offered between 9:00 AM and 5:00 PM Eastern, Monday-Friday. Presenters must commit to planning and facilitating at least two videoconferences per month and participating in bi-monthly meetings with the presenter corps during the school year. We ask for a minimum pledge of one year of active involvement once accepted into the corps.
Videoconferencing is conducted from one of SAAM's three studios in Washington, DC. One studio is in the Museum building at 8th and F Streets, NW, and two studios are in the Victor Building at 750 9th St., NW. Training takes place in the Museum.